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Parham v. J. R.

Significance, Two Tragic Predicaments, The Due Process Argument, Minors And The Constitution


Parham, Commissioner, Department of Human Resources, et al.


J. R., et al.

Appellants' Claim

That a federal district court had erred in ruling that a minor was allowed a hearing prior to being committed to a mental institution.

Chief Lawyer for Appellants

John L. Cromartie, Jr.

Chief Lawyer for Appellees

R. Douglas Lackey

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger (writing for the Court), Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

20 June 1979


Overturned a lower court's decision that would have barred the commitment of minors to mental institutions without a prior hearing.

Related Cases

  • Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923).
  • Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925).
  • Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972).

Further Readings

  • Harvard Law Review, Vol. 93, November 1979, pp. 88-89.
  • Kramer, Donald T. Legal Rights of Children, 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994.
  • "Mental Health . . . Commitment of Juveniles." ABA Journal, Vol. 65, September, 1979, p. 1391.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980