DeFunis v. Odegaard

DeFunis v. Odegaard

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DeFunis v. Odegaard, 416 U.S. 312 (1974), was a United States Supreme Court  case decided on April 23, 1974, that was determined to be moot
Mootness
In American law, a matter is moot if further legal proceedings with regard to it can have no effect, or events have placed it beyond the reach of the law...

, and therefore could not go forward. American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  student Marco DeFunis  who had been denied admission  to the University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public research university, founded in 1861 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The UW is the largest university in the Northwest and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university has three campuses, with its largest campus in the University...

  School of Law
Law school
A law school is an institution specializing in legal education.- Law degrees :- Canada :...

 in the state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Washington, and then had been provisionally admitted during the pendancy of the case, was slated to graduate
Graduation
Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become Graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as Graduands. The date of graduation is often called degree day. The graduation itself is also...

 within a few months at the time the decision was rendered.

The Court rejected the assertion that the case fell into either of two exceptions to the mootness doctrine that were raised by the plaintiff
Plaintiff
A plaintiff , also known as a claimant or complainant, is the term used in some jurisdictions for the party who initiates a lawsuit before a court...

. The case did not constitute "voluntary cessation" on the part of the defendant
Defendant
A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute...

law school, because the plaintiff was now in his final semester, and the law school could take no action to deny him the ability to graduate. Nor was this a question that was "capable of repetition, yet evading review" because the plaintiff would never again face this situation, and others who might raise the same complaint in the future might be able to receive full review in the courts.

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