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DONOVAN v. RICHLAND COUNTY ASSOCIATION FOR RETARDED CITIZENS

decided: January 11, 1982.

DONOVAN, SECRETARY OF LABOR, ET AL
v.
RICHLAND COUNTY ASSOCIATION FOR RETARDED CITIZENS



ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 454 U.S. Page 389]

Appellee brought this action against officials of the United States Department of Labor seeking a declaratory judgment that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to employees of the Sidney Group Home, a mental health facility operated by appellee. In the alternative, appellee sought a declaration that an application of the Act to the Home would be unconstitutional. The United States District Court for the District of Montana held that "[the] Fair Labor Standards Act is unconstitutional as applied to the plaintiff Association in its operation of the Sidney Group Home." App. to Juris. Statement 26a. The federal officials appealed this decision to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed. Id., at 1a. The Government has now filed an appeal from that decision of the Court of Appeals.

Pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 1252, appellants could have filed a direct appeal to this Court from the decision of the District Court.*fn1 This right to pursue a direct appeal to this Court

[ 454 U.S. Page 390]

     also served to deprive the Court of Appeals of jurisdiction, however, for 28 U. S. C. § 1291 provides that "[the] courts of appeals shall have jurisdiction of appeals from all final decisions of the district courts of the United States . . . except where a direct review may be had in the Supreme Court." Since the Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction in this case, its judgment and opinion must be vacated.*fn2

 In addition, the appeal filed from the decision of the Court of Appeals must be dismissed. Appellants' proper course of conduct was to file a direct appeal from the decision of the District Court. At this time, however, such relief is foreclosed by 28 U. S. C. § 2101(a).

We decline appellants' request that we remand this matter to the District Court for entry of a fresh decree from which a timely appeal might be taken. Although the complexities of litigation involving three-judge district courts made it appropriate to relieve certain appellants from the consequences of a misapplication of that somewhat arcane jurisprudence, as the cases cited in JUSTICE POWELL's separate opinion demonstrate, that rationale has no application to appellants' simple

[ 454 U.S. Page 391]

     failure in this case to follow the clear commands of 28 U. S. C. § 1252 and 28 U. S. C. § 1291.*fn3

Judgment vacated and appeal dismissed.

Disposition

Vacated and appeal dismissed.

JUSTICE POWELL, with whom JUSTICE BLACKMUN joins, concurring in part and ...


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