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Gonzales v. Cassidy

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
474 F.2d 67 (1973)


Facts

Antonio Gaytan got into a car wreck. Because Gaytan was uninsured, he was required by the Texas Safety Responsibility Act to post security for damages alleged by the other party. Gaytan did not, and his license and registration were suspended with no hearing. Gaytan filed a class action lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety Chairman Clifton Cassidy (defendant). The three-judge panel concluded that the Act was valid. Gaytan appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The ruling was vacated because the Court had just invalidated Georgia’s version of the law in Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535 (1971). Pedro Gonzales (plaintiff) sued on behalf of the same class seeking the same relief in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. A temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement of the law was issued in Gonzales’ favor. The panel in the remanded Gaytan case held the Texas law unconstitutional, but only granted retroactive relief to Gaytan. The other class members were granted only prospective relief. Gaytan did not appeal. Gonzales’ case was dismissed on res judicata grounds. Gonzales appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit claiming that Gaytan was not an adequate class representative because he failed to appeal the final ruling on behalf of the class.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Ingraham, J.)

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