Ex parte Miller

Decision Date05 May 1919
Docket Number9446.
Citation66 Colo. 261,180 P. 749
PartiesEx parte MILLER.
CourtColorado Supreme Court

Original application for writ of habeas corpus by James P. Miller. Motion to quash writ denied, and defendant ordered discharged from custody, and district court directed to dismiss indictment.

H. A Lindsley, E. L. Williams, Frederick Sass, and H. E. Luthe all of Denver, for petitioner.

Leslie E. Hubbard, Atty. Gen. (J. W. Kelly, of Denver, of counsel) for respondent.


This is an original application for a writ of habeas corpus by James P. Miller, who alleges that he is unlawfully restrained of his liberty. The Attorney General filed a motion to quash the writ because of insufficiency of facts to warrant its issuance.

Miller was indicted by the grand jury of Boulder county on September 27, 1915, and taken into custody but later admitted to bail. On the 6th day of the following December he was given leave to inspect the minutes of the grand jury and given ten days thereafter to file a motion to quash the indictment. That motion was duly interposed and overruled on December 30, 1916. In the meantime Miller had, on the opening day of the October term of court, moved that the cause be set down for trial, which was accordingly done for the 16th of the same month but later such trial order was vacated by the court, as is alleged without notice and without the knowledge of Miller or his counsel. No further proceedings were had therein until February, 1917, when Miller moved for a change of venue which was granted in the following July, and the case transferred for trial to Weld County. No steps whatever were taken meanwhile by the State to dispose of the case. In May, 1918, Miller filed a motion for discharge, on the ground of unreasonable delay. In July next thereafter he was surrendered to the sheriff by his bondsmen, and then applied for this writ, pending the final determination of which he was admitted to bail.

Upon these facts it is contended that Miller has been denied the speedy trial which is guaranteed by the constitution and the common law. He relies upon section 16 of Article 2 of the Constitution, which is as follows:

'That in criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.'

In discussing the meaning and effect of constitutional provisions such as are quoted above in 16 C.J. 439, it is said:

'It is usual for state constitutions and statutes to provide for the accused a speedy and public trial. By a speedy trial is meant one that can be had as soon after indictment as the prosection can with reasonable diligence prepare for, regard being had to the terms of court; a trial conducted according to fixed rules, regulations and proceedings of law, free from vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays.'

In U.S. v. Fox, 3 Mont. 512, in speaking to the same question the court said:

'The speedy trial to which a person charged with crime is entitled under the Constitution is a trial at such a time, after the finding of the indictment, regard being had to the terms of court, as shall afford the prosecution a reasonable opportunity, by the fair and honest exercise of reasonable diligence, to prepare for trial; and if the trial is delayed or postponed beyond such period, when there is a term of court at which the trial might be had, by reason of the neglect or laches of the prosecution in preparing for trial, such delay is a denial to the defendant of his right to a speedy trial, and in such case a party confined, upon application by habeas corpus, is entitled to discharge from custody.'

In determining the effect of like constitutional provisions and the remedy for relief in such circumstances the following cases hold substantially the same as indicated by the foregoing quotations, and approve the method of relief to which defendant herein...

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12 cases
  • Pines v. District Court in and for Woodbury County
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • July 27, 1943
    ... ... N.W. 432, 433, 260 N.W. 667; State v. Smith, 106 Iowa 701, ... 710, 77 N.W. 499; People v. Foster, 261 Mich. 247, 246 N.W ... 60, 61; Ex parte Meadows, 71 Okl.Cr. 353, 112 P.2d 419, 427; ... Butts v. Commonwealth, 145 Va. 800, 133 S.E. 764; State v ... Dinger, 51 N.D. 98, 199 N.W. 196; ... 17 Ann.Cas. 161; State v. Arkle, 76 Mont. 81, 245 P. 526, ... 528; State v. Carrillo, 41 Ariz. 170, 16 P.2d 965; In re ... Miller, 66 Colo. 261, 180 P. 749; In re Schechtel, 103 Colo ... 77, 82 P.2d 762, 764, 118 A.L.R. 1032. As stated in State v ... Keefe, supra [17 Wyo ... ...
  • Klopfer v. State of North Carolina, 100
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • March 13, 1967
    ...these States would also hold that the speedy trial right would protect a defendant in petitioner's position: see In re Miller, 66 Colo. 261, 263—264, 180 P. 749, 750—751 (1919); Pines v. District Court of Woodbury County, 233 Iowa 1284, 1294, 10 N.W.2d 574, 580 (1943); State v. Mathis, 7 Ut......
  • People v. Collins
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • October 19, 1971
    ...of the constitution which says that he 'shall have the right to * * * a speedy public trial * * * '. As said in In re Miller [ (1919), 66 Colo. 261, 180 P. 749]: ' * * * There is no attempt to justify or explain the delay and we must conclude that none is possible. It was distinctively the ......
  • Jordan v. People
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • July 6, 1964
    ...at which the trial might be had, the prosecution be ready to try the case. Medina v. People, 154 Colo. ----, 387 P.2d 733; Ex parte Miller, 66 Colo. 261, 180 P. 749. The constitutional provision is a 'guarantee only against arbitrary and oppressive delays.' Ex parte Miller, supra; People v.......
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1 books & journal articles
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Rules and C.R.S. of Evidence Annotated (CBA)
    • Invalid date
    ...at large under bond manifestly does not divest him of right to speedy trial which is guaranteed by the constitution. Ex parte Miller, 66 Colo. 261, 180 P. 749 (1919); Hicks v. People, 148 Colo. 26, 364 P.2d 877 (1961). The right to a speedy trial is not dissipated by the fact that the defen......

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