Engblom v. Carey

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Engblom v. Carey
Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.svg
CourtUnited States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Full case nameMARIANNE E. ENGBLOM and CHARLES E. PALMER, Plaintiff-Appellants, against HUGH L. CAREY, Governor of the State of New York, RICHARD D. HONGISTO, Acting Commissioner, New York State Department of Correctional Services, JOSEPH C. SNOW, Superintendent of the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, MAJOR-GENERAL VITO J. CASTELLANO, Chief of Staff to the Governor of New York, New York National Guard, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JUSTIN M. QUEALLY, an Officer of the 106th Maintenance Battalion of the New York National Guard, Captain "JOHN" DREW, an Officer of the 101st Signal Battalion of the New York National Guard, and VARIOUS OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN, Members of the New York National Guard, Defendants-Appellees
ArguedMarch 1st 1982
DecidedMay 3 1982
Citation(s)677 F.2d 957
A state National Guardsman is a "soldier" by definition of the Third Amendment, and due to this, the defendants' Third Amendment rights were violated by housing them in the defendants' residence without their express consent. Even though they did not own the property they dwelled in, they were still entitled to the Amendment, because they lived in the building as an "Owner" would. By virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Third is incorporated onto the states. District court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded for further proceedings.
Court membership
Judge(s) sittingKeinferd (Chief), Mansfield, Kaufman
Case opinions
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amends. III, XIV

Engblom v. Carey, 677 F.2d 957 (2d Cir. 1982), on rem. 572 F. Supp. 44 (S.D.N.Y. 1982), aff'd. per curiam 724 F.2d 28 (2d Cir. 1983), was a court case decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It is the only significant court decision based on a direct challenge under the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution,[1] which states that "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner[.]"


The case was initiated by a strike by New York State correction officers. While the officers were on strike, some of their duties were performed by National Guardsmen who were activated. Mid-Orange Correctional Facility (and other facilities) striking employees were evicted from employee housing which was then used to house some of the National Guard. Two of the evicted officers at Mid-Orange C.F., Marianne E. Engblom and Charles E. Palmer, subsequently filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the state of New York and its governor, Hugh L. Carey. Petitioners asserted violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and violation of the Third Amendment. The District Court ruled in favor of the defendants and dismissed the suit. Petitioners then appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Rendered on May 3, 1982, the decision was written for the court by Judge Walter R. Mansfield. It began by affirming the District Court's dismissal of the Due Process claim. It then turned to petitioners' Third Amendment claim.

Because of the lack of any prior Third Amendment jurisprudence, this decision established three important holdings not previously articulated: (1) that the National Guardsmen qualify as soldiers under the Third Amendment; (2) that the Third Amendment applies to state as well as federal authorities, i.e., is incorporated against the states; and (3), that the protection of the Third Amendment extends beyond home owners, that is, those only with a fee simple arrangement, but includes anyone who, within their residence, has a legal expectation of privacy and a legal right to exclude others from entry into the premises.[1] The majority held that the correctional officers' occupancy in the rooms was covered under the legal rules of "tenancy" and was therefore protected under the Third Amendment.

The case was remanded to District Court where it was decided in the defendants' favor, due to the principle that as agents of the state, the defendants were covered by a qualified immunity unless they knowingly acted illegally. In the absence of any previous precedent on this issue, the standard of knowing illegality was not met.

Concurring in part and dissenting in part, Judge Irving R. Kaufman maintained that the officers' occupancy was covered under the lesser protection of employee housing and that the special circumstances of residency in prison grounds superseded Third Amendment protection.


  1. ^ a b Tom W. Bell, The Third Amendment: Forgotten but Not Gone, 2 William & Mary Bill of Rights J. 117 (1993)

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