Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1415884
 


 



Avoiding a Comity of Errors: A Model for Adjudicating Federal Civil Rights Suits that Interfere with State Civil Proceedings


Robert D. Bartels


Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

1976

Stanford Law Review, Vol. 29, p. 27, 1976

Abstract:     
Until the 1974 Term, the United States Supreme Court's decisions regarding federal court actions affecting related state court proceedings had been confined to federal cases that arguably interfered with state criminal prosecutions. But in Huffman v. Pursue, Ltd., the Court held that considerations of “comity” and “equity” precluded federal court relief that would interfere with some state court civil actions as well.

The purpose of this article is to determine the extent to which the “equity” and “comity” doctrines that the Supreme Court has developed primarily to prevent federal court interference with state criminal prosecutions also should preclude federal court adjudication of section 1983 cases that might interfere with state civil actions. The article first reviews and analyzes, and discusses the rationales underlying, the most important Supreme Court and lower court cases in both the “criminal comity” and “civil comity” areas. Based on this analysis of case law and rationales, the article then develops a decisionmaking scheme for use by federal courts faced with possible civil comity issues. Finally, the decisionmaking scheme is applied to a number of illustrative cases.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 66

Keywords: civil rights, federalism, jurisdiction

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Date posted: June 25, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Bartels, Robert D., Avoiding a Comity of Errors: A Model for Adjudicating Federal Civil Rights Suits that Interfere with State Civil Proceedings (1976). Stanford Law Review, Vol. 29, p. 27, 1976. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1415884

Contact Information

Robert D. Bartels (Contact Author)
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
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