378 F.2d 141 (9th Cir. 1967), 21365, Wilson v. Harris

Docket Nº:21365.
Citation:378 F.2d 141
Party Name:Lawrence E. WILSON, Warden California State Prison, San Quentin, California, Petitioner, v. The Honorable George B. HARRIS, Judge of the United States District Court forthe Northern District of California, Respondent.
Case Date:May 10, 1967
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 141

378 F.2d 141 (9th Cir. 1967)

Lawrence E. WILSON, Warden California State Prison, San Quentin, California, Petitioner,

v.

The Honorable George B. HARRIS, Judge of the United States District Court forthe Northern District of California, Respondent.

No. 21365.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

May 10, 1967

Page 142

Thomas C. Lynch, Atty. Gen., Albert W. Harris, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Derald E. Granberg, Charles R. B. Kirk, Deputy Attys. Gen., San Francisco, Cal., for appellant.

J. Stanley Pottinger, Broad, Busterud & Khourie, San Francisco, Cal., for appellee.

Before HAMLEY, MERRILL and KOELSCH, Circuit Judges.

HAMLEY, Circuit Judge:

In this original proceeding for a writ in the nature of mandamus or prohibition, questions are presented concerning the right of an applicant for a federal writ of habeas corpus to propound written interrogatories in aid of his application.

The related habeas corpus proceeding was commenced by Alfred Walker in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Walker v. Wilson, Docket No. 44385. He is an inmate at California State Prison, San Quentin, California, under a judgment of conviction, and sentence, for illegal possession of marihuana. The marihuana was found in his hotel room. In his habeas corpus application, Walker alleged that the marihuana was obtained as a result of an unlawful search and seizure and that his rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment were therefore violated.

In an effort to discover evidence which would be helpful to Walker in this habeas corpus proceeding, Walker's court-appointed counsel served upon counsel for the warden a set of four written interrogatories, purportedly pursuant to Rule 33, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Walker's counsel directed these interrogatories to the warden. The interrogatories, intended for discovery purposes, were designed to disclose the reliability of the informant, Frances Jenkins, upon whom Sgt. T. Hilliard had relied in making the warrantless arrest of Walker, incident to which Sgt. Hilliard made the search and seizure.

In particular, the warden was called upon to state whether, prior to the time of Walker's arrest, Sgt. Hilliard had made any other arrests or searches upon

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the basis of information supplied by Frances Jenkins. If the answer to this question was affirmative, the warden was asked to give the particulars as to each such prior arrest or search...

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