Scott v. Kentucky Parole Board, No. 74-6438

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; STEVENS
Citation97 S.Ct. 342,50 L.Ed.2d 218,429 U.S. 60
Docket NumberNo. 74-6438
Decision Date02 November 1976
PartiesEwell SCOTT, etc., petitioner, v. KENTUCKY PAROLE BOARD et al

429 U.S. 60
97 S.Ct. 342
50 L.Ed.2d 218
Ewell SCOTT, etc., petitioner,

v.

KENTUCKY PAROLE BOARD et al

No. 74-6438

Supreme Court of the United States

November 2, 1976

On writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Nov. 2, 1976.

PER CURIAM.

It appearing that petitioner Scott has been granted parole by the Kentucky Parole Board, the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is hereby vacated, and the case is remanded to the Court of Appeals for consideration of the question of mootness.

So ordered.

Mr. Justice STEVENS, with whom Mr. Justice BRENNAN and Mr. Justice POWELL join, dissenting.

The Court granted certiorari to decide whether any constitutionally mandated procedural safeguards apply to parole release hearings. At such a hearing a prisoner may be denied parole, or he may be released subject to specified conditions. The constitutional issue is whether either the outright denial, or the imposition of parole conditions, has the kind

Page 61

of impact on liberty that must be preceded by "due process." The question is extremely important,1 it has been fully briefed and argued and, in my opinion, should now be decided. 2

The Court postpones decision of the issue by sending the case back to the Court of Appeals for its advice on the question whether the litigation is now moot. This action might appear to be supported by Weinstein v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147, 96 S.Ct. 347, 46 L.Ed.2d 350, a case which became moot because the petitioner's sentence terminated prior to our decision, thus entirely elimi-

Page 62

nating his interest in any controversy with his parole board.3 This case, however, is not moot, as a brief reference to the facts will demonstrate.

On July 26, 1974, the petitioner Ewell Scott, filed a complaint alleging that in November 1973 the Kentucky Parole Board denied him parole. He contended that the denial of parole deprived him of liberty without due process of law because the Parole Board had not provided him the procedural safeguards required by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.4 He sought to represent similarly situated prisoners and requested an injunction requiring the Parole Board to modify its procedures and such other relief

Page 63

as the court might consider appropriate. Without bothering to effect service on the defendants, the District Court dismissed the complaint. The Court of Appeals affirmed in an unreported order and this Court granted certiorari, 423 U.S. 1031, 96 S.Ct. 561, 46 L.Ed.2d 404.

On November 26, 1975, shortly prior to our grant of certiorari, the petitioner was paroled. The respondent Board then suggested that the case had become moot. But, as petitioner points out in his reply, he remains subject to significant restraints that might not have been imposed if he had received the kind of hearing that he claims the Constitution requires. The petitioner is on "close parole supervision," a restrictive status entailing parole conditions in addition to those imposed as a routine matter. One special condition requires petitioner to undergo outpatient treatment at a local mental health center. This parole condition imposes a significant restraint on his liberty.

Petitioner claims that a fair hearing might have avoided this condition. If the Court should decide this case in his favor on the merits, the Court unquestionably would have power to order the objectionable condition removed unless petitioner is accorded an appropriate hearing. For that reason petitioner retains a direct and immediate interest in the outcome of this litigation, and the Court retains the power to decide the case on the merits. It follows inexorably that the case...

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25 practice notes
  • Drayton v. McCall, No. 1089
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • October 2, 1978
    ...to due process protection. Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 88 & n. 9, 97 S.Ct. 274, 50 L.Ed.2d 236 (1976); Scott v. Kentucky Parole Bd., 429 U.S. 60, 97 S.Ct. 342, 50 L.Ed.2d 218 (1976) (per curiam) (vacating and remanding case for consideration of mootness); See also Williams v. Ward, supra......
  • Williams v. Ward, No. 457
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • May 26, 1977
    ...process protections is still unsettled, see Scott v. Kentucky Parole Board, No. 74-6438, remanded for consideration of possible mootness, 429 U.S. 60, 97 S.Ct. 342, 50 L.Ed.2d 218 (1976). The past observations of the Court have pointed in both directions. In Morrissey, 408 U.S. at 482 & n. ......
  • Inmates of Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex v. Greenholtz, No. 77-1889
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 9, 1978
    ...L.Ed.2d 289 (1974). Contra, Scott v. Kentucky Parole Bd., No. 74-1899 (6th Cir. Jan. 15, 1975), vacated and remanded to consider mootness, 429 U.S. 60, 97 S.Ct. 342, 50 L.Ed.2d 218 (1976), on remand sub nom. Bell v. Kentucky Parole Bd., 556 F.2d 805 (1977); Scarpa v. United States Bd. of Pa......
  • Greenholtz v. Inmates of Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex, No. 78-201
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 29, 1979
    ...79, 38 L.Ed.2d 44 (1973); Scott v. Kentucky Parole Board, No. 74-1899 (CA6 Jan. 15, 1975), vacated and remanded to consider mootness, 429 U.S. 60, 97 S.Ct. 342, 50 L.Ed.2d 218 (1976). See also Franklin v. Shields, 569 F.2d 784, 800 (CA4 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1003, 98 S.Ct. 1659, 56 ......
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25 cases
  • Drayton v. McCall, No. 1089
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • October 2, 1978
    ...due process protection. Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 88 & n. 9, 97 S.Ct. 274, 50 L.Ed.2d 236 (1976); Scott v. Kentucky Parole Bd., 429 U.S. 60, 97 S.Ct. 342, 50 L.Ed.2d 218 (1976) (per curiam) (vacating and remanding case for consideration of mootness); See also Williams v. Ward, supr......
  • Williams v. Ward, No. 457
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • May 26, 1977
    ...process protections is still unsettled, see Scott v. Kentucky Parole Board, No. 74-6438, remanded for consideration of possible mootness, 429 U.S. 60, 97 S.Ct. 342, 50 L.Ed.2d 218 (1976). The past observations of the Court have pointed in both directions. In Morrissey, 408 U.S. at 482 &......
  • Inmates of Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex v. Greenholtz, No. 77-1889
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 9, 1978
    ...L.Ed.2d 289 (1974). Contra, Scott v. Kentucky Parole Bd., No. 74-1899 (6th Cir. Jan. 15, 1975), vacated and remanded to consider mootness, 429 U.S. 60, 97 S.Ct. 342, 50 L.Ed.2d 218 (1976), on remand sub nom. Bell v. Kentucky Parole Bd., 556 F.2d 805 (1977); Scarpa v. United States Bd. of Pa......
  • Greenholtz v. Inmates of Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex, No. 78-201
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 29, 1979
    ...79, 38 L.Ed.2d 44 (1973); Scott v. Kentucky Parole Board, No. 74-1899 (CA6 Jan. 15, 1975), vacated and remanded to consider mootness, 429 U.S. 60, 97 S.Ct. 342, 50 L.Ed.2d 218 (1976). See also Franklin v. Shields, 569 F.2d 784, 800 (CA4 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1003, 98 S.Ct. 1659, 56 ......
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