405 F.2d 436 (2nd Cir. 1968), 291, United States v. Doe

Docket Nº:291, 32990.
Citation:405 F.2d 436
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. John DOE, Edmund J. Devlin, Appellant.
Case Date:December 09, 1968
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 436

405 F.2d 436 (2nd Cir. 1968)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,


John DOE, Edmund J. Devlin, Appellant.

No. 291, 32990.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

December 9, 1968

Argued Dec. 2, 1968.

Page 437

Ira B. Grudberg, New Haven, Conn., for appellant.

John Cassidento, Asst. U.S. Atty. (Jon O. Newman, U.S. Atty., Hartford, Conn., Daniel Sagrin, Asst. U.S. Atty., New Haven, Conn., on the brief), for appellee.

Before LUMBARD, Chief Judge, FRIENDLY, Circuit Judge, and RYAN, District Judge. [*]

FRIENDLY, Circuit Judge:

On November 18, 1968, Edmund J. Devlin appeared pursuant to a subpoena before a grand jury in the District Court for Connecticut which was investigating the stealing of postal money orders, see 18 U.S.C. §§ 500 and 1691. The foreman directed him to furnish exemplars of his handwriting on printed FBI forms. Four of these, designated Exhibits A, C, D and E, called respectively for the months of the year, the alphabet, numbers from zero to eighteen, and signatures. A fifth, designated Exhibit B, required the filling out of a form, which resembled a money order but was labeled 'Handwriting sample form-- not a negotiable instrument,' with the names and, in some instances, an address of ten payees, and also with the signature 'George Strouch.' Devlin refused to obey the foreman's order.

Three days later Devlin, his counsel and an Assistant United States Attorney appeared before Chief Judge Timbers. Counsel contended that Devlin should be excused from compliance. With respect to Exhibit B it was claimed that the direction violated Devlin's privilege against self-incrimination. With respect to all the forms, it was claimed that the direction deprived him of the right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment and that requiring him to give exemplars without assurance that the writings of other persons would be submitted to the Government's expert would deny him due process of law. When Devlin persisted in his refusal, after proceedings not here challenged as to regularity and with full warning of the consequences, the court adjudged him in civil contempt, and committed him to the custody of the Attorney General 'for imprisonment for thirty (30) days, or until such time as he purges himself of this contempt by furnishing the required handwriting exemplars, or until such time as the grand jury before which he appeared is...

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