Paul Bell (plaintiff) was a clergyman whose work required him to travel extensively. The victims of an automobile accident sued Bell for having caused the accident. The state of Georgia held an administrative hearing, at which Bell's involvement in the accident was confirmed. As a result, Robert Burson (defendant), a state official, ordered Bell to post a substantial security bond to cover the damages claimed by the accident victims, or else have his driver's license suspended until the conclusion of the accident trial. Bell appealed, contending that Burson issued his order without hearing evidence of Bell's innocence. The Georgia Superior Court heard Bell’s appeal from Burson’s order and found for Bell. The Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court found that Bell had not been denied due process, and reversed the Superior Court's order. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.