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Dillard v. Industrial Comm'n of Virginia, 416 U.S. 783 (1974)

Dillard v. Industrial Commission of Virginia

No. 73-5412

Argued March 26, 1974

Decided May 15, 1974

416 U.S. 783


In this action (brought initially by appellant Dillard, and in which appellant Williams was allowed to intervene) Williams claimed that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prevented Virginia from permitting suspension of workmen's compensation benefits as a result of a claimed change in condition without notice to the claimant and a prior adversary hearing. The District Court rejected the constitutional claim on the merits.

Held: If, as indicated in the briefs and oral arguments in this Court, state law permits a claimant whose benefits have been suspended to have them reinstated by the state trial courts, which act in a purely ministerial capacity, pending a full administrative hearing before the State Industrial Commission on the merits of his claim, it was probably unnecessary to address the federal constitutional question. Accordingly, the case must be remanded to the District Court for reconsideration. Pp. 416 U. S. 784-798.

347 F.Supp. 71, vacated and remanded.

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, STEWART, WHITE, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. DOUGLAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 416 U. S. 799.

Page 416 U. S. 784

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