335 U.S. 77 (1948), 97, United States v. Hoffman

Docket Nº:No. 97
Citation:335 U.S. 77, 68 S.Ct. 1413, 92 L.Ed. 1830
Party Name:United States v. Hoffman
Case Date:June 21, 1948
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 77

335 U.S. 77 (1948)

68 S.Ct. 1413, 92 L.Ed. 1830

United States

v.

Hoffman

No. 97

United States Supreme Court

June 21, 1948

Argued October 23, 1947

[68 S.Ct. 1414] APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Syllabus

After appellee had produced in an administrative proceeding records kept under a requirement of the Price Administrator's regulations, the Price Administrator petitioned the district court to institute criminal contempt proceedings against him for violating an injunction against selling used cars at over-ceiling prices. The court appointed the United States Attorney and the OPA District Enforcement Attorney as "attorneys to prosecute the criminal charges . . . on behalf of the Court and of the United States." Appellee's motion to dismiss was granted on the ground that he was entitled under § 202(g) of the Emergency Price Control Act to immunity from prosecution. The Government appealed to this Court under the Criminal Appeals Act.

Held:

1. The United States was, in any relevant sense, a party to the proceedings, and the appeal was properly brought under the Criminal Appeals Act. Pp. 78-79.

2. Appellee was not entitled to immunity under § 202(g) of the Price Control Act, and the rule to show cause should not have been dismissed. See Shapiro v. United States, ante, p. 1. P. 79.

68 F.Supp. 53 reversed.

Page 78

VINSON, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE VINSON delivered the opinion of the Court.

On Feb. 27, 1946, the Price Administrator filed a petition, in the District Court for the District of Columbia, to institute criminal contempt proceedings against appellee. The petition charged appellee with having made numerous sales of used cars at over-ceiling prices in violation of an injunction previously issued by the District Court. A rule to show cause was issued, but was dismissed on motion of the appellee on the ground that he was entitled to immunity under § 202(g) of the Emergency Price Control Act from prosecution for the transactions upon which the petition was founded. 68 F.Supp. 53.

The Government brought this appeal, under the provisions of the Criminal Appeals Act, * to review the decision of the District Court. The main issue is the same as that presented in the companion case, Shapiro v. United States, ante, p. 1, but two additional minor...

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