No. 79-1734.

451 U.S. 527 (1981)

101 S.Ct. 1908

68 L.Ed.2d 420


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided May 18, 1981.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

J. Kirk Brown, Assistant Attorney General of Nebraska, argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the brief was Paul L. Douglas, Attorney General.

Kevin Colleran, by appointment of the Court, 449 U.S. 980, argued the cause and filed a brief for respondent.*

Gary H. Palm filed a brief for the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic as amicus curiae urging affirmance.

Bruce J. Ennis, Jr., filed a brief for the American Civil Liberties Union as amicus curiae.

JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

The respondent is an inmate at the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex who ordered by mail certain hobby materials valued at $23.50. The hobby materials were lost and respondent brought suit under 42 U. S. C. § 1983 to recover their value. At first blush one might well inquire why respondent brought an action in federal court to recover damages of such a small...

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