Indiana Employment Security Division v. Burney

PETITIONER: Indiana Employment Security Division
LOCATION: Navajo Reservation

DOCKET NO.: 71-1119
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)

CITATION: 409 US 540 (1973)
ARGUED: Dec 07, 1972
DECIDED: Jan 17, 1973

Darrel K. Diamond - for appellants
Ivan E. Bodensteiner - for appellee

Facts of the case


Media for Indiana Employment Security Division v. Burney

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 07, 1972 in Indiana Employment Security Division v. Burney

Warren E. Burger:

Mr. Diamond.

Darrel K. Diamond:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

This appeal by the Indiana Employment Security Division presents the issue of validity of certain practices used by the Division in determining the eligibility of claimants for unemployment compensation benefits.

These practices which are called for by the Indiana Law, were held by a three-judge district court not to comply with requirements of the Social Security Act.

Warren E. Burger:

Before you move further Mr. Diamond it would help me if you clear up the situation, the factual situation.

As I understand it the appeal board reversed the division officer's decision to terminate these benefits and so what is the posture of the benefits now?

Were they allowed, and are they being paid?

Darrel K. Diamond:

Are you referring here Mr. Chief Justice to Mrs. Burney's case if it is a General rule?

I am afraid, I don't understand the question.

Warren E. Burger:

Well, somewhere in this massive material, I got the impression that the division officer in this case --

Darrel K. Diamond:

In this case --

Warren E. Burger:

-- have reversed -- had been reversed by the appeal board and that the benefits denied by the division officer were then granted.

Darrel K. Diamond:

They had in fact been granted much earlier on the basis of the preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order issued by the district court.

The facts of Mrs. Burney's particular case were moot well before the district court entered its judgment.

In fact, it became moot at the time the referee providing the type of hearing which was required by the district court order determined that she was not eligible for benefits.

In this case, the first determination by the deputy was that Mrs. Burney was not eligible for benefits in that she was unduly restricting the hours in which she was available for work.

The referee after a full hearing upheld that determination.

The review board after going over the case, hearing argument determined that the restriction upon her hours of possible work was not so severe as to indicate that she was not available for work within the statutory meaning.

Byron R. White:

And then what happened?

Darrel K. Diamond:

At that time her case was completed.

There was no appeal to the Indiana Court of appeals on this.

So, Mrs. Burney's case was moot at this point in the same way that the Java case, also an unemployment compensation case, was moot well before it ever came before the courts for final decision.

This was a class action, although her particular claim was not designated as such.

The district court clearly stated that it was ruling on behalf of Mrs. Burney and of a subclass within the original case.

In the original case, there were actually two questions.

One being precisely identical to the Java issue and the other Mrs. Burney's case.

So the district court divided this into two subclasses while Mrs. Burney's particular case was moot at a very early stage this is a class action within the scope of the district court opinion.

Byron R. White:

She is the only named plaintiff within this subclass?

Darrel K. Diamond:

Yes she was.

There has been no (Inaudible)