457 F.2d 895 (2nd Cir. 1972), 663, United States v. Doe

Docket Nº:663, 72-1209.
Citation:457 F.2d 895
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. John DOE. In the Matter of the Grand Jury Testimony and Contempt of Cynthia B. SCHWARTZ, Appellant.
Case Date:March 28, 1972
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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457 F.2d 895 (2nd Cir. 1972)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,


John DOE.

In the Matter of the Grand Jury Testimony and Contempt of Cynthia B. SCHWARTZ, Appellant.

No. 663, 72-1209.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

March 28, 1972

Argued March 9, 1972.

Stay Granted March 31, 1972.

See 92 S.Ct. 1243.

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David M. Brodsky, Asst. U. S. Atty. (Whitney North Seymour, Jr., U. S. Atty., S.D.N.Y., and John W. Nields, Jr., Asst. U. S. Atty., of counsel), for appellee.

Pierce Gerety, Jr. (Robert Kasanof, and Phylis Skloot Bamberger, Legal Aid Society, New York City, of counsel), for appellant.

Before FRIENDLY, Chief Judge, TIMBERS, Circuit Judge, and JAMESON, District Judge. [*]

FRIENDLY, Chief Judge:

On January 22, 1972, appellant Cynthia B. Schwartz appeared, pursuant to subpoena, before a grand jury in the Southern District of New York, which was conducting an investigation in regard to possible mail and wire frauds. The Assistant United States Attorney asked her to furnish samples of her writing of the names Cynthia Schwartz, Cynthia B. Brown, Dixbie Management Co., Dixbie Colossal Inc., National Angus of America, and National Beef Corporation. She refused, asserting her privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. On February 2, 1972, Judge Tyler directed her to execute the exemplars and appointed the Legal Aid Society to represent her. After she had again refused, on February 9, she and her counsel appeared before Judge Lasker. Counsel now asserted that the Fourth Amendment required the Government to show the reasonableness of its request. Judge Lasker reserved decision. Prior to another appearance before the judge on February 14, the Assistant, contending that in any event the request for exemplars was reasonable, submitted an affidavit stating that witnesses before the grand jury had indicated there were resemblances between the handwriting on certain exhibits and what they believed to be that of Cynthia B. Schwartz, and that other efforts to obtain specimens of her handwriting had been unsuccessful. Counsel then took the more advanced position that the Government had the burden of showing "probable cause." On February 14, Judge Lasker directed Mrs. Schwartz to furnish the exemplars. When she again refused, on February 17, the judge cited her for civil contempt and sentenced her for thirty days, unless she sooner furnished the exemplars or the grand jury was discharged. However, he stayed the sentence for a week to permit application to this court for a further stay pending appeal. Another panel extended the stay and set the appeal for argument on March 9. After hearing argument we directed that the stay be vacated at 5:00 P.M. on March 13; this has been extended by the Supreme Court until its further order. We affirm the judgment of the district court.

Although appellant now makes no claim under the Fifth Amendment and relies solely on the Fourth, it is important for the latter purpose to underscore that no basis for a Fifth Amendment claim exists. Gilbert v. California, 388 U.S. 263, 265-67, 87 S.Ct. 1951, 18 L.Ed.2d 1178 (1967), held that the furnishing of handwriting exemplars did not constitute testimony within the protection of the self-incrimination clause. Combination of that holding with United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218, 222-23, 87 S.Ct. 1926, 18 L.Ed.2d 1149 (1967), leads inevitably to the conclusion that this is true even when a witness is asked to furnish specimens of his writing of names or words that had been used in the commission of a crime. We so held in United States v. Doe (Devlin), 405 F.2d 436, 438-39 (2 Cir. 1968). Furthermore, whereas Gilbert and Wade had been concerned only with claims that the compelled furnishing of exemplars constituted compulsory self-incrimination and consequent error, Doe added the scarcely surprising gloss that, since no privilege existed, refusal to furnish

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handwriting exemplars justified a moderate sentence for civil contempt.

Appellant's argument is that the use of process to compel the furnishing of handwriting (or voice) exemplars to a grand jury constitutes a search or seizure within the Fourth Amendment which requires a preliminary showing of probable cause to believe that the witness' handwriting (or voice) resembles that of a person whom the Government has probable cause to believe has committed a crime. 1

Evaluation of her claim demands inquiry into the scope of the Fourth Amendment's protection and its relationship to and limitations upon the historic exercise of the grand jury's inquisitorial function. Despite appellant's contention that the Fourth Amendment creates a per se prohibition against compelled production, absent probable cause, of incriminating evidence not privileged by the Fifth Amendment, and the Government's argument of per se inapplicability of the Fourth Amendment to grand jury process except as a limitation upon compelled production too sweeping in scope, neither the language of the Amendment nor the history of its application supports either of these per se rules.

The Fourth Amendment, in relevant part, states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . . ." Exemplars, whether handwriting or voice, if covered at all, must be considered elements of "persons" rather than "houses, papers, and effects." Cf. Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 767, 86 S.Ct. 1826, 16 L.Ed.2d 908 (1966). Decisions dealing with "interferences with property relationships or private papers," Id. at 767-68, 86 S.Ct. at 1834, thus are marginally relevant at best. The Court has had relatively little occasion to discuss the extent of the protection given to the person by the Fourth Amendment save in the context of arrests. Perhaps the most useful statement is that of the Chief Justice in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 9, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968), borrowing from Mr...

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