In reply refer
to MUL
Manpower Administration
Washington, D.C. 20210
    June 7, 1972





Unemployment Insurance Program Letter No. 1189







The Torres and Dinger Decision by the U.S. Supreme Court




UIPL's 1136 and 1145




To inform the States of the Supreme Court's decision in the Torres and Dinger case and some implications it might have regarding claimants who are receiving benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court on February 28, 1972, in Torres and Dinger v. New York State Department of Labor, et al (40 Law Week 3415), affirmed, without opinion, the October 26, 1971, decision of a three-judge Federal District Court (S.D. N.Y.) dismissing the class action brought by the plaintiffs (333 F.Supp. 341).  The class action sought a declaratory judgment that the New York State unemployment insurance law, insofar as it authorized the suspension or termination of unemployment benefits, without a prior "due process" hearing, after there had been an initial determination allowing benefits and the payment of benefits for some weeks pursuant thereto, violated (1) the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment - relying on Goldberg v. Kelly (397 U.S. 254) - and (2) section 303(a)(1) of the Social Security Act.  On January 7, 1971, the three-judge District Court dismissed the complaint (321 F.Supp. 432) on the grounds that the relevant provisions of the New York State law do not violate either the Fourteenth Amendment or section 303(a)(1).  The dismissal was appealed to the Supreme Court which, after its Java decision (402 U.S. 121), vacated the District Court's decision and remanded the case for reconsideration in the light of Java (402 U.S. 968).  Upon remand, the District Court, on October 26, 1971, reaffirmed its prior decision (333 F.Supp. 341).  The District Court ruled that the Supreme Court decision in Java does not apply to the issues in the Torres and Dinger case since, unlike Java, benefits were not denied until after the agency conducted an interview at which each claimant was able to present his position regarding his claim.  Since the procedure was the same when benefits were denied as when benefits were allowed, the court concluded that the procedure complied with the requirements of section 303(a)(1).

The decisions in Torres and Dinger support the position the Manpower Administration has taken that informal predetermination procedures are sufficient and that there need not be a "due process" hearing before a determination or redetermination suspending or terminating benefits.  See footnote 2 on page 2 of the Explanatory Statement attached to UIPL 1136.  See also Section VI A on page 14 and Section VIII B 1 and 4 on pages 18 and 19 of the attachment to UIPL 1145.

Ten copies of the District Court's decisions of January 7, 1971, and October 26, 1971, are being sent under separate cover.




Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manpower and
Manpower Administrator

Separate cover (10 copies to each State agency):

  1. District Court's Decision of January 7, 1971

  2. District Court's Decision of October 26, 1971