Ellis v. United States, No. 293

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation356 U.S. 674,2 L.Ed.2d 1060,78 S.Ct. 974
Decision Date26 May 1958
Docket NumberNo. 293,M
PartiesEdward J. ELLIS, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES of America. isc

356 U.S. 674
78 S.Ct. 974
2 L.Ed.2d 1060
Edward J. ELLIS, Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES of America.

No. 293, Misc.
Decided May 26, 1958.

Mr. Kingdon Gould, Jr., for petitioner.

Solicitor General Rankin, Acting Assistant Attorney General McLean and Beatrice Rosenberg, for the United States.

PER CURIAM.

The petition for writ of certiorari is granted, as is leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

The Court of Appeals denied petitioner leave to appeal in forma pauperis a conviction for housebreaking and larceny. 101 U.S.App.D.C., 386, 249 F.2d 478. The Solicitor General concedes that leave to appeal should have been allowed unless petitioner's contentions on the merits were frivolous. The only statutory requirement for the allowance of an indigent's appeal is the applicant's 'good faith.' 28 U.S.C. § 1915, 28 U.S.C.A. § 1915. In the absence of some evident improper motive, the applicant's good faith is established by the presentation of any issue that is not plainly frivolous. Farley v. United States, 354 U.S. 521, 77 S.Ct. 1371, 1 L.Ed.2d 1529. The good-faith test must not be converted

Page 675

into a requirement of a preliminary showing of any particular degree of merit. Unless the issues raised are so frivolous that the appeal would be dismissed in the case of a nonindigent litigant, Fed.Rules Crim.Proc. 39(a), 18 U.S.C.A., the request of an indigent for leave to appeal in forma pauperis must be allowed.

Normally, allowance of an appeal should not be denied until an indigent has had adequate representation by counsel. Johnson v. United States, 352 U.S. 565, 77 S.Ct. 550, 1 L.Ed.2d 593. In this case, it appears that the two attorneys appointed by the Court of Appeals, performed essentially the role of amici curiae. But representation in the role of an advocate is required. If counsel is convinced, after conscientious investigation, that the appeal is frivolous, of course, he may ask to withdraw on that account. If the court is satisfied that counsel has diligently investigated the possible grounds of appeal, and agrees with counsel's evaluation of the case, then leave to withdraw may be allowed and leave to appeal may be denied. In this case, the Solicitor General concedes, and after examining the record we agree, that the issue presented—probable cause to arrest—is not one that 'can necessarily be characterized as frivolous.' Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is vacated, and the case is remanded for reconsideration in...

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480 practice notes
  • Kayla G., In re, No. G016858
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 30, 1995
    ...the record to determine whether counsel's evaluation of the case was sound. This requirement was plainly stated in Ellis v. United States, 356 U.S. 674 [78 S.Ct. 974, 2 L.Ed.2d 1060], it was repeated in Anders, 386 U.S., at 744 [87 S.Ct. at 1400], Page 93 and it was reiterated last Term in ......
  • In re Kevin S., No. B164799
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 6, 2003
    ...rather than as amicus curiae. (Entsminger v. Iowa (1967) 386 U.S. 748, 751, 87 S.Ct. 1402, 18 L.Ed.2d 501; Ellis v. United States (1958) 356 U.S. 674, 675, 78 S.Ct. 974, 2 L.Ed.2d 1060.) b. Anders and Wende In Anders v. California (1967) 386 U.S. 738, 742-745, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493,......
  • Barnes v. Jones, No. 135
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • November 23, 1981
    ...course, come to be known as an Anders brief. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. at 744, 87 S.Ct. at 1400. See also Ellis v. United States, 356 U.S. 674, 675, 78 S.Ct. 974, 975, 2 L.Ed.2d 1060 (1958) (per curiam). Similarly, where defendant's appeal raises both frivolous and colorable (i. e.......
  • Dillon v. United States, No. 17692.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 22, 1962
    ...conviction to the Court of Appeals Johnson v. United States, 352 U.S. 565, 77 S.Ct. 550, 1 L. Ed.2d 593 (1957); Ellis v. United States, 356 U.S. 674, 78 S.Ct. 974, 2 L.Ed.2d 1060 (1958), the accused is assured of representation by counsel throughout those proceedings in which guilt is final......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
480 cases
  • Kayla G., In re, No. G016858
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 30, 1995
    ...the record to determine whether counsel's evaluation of the case was sound. This requirement was plainly stated in Ellis v. United States, 356 U.S. 674 [78 S.Ct. 974, 2 L.Ed.2d 1060], it was repeated in Anders, 386 U.S., at 744 [87 S.Ct. at 1400], Page 93 and it was reiterated last Term in ......
  • In re Kevin S., No. B164799
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 6, 2003
    ...rather than as amicus curiae. (Entsminger v. Iowa (1967) 386 U.S. 748, 751, 87 S.Ct. 1402, 18 L.Ed.2d 501; Ellis v. United States (1958) 356 U.S. 674, 675, 78 S.Ct. 974, 2 L.Ed.2d 1060.) b. Anders and Wende In Anders v. California (1967) 386 U.S. 738, 742-745, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493,......
  • Barnes v. Jones, No. 135
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • November 23, 1981
    ...course, come to be known as an Anders brief. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. at 744, 87 S.Ct. at 1400. See also Ellis v. United States, 356 U.S. 674, 675, 78 S.Ct. 974, 975, 2 L.Ed.2d 1060 (1958) (per curiam). Similarly, where defendant's appeal raises both frivolous and colorable (i. e.......
  • Dillon v. United States, No. 17692.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 22, 1962
    ...conviction to the Court of Appeals Johnson v. United States, 352 U.S. 565, 77 S.Ct. 550, 1 L. Ed.2d 593 (1957); Ellis v. United States, 356 U.S. 674, 78 S.Ct. 974, 2 L.Ed.2d 1060 (1958), the accused is assured of representation by counsel throughout those proceedings in which guilt is final......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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