Wisconsin v. Constantineau

400 U.S. 433 (1971)


P is an adult resident of Hartford, Wis. She brought suit in a federal district court in Wisconsin to have a Wisconsin statute declared unconstitutional. The Act provides that designated persons may in writing forbid the sale or gift of intoxicating liquors to one who 'by excessive drinking' produces described conditions or exhibits specified traits, such as exposing himself or family 'to want' or becoming 'dangerous to the peace' of the community. The chief of police of Hartford, without notice or hearing, posted a notice in all retail liquor outlets in Hartford that sales or gifts of liquors to P were forbidden for one year. P sued the chief of police, claiming damages and asking for injunctive relief. The State of Wisconsin intervened as a defendant on the injunctive phase of the case, and that was the only issue tried and decided, the three-judge court holding the Act unconstitutional on its face and enjoining its enforcement. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.