McDonough v. State, 192

Decision Date20 May 1969
Docket NumberNo. 192,192
Citation253 A.2d 517,253 Md. 547
PartiesWilliam L. McDONOUGH v. STATE of Maryland et al.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

William L. McDonough in pro. per.

Francis B. Burch, Atty. Gen., and Alfred J. O'Ferrall, III, Asst. Atty. Gen., Baltimore, for appellees.


FINAN, Judge.

Appellant, William L. McDonough, is presently an inmate at the Patuxent Institution, Jessup, Maryland. On January 30, 1968, in anticipation of a future hearing to redetermine whether or not he was a defective delinquent, he filed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County two petitions. One for a writ of mandamus and another requesting an ex parte injunction (Miscellaneous #3917 and #3918), naming as defendants the State of Maryland, the State's Attorney for Baltimore County, the Circuit Court for Baltimore County and the Director of Patuxent Institution, Dr. Harold M. Boslow (appellees). On March 22, 1968, appellees filed demurrers to each petition and on May 1, 1968, the demurrers were heard together in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. That court sustained both demurrers without leave to amend and appellant has brought this appeal.

The appellant was committed to Patuxent Institution on January 17, 1962, by the Circuit Court for Baltimore County as a defective delinquent, Maryland Code (1967 Repl. Vol.) Art. 31B. On November 11, 1967, he became eligible for a redetermination of his status under Section 10 of Article 31B and sought such redetermination in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. While that proceeding was pending appellant filed his petitions which are at issue here.

The appellant under Miscellaneous #3917 set forth eighteen separate counts in which he outlined the procedure which the court he outlined the procedure which the court should be required to follow to assure the the pending redetermination hearing and which for the purposes of this appeal may be summarized in four issues as follows:

(a) That the redetermination hearing should provide the same constitutional protections allowed an accused in any criminal trial.

(b) That no inferences should be drawn or used as evidence against him from his adherence to what he believes is his right to avail himself of the protections against self-incrimination, the presence of counsel, etc.

(c) That the State should be prevented from using as evidence for the basis of expert opinion the records of criminal convictions wherein the accused was not represented by counsel, nor the records of unadjudicated charges.

(d) That the appellant should be afforded as a matter of due process the right to discovery as pertains to the records, documents and files in his case prior to trial.

In Miscellaneous #3918 the appellant sought the issuance of a writ of mandamus and a permanent injunction commanding the appellees to 'expunge, delete and obliterate from their records, etc., all alleged prior psychiatric and psychological reports of examination made of (appellant) in and out of Patuxent Institution prior to (appellant's) arrival to Patuxent. And, during (appellant's) confinement in Patuxent up to the date of the Patuxent Staff's last alleged reported psychiatric and psychological examination of (appellant) * * *.' He alleged in general terms that these reports have been secured by the appellees in violation of his constitutional guarantees, including those relating to the proscription against self-incrimination, the right to confrontation of witnesses and to assistance of counsel.

The appellees in their demurrers contend that the contents of appellant's petition are vague and general in substance and insufficient at law; that the appellant has an adequate remedy at law in his redetermination hearing to raise the issues pressed in his petitions and that neither mandamus nor injunctive relief is appropriate under the circumstances.

The Circuit Court for Baltimore County ruled on both petitions together as they involved the same questions of law and fact. The demurrers were sustained to both petitions as the latter were found to be insufficient in law to support grounds for relief and filed untimely, since the procedural safeguards available in the pending redetermination hearing on his status as a defective delinquent should prove adequate. The lower court was of the opinion that the appellant would have the opportunity to challenge, by appropriate objections in the pending redetermination hearing, the validity of the procedures and the legal principles deemed applicable as the hearing proceeded. $The question before this Court is, did the lower court correctly sustain the demurrers to the appellant's petitions for a writ of mandamus and ex parte injunctive relief, which petitions set forth as preliminary matters constitutional challenges to the procedures to be followed and the evidentiary rules to be used at the pending redetermination hearing.

The appellant by a new approach tries to resurrect old questions long settled. The constitutional challenges to Maryland's Defective Delinquent Act, Code Art. 31B, and the procedure provided therein for the commitment, treatment and redetermination (§ 10) of the status of a defective delinquent, have hopefully been put to rest by prior decisions of this Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The appellant by his petitions would have us revisit the ground so thoroughly covered by Judge Hammond (now Chief Judge), in the opinion of this Court in Director v. Daniels, 243 Md. 16, 221 A.2d 397 (1966), wherein many of the unanswered constitutional queries posed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Sas v. Maryland, 334 F.2d 506 (4th Cir.1964), were answered in depth, and more recently by Judge Watkins in an exhaustive opinion in Sas v. Maryland, 295 F.Supp. 389 (D.Md.1969).

As early as 1956, several years after Patuxent Institution was in operation with its program for retention and, if possible, treatment of defective delinquents, this Court in Eggleston v. State, 209 Md. 504, 121 A.2d 698 (1956), held that the proceedings under the Defective Delinquent Act, Article 31B, were civil in nature and not criminal or penal. This proposition has been affirmed in numerous cases, Sas v. Maryland, supra; Director v. Daniels, supra; McCloskey v. Director, 245 Md. 497, 226 A.2d 534 (1967); Hall v. Director, 245 Md. 687, 226 A.2d 669 (1967); Mastromarino v. Director, 244 Md. 645, 224 A.2d 674 (1966); Wise v. Director, 1 Md.App. 418, 230 A.2d 692 (1967), to cite but a few.

The paramount issue raised by the appellant is that his redetermination hearing should be surrounded with all the due process safeguards identified with a criminal proceeding. In view of the authority which we have cited it is readily apparent that this is not required. In Sas v. Maryland, 334 F.2d 506, the Court stated that Article 31B, '* * * places around the accused more procedural safeguards than any of the Acts of a similar nature which have been upheld by the courts against this attack. * * *.' Id. at 515, and that all that was required to satisfy the delinquent's constitutional rights were safeguards which '* * * result in basic fairness of procedure imposed upon the state by the fourteenth amendment. * * *.' Id. at 516.

The appellant also contends that the examination involved prior to the redetermination hearing violates his constitutional immunity against self-incrimination. This and many similar objections, having to do with his rights guaranteed under the fifth...

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4 cases
  • Williams v. Director, Patuxent Inst.
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • 7 Noviembre 1975
    ...similar contentions by asserting that defective delinquency proceedings are civil as opposed to criminal. See e. g. McDonough v. State, 253 Md. 547, 253 A.2d 517 (1969); Hall v. Director, 245 Md. 687, 691, 226 A.2d 669 (1967) (State not required to prove defective delinquency beyond a reaso......
  • Dower v. Director, Patuxent
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maryland
    • 8 Mayo 1975
    ...F.Supp. at 409-10, supra. The right to remain silent and the right against self-incrimination were considered in McDonough v. State, 253 Md. 547, 551, 253 A.2d 517 (1969). The standard of proof and equal protection contentions were considered in Bush v. Director, 22 Md.App. 353, 324 A.2d 16......
  • Arbaugh v. Director, Patuxent Inst.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 28 Julio 1975
    ...and the cases collected in Annot., 20 A.L.R.2d 1421 (1951). A defective delinquency proceeding is a civil case. McDonough v. State, 253 Md. 547, 253 A.2d 517 (1969); Director v. Daniels, 243 Md. 16, 221 A.2d 397 (1966); Bush v. Director, 22 Md.App. 353, 324 A.2d 162, cert. denied sub nom. M......
  • Wentworth v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 7 Octubre 1976
    ...grounded.' Arbaugh, supra, 27 Md.App. at 664, 341 A.2d at 815. A defective delinquency proceeding being a civil case, McDonough v. State, 253 Md. 547, 253 A.2d 517 (1969); Director v. Daniels, 243 Md. 16, 221 A.2d 397 (1966); Bush v. Director, 22 Md.App. 353, 324 A.2d 162, cert. denied, 272......

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