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Withrow v. Larkin

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 421 U.S. 35, 95 S. Ct. 1456, 43 L. Ed. 2d 712 (1975)

Brief Fact Summary. A physician in the State of Wisconsin, Withrow (Appellee), challenged the Wisconsin statutes which authorized the State’s Examining Board (Board) to investigate physicians and temporarily suspend their license.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Vesting the authority to investigate and adjudicate in the same agency does not violate due process.



Facts. The State of Wisconsin authorized its Examining Board (Board) to investigate individuals suspecting of practicing medicine without a license or performing other acts of professional misconduct, and to temporarily suspend a physician’s license if there was probable cause to suspect wrongdoing. The Board sent a notice to a physician (Appellee) that a contested hearing would be held to determine whether he had engaged in the prohibit act of performing abortions at his practice in Milwaukee, and to decide whether his license would be temporarily suspended. Appellee moved for a restraining order against the contested hearing, the District Court granted the motion, and the Board (Appellants) appealed.

Issue. Did the authority given to Appellants to investigate physicians, present charges, rule on those charges and present punishment (to the extent of reprimanding or temporarily suspending) violate Appellee’s due process rights?

Content Type: Brief


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