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Daniels v. Williams

Citation. 474 U.S. 327, 106 S. Ct. 662, 88 L. Ed. 2d 662, 1986 U.S.
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an> Daniels (Petitioner) seeks damages for injuries he sustained while he was an inmate at the jail.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Negligent government action is not a deprivation of individual interest, and is not a violation of Due Process.


Petitioner was an inmate at the local jail. One day, he slipped on a pillow left in the stairwell by Williams (Respondent), a correctional deputy. Petitioner claims that Respondent’s negligence led to the deprivation of his “liberty” interest in freedom from bodily injury.


Does negligence by a government actor equate to deprivation under the Due Process Clause?


No. Mere negligence does not require compensation according to the United States Constitution.


The purpose of Due Process is to protect the individual from action by the government. This refers to arbitrary actions by the government that infringes upon an individual’s rights. This does not include failure to exercise due care in the maintenance of a building.

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