Jett v. Ferling, s. 14

Decision Date17 February 1956
Docket NumberNos. 14,22,s. 14
Citation209 Md. 633,120 A.2d 580
PartiesCarl JETT, Jr. v. Clement J. FERLING, Supt. Maryland State Reformatory for Males.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals



The petitioner in these applications for leave to appeal from the denials of the writ of habeas corpus by Judge Charles C. Marbury of the Circuit Court for Prince Georges County, and Judge D. Kenneth McLaughlin of the Circuit Court for Washington County, respectively, has been released on parole by the Department of Parole and Probation since the applications were filed. Although much, if not most, of the authority is to the contrary (see cases collected in the annotation of 148 A.L.R. 1243), we will assume without deciding that a parolee has not lost the right to the writ. We are convinced that the petitioner is not entitled to its issuance on the merits.

The petitioner was tried before a magistrate for assault and battery, found guilty, and sentenced to six months imprisonment. He appealed to the Circuit Court for Prince Georges County and was tried before a jury, who found him guilty of assault and battery. On May 2, 1955, Judge Marbury fined him $200 and costs and sentenced him to the Maryland State Reformatory for Males for an indeterminate sentence not to exceed one year, and placed him on probation. The petitioner signed a probation agreement which, among other things, provided, as the court had directed, that: (1) he would live a good, clean and honest life; (2) he would keep reasonable hours; (3) he would keep away from undesirable associates; (4) he would not drive a motor vehicle, other than that of his employer on business, without the permission of his parole officer. After repeated warnings, petitioner was brought to court on August 8, 1955, for violation of conditions of probation. He appeared with counsel. The probation officer reported that the violations consisted of his driving a motor vehicle not that of his employer, without permission, of his association with undesirables, particularly one James Sweeney, a recently released inmate of the Maryland State Reformatory for Males, and of being away from home late at night resulting in an automobile accident while he was driving a forbidden automobile. Petitioner took the stand and admitted some of the violations of his probation, although he requested the opportunity to call witnesses to explain another, an incident at a filling station in the early hours of the morning in which he was involved. The court observed that the admitted violations were such as to show that petitioner had clearly violated the conditions of his probation and that the refutation of the service station incident therefore would be immaterial. The court struck out the suspended sentence of May 2, 1955 and ordered petitioner confined to the Maryland State Reformatory for Males for an indeterminate sentence not to exceed one year, and, as has been noted, petitioner later was released on parole.

The petitioner makes the following contentions: (1) that he is entitled to habeas corpus since the ordinary rule that this remedy is not available if the matters complained of could have been raised on appeal, cannot apply because there was no right of appeal from the judgment and sentence of the circuit court; (2) that the judgment was void because petitioner was tried at the same time as another defendant and the same jury decided both cases; (3) that the revocation of the suspension of the May 2 sentence on August 8 was void for lack of due process because no hearing, in the sense the law requires, was afforded petitioner; (4) that the judgment of the circuit court was unconstitutional and void because the offenses of assault or assault and battery are nowhere designated as offenses, either by the laws or Constitution of the State of Maryland or of the United States; (5) that the judgment of the circuit court of August 8 was void because petitioner had violated no law since he was placed on probation May 2; (6) that the judgments and sentence of May 2 and of August 8 both were void because the punishment was 'harsh, cruel, and unusual under the circumstances for the minor offense, if any * * *' committed by petitioner; (7) that the circuit court erred in refusing to hold the sentence of May 2 void because petitioner was charged with and tried for assault but sentenced for assault and battery; (8) that the judgment of the circuit court of August 8 was void because the sentence was not the same as that of May 2, but a new and greater sentence.

There is no merit in any of petitioner's contentions. He chose to be tried before a magistrate and then took the appeal to the Circuit Court for Prince George's County provided by Code 1951, Art. 52, Sec. 13. Sec. 14 of Art. 52 explicitly provides that in such case, there is no further appeal to this Court. No right of due process of law or equal protection of the law, or any other constitutional guarantee, State or Federal, is infringed by such a judicial system. McKane v. Durston, 153 U.S. 684, 14 S.Ct. 913, 38 L.Ed. 867; Mallett v. State of North Carolina, 181 U.S. 589, 21 S.Ct. 730, 45 L.Ed. 1015; Winkler v. State, 194 Md. 1, 69 A.2d 674, certiorari denied 339 U.S. 919, 70 S.Ct. 621, 94 L.Ed. 1343; Givner v. State, Md., 115 A.2d 174; Hendrick v. State, 115 Md. 552, 81 A. 18 (in Hendrick v. State, 235 U.S. 610, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the judgment and sentence of the Circuit Court for Prince George's County which this Court refused to review). It is clear that both the magistrate and the Circuit Court for Prince George's County had jurisdiction of petitioner and the offense charged. This being so, it is equally clear that the judgment of the circuit court has the same effect and finality as if the case had been decided by this Court, at least as far as the test of the right to habeas corpus is concerned. In Robb v. State, 190 Md. 641, 651, 60 A.2d 211, 215, it was said: 'It has been frequently held by this Court that the Circuit Court in hearing an appeal from a justice of the peace acted, not in the exercise of its ordinary common law jurisdiction, but as a court of special jurisdiction. Its judgment rendered within the limits of the special jurisdiction conferred upon it is not only binding but is final.' In Winegard v. Warden, 194 Md. 699, 701, 69 A.2d 685, 686, it was said: 'A criminal case cannot be...

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14 cases
  • Walker v. State, 1608
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 6 Diciembre 1982
    ...v. State, 226 Md. 94, 96-97, 172 A.2d 394 (1961); Hobbs v. Warden, 223 Md. 651, 653, 163 A.2d 331 (1960); and Jett v. Superintendent, 209 Md. 633, 640, 120 A.2d 580 (1956). On many occasions in Maryland, both the Court of Appeals and this Court have sustained twenty-year sentences for commo......
  • Humphrey v. State, 97
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 22 Abril 1981
    ...690, 692-93 (1952). See Scott v. State, 238 Md. 265, 275-76, 208 A.2d 575, 580-81 (1965); Jett v. Superintendent of Md. State Reformatory for Males, 209 Md. 633, 640-41, 120 A.2d 580, 583-84 (1956); Rites v. State, 15 Md.App. 346, 347-56, 290 A.2d 554, 555-60 (1972); Wilson v. State, 6 Md.A......
  • Scott v. State, 244
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 2 Abril 1965
    ...upon a trial on a charge of crime, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict, citing Jett v. Superintendent, 209 Md. 633, 640, 120 A.2d 580; Manning v. United States, 161 F.2d 827 (5th Cir.), cert. den. 332 U.S. 792, 68 S.Ct. 102, 92 L.Ed. 374; and Mutter, Probation......
  • Edwardsen v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 11 Mayo 1959
    ...and not subject to the limitations imposed by law upon the trial leading to a conviction. See Mutter, supra (p. 321); Jett v. Superintendent, 209 Md. 633, 640, 120 A.2d 580; Manning v. United States, 5 Cir., 161 F.2d 827. Somewhat the same considerations apply in reinstating sentence, as in......
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