Stevens v. Department of Treasury

RESPONDENT:Department of Treasury
LOCATION:Clark County Jail

DOCKET NO.: 89-1821
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1990-1991)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 500 US 1 (1991)
ARGUED: Mar 19, 1991
DECIDED: Apr 24, 1991

Alison Steiner – on behalf of the Petitioner
Amy L. Wax – on behalf of the Respondent

Facts of the case


Media for Stevens v. Department of Treasury

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – March 19, 1991 in Stevens v. Department of Treasury

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – April 24, 1991 in Stevens v. Department of Treasury

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the Court in No. 89-1821, Stevens versus Department of the Treasury will be announced by Justice Blackmun.

Harry A. Blackmun:

This case comes to us from the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and in it we are confronted with some rather complex procedural problems.

Petitioner, Stevens who in his 60s, was subjected to an adverse personnel action by his employer the Internal Revenue Service.

He felt that he had been the victim of age discrimination and he attempted to invoke his agency’s administrative procedure for resolving a claim of that kind.

He had got no where in that channel and then instituted suit in the Western District of Texas.

In an opinion filed with the Clerk today, we hold that petitioner’s civil action was timely under the applicable statute.

We, however, do not address the question whether having filed an administrative complaint.

Stevens was required to exhaust his administrative remedies before filling his civil action.

We refrain from taking such a step because the government, in direct contradiction of its position before the Court of Appeals, now fully agrees with Stevens that exhaustion was not required.

And thus, there is no one before us in an adversarial position to that of Stevens.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is therefore, reversed and the case is remanded to that court for further proceedings.

Justice Stevens has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.