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Parratt v. Taylor
Argued March 2, 1981
Decided May 18, 1981
Full case nameParratt, et al. v. Taylor
Citations451 U.S. 527 (more)
101 S. Ct. 1908; 68 L. Ed. 2d 420; 1981 U.S. LEXIS 99; 49 U.S.L.W. 4509
Case history
PriorTaylor v. Parratt, 620 F.2d 307 (8th Cir. 1980); cert. granted, 449 U.S. 917 (1980).
Procedural due process guarantees only a post-deprivation hearing, provision of a right to sue in state court was provision of that hearing.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Thurgood Marshall
Harry Blackmun · Lewis F. Powell Jr.
William Rehnquist · John P. Stevens
Case opinions
MajorityRehnquist, joined by Burger, Brennan, Stewart, White, Blackmun, Stevens
Overruled by
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986)

Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527 (1981), was a case decided by the United States Supreme Court, in which the court considered the applicability of Due Process to a claim brought under Section 1983.


The respondent was an inmate at the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex who had ordered hobby materials by mail. When the hobby materials were lost, he brought suit under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 to recover their value, $23.50.[citation needed]

Opinion of the Court

The Court held that when procedural due process guarantees only a post-deprivation hearing, provision of a right to sue in state court was provision of that hearing.

The Court found that the deprivation did not occur as the result of some established state procedure, but as the result of the unauthorized failure of state agents to follow established state procedure, and because Nebraska had a tort claims procedure that provided a remedy to persons who had suffered a tortious loss at the hands of the State, but which respondent did not use, such procedure could have fully compensated respondent for his property loss and were sufficient to satisfy the requirements of due process.

The Court found that although the respondent was deprived of property under color of state law, he had not sufficiently alleged a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Court also held that a merely negligent deprivation of property under color of state law was actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This holding was overruled by Daniels v. Williams in 1986, which held that a 1983 action only lies for an intentional deprivation of rights.