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a phrase introduced into American jurisprudence in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; the principle that the government may not deprive an individual of life, liberty or property unless certain rules and procedures required by law are followed. The phrase does not have a fixed meaning, but embodies society’s fundamental notions of legal fairness. Specifically, the constitutional safeguard of SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS requires that all legislation, state or federal, must be reasonably related to a legitimate government objective. The concept of PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS guarantees procedural fairness where the government attempts to deprive one of his or her property or liberty; this requires notice and a fair hearing prior to a deprivation of life, liberty or property.
EXAMPLE: Police in a municipality devise a scheme to produce a confession from Randy, who was accused of murder. The grail judge permits the prosecution to use the confession, and Randy is convicted. On appeal, a judge could find that the scheme violates procedural due process of law, based on the nature of the police scheme and the general nature of the American judicial system, which looks to produce convictions based on evidence acquired from sources other than the accused. In essence, due process is that level of process which is deemed fair based on a balancing of all interests.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; ©
"The Due Process Clause entitles a person to an impartial and disinterested tribunal in both civil and criminal cases. This requirement of neutrality in adjudicative proceedings safeguards the two central concerns.of procedural due process, the prevention of unjustified or mistaken deprivations and the promotion of participation and dialogue by affected individuals in the decisionmaking process. See Carey v. Piphus, 435 U. S. 247, 259-262, 266-267 (1978)."
"The Due Process Clause was intended to prevent government officials from abusing their power, or employing it as an instrument of oppression." County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833... (1998) (internal quotations and citations omitted). The substantive component of the Due Process Clause "protects individual liberty against `certain government actions regardless of the fairness of the procedures used to implement them.'" Collins, 112 S.Ct. at 1068 (quoting Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327... (1986))."
"An individual's procedural due process rights are violated when a deprivation of a right has occurred without notice and an opportunity to be heard. See LaChance v. Erickson, 522 U.S. 262 (1998); see also Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 332-333 (1976)."

"At issue in Logan was the Illinois Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) which provided a mechanism similar to Florida's for resolving discrimination claims."

"The United States Supreme Court found that Logan's claim was a constitutionally protected property interest and that Logan was entitled to have his complaint processed. He could not be prevented from doing so by the agency's mishandling of his claim. In Logan, the Court noted, "The hallmark of property... is an individual entitlement grounded in state law, which cannot be removed except `for cause.'""

"The Florida Civil Rights Act, sections 760.01- 760.11 (1995), was created to protect that property interest. It follows that violations of the Act are themselves deprivations of a property interest."

"Prohibiting claimants from seeking redress for statutory violations of this interest prior to allowing them sufficient procedural due process — both notice and the opportunity to be heard — constitutes a deprivation of constitutionally protected rights."

"As in Logan, this case involves administrative inaction and error. Joshua's constitutionally protected rights should not be denied because the Commission failed to give her adequate notice. A claimant should not be penalized for attempting to allow a government agency to do its job."
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