Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone
Flagg Brothers v. Brooks
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The Respondents were evicted from their apartment and the City Marshal arranged for their possessions to be stored by the Petitioners in its warehouse. Brooks was informed of the costs associated with the storage and Brooks instructed the workmen to proceed, despite the objections to the price. Two months later, and after several disputes over the bill, Brooks received notice that her furniture would be sold unless the account was paid within 10 days. The Respondents initiated a suit stating that a sale of Brooks’ goods without a prior judicial hearing would violate the Due Process Clause. The Respondent contended that the State of New York had delegated to the Petitioners a power traditionally exclusively reserved to the State. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) reversed the district court’s ruling and declared that this action is not one attributable to the state. The Supreme Court reasoned that the warehouseman’s proposed sale was a solely private action because the statute permits, but does not compel the sale and because the warehouseman has not been delegated a power exclusively reserved to the State.
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