Molinaro v. New Jersey

Citation396 U.S. 365,24 L.Ed.2d 586,90 S.Ct. 498
Decision Date19 January 1970
Docket NumberNo. 663,663
PartiesCamillo MOLINARO, Appellant v. NEW JERSEY
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Burrell Ives Humphreys, for appellant.

PER CURIAM.

This case comes to the Court on appeal from the New Jersey state courts, which have affirmed appellant Molinaro's conviction for abortion and conspiracy to commit abortion. We are informed by both appellant's counsel and counsel for the State that Molinaro, who was free on bail, has failed to surrender himself to state authorities. His bail has been revoked, and the State considers him a fugitive from justice. Under these circumstances we decline to adjudicate his case.

The Court has faced such a situation before, in Smith v. United States, 94 U.S. 97, 24 L.Ed. 32 (1876), and Bonahan v. Nebraska, 125 U.S. 692, 8 S.Ct. 1390, 31 L.Ed. 854 (1887). In each of those cases, which were before the Court on writs of error, the Court ordered the case removed from the docket upon receiving information that the plaintiff in error had escaped from custody. In Smith, the case was dismissed at the beginning of the following Term. See 18 Geo.Wash.L.Rev. 427, 430 (1950). In Bonahan, the case was stricken from the docket on the last day of the Term in which it arose. See also National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards v. Arnold, 348 U.S. 37, 43, 75 S.Ct. 92, 95, 99 L.Ed. 46 (1954); Eisler v. United States, 338 U.S. 189 and 883, 69 S.Ct. 1453, 93 L.Ed. 1897 (1949); Allen v. Georgia, 166 U.S. 138, 17 S.Ct. 525, 41 L.Ed. 949 (1897). No persuasive reason exists why this Court should proceed to adjudicate the merits of a criminal case after the convicted defendant who has sought review escapes from the restraints placed upon him pursuant to the conviction. While such an escape does not strip the case of its character as an adjudicable case or controversy, we believe it disentitles the defendant to call upon the resources of the Court for determination of his claims. In the absence of specific provision to the contrary in the statute under which Molinaro appeals, 28 U.S.C. § 1257(2), we conclude, in light of the Smith and Bonahan decisions, that the Court has the authority to dismiss the appeal on this ground. The dismissal need not await the end of the Term or the expiration of a fixed period of time, but should take place at this time.

It is so ordered.

Mr. Justice DOUGLAS concurs in the result.

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423 cases
  • People v. Mutch, Cr. 14182
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 24, 1971
    ...People move to 'dismiss the appeal' on the ground that defendant escaped from custody on February 17, 1970. (Molinaro v. New Jersey (1970) 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586; People v. Fuhr (1926) 198 Cal. 593, 246 P. 1116; People v. Clark (1926) 198 Cal. 453, 245 P. 1112; People v.......
  • United States v. Bescond
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • August 5, 2021
    ...disentitlement, a court may decline to entertain the claims of a defendant who is a fugitive from justice. Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 366, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970) (per curiam); Nen Di Wu v. Holder, 646 F.3d 133, 135 & n.2 (2d Cir. 2011).In the alternative, the distric......
  • U.S. v. Forty-Five Thousand Nine Hundred Forty Dollars ($45,940) in U.S. Currency, FORTY-FIVE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 11, 1984
    ...is a fugitive from justice, then he is not entitled to defend the related civil forfeiture proceeding. In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970) the Supreme Court confronted a situation where the criminal defendant escaped while his direct appeal was pendi......
  • Parretti v. U.S.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 29, 1997
    ...his absence "disentitles the defendant to call upon the resources of the Court for determination of his claims." Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 366, 90 S.Ct. 498, 499, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970) (per curiam); see also Roby v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 76 F.3d 1052, 1055 n. 2 (9th C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
4 books & journal articles
  • ELIMINATING THE FUGITIVE DISENTITLEMENT DOCTRINE IN IMMIGRATION MATTERS.
    • United States
    • Notre Dame Law Review Vol. 97 No. 3, March 2022
    • March 1, 2022
    ...(32) Id at 141. (33) See id. (34) See, e.g., Estelle v. Dorrough, 420 U.S. 534, 537 (1975) (per curiam). (35) Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 366 (1970) (per curiam) ("The dismissal need not await the end of the Term or the expiration of a fixed period of time, but should take place a......
  • Review Proceedings
    • United States
    • Georgetown Law Journal No. 110-Annual Review, August 2022
    • August 1, 2022
    ...appeal of a defendant who is a fugitive during the appellate process under the “fugitive disentitlement doctrine.” See Molinaro v. N.J., 396 U.S. 365, 366 (1970) (per curiam) (no persuasive reason for court to adjudicate merits of criminal case because defendant seeking review escaped restr......
  • Sword or shield: due process and the fugitive disentitlement doctrine.
    • United States
    • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 87 No. 3, March 1997
    • March 22, 1997
    ...Smith and Bonahan in ordering a petition for certiorari to be removed from docket after petitioner became a fugitive from justice). (35) 396 U.S. 365 (1970) (per (36) Id. at 366. Dismissing the appeal, the Court stated, "[n]o persuasive reason exists why this Court should proceed to adjudic......
  • Should the Supreme Court stop inviting amici curiae to defend abandoned lower court decisions?
    • United States
    • Stanford Law Review Vol. 63 No. 4, April 2011
    • April 1, 2011
    ...See supra note 172 and accompanying text (discussing Pennsylvania v. Ritchie and United States v. Sharpe). (215.) Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 366 (1970) (per curiam). In Molinaro, the petitioner was a fugitive, so his direct appeal was dismissed. In these cases, the respondent is ......

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