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SCOTT v. KENTUCKY PAROLE BOARD ET AL.

November 2, 1976

SCOTT
v.
KENTUCKY PAROLE BOARD ET AL.



CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

[ 429 U.S. Page 60]

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

[ 429 U.S. Page 61]

     of impact on liberty that must be preceded by "due process." The question is extremely important,*fn1 it has been fully briefed and argued and, in my opinion, should now be decided.*fn2

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, a case which became moot because the petitioner's sentence terminated prior to our decision, thus entirely eliminating

[ 429 U.S. Page 62]

     his interest in any controversy with his parole board.*fn3 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.*fn4 He sought to represent similarly situated prisoners and requested an injunction requiring the Parole Board to modify its procedures and such other relief

[ 429 U.S. 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.

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 ...


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