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Due Process

Law Offices of Welton K. Wisham: Substantive Due Process and Your Rights

In the following section of our website, Law Offices of Welton K. Wisham, which works with clients on civil rights complaints in the New York City area, offers information on substantive due process (SDP). SDP is different from due process or procedural due process (PDP) rights. SDP is concerned with constitutional questions involving our liberties. Generally, cases focusing on SDP and our liberties are heard in higher state and federal courts for resolution.

Substantive Due Process


Substantive due process rights are not directly written into the U.S. Constitution, and but inferred, that means that cases involving this aspect of our democracy must be adjudicated by the courts. When interpreting SDP the clause from the Fifth Amendment that states that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” is important. When considering SDP the court must decide the scope and type of life, liberty, or property that the United States Constitution protects. When a person goes to Court, the decision is supposed to be in compliance, with the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment. Utilizing these various constitutional amendments, the court will rule regarding a person’s particular legal issue.

Areas Covered

The Law Offices of Welton K. Wisham pages focusing on SDP, we address numerous areas of the law. You may use these pages to begin to determine if you may have a case that involves substantive due process. These pages will be useful but consulting them is just a first step. Speaking with a lawyer who is familiar with SDP is an important next step.

In These Pages, We Will Address:

  • State of Mind
  • Custodial Injuries
  • Law Enforcement Practices
  • Land Use
  • Employment
  • Familial Association
  • Privacy
  • School Setting
  • Sexual Assault
  • Treatment of Mental Patients

Understanding SDP and Your Rights

If you believe you have a SDP case, we at New York’s Law Offices of Welton K. Wisham will work with you to help you determine your best course of action. Substantive due process cases usually focus on a particular law, bringing into question the validity of the law. In other words, the application of a specific law or the manner in the law is being interpreted against you may well be violating your liberty interest.

If the government violates your liberty interests, we will ensure that the appropriate court action is filed challenging violations of your civil rights. When a SDP case goes to court, the court will first decide if there is a fundamental right at stake. That right would be a part of U.S. tradition or history.

The court may determine that no fundamental right is in jeopardy. If that is the case, then the court will use a rational basis test in relationship to the law. It will ask, is the law justified by the state or is it designed to meet a narrow state interest or concern? Decisions in SDP cases are concerned with one person’s situation and complaint but court decisions in such cases often affect the rights and liberties of a large number of people.

Call our Manhattan 212 709 8183 APPOINTMENTS ONLY or Bronx office at  (718) 924-3557 to schedule an appointment with the Law Offices of Welton K. Wisham.v