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Haywood v. Drown

Docket No.: 07-10374
Certiorari Granted: Jun 16 2008
Argued: December 3, 2008
Decided: May 26, 2009

PartyNames: Keith Haywood v. Curtis Drown, et al.
Petitioner: Keith Haywood
Respondent: Curtis Drown, et al.

Court Below: Court of Appeals of New York

Keith Haywood
v.
Curtis Drown, et al.
Question Presented:

Whether a state’s withdrawal of jurisdiction over certain damages claims against state corrections employees — from state courts of general jurisdiction — may be constitutionally applied to exclude federal claims under Section 1983, especially when, as here, the state legislature withdrew jurisdiction because it concluded that permitting such lawsuits is bad policy

Question:

Does a state law barring civil claims against corrections officers violate the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution when it prohibits an inmate from bringing a claim for a violation of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983?

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 5-4
Opinion By:
Read HAYWOOD V. DROWN opinion (PDF)