Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Farrar v. Hobby

United States Supreme Court
506 U.S. 103 (1992)


Joseph and Dale Farrar (plaintiffs) owned a school for troubled teens in Texas called Artesia Hall. In 1973, an Artesia Hall student died. A grand jury returned an indictment charging Joseph Farrar with failing to provide medical treatment and timely hospitalization. A temporary injunction closing Artesia Hall was also entered. The lieutenant governor of Texas, William Hobby, Jr. (defendant), ordered the Texas Department of Public Welfare to investigate Artesia Hall. Joseph Farrar sued Hobby and other public officials and sought $17 million. Farrar alleged that he was deprived of liberty and property without due process. A jury found that all the public officials except Hobby conspired against the Farrars but that the conspiracy was not the proximate cause of any injury suffered by the Farrars. The court ordered that the Farrars be awarded nothing and the matter be dismissed. The Farrars appealed, and the court of appeals remanded the case for the lower court to award nominal damages to the Farrars. The lower court awarded the Farrars $1 in nominal damages. Based on the award of nominal damages, the Farrars sought to recover their attorney’s fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988. The lower court entered an order awarding the Farrars attorney’s fees. The appeals court reversed the fee award, finding that the Farrars were not prevailing parties and therefore not eligible to recover fees under § 1988.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (White, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 499,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 499,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial