Some form of hearing is required before deprived of property
Some form of hearing is required is required before an
individual is finally deprived of a property interest.
Procedural due process imposes constraints on governmental
decisions which deprive individuals of liberty or property
interests within the meaning of the Due Process Clause of the
5th or 14th Amendment.
Fundamental requirement of due process - The opportunity to be
The fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to
be heard "at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner."
Eldridge agrees - Review procedures would be adequate IF
The review procedures available to a claimant before the initial
determination of ineligibility becomes final would be adequate
if disability benefits were not terminated until after the
evidentiary hearing stage of the administrative process.
Dispute - what due process is required before the initial
The dispute centers, then, on what due process is due prior to
the initial termination of benefits, pending review.
Extent which due process requires an evidentiary hearing
In recent years, this Court has increasingly had occasion to
consider the extent to which due process requires an evidentiary
hearing prior to the deprivation of some type of property
interest even if such a hearing is provided hereafter.
Only Goldberg has required a judicial like trial
In only one case has the Court held that a hearing closely
approximating a judicial trial is necessary.
Due process is flexible can and depends on the particular
In other cases, the Court has spoken sparingly about the
Our decisions underscore the truism that due process is flexible
and calls for such procedural protections as the particular
The specific dictates of due process generally requires
First, the private interest
that will be affected by
the official action;
Second, the risk of an erroneous
deprivation of such interest through the procedures
used, and the probable value,
if any, of additional or substitute
Finally, the Government's interest,
including the function involved and the fiscal and
administrative burdens that the additional or substitute
procedural requirement would entail.
Lowers Court - Constitutionally inadequate - Required
Despite the elaborate character of the administrative procedures
provided by the State , the courts below held them to be
constitutionally inadequate, concluding that due process
requires an evidentiary hearing prior to termination.
- Lower Courts erred
Only in Goldberg v. Kelly has the court held that due process
requires an evidentiary hearing prior to a temporary
Goldberg v. Kelly
As Goldberg illustrates, the degree of potential deprivation
that may be created by a particular decision is a factor to be
considered in assessing the validity of any administrative
decision making process.
Private Interest Analysis
- In this case - potential deprivation is less than in Goldberg
The potential deprivation here is generally likely to be less
than in Goldberg.
The disabled worker's need is likely to be less than that of a
- Other forms of government assistance will be available after
In addition to the possibility of access to private resources,
other forms of government assistance will become available where
the termination of disability benefits places a worker below the
- Potential sources of temporary income
In view of these potential sources of temporary income, there is
less reason here than in Goldberg to depart from the ordinary
principle that something less than an evidentiary hearing is
sufficient prior to adverse administrative action.
Risk of an erroneous deprivation / safeguards
Court - termination was based on unbiased medical records
An additional factor to be considered here is the fact that the
potential value of an evidentiary hearing, or even an oral
presentation to the decision-maker, is substantially less in
this context than in Goldberg because the decision made here is
based on unbiased medical records.
Goldberg - Written was inadequate, because they did not provide
an effective means for the recipient to communicate
The decision in Goldberg was also based on the Court's
conclusion that written submissions were an inadequate
substitute for oral presentation because they did not provide an
effective means for the recipient to communicate his case to the
Allowing full access to information relied on for termination
further safeguard against mistake is the policy of allowing the
disability recipient's representative full access to all
information relied on by the state agency, and the state's
providing a summary of the evidence that it considers most
relevant to its decision.
Opportunity is then afforded the recipient to submit additional
evidence or arguments, enabling him to challenge directly the
accuracy of information in his file as well as the correctness
of the agency's tentative conclusions.
Government Interest / Public Interest
- Administrative burden and other societal costs would be too
This includes the administrative burden and other societal costs
that would be associated with requiring, as a matter of
constitutional right, an evidentiary hearing upon demand in all
cases prior to the termination of disability benefits.
In this case, the administrative
burden would be great, as would the financial
cost, to do as Eldridge requests.
- Evidentiary hearing is not require
The Judicial model of an evidentiary hearing is neither a
required, nor even the most effective, method of decision-making
in all circumstances.
Due process requires notice
The essence of due process is the requirement that a person in
jeopardy of a serious loss be given notice of the case against
him and an opportunity to meet it.
Procedures be tailored to capacity and opportunity to be heard
All that is necessary is that the procedures be tailored to the
capacities and circumstances of those who are to be heard, to
insure that they are given a meaningful opportunity to present
We conclude that an evidentiary hearing is not required prior to
the termination of disability benefits and that the present
administrative procedures fully comport with due process.
DISSENT - Justice Brennan
The Court's consideration that a discontinuance of disability
benefits may cause the recipient to suffer only a limited
deprivation is no argument.
It is speculative.
Legislature provided benefits, Court cannot denigrate [to
Moreover, the very legislative determination to provide
disability benefits, without any prerequisite determination of
need in fact, presumes a need by the recipient which is not this
Court's function to denigrate.
Untenable to say a work may still seek other forms of public
Finally, it is also no argument that a worker, who has been
placed in the untenable position of having been denied
disability benefits, may still seek other forms of public
Eldridge home and furniture were repossessed
Family had to sleep in one bed