439 U.S. 282 (1978), 77-1202, Michigan v. Doran,

Docket Nº:No. 77-1202
Citation:439 U.S. 282, 99 S.Ct. 530, 58 L.Ed.2d 521
Party Name:Michigan v. Doran,
Case Date:December 18, 1978
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 282

439 U.S. 282 (1978)

99 S.Ct. 530, 58 L.Ed.2d 521

Michigan

v.

Doran,

No. 77-1202

United States Supreme Court

Dec. 18, 1978

Argued October 4, 1978

CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MICHIGAN

Syllabus

After respondent had been arrested in Michigan and charged with receiving and concealing stolen property (a truck driven from Arizona) and Michigan had notified [99 S.Ct. 532] Arizona authorities, Arizona charged respondent with theft, and an Arizona Justice of the Peace issued an arrest warrant reciting, in accordance with Arizona law, that there was "reasonable cause" to believe that respondent had committed the offense. Thereafter, the Governor of Arizona issued a requisition for respondent's extradition accompanied by the arrest warrant, supporting affidavits, and the original complaint; the Governor of Michigan issued an arrest warrant and ordered extradition. Upon being arraigned on the Michigan warrant, respondent petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that the extradition warrant was invalid because it did not comply with the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act in effect in Michigan, and the petition was denied. The Michigan Supreme Court reversed the denial of habeas relief and ordered respondent's release on the ground that Arizona had failed to show a factual basis for its finding of probable cause to support its charge, the Arizona judicial finding of "reasonable cause" and the other supporting documents being found deficient in this respect.

Held: Once the Governor of the asylum State has acted on a requisition for extradition based on the demanding State's judicial determination that probable cause existed, no further judicial inquiry may be had on that issue in the asylum State. Pp. 286-290.

(a) Interstate extradition was intended to be a summary and mandatory executive proceeding derived from the language of the Extradition Clause of the United States Constitution, which requires that a fugitive from justice found in another State be delivered to the State from which he fled on demand of that State's executive authority, and that Clause never contemplated that the asylum State was to conduct the kind of preliminary inquiry traditionally intervening between the initial arrest and trial. P. 288.

(b) The courts of an asylum State are bound by the Extradition Clause, the implementing federal statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3182, and, where adopted, the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. Once the asylum State's Governor has granted extradition, such grant being prima facie evidence that the constitutional and statutory requirements have been

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met, a court of that State considering release on habeas corpus can do no more than decide whether the extradition documents, on their face, are in order, whether the petitioner has been charged with a crime in the demanding State, whether he is the person named in the extradition request, and whether he is a fugitive. Pp. 288-289.

(c) The Michigan Supreme Court's holding that the Arizona judicial finding of "reasonable cause" was deficient finds no support in the record read in the light of the Extradition Clause and Arizona law, and overlooks the "conclusory language" in which criminal charges are ordinarily cast. Pp. 289-290.

401 Mich. 235, 258 N.W.2d 406, reversed and remanded.

BURGER, C.J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which STEWART, WHITE, POWELL, REHNQUIST, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, in which BRENNAN and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 290.

BURGER, J., lead opinion

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

We granted certiorari to determine whether the courts of an asylum state may nullify the executive grant of extradition on the ground that the demanding state failed to show a factual basis for its charge supported by probable cause. 435 U.S. 967 (1978).

(1)

On December 18, 1975, Doran was arrested in Michigan and charged with receiving and concealing stolen property. Mich.Comp.Laws § 750.535 (1970). The charge rested on Doran's possession of a stolen truck bearing California license plates, which he had driven from Arizona. Michigan notified Arizona

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authorities of Doran's arrest and sent them a photograph of Doran [99 S.Ct. 533] taken on the day of his arrest. On January 7, 1976, a sworn complaint was filed with an Arizona Justice of the Peace, charging Doran with the theft of the described motor vehicle, Ariz.Rev.Stat.Ann. §§ 13-661 to 13-663, 13-672(A) (Supp. 1957-1977), or, alternatively, with theft by embezzlement, § 13-682 (Supp. 1957-1977). The Justice of the Peace issued an arrest warrant which stated that she had found "reasonable cause to believe that such offense(s) were committed and that [Doran] committed them. . . ."

While the Michigan charges were pending, Doran was arraigned in Michigan on January 12 as a fugitive. A magistrate extended Doran's detention as a fugitive to provide time to receive the expected request for extradition from Arizona.1 On February 11, the Governor of Arizona issued a requisition for extradition. Attached to the requisition were the arrest warrant, two supporting affidavits, and the original complaint on which the charge was based. The Governor of Michigan issued a warrant for Doran's arrest, and his extradition was ordered.

Doran was arraigned on the Michigan warrant on March 29. He then petitioned the arraigning court for a writ of habeas corpus, contending that the extradition warrant was invalid because it did not comply with the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. Mich.Comp.Laws §§ 780.1 to 780.31 (1970). Cf. Ariz.Rev.Stat.Ann. §§ 13-1301 to 13-1328 (Supp. 19571977). The court twice denied a writ of habeas corpus; the Michigan Court of Appeals denied an application for leave to appeal and dismissed Doran's complaint for habeas corpus. People v. Doran, Nos. 28507 (May 4, 1976) and 30516 (Nov. 22, 1976). The Michigan Supreme Court, however, granted leave to appeal the denial of the first habeas corpus petition.

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People v. Doran, 397 Mich. 886 (1976). On review, the court reversed the trial court's order and mandated Doran's immediate release. In re Doran, 401 Mich. 235, 258 N.W.2d 406, rehearing denied, 402 Mich. 951 (1977).2

(2)

The Michigan Supreme Court reasoned that, because a significant impairment of liberty occurred whenever a person was arrested in one state and extradited to another, that impairment must be preceded by a showing of probable cause to believe that the fugitive had committed a crime. In addition to relying on Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103 (1975),3 the court found support for its conclusion in § 3 of the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, Mich.Comp.Laws § 780.3 (1970), which requires that an affidavit must "substantially charge"4 the fugitive with having committed a crime under the law of the demanding state. That court construed "substantially charge" to mean there must be a showing of probable cause.

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[99 S.Ct. 534] The essence of the holding of the Supreme Court of Michigan is that the courts of an asylum state may review the action of the governor and in that process reexamine the factual basis for the finding of probable cause which accompanies the requisition from the demanding state.5 The court concluded:

In the case at bar, there is no indictment or document reflecting a prior judicial determination of probable cause. The Arizona complaint and arrest warrant are both phrased in conclusory language which simply mirrors the language of the pertinent Arizona statutes. More importantly, the two supporting affidavits fail to set out facts which could justify a Fourth Amendment finding of probable cause for charging [Doran] with a crime.

401 Mich. at 240 242, 258 N.W.2d at 40809 (footnote omitted). The Michigan court assumed that arrest warrants could be issued in Arizona without a preliminary showing of probable cause since this was said to happen often in Michigan. In that court's view, neither the complaint which generated the Arizona charge, the affidavits in support of the Arizona arrest warrant, nor the recitals of the Arizona judicial officer set out sufficient facts to show probable cause. We disagree, and we reverse.

(3)

We turn to the question of the power of the courts of an asylum state to review the finding of probable cause made by a judicial officer in the demanding state. Article IV, § 2, cl. 2, of the United States Constitution on the subject of extradition is clear and explicit:

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority

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of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

To implement this provision of the Constitution, see Innes v. Tobin, 240 U.S. 127, 131 (1916); Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 16 Pet. 539, 617 (1842), Congress has provided:

Whenever the executive authority of any State or Territory demands any person as a fugitive from justice, of the executive authority of any State, District or Territory to which such person has fled, and produces a copy of an indictment found or an affidavit made before a magistrate of any State or Territory, charging the person demanded with having committed treason, felony, or other crime, certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate of the State or Territory from whence the person so charged has fled, the executive authority of the State, District or Territory to which such person has fled shall cause him to...

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