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Respondent Velger's action shifted its focus in a way not uncommon to lawsuits, from the time of the filing of his complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to the decision by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which we review here. His original compliant alleged that he had been wrongly dismissed without a hearing or a statement of reasons from his position as as a patrolman with the New York City Police Department, and under 42 U.S.C. 1983, sought reinstatement and damages for the resulting injury to his reputation and suture employment prospects. After Proceedings in which Judge Gurfein (then of the District Court) ruled that respondent had held a probationary position and therefore had no hearing right based on a property interest in his job, respondent filed an amended complaint.

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