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Centifanti v. Nix

865 F.2d 1422 (1989)

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Centifanti v. Nix

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

865 F.2d 1422 (1989)

Facts

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court retroactively suspended J. Benedict Centifanti’s (plaintiff) license to practice law for five years. Court rules governing attorney discipline provided that attorneys suspended more than three months must petition for reinstatement, and the court could consider the petition without oral argument. Centifanti requested leave to file a brief in support of reinstatement. The court denied Centifanti’s request to file his brief and denied his petition for reinstatement without an opinion or reasons for the denial. Centifanti sued the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s chief justice and other justices under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in federal district court, alleging that the rule permitting denial of petitions for reinstatement without briefing, oral argument, or an opinion denied him and all future petitioners for reinstatement due process. The federal district court dismissed the suit for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and denied Centifanti’s motion to amend the complaint to cure the defect. Centifanti appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cowen, J.)

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