Power of the States to Regulate Procedure
Generally.

As long as a party has been given sufficient notice and an opportunity to defend his interest, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not generally mandate the particular forms of procedure to be used in state courts.1009 The states may regulate the manner in which rights may be enforced and wrongs remedied,1010 and may create courts and endow them with such jurisdiction as, in the judgment of their legislatures, seems appropriate.1011 Whether legislative action in such matters is deemed to be wise or proves efficient, whether it works a particular hardship on a particular litigant, or perpetuates or supplants ancient forms of procedure, are issues that ordinarily do not implicate the Fourteenth Amendment. The function of the Fourteenth Amendment is negative rather than affirmative1012 and in no way obligates the states to adopt specific measures of reform.1013

Commencement of Actions.

A state may impose certain con-ditions on the right to institute litigation. Access to the courts has been denied to persons instituting stockholders’ derivative actions unless reasonable security for the costs and fees incurred by the corporation is first tendered.1014 But, foreclosure of all access to the courts, through financial barriers and perhaps through other means as well, is subject to federal constitutional scrutiny and must be justified by reference to a state interest of suitable importance. Thus, where a state has monopolized the avenues of settlement of disputes between persons by prescribing judicial resolution, and where the dispute involves a fundamental interest, such as marriage and its dissolution, the state may not deny access to those persons unable to pay its fees.1015

Older cases, which have not been questioned by more recent ones, held that a state, as the price of opening its tribunals to a nonresident plaintiff, may exact the condition that the nonresident stand ready to answer all cross actions filed and accept any in personam judgments obtained by a resident defendant through service of process or appropriate pleading upon the plaintiff ’s attorney of record.1016 For similar reasons, a requirement of the performance of a chemical analysis as a condition precedent to a suit to recover for damages resulting to crops from allegedly deficient fertilizers, while allowing other evidence, was not deemed arbitrary or unreasonable.1017

Amendment of pleadings is largely within the discretion of the trial court, and unless a gross abuse of discretion is shown, there is no ground for reversal. Accordingly, where the defense sought to be interposed is without merit, a claim that due process would be denied by rendition of a foreclosure decree without leave to file a supplementary answer is utterly without foundation.1018

Defenses.

Just as a state may condition the right to institute litigation, so may it establish terms for the interposition of certain defenses. It may validly provide that one sued in a possessory action cannot bring an action to try title until after judgment is rendered and after he has paid that judgment.1019 A state may limit the defense in an action to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent to the issue of payment and leave the tenants to other remedial actions at law on a claim that the landlord had failed to maintain the premises.1020 A state may also provide that the doctrines of contributory negligence, assumption of risk, and fellow servant do not bar recovery in certain employment-related accidents. No person has a vested right in such defenses.1021 Similarly, a nonresident defendant in a suit begun by foreign attachment, even though he has no resources or credit other than the property attached, cannot challenge the validity of a statute which requires him to give bail or security for the discharge of the seized property before permitting him an opportunity to appear and defend.1022

Costs, Damages, and Penalties.

What costs are allowed by law is for the court to determine; an erroneous judgment of what the law allows does not deprive a party of his property without due process of law.1023 Nor does a statute providing for the recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees in actions on small claims subject unsuccessful defendants to any unconstitutional deprivation.1024 Congress may, however, severely restrict attorney’s fees in an effort to keep an administrative claims proceeding informal.1025

Equally consistent with the requirements of due process is a statutory procedure whereby a prosecutor of a case is adjudged liable for costs, and committed to jail in default of payment thereof, whenever the court or jury, after according him an opportunity to present evidence of good faith, finds that he instituted the prosecution without probable cause and from malicious motives.1026 Also, as a reasonable incentive for prompt settlement without suit of just demands of a class receiving special legislative treatment, such as common carriers and insurance companies together with their patrons, a state may permit harassed litigants to recover penalties in the form of attorney’s fees or damages.1027

By virtue of its plenary power to prescribe the character of the sentence which shall be awarded against those found guilty of crime, a state may provide that a public officer embezzling public money shall, notwithstanding that he has made restitution, suffer not only imprisonment but also pay a fine equal to double the amount embezzled, which shall operate as a judgment for the use of persons whose money was embezzled. Whatever this fine is called, whether a penalty, or punishment, or civil judgment, it comes to the convict as the result of his crime.1028 On the other hand, when appellant, by its refusal to surrender certain assets, was adjudged in contempt for frustrating enforcement of a judgment obtained against it, dismissal of its appeal from the first judgment was not a penalty imposed for the contempt, but merely a reasonable method for sustaining the effectiveness of the state’s judicial process.1029

To deter careless destruction of human life, a state may allow punitive damages to be assessed in actions against employers for deaths caused by the negligence of their employees,1030 and may also allow punitive damages for fraud perpetrated by employees.1031 Also constitutional is the traditional common law approach for measuring punitive damages, granting the jury wide but not unlimited discretion to consider the gravity of the offense and the need to deter similar offenses.1032 The Court has indicated, however, that, although the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment “does not apply to awards of punitive damages in cases between private parties,”1033 a “grossly excessive” award of punitive damages violates substantive due process, as the Due Process Clause limits the amount of punitive damages to what is “reasonably necessary to vindicate the State’s legitimate interests in punishment and deterrence.”1034 These limits may be discerned by a court by examining the degree of reprehensibility of the act, the ratio between the punitive award and plaintiff ’s actual or potential harm, and the legislative sanctions provided for comparable misconduct.1035 In addition, the “Due Process Clause forbids a State to use a punitive damages award to punish a defendant for injury that it inflicts upon nonparties . . . .”1036

Statutes of Limitation.

A statute of limitations does not de-prive one of property without due process of law, unless, in its application to an existing right of action, it unreasonably limits the opportunity to enforce the right by suit. By the same token, a state may shorten an existing period of limitation, provided a reasonable time is allowed for bringing an action after the passage of the statute and before the bar takes effect. What is a reasonable period, however, is dependent on the nature of the right and particular circumstances.1037

Thus, where a receiver for property is appointed 13 years after the disappearance of the owner and notice is made by publication, it is not a violation of due process to bar actions relative to that property after an interval of only one year after such appointment.1038 When a state, by law, suddenly prohibits all actions to contest tax deeds which have been of record for two years unless they are brought within six months after its passage, no unconstitutional deprivation is effected.1039 No less valid is a statute which provides that when a person has been in possession of wild lands under a recorded deed continuously for 20 years and had paid taxes thereon during the same, and the former owner in that interval pays nothing, no action to recover such land shall be entertained unless commenced within 20 years, or before the expiration of five years following enactment of said provision.1040 Similarly, an amendment to a workmen’s compensation act, limiting to three years the time within which a case may be reopened for readjustment of compensation on account of aggravation of a disability, does not deny due process to one who sustained his injury at a time when the statute contained no limitation. A limitation is deemed to affect the remedy only, and the period of its operation in this instance was viewed as neither arbitrary nor oppressive.1041

Moreover, a state may extend as well as shorten the time in which suits may be brought in its courts and may even entirely remove a statutory bar to the commencement of litigation. Thus, a repeal or extension of a statute of limitations affects no unconstitutional deprivation of property of a debtor-defendant in whose favor such statute had already become a defense. “A right to defeat a just debt by the statute of limitation . . . [is not] a vested right,” such as is protected by the Constitution. Accordingly no offense against the Fourteenth Amendment is committed by revival, through an extension or repeal, of an action on an implied obligation to pay a child for the use of her property,1042 or a suit to recover the purchase price of securities sold in violation of a Blue Sky Law,1043 or a right of an employee to seek, on account of the aggravation of a former injury, an additional award out of a state-administered fund.1044

However, for suits to recover real and personal property, when the right of action has been barred by a statute of limitations and title as well as real ownership have become vested in the defendant, any later act removing or repealing the bar would be void as attempting an arbitrary transfer of title.1045 Also unconstitutional is the application of a statute of limitation to extend a period that parties to a contract have agreed should limit their right to remedies under the contract. “When the parties to a contract have expressly agreed upon a time limit on their obligation, a statute which invalidates . . . [said] agreement and directs enforcement of the contract after . . . [the agreed] time has expired” unconstitutionally imposes a burden in excess of that contracted.1046

Burden of Proof and Presumptions.

It is clearly within the domain of the legislative branch of government to establish presumptions and rules respecting burden of proof in litigation.1047 Nonetheless, the Due Process Clause does prevent the deprivation of liberty or property upon application of a standard of proof too lax to make reasonable assurance of accurate factfinding. Thus, “[t]he function of a standard of proof, as that concept is embodied in the Due Process Clause and in the realm of factfinding, is to ‘instruct the factfinder concerning the degree of confidence our society thinks he should have in the correctness of factual conclusions for a particular type of adjudication.’ ”1048

Applying the formula it has worked out for determining what process is due in a particular situation,1049 the Court has held that a standard at least as stringent as clear and convincing evidence is required in a civil proceeding to commit an individual involuntarily to a state mental hospital for an indefinite period.1050 Similarly, because the interest of parents in retaining custody of their children is fundamental, the state may not terminate parental rights through reliance on a standard of preponderance of the evidence—the proof necessary to award money damages in an ordinary civil action— but must prove that the parents are unfit by clear and convincing evidence.1051 Further, unfitness of a parent may not simply be presumed because of some purported assumption about general characteristics, but must be established.1052

As long as a presumption is not unreasonable and is not conclusive, it does not violate the Due Process Clause. Legislative fiat may not take the place of fact in the determination of issues involving life, liberty, or property, however, and a statute creating a presumption which is entirely arbitrary and which operates to deny a fair opportunity to repel it or to present facts pertinent to one’s defense is void.1053 On the other hand, if there is a rational connection between what is proved and what is inferred, legislation declaring that the proof of one fact or group of facts shall constitute prima facie evidence of a main or ultimate fact will be sustained.1054

For a brief period, the Court used what it called the “irrebuttable presumption doctrine” to curb the legislative tendency to confer a benefit or to impose a detriment based on presumed characteristics based on the existence of another characteristic.1055 Thus, in Stanley v. Illinois,1056 the Court found invalid a construction of the state statute that presumed illegitimate fathers to be unfit parents and that prevented them from objecting to state wardship. Mandatory maternity leave rules requiring pregnant teachers to take unpaid maternity leave at a set time prior to the date of the expected births of their babies were voided as creating a conclusive presumption that every pregnant teacher who reaches a particular point of pregnancy becomes physically incapable of teaching.1057

Major controversy developed over the application of “irrebuttable presumption doctrine” in benefits cases. Thus, although a state may require that nonresidents must pay higher tuition charges at state colleges than residents, and while the Court assumed that a durational residency requirement would be permissible as a prerequisite to qualify for the lower tuition, it was held impermissible for the state to presume conclusively that because the legal address of a student was outside the state at the time of application or at some point during the preceding year he was a nonresident as long as he remained a student. The Due Process Clause required that the student be afforded the opportunity to show that he is or has become a bona fide resident entitled to the lower tuition.1058

Moreover, a food stamp program provision making ineligible any household that contained a member age 18 or over who was claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes the prior tax year by a person not himself eligible for stamps was voided on the ground that it created a conclusive presumption that fairly often could be shown to be false if evidence could be presented.1059 The rule which emerged for subjecting persons to detriment or qualifying them for benefits was that the legislature may not presume the existence of the decisive characteristic upon a given set of facts, unless it can be shown that the defined characteristics do in fact encompass all persons and only those persons that it was the purpose of the legislature to reach. The doctrine in effect afforded the Court the opportunity to choose between resort to the Equal Protection Clause or to the Due Process Clause in judging the validity of certain classifications,1060 and it precluded Congress and legislatures from making general classifications that avoided the administrative costs of individualization in many areas.

Use of the doctrine was curbed if not halted, however, in Weinberger v. Salfi,1061 in which the Court upheld the validity of a Social Security provision requiring that the spouse of a covered wage earner must have been married to the wage earner for at least nine months prior to his death in order to receive benefits as a spouse. Purporting to approve but to distinguish the prior cases in the line,1062 the Court imported traditional equal protection analysis into considerations of due process challenges to statutory classifications.1063 Extensions of the prior cases to government entitlement classifications, such as the Social Security Act qualification standard before it, would, said the Court, “turn the doctrine of those cases into a virtual engine of destruction for countless legislative judgments which have heretofore been thought wholly consistent with the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.”1064 Whether the Court will now limit the doctrine to the detriment area only, exclusive of benefit programs, whether it will limit it to those areas which involve fundamental rights or suspect classifications (in the equal protection sense of those expressions)1065 or whether it will simply permit the doctrine to pass from the scene remains unsettled, but it is noteworthy that it now rarely appears on the Court’s docket.1066

Trials and Appeals.

Trial by jury in civil trials, unlike the case in criminal trials, has not been deemed essential to due process, and the Fourteenth Amendment has not been held to restrain the states in retaining or abolishing civil juries.1067 Thus, abolition of juries in proceedings to enforce liens,1068 mandamus1069 and quo warranto1070 actions, and in eminent domain1071 and equity1072 proceedings has been approved. states are also free to adopt innovations respecting selection and number of jurors. Verdicts rendered by ten out of twelve jurors may be substituted for the requirement of unanimity,1073 and petit juries containing eight rather than the conventional number of twelve members may be established.1074

If a full and fair trial on the merits is provided, due process does not require a state to provide appellate review.1075 But if an appeal is afforded, the state must not so structure it as to arbitrarily deny to some persons the right or privilege available to others.1076

Footnotes

1009
Holmes v. Conway, 241 U.S. 624, 631 (1916); Louisville & Nashville R.R. v. Schmidt, 177 U.S. 230, 236 (1900). A state “is free to regulate procedure of its courts in accordance with it own conception of policy and fairness unless in so doing it offends some principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.” Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105 (1934); West v. Louisiana, 194 U.S. 258, 263 (1904); Chicago, B. & Q. R.R. v. City of Chicago, 166 U.S. 226 (1897); Jordan v. Massachusetts, 225 U.S. 167, 176, (1912). The power of a state to determine the limits of the jurisdiction of its courts and the character of the controversies which shall be heard in them and to deny access to its courts is also subject to restrictions imposed by the Contract, Full Faith and Credit, and Privileges and Immunities Clauses of the Constitution. Angel v. Bullington, 330 U.S. 183 (1947). [Back to text]
1010
Insurance Co. v. Glidden Co., 284 U.S. 151, 158 (1931); Iowa Central Ry. v. Iowa, 160 U.S. 389, 393 (1896); Honeyman v. Hanan, 302 U.S. 375 (1937). See also Lindsey v. Normet, 405 U.S. 56 (1972). [Back to text]
1011
Cincinnati Street Ry. v. Snell, 193 U.S. 30, 36 (1904). [Back to text]
1012
Some recent decisions, however, have imposed some restrictions on state procedures that require substantial reorientation of process. While this is more generally true in the context of criminal cases, in which the appellate process and post-conviction remedial process have been subject to considerable revision in the treatment of indigents, some requirements have also been imposed in civil cases. Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371 (1971); Lindsey v. Normet, 405 U.S. 56, 74–79 (1972); Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982). Review has, however, been restrained with regard to details. See, e.g., Lindsey v. Normet, 405 U.S. at 64–69. [Back to text]
1013
Ownbey v. Morgan, 256 U.S. 94, 112 (1921). Thus the Fourteenth Amendment does not constrain the states to accept modern doctrines of equity, or adopt a combined system of law and equity procedure, or dispense with all necessity for form and method in pleading, or give untrammeled liberty to amend pleadings. Note that the Supreme Court did once grant review to determine whether due process required the states to provide some form of post-conviction remedy to assert federal constitutional violations, a review that was mooted when the state enacted such a process. Case v. Nebraska, 381 U.S. 336 (1965). When a state, however, through its legal system exerts a monopoly over the pacific settlement of private disputes, as with the dissolution of marriage, due process may well impose affirmative obligations on that state. Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371, 374–77 (1971). [Back to text]
1014
Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541 (1949). Nor did the retroactive application of this statutory requirement to actions pending at the time of its adoption violate due process as long as no new liability for expenses incurred before enactment was imposed thereby and the only effect thereof was to stay such proceedings until the security was furnished. [Back to text]
1015
Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371 (1971). See also Little v. Streater, 452 U.S. 1 (1981) (state-mandated paternity suit); Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18 (1981) (parental status termination proceeding); Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982) (permanent termination of parental custody). [Back to text]
1016
Young Co. v. McNeal-Edwards Co., 283 U.S. 398 (1931); Adam v. Saenger, 303 U.S. 59 (1938). [Back to text]
1017
Jones v. Union Guano Co., 264 U.S. 171 (1924). [Back to text]
1018
Sawyer v. Piper, 189 U.S. 154 (1903). [Back to text]
1019
Grant Timber & Mfg. Co. v. Gray, 236 U.S. 133 (1915). [Back to text]
1020
Lindsey v. Normet, 405 U.S. 56, 64–69 (1972). See also Bianchi v. Morales, 262 U.S. 170 (1923) (upholding mortgage law providing for summary foreclosure of a mortgage without allowing any defense except payment).. [Back to text]
1021
Bowersock v. Smith, 243 U.S. 29, 34 (1917); Chicago, R.I. & P. Ry. v. Cole, 251 U.S. 54, 55 (1919); Herron v. Southern Pacific Co., 283 U.S. 91 (1931). See also Martinez v. California, 444 U.S. 277, 280–83 (1980) (state interest in fashioning its own tort law permits it to provide immunity defenses for its employees and thus defeat recovery). [Back to text]
1022
Ownbey v. Morgan, 256 U.S. 94 (1921). [Back to text]
1023
Ballard v. Hunter, 204 U.S. 241, 259 (1907). [Back to text]
1024
Missouri, Kansas & Texas Ry. v. Cade, 233 U.S. 642, 650 (1914). [Back to text]
1025
Walters v. National Ass’n of Radiation Survivors, 473 U.S. 305 (1985) (limitation of attorneys’ fees to $10 in veterans benefit proceedings does not violate claimants’ Fifth Amendment due process rights absent a showing of probability of error in the proceedings that presence of attorneys would sharply diminish). See also United States Dep’t of Labor v. Triplett, 494 U.S. 715 (1990) (upholding regulations under the Black Lung Benefits Act prohibiting contractual fee arrangements). [Back to text]
1026
Lowe v. Kansas, 163 U.S. 81 (1896). Consider, however, the possible bearing of Giaccio v. Pennsylvania, 382 U.S. 399 (1966) (statute allowing jury to impose costs on acquitted defendant, but containing no standards to guide discretion, violates due process). [Back to text]
1027
Yazoo & Miss. R.R. v. Jackson Vinegar Co., 226 U.S. 217 (1912); Chicago & Northwestern Ry. v. Nye Schneider Fowler Co., 260 U.S. 35, 43–44 (1922); Hartford Life Ins. Co. v. Blincoe, 255 U.S. 129, 139 (1921); Life & Casualty Co. v. McCray, 291 U.S. 566 (1934). [Back to text]
1028
Coffey v. Harlan County, 204 U.S. 659, 663, 665 (1907). [Back to text]
1029
National Union v. Arnold, 348 U.S. 37 (1954) (the judgment debtor had refused to post a supersedeas bond or to comply with reasonable orders designed to safeguard the value of the judgment pending decision on appeal). [Back to text]
1030
Pizitz Co. v. Yeldell, 274 U.S. 112, 114 (1927). [Back to text]
1031
Pacific Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Haslip, 499 U.S. 1 (1991). [Back to text]
1032
Pacific Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Haslip, 499 U.S. 1 (1991) (finding sufficient constraints on jury discretion in jury instructions and in post-verdict review). See also Honda Motor Co. v. Oberg, 512 U.S. 415 (1994) (striking down a provision of the Oregon Constitution limiting judicial review of the amount of punitive damages awarded by a jury). [Back to text]
1033
Browning-Ferris Industries v. Kelco Disposal, Inc., 492 U.S. 257, 260 (1989). [Back to text]
1034
BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559, 568 (1996) (holding that a $2 million judgment for failing to disclose to a purchaser that a “new” car had been repainted was grossly excessive in relation to the state’s interest, as only a few of the 983 similarly repainted cars had been sold in that same state); State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003) (holding that a $145 million judgment for refusing to settle an insurance claim was excessive as it included consideration of conduct occurring in other states). But see TXO Corp. v. Alliance Resources, 509 U.S. 443 (1993) (punitive damages of $10 million for slander of title does not violate the Due Process Clause even though the jury awarded actual damages of only $19,000). [Back to text]
1035
BMW v. Gore, 517 U.S. at 574–75 (1996). The Court has suggested that awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages would be unlikely to pass scrutiny under due process, and that the greater the compensatory damages, the less this ratio should be. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. at 424 (2003). [Back to text]
1036
Philip Morris USA v. Williams, 549 U.S. 346, 353 (2007) (punitive damages award overturned because trial court had allowed jury to consider the effect of defendant’s conduct on smokers who were not parties to the lawsuit). [Back to text]
1037
Wheeler v. Jackson, 137 U.S. 245, 258 (1890); Kentucky Union Co. v. Kentucky, 219 U.S. 140, 156 (1911). Cf. Logan v. Zimmerman Brush Co., 455 U.S. 422, 437 (1982) (discussing discretion of states in erecting reasonable procedural requirements for triggering or foreclosing the right to an adjudication). [Back to text]
1038
Blinn v. Nelson, 222 U.S. 1 (1911). [Back to text]
1039
Turner v. New York, 168 U.S. 90, 94 (1897). [Back to text]
1040
Soper v. Lawrence Brothers, 201 U.S. 359 (1906). Nor is a former owner who had not been in possession for five years after and fifteen years before said enactment thereby deprived of property without due process. [Back to text]
1041
Mattson v. Department of Labor, 293 U.S. 151, 154 (1934). [Back to text]
1042
Campbell v. Holt, 115 U.S. 620, 623, 628 (1885). [Back to text]
1043
Chase Securities Corp. v. Donaldson, 325 U.S. 304 (1945). [Back to text]
1044
Gange Lumber Co. v. Rowley, 326 U.S. 295 (1945). [Back to text]
1045
Campbell v. Holt, 115 U.S. 620, 623 (1885). See also Stewart v. Keyes, 295 U.S. 403, 417 (1935). [Back to text]
1046
Home Ins. Co. v. Dick, 281 U.S. 397, 398 (1930). [Back to text]
1047
Hawkins v. Bleakly, 243 U.S. 210, 214 (1917); James-Dickinson Co. v. Harry, 273 U.S. 119, 124 (1927). Congress’s power to provide rules of evidence and standards of proof in the federal courts stems from its power to create such courts. Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252, 264–67 (1980); Usery v. Turner Elkhorn Mining Co., 428 U.S. 1, 31 (1976). In the absence of congressional guidance, the Court has determined the evidentiary standard in certain statutory actions. Nishikawa v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 129 (1958); Woodby v. INS, 385 U.S. 276 (1966). [Back to text]
1048
Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418, 423 (1979) (quoting In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 370 (1970) (Justice Harlan concurring)). [Back to text]
1049
Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976). [Back to text]
1050
Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418 (1979). [Back to text]
1051
Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982). Four Justices dissented, arguing that considered as a whole the statutory scheme comported with due process. Id. at 770 (Justices Rehnquist, White, O’Connor, and Chief Justice Burger). Application of the traditional preponderance of the evidence standard is permissible in paternity actions. Rivera v. Minnich, 483 U.S. 574 (1987). [Back to text]
1052
Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972) (presumption that unwed fathers are unfit parents). But see Michael H. v. Gerald D., 491 U.S. 110 (1989) (statutory presumption of legitimacy accorded to a child born to a married woman living with her husband defeats the right of the child’s biological father to establish paternity. [Back to text]
1053
Presumptions were voided in Bailey v. Alabama, 219 U.S. 219 (1911) (anyone breaching personal services contract guilty of fraud); Manley v. Georgia, 279 U.S. 1 (1929) (every bank insolvency deemed fraudulent); Western & Atlantic R.R. v. Henderson, 279 U.S. 639 (1929) (collision between train and auto at grade crossing constitutes negligence by railway company); Carella v. California, 491 U.S. 263 (1989) (conclusive presumption of theft and embezzlement upon proof of failure to return a rental vehicle). [Back to text]
1054
Presumptions sustained include Hawker v. New York, 170 U.S. 189 (1898) (person convicted of felony unfit to practice medicine); Hawes v. Georgia, 258 U.S. 1 (1922) (person occupying property presumed to have knowledge of still found on property); Bandini Co. v. Superior Court, 284 U.S. 8 (1931) (release of natural gas into the air from well presumed wasteful); Atlantic Coast Line R.R. v. Ford, 287 U.S. 502 (1933) (rebuttable presumption of railroad negligence for accident at grade crossing). See also Morrison v. California, 291 U.S. 82 (1934). [Back to text]
1055
The approach was not unprecedented, some older cases having voided tax legislation that presumed conclusively an ultimate fact. Schlesinger v. Wisconsin, 270 U.S. 230 (1926) (deeming any gift made by decedent within six years of death to be a part of estate denies estate’s right to prove gift was not made in contemplation of death); Heiner v. Donnan, 285 U.S. 312 (1932); Hoeper v. Tax Comm’n, 284 U.S. 206 (1931). [Back to text]
1056
405 U.S. 645 (1972). [Back to text]
1057
Cleveland Bd. of Educ. v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632 (1974). [Back to text]
1058
Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. 441 (1973). [Back to text]
1059
Department of Agriculture v. Murry, 413 U.S. 508 (1973). [Back to text]
1060
Thus, on the some day Murry was decided, a similar food stamp qualification was struck down on equal protection grounds. Department of Agriculture v. Moreno, 413 U.S. 528 (1973). [Back to text]
1061
422 U.S. 749 (1975). [Back to text]
1062
Stanley and LaFleur were distinguished as involving fundamental rights of family and childbearing, 422 U.S. at 771, and Murry was distinguished as involving an irrational classification. Id. at 772. Vlandis, said Justice Rehnquist for the Court, meant no more than that when a state fixes residency as the qualification it may not deny to one meeting the test of residency the opportunity so to establish it. Id. at 771. But see id. at 802–03 (Justice Brennan dissenting). [Back to text]
1063
422 U.S. at 768–70, 775–77, 785 (using Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471 (1970); Richardson v. Belcher, 404 U.S. 78 (1971); and similar cases). [Back to text]
1064
Weinberger v. Salfi, 422 U.S. 749, 772 (1975). [Back to text]
1065
Vlandis, which was approved but distinguished, is only marginally in this doctrinal area, involving as it does a right to travel feature, but it is like Salfi and Murry in its benefit context and order of presumption. The Court has avoided deciding whether to overrule, retain, or further limit Vlandis. Elkins v. Moreno, 435 U.S. 647, 658–62 (1978). [Back to text]
1066
In Turner v. Department of Employment Security, 423 U.S. 44 (1975), decided after Salfi, the Court voided under the doctrine a statute making pregnant women ineligible for unemployment compensation for a period extending from 12 weeks before the expected birth until six weeks after childbirth. But see Usery v. Turner Elkhorn Mining Co., 428 U.S. 1 (1977) (provision granting benefits to miners “irrebuttably presumed” to be disabled is merely a way of giving benefits to all those with the condition triggering the presumption); Califano v. Boles, 443 U.S. 282, 284–85 (1979) (Congress must fix general categorization; case-by-case determination would be prohibitively costly). [Back to text]
1067
Walker v. Sauvinet, 92 U.S. 90 (1876); New York Central R.R. v. White, 243 U.S. 188, 208 (1917). [Back to text]
1068
Marvin v. Trout, 199 U.S. 212, 226 (1905). [Back to text]
1069
In re Delgado, 140 U.S. 586, 588 (1891). [Back to text]
1070
Wilson v. North Carolina, 169 U.S. 586 (1898); Foster v. Kansas, 112 U.S. 201, 206 (1884). [Back to text]
1071
Long Island Water Supply Co. v. Brooklyn, 166 U.S. 685, 694 (1897). [Back to text]
1072
Montana Co. v. St. Louis M. & M. Co., 152 U.S. 160, 171 (1894). [Back to text]
1073
See Jordan v. Massachusetts, 225 U.S. 167, 176 (1912). [Back to text]
1074
See Maxwell v. Dow, 176 U.S. 581, 602 (1900). [Back to text]
1075
Lindsey v. Normet, 405 U.S. 56, 77 (1972) (citing cases). [Back to text]
1076
405 U.S. at 74–79 (conditioning appeal in eviction action upon tenant posting bond, with two sureties, in twice the amount of rent expected to accrue pending appeal, is invalid when no similar provision is applied to other cases). Cf. Bankers Life & Casualty Co. v. Crenshaw, 486 U.S. 71 (1988) (assessment of 15% penalty on party who unsuccessfully appeals from money judgment meets rational basis test under equal protection challenge, since it applies to plaintiffs and defendants alike and does not single out one class of appellants). [Back to text]