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Second Circuit Rejects Bivens Claim against Judges for Attorney Compensation

On August 28, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit by a public defender who alleged that he was undercompensated in violation of his right to due process.

David Bliven sued several judges and staff attorneys with the New York Court System after he was compensated in amounts less than what he requested for services rendered as court appointed counsel. Bliven argued that the defendants’ actions violated due process. Bliven also brought a breach of contract claim against the city.

The district court denied relief. The Second Circuit affirmed. The defendants in the case were entitled to absolute judicial immunity, the court concluded, because their actions of reducing Bliven’s compensation were judicial acts.

See: Bliven v. Hunt, 579 F.3d 204 (2nd Cir. 2009)

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Related legal case

Bliven v. Hunt