Civil Procedure Keyed to Marcus
Connecticut v. Doehr
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Petitioner submitted an application to the Superior Court of Connecticut for an attachment in the amount of $75,000 on Respondent’s home in Connecticut in connection with a civil action for assault and battery. The suit did not involve the Respondent’s land nor did the Petitioner have any interest in Respondent’s home or property. Connecticut’s prejudgment attachment statute authorizes the attachment of real estate without prior notice or the opportunity for a prior hearing. The statute does not require the posting of a bond. Based upon Petitioner’s affidavit that the Respondent willfully, wantonly and maliciously assaulted the Petitioner, the Superior Court of Connecticut judge found “probable cause to sustain the validity of the Petitioner’s claim” and ordered attachment of the Respondent’s home in the amount of $75,000. Only after the sheriff attached the property was the Respondent given notice of the attachment. Respondent filed suit against Petitioner in Federal District Court claiming that the statute was unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court upheld the statute. On appeal, the court of appeals reversed the district court’s decision. The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari.
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