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Williams v. Kleppe

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
539 F.2d 803 (1976)


A secluded, three-mile section of beach on Cape Cod known as Brush Hollow was frequently used for skinny-dipping. A number of homeowners near Brush Hollow complained that its growing popularity was causing environmental damage, congestion, litter, and trespassing. In response, the government promulgated a regulation forbidding all public nude bathing at the seashore by people over age 10. Stephen Williams and supporters of skinny-dipping (plaintiffs) filed a federal lawsuit against supporters of the regulation including Thomas Kleppe as Secretary of the Interior (defendant) in a federal district court. They sought a declaration that the regulation infringed their constitutional rights and an injunction against its enforcement. The district court ruled that the regulation was valid. On plaintiffs’ appeal, the court of appeals considered, prior to the merits, whether plaintiffs met the applicable $10,000 amount-in-controversy requirement.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Coffin, J.)

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