SPOMER V. LITTLETON, 414 U. S. 514 (1974)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Spomer v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 514 (1974)

Spomer v. Littleton

No. 72-955

Argued October 17, 1973

Decided January 15, 1974

414 U.S. 514


Respondents, 17 black and two white residents of Cairo, Illinois, brought a civil rights class action against the then State's Attorney of Alexander County, Illinois, individually and in his official capacity, charging him with certain purposeful racial discrimination practices, under color of state law, in violation of the Constitution and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981-1983, 1985. The District Court dismissed the complaint for want of jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that a prosecutor's quasi-judicial immunity from injunctive proscription was not absolute, and that, since respondents' remedies at law were inadequate, an injunctive remedy might be available if respondents could prove their claims. Subsequent to the Court of Appeals' decision, petitioner was elected as successor State's Attorney, and, in the petition for certiorari filed with this Court, was substituted as a party.


Where, on the record, respondents have never charged petitioner with anything, and do not presently seek to enjoin him from doing anything, so that there may no longer be a controversy between respondents and any Alexander County State's Attorney concerning injunctive relief to be applied in futuro, the case is vacated and remanded to the Court of Appeals for a determination, in the first instance, of whether the former dispute is now moot and whether respondents will want to, and should be permitted to, amend their complaint to include claims for relief against petitioner. Pp. 414 U. S. 520-523.

468 F.2d 389, vacated and remanded.

WHITE, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Page 414 U. S. 515

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