394 F.2d 785 (9th Cir. 1968), 21976, Pena-Cabanillas v. United States

Docket Nº:21976.
Citation:394 F.2d 785
Party Name:Francisco PENA-CABANILLAS, Appellant, v. United States of America, Appellee.
Case Date:April 24, 1968
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 785

394 F.2d 785 (9th Cir. 1968)

Francisco PENA-CABANILLAS, Appellant,


United States of America, Appellee.

No. 21976.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

April 24, 1968

Page 786

William T. Richert (argued), Fresno, Cal., for appellant.

Richard V. Boulger (argued), Asst. U.S. Atty., Fresno, Cal., John P. Hyland, U.S. Atty., Rothwell B. Mason, Asst. U.S. Atty., Sacramento, Cal., for appellee.

Before MERRILL and CARTER, Circuit Judges, and BYRNE, [*] District judge.

JAMES M. CARTER, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal from a judgment of conviction by a jury for the offense of illegal entry into the United States by an alien after he had been deported, pursuant to Title 8, U.S.C. Section 1326.

Two questions are presented:

1. Whether or not a judgment in a prior criminal case, in which it was determined that appellant was an alien, precludes appellant from litigating this fact in the case at bar.

2. Whether the trial court committed error in refusing to admit appellant's purported birth certificate on the issue of his intent.

The indictment charged that appellant was an alien, and that he was found in Fresno County, California, after previous deportation from the United States, and after the willingly and knowingly reentered the United States without consent of the Attorney General.

The District court took judicial notice of appellant's 1964 conviction in the District court, for violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 911, falsely and willfully representing himself to be a citizen of the United States. Since the issue of citizenship was the same at both trials, the District court held that the implicit determination in the 1964 conviction that appellant was an alien conclusively bound him, to-wit, it was conclusively presumed that he was an alien up to and including the date of the prior conviction in 1964. The court ruled appellant might introduce evidence that he had become a citizen after the first conviction.

Collateral Estoppel

The conclusiveness of a fact which has been competently adjudicated by a criminal trial is not confined to such mater only as is sufficient to support a plea of double jeopardy. A prior judgment on fully litigated issues between the same parties has been held to be conclusive as to all that the judgment determined. The doctrine involved is one of collateral estoppel.

The doctrine of collateral estoppel is an aspect of the broader principle of res judicata, United States v. Marakar, 300 F.2d 513 (3 Cir. 1962), vacated on other grounds 370 U.S. 723, 82 S.Ct. 1573, 8 L.Ed.2d 803 (1962), and a common statement of the doctrine is that where a question of fact essential to the judgment is actually litigated and determined by a valid and final judgment, the determination is conclusive between the parties in a subsequent action on a different cause of action. Hoag v. State of New Jersey, 356 U.S. 464, 470, 78 S.Ct. 829, 2 L.Ed.2d 913 (1958); See also 9 A.L.R.3d 214.

While expressed in varying language, the rule is that the doctrine of collateral estoppel, as applied in criminal cases, precludes the relitigation of issues determined by a former verdict and judgment, to-wit, those issues actually decied and those necessarily involved in the result. Sealfon v. United States, 332 U.S. 575, 68 S.Ct. 237, 92 L.Ed. 180 (1948); Hernandez v. United States, 370 F.2d 171 (9 Cir. 1966); Wheatley v. United States, 286 F.2d 519 (10 Cir. 1961)

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; Adams v. United States, 287 F.2d 701 (5 Cir. 1961); United States v. Kaadt, 171 F.2d 600 (7 Cir. 1948).

The reported criminal cases in which the doctrine of collateral estoppel has been applied are largely those in which the doctrine has been invoked for the benefit of the defendant, by way of a defense. 9 A.L.R.3d 241; See also United States v. Rangel-Perez, 179 F.Supp. 619 (D.C.Cal.1959).

In two cases the Ninth Circuit has reviewed a related problem but has not gone as far at the Rangel case, supra. Mills v. United States, 9 Cir., 273 F. 625 (1921), and Farrell v. United States, 381 F.2d 368 (1967); cert. den. 389 U.S. 963, 88 S.Ct. 349, 19 L.Ed.2d 377, both held that once status as an alien has been established it is presumed to be conclusive until the contrary is shown.

The question this court must now determine is whether a judgment in a criminal case may operate as collateral estoppel against the defendant.

The Rangel-Perez decision, supra, involved the issue of nationality status of the defendant. The court held that since the defendant's alienage had been fully litigated at the former trial and determined adversely to him, the government in the subsequent trial, court invoke the doctrine of collateral estoppel against defendant and thereby establish...

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