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County of Riverside v. McLaughlin - Significance, The Promptness Requirement, No More Than 24 Hours Is Needed, Impact

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County of Riverside


Donald Lee McLaughlin

Petitioner's Claim

That the county's providing a probable cause hearing to those arrested without a warrant within 48 hours of the arrest was acceptable.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Timothy T. Coates

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Dan Stormer

Justices for the Court

Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, David H. Souter, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, Thurgood Marshall, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

13 May 1991


Reversed the decision of the court of appeals and held that a probable cause hearing must take place as soon as is reasonably feasible, but no later that 48 hours after an arrest.

Related Cases

  • Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103 (1975).
  • Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737 (1984).
  • Powell v. Nevada, 511 U.S. 79 (1994).
  • United States v. Alvarez-Sanchez, 511 U.S. 350 (1994).

Further Readings

  • American Civil Liberties Union. http://www.aclu.org/news.
  • Legal Information Institute. http://www.law.cornell.edu.
  • Witt, Elder, ed. The Supreme Court A to Z. CQ's Encyclopedia of American Government. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1993.
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