LOCATION: Eastern Michigan District Court in Detroit
DOCKET NO.: 86-1961
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
LOWER COURT: Supreme Court of Oklahoma
CITATION: 485 US 478 (1988)
ARGUED: Mar 02, 1988
DECIDED: Apr 19, 1988
Facts of the case
Media for Tulsa Professional Collection Services, Inc. v. PopeAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 02, 1988 in Tulsa Professional Collection Services, Inc. v. Pope
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 19, 1988 in Tulsa Professional Collection Services, Inc. v. Pope
William H. Rehnquist:
The opinions of the court in two cases No. 86-1013, Lyng versus Northwest Indian Cemetary Protective Association, No. 89-1961 Tulsa the Professional Collection Services versus Pope will be announced by Justice O'Connor.
Sandra Day O'Connor:
The Tulsa Professional Collection Services versus Pope case comes to us on appeal from the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
It involve a Due Process Clause challenge to apportion of the Oklahoma probate code which provides for publication of notice in the newspaper advising creditors that they must file their claim against the State within two months or their claims will be barred.
No other form of notice is required.
The question presented is whether this provision of notice solely by publication satisfies the Due Process Clause.
The appellant has a claim against the State for unpaid medical expenses but failed to file the claim within the 2-month period.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court accordingly held that the appellant could not recover on the claim rejecting the appellant's argument that providing only publication notice violated the Due Process Clause.
In an opinion filed today we reverse and remand we have construed the Due Process Clause to require actual notice of legal proceedings that will adversely affect the property interest of any reasonably acertainable party.
Here the appellant has an unsecured claim that the probate proceeding will completely extinguished.
Accordingly, the appellant's identity was reasonably acertainable.
We hold that due process requires that the appellant receive actual notice.
Because the record does not reveal whether appellant's identity as a creditor was reasonably acertainable, we remand for further proceedings not inconsistent with our opinion.
Justice Blackmun concurs in the result, and Chief Justice Renquest has filed a dissenting opinion.