Carafas v. Vallee, No. 71

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtFORTAS
Citation391 U.S. 234,20 L.Ed.2d 554,88 S.Ct. 1556
Decision Date20 May 1968
Docket NumberNo. 71
PartiesJames P. CARAFAS, Petitioner, v. J. Edwin LaVALLEE, Warden

391 U.S. 234
88 S.Ct. 1556
20 L.Ed.2d 554
James P. CARAFAS, Petitioner,

v.

J. Edwin LaVALLEE, Warden.

No. 71.
Argued March 27, 1968.
Decided May 20, 1968.

Page 235

James J. Cally, New York City, for petitioner.

Miss Brenda Soloff, New York City, for respondent.

Mr. Justice FORTAS delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case has a lengthy procedural history. In 1960, petitioner was convicted of burglary and grand larceny in New York state court proceedings and was sentenced to concurrent terms of three to five years. On direct appeal (following Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (1961)), petitioner claimed that illegally obtained evidence had been introduced against him at trial. The Appellate Division affirmed the conviction without opinion, People v. Carafas, 14 A.D.2d 886, 218 N.Y.S.2d 536 (1961), as did the New York Court of Appeals, 11 N.Y.2d 891, 227 N.Y.S.2d 926, 182 N.E.

Page 236

2d 413 (1962).1 This Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari. Carafas v. New York, 372 U.S. 948, 83 S.Ct. 944, 9 L.Ed.2d 973 (1963).

Thereafter, complex proceedings took place in which petitioner sought in both federal and state courts to obtain relief by writ of habeas corpus, based on his claim that illegally seized evidence was used against him. United States ex rel. Carafas v. LaVallee, 2 Cir., 334 F.2d 331 (1964); petition for writ of certiorari denied, 381 U.S. 951, 85 S.Ct. 1798, 14 L.Ed.2d 725 (1965). On November 5, 1965, the United States District Court, as directed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (334 F.2d 331 (1964)), heard petitioner's claim on the merits. It dismissed his petition on the ground that he had failed to show a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Petitioner appealed in circumstances hereinafter related. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed the appeal. On March 20, 1967, a petition for a writ of certiorari was filed here. We granted the petition 389 U.S. 896, 88 S.Ct. 211, 19 L.Ed.2d 213 (1967), to consider whether, because of facts to which we later refer, the Court of Appeals' dismissal conformed to our holding in Nowakowski v. Maroney, 386 U.S. 542, 87 S.Ct. 1197, 18 L.Ed.2d 282 (1967). But first we must consider the State's contention that this case is now moot because petitioner has been unconditionally released from custody.

Petitioner applied to the United States District Court for a writ of habeas corpus in June 1963. He was in custody at that time. On March 6, 1967, petitioner's sentence expired,2 and he was discharged from the parole status in which he had been since October 4, 1964. We issued our writ of certiorari on October 16, 1967 (389 U.S. 896, 88 S.Ct. 211, 19 L.Ed.2d 213).

Page 237

The issue presented, then, is whether the expiration of petitioner's sentence, before his application was finally adjudicated and while it was awaiting appellate review, terminates federal jurisdiction with respect to the application. Respondent relies upon Parker v. Ellis, 362 U.S. 574, 80 S.Ct. 909, 4 L.Ed.2d 963 (1960), and unless this case is overruled, it stands as an insuperable barrier to our further consideration of petitioner's cause or to the grant of relief upon his petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

Parker v. Ellis held that when a prisoner was released from state prison after having served his full sentence, this Court could not proceed to adjudicate the merits of the claim for relief on his petition for habeas corpus which he had filed with the Federal District Court. This Court held that upon petitioner's unconditional release the case became 'moot.' Parker was announced in a per curiam decision.3

It is clear that petitioner's cause is not moot. In consequence of his conviction, he cannot engage in certain businesses;4 he cannot serve as an official of a labor union for a specified period of time;5 he cannot vote in any election held in New York State;6 he cannot serve as a juror.7 Because of these 'disabilities or burdens (which) may flow from' petitioner's conviction, he has 'a substantial stake in the judgment of conviction which survives the satisfaction of the sentence imposed on him.' Fiswick v. United States, 329 U.S. 211, 222, 67 S.Ct. 224, 230, 91 L.Ed. 196 (1946). On account of these 'collateral consequences,'8 the case is

Page 238

not moot. Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629, 633—634, n. 2, 88 S.Ct. 1274, 1277—1278, 20 L.Ed.2d 195 (1968); Fiswick v. United States, supra, 329 U.S. at 222, n. 10, 67 S.Ct., at 230; United States v. Morgan, 346 U.S. 502, 512—513, 74 S.Ct. 247, 253, 98 L.Ed. 248 (1954).

The substantial issue, however, which is posed by Parker v. Ellis, is not mootness in the technical or constitutional sense, but whether the statute defining the habeas corpus jurisdiction of the federal judiciary in respect of persons in state custody is available here. In Parker v. Ellis, as in the present case, petitioner's application was filed in the Federal District Court when he was in state custody, and in both the petitioner was unconditionally released from state custody before his case could be heard in this Court. For the reasons which we here summarize and which are stated at length in the dissenting opinions in Parker v. Ellis, we conclude that under the statutory scheme, once the federal jurisdiction has attached in the District Court, it is not defeated by the release of the petitioner prior to completion of proceedings on such application.

The federal habeas corpus statute requires that the applicant must be 'in custody' when the application for habeas corpus is filed. This is required not only by the repeated references in the statute,9 but also by the history of the great writ.10 Its province, shaped to guarantee the most fundamental of all rights,11 is to provide an effective and speedy instrument by which judicial inquiry may be had into the legality of the detention of a person. See Peyton v. Rowe, 391 U.S. 54, 88 S.Ct. 1549, 20 L.Ed.2d 426.12

Page 239

But the statute does not limit the relief that may be granted to discharge of the applicant from physical custody. Its mandate is broad with respect to the relief that may be granted. It provides that '(t)he court shall * * * dispose of the matter as law and justice require.' 28 U.S.C. § 2243. The 1966 amendments to the habeas corpus statute seem specifically to contemplate the possibility of relief other than immediate release from physical custody. At one point, the new § 2244(b) (1964 ed., Supp. II), speaks in terms of 'release from custody or other remedy.' See Peyton v. Rowe, supra; Walker v. Wainwright, 390 U.S. 335, 88 S.Ct. 962, 19 L.Ed.2d 1215 (1968). Cf. Ex parte Hull, 312 U.S. 546, 61 S.Ct. 640, 85 L.Ed. 1034 (1941).

In the present case, petitioner filed his application shortly after June 20, 1963, while he was in custody. He was not released from custody until March 6, 1967, two weeks before he filed his petition for certiorari here. During the intervening period his application was under consideration in various courts. Petitioner is entitled to consideration of his application for relief on its merits. He is suffering, and will continue to suffer, serious disabilities because...

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1869 practice notes
  • Javits v. Stevens, No. 73 Civ. 5339-LFM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 24, 1974
    ...consequences" of the suspension may prejudice the students.7 The rationale of these holdings is derived from Carafas v. LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 (1968),8 where the Supreme Court held that a prisoner's release from incarceration did not moot his petition for a wr......
  • 44 274 Ellis v. Dyson 8212 130, No. 73
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 19, 1975
    ...a result of their convictions and thus could not satisfy the custody requirement of habeas corpus jurisdiction. E.g., Carafas v. LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 (1968). They accordingly proceeded under § 1983, seeking to have the ordinance invalidated, their conviction......
  • Gilles v. Davis, No. 04-2542.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • October 25, 2005
    ...ARD program was likely completed before he brought this suit. Thus, Petit could not have pursued habeas relief. See Carafas v. LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 238-40, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 (1968) (holding that in making a custody determination, a court looks to the date that the habeas peti......
  • Burkey v. Marberry, No. 07-4782.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • February 18, 2009
    ...his habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, he has satisfied the "in custody" jurisdictional requirement, Carafas v. LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 238, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 (1968), and he appropriately filed his habeas corpus petition in the district of confinement and named the W......
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1873 cases
  • Billiot v. Epps, Civil Action No. 1:86CV549TSL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Mississippi
    • November 3, 2009
    ...1105, 1112 (10th Cir.1989). The mandate of the statute "is broad with respect to the relief that may be granted." Carafas v. LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 (1968). Thus, a district court may exercise its broad authority in habeas cases to grant any relief it deems nec......
  • Charnock v. Herbert, No. 97-CV-194E(F).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of New York
    • July 6, 1999
    ...the conviction or sentence under attack at the time his petition is filed. Maleng, supra, at 490-91, 109 S.Ct. 1923; Carafas v. LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 238, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 While the Supreme Court has liberally construed the "in custody" requirement, Maleng, supra, at 492, 109......
  • People v. Villa, No. S151561.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 16, 2009
    ...Court (1973) 411 U.S. 345, 93 S.Ct. 1571, 36 L.Ed.2d 294 [same, re defendant released on his own recognizance]; Carafas v. LaVallee (1968) 391 U.S. 234, 238-241, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 [custody requirement satisfied although the petitioner was unconditionally released before completi......
  • People v. Deleon, S230906
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    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 24, 2017
    ...he faces disadvantageous collateral consequences from the fact that he was found in violation of parole. (See Carafas v. LaVallee (1968) 391 U.S. 234, 237, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 [discussing collateral consequences of a criminal conviction]; People v. DeLong (2002) 101 Cal.App.4th 48......
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