In re Alexander, No. 3761 Orig.

Docket NºNo. 3761 Orig.
Citation243 A.2d 901
Case DateJuly 08, 1968
CourtCourt of Appeals of Columbia District
243 A.2d 901
In the Matter of Harry T. ALEXANDER, Judge, District of Columbia Court of General Sessions, Don Morrow, intervenor.
No. 3761 Orig.
District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Argued May 2, 1968.
Decided July 8, 1968.

Page 902

John R. Hess, Asst. Corp. Counsel, with whom Charles T. Duncan, Corp. Counsel, Hubert B. Pair, Principal Asst. Corp. Counsel, and Richard W. Barton, Asst. Corp. Counsel, were on the brief, for petitioner.

Frank D. Reeves, Washington, D. C., for respondent, Harry T. Alexander, Judge, District of Columbia Court of General Sessions.

Ralph J. Temple, Washington, D. C., for intervenor.

Before HOOD, Chief Judge, and KELLY and FICKLING, Associate Judges.

HOOD, Chief Judge:


Don Morrow, having been charged with disorderly conduct1 by information filed by the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, was brought for trial before Respondent, a judge of the Court of General Sessions, then sitting in the Criminal Division of that court. After the witness had been sworn but before any testimony had been received, counsel for Morrow moved to dismiss the information on the ground that the Corporation Counsel was not the proper prosecutor of the alleged offense2 Respondent granted the motion to dismiss. Morrow's counsel then moved that Respondent order Morrow's arrest "expunged from the Police Department's records." Respondent orally instructed the Corporation Counsel not to "disseminate the information pertinent" to Morrow's arrest. The following entry was made on the back of the information: "Corp. Counsel instructed not to disseminate record of deft's arrest on file in criminal record's office."

The government did not appeal from the order dismissing the information or attempt to appeal from the order respecting Morrow's arrest record.3 A month later,

Page 903

and apparently at the request of the government, the Respondent entered a formal and more detailed order which ordered that:

The District of Columbia and all its agencies and officials, including the Commissioners of the District of Columbia and their agents, and including the Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and all his agents, and including every member of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and their agents are prohibited, effective September 25, 1967, the date on which this Order was first directed to such persons in the presence of their attorney, the Assistant Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, from distributing, communicating, transmitting, or otherwise making available or providing information regarding the record or information of the arrest on August 30, 1967, of Mr. Don Morrow, defendant in these proceedings, to any other governmental or private agency or person, including other law enforcement agencies or officials until further order of this Court.

A short time thereafter the government moved to amend the order. Morrow opposed any amendment and moved that Respondent require the government to present evidence of its compliance with the order. Respondent did not grant the government's motion, but granted Morrow's motion and ordered a subpoena issued to the police officer in charge of records requiring production of all records relating to the Metropolitan Police Department's policy and procedure of maintaining arrest record information. The government moved to quash the subpoena, and later moved to vacate the nondisclosure order on the ground that Respondent lacked jurisdiction to enter the initial order. The motion to quash was denied and the Respondent began an evidentiary hearing on January 30, 1968.

The subpoenaed police officer was interrogated by Morrow's counsel from 6:00 p. m. until 10:30 p. m., at which time the hearing was recessed until 2:00 p. m. the following day. Before the hearing was reconvened the government petitioned this court for writs of mandamus and prohibition to compel Respondent to vacate the nondisclosure order and to restrain the Respondent from further proceedings pursuant to that order. We issued a temporary restraining order pending final disposition of the government's petition. The matter has now been briefed and argued before us by counsel for the government, for the Respondent, and for Morrow whom we allowed to intervene.

The Respondent questions the jurisdiction of this court to issue the temporary restraining order or any permanent order in the nature of mandamus or otherwise. We are convinced that if Respondent was proceeding in excess of his lawful authority to the extent that his actions constituted a usurpation...

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4 practice notes
  • Morrow v. District of Columbia, No. 22126
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • April 18, 1969
    ...proceedings in the D. C. Court of Appeals. On July 8, 1968, the D. C. Court of Appeals issued its decision. In the Matter of Alexander, 243 A.2d 901 (1968). It held that it had the power to issue 417 F.2d 732 extraordinary writs and that mandamus and prohibition were appropriate in this cas......
  • Monroe v. Middlebury Conservation Com'n
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 29, 1982
    ...grant the relief by way of the legal writ of mandamus or the equitable remedy of injunction or by a combination of both." In re Alexander, 243 A.2d 901, 903 The result would be the same were we to test the appropriateness of equitable relief on the basis of the adequacy of mandamus. The com......
  • Clark v. US, No. 90-CF-1081.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • November 10, 1993
    ...appellant from these statements. See Goins, 617 A.2d at 959; Beale, 465 A.2d at 799; (Michael Ronald) Sweet, 438 A.2d at 453; Shuman, 243 A.2d at 901; Packard, 77 A.2d at In sum, three of the four challenged statements provided, at worst, merely speculative evidence of appellant's possible ......
  • In the Matter of Alexander, No. 3761 Orig.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • December 12, 1969
    ...FICKLING, Associate Judges. PER CURIAM: The facts of this case are fully set forth in our previous opinion in In re Alexander, D.C.App., 243 A.2d 901 (1968). An appeal from our decision was allowed by the United States Court of Appeals, and that court reversed and remanded to us for further......
4 cases
  • Morrow v. District of Columbia, No. 22126
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • April 18, 1969
    ...proceedings in the D. C. Court of Appeals. On July 8, 1968, the D. C. Court of Appeals issued its decision. In the Matter of Alexander, 243 A.2d 901 (1968). It held that it had the power to issue 417 F.2d 732 extraordinary writs and that mandamus and prohibition were appropriate in this cas......
  • Monroe v. Middlebury Conservation Com'n
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 29, 1982
    ...grant the relief by way of the legal writ of mandamus or the equitable remedy of injunction or by a combination of both." In re Alexander, 243 A.2d 901, 903 The result would be the same were we to test the appropriateness of equitable relief on the basis of the adequacy of mandamus. The com......
  • Clark v. US, No. 90-CF-1081.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • November 10, 1993
    ...appellant from these statements. See Goins, 617 A.2d at 959; Beale, 465 A.2d at 799; (Michael Ronald) Sweet, 438 A.2d at 453; Shuman, 243 A.2d at 901; Packard, 77 A.2d at In sum, three of the four challenged statements provided, at worst, merely speculative evidence of appellant's possible ......
  • In the Matter of Alexander, No. 3761 Orig.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • December 12, 1969
    ...FICKLING, Associate Judges. PER CURIAM: The facts of this case are fully set forth in our previous opinion in In re Alexander, D.C.App., 243 A.2d 901 (1968). An appeal from our decision was allowed by the United States Court of Appeals, and that court reversed and remanded to us for further......

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