Improvidently granted

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Improvidently granted, or "dismissed as improvidently granted" ("DIG"), refers to an order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court or a state supreme court which declines to decide a case after agreeing to hear it.

For roughly a half-century, between 1954 and 2005, a dismissal of a writ of certiorari for having been improvidently granted was fairly common, occurring at a rate of approximately three per year.[1] More recently, this has occurred less often. Starting in the October 2013 term, the Supreme Court began relisting cases at least once before granting certiorari, with the intended effect of reducing the number of cases it must dismiss as improvidently granted.

Sometimes one of the questions presented can be dismissed as improvidently granted, without dismissing the entire case. This happened in City & Cnty. of San Francisco, Cal. v. Sheehan, 135 S. Ct. 702 (2014), where one of the questions was to consider the question whether Title II of the ADA applies "to an officer's on-the-street responses to reported disturbances or other similar incidents ... prior to the officer's securing the scene and ensuring that there is no threat to human life," 135 S. Ct. 1765, 1773 (2015). The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed this question presented as improvidently granted because the parties and the United States as amicus curiae all agreed as to the answer to the question of whether 42 U.S.C. § 12132 applies to arrests. Id. at 1774. The Court then decided the second question presented, by holding "that the officers are entitled to qualified immunity because they did not violate any clearly established Fourth Amendment rights." 135 S. Ct. at 1769.

Prominent Examples