384 U.S. 251 (1966), 531, United States v. Blue

Docket Nº:No. 531
Citation:384 U.S. 251, 86 S.Ct. 1416, 16 L.Ed.2d 510
Party Name:United States v. Blue
Case Date:May 23, 1966
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 251

384 U.S. 251 (1966)

86 S.Ct. 1416, 16 L.Ed.2d 510

United States



No. 531

United States Supreme Court

May 23, 1966

Argued April 21, 1966




Appellee was informed by the Internal Revenue Service in 1962 that he might be prosecuted criminally for violation of federal income tax laws. In 1963, jeopardy assessments were made against him, his wife, and a wholly owned corporation, and all known assets of all three were seized and tax liens recorded. Pursuant to notices giving appellee 90 days in which to file petitions in the Tax Court contesting the proposed deficiencies, petitions were filed alleging errors in the determination thereof. More than a year later, this criminal proceeding was brought charging appellee with wilfully attempting to evade income taxes during the same years involved in the civil proceeding. He filed a pretrial motion to dismiss the indictment, which the District Court granted on the basis that appellee had been compelled to be a witness against himself because of the necessity of filing petitions for review of jeopardy assessments in the Tax Court. The Government filed notice of appeal, and the Court of Appeals then granted the Government's motion to certify the case to this Court on the ground that the District Court's decision sustained a motion in bar.


1. Appellee's motion was a motion in bar, the sustaining of which by the District Court permits direct appeal to this Court. Pp. 253-254.

(a) The dismissal, by its own force, would "end the cause and exculpate the defendant," rather than merely abate the prosecution on account of a normally curable defect. P. 254.

(b) Assuming the necessity of the introduction of "new matter" to constitute a motion one in bar, appellee unquestionably relied on new matter in alleging self-incrimination. P. 254.

2. The indictment should not have been dismissed, because, even if the Government had acquired incriminating evidence in violation of the Fifth Amendment, appellee would, at most, be entitled to suppress the evidence and its fruits if they were sought to be used against him at trial. P. 255.

Reversed and remanded.

Page 252

HARLAN, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

In 1962 the appellee, Ben Blue, was informed by the Internal Revenue Service that he might be criminally prosecuted for violation of the federal income tax laws. The following year, the Service made jeopardy assessments against Blue, his wife, and his wholly owned corporation for tax liability for the years 1958 to 1960 inclusive; the known assets of all three were seized, and tax liens recorded. Internal Revenue Code of 1954, §§ 6321 -- 6323, 6331, 6861. Statutory notices were then issued giving Blue 90 days within which to file petitions if he wished to contest the...

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