People v. Davis

CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Citation18 N.W. 362,52 Mich. 569
Decision Date06 February 1884

52 Mich. 569
18 N.W. 362


Supreme Court of Michigan.

Filed February 6, 1884.

In a prosecution for adultery the state is not restricted to the time mentioned in the indictment, and if a statement is called for by the defense, particularizing the times and places at which were committed the acts upon which conviction is sought, the court should require it to be given, for the defendant might otherwise be altogether misled in his preparation for a defense.

One year being the period in which such an action is required to be brought, evidence of suspicious acts between the parties accused committed a year prior to the action should not be admitted, unless to prove a long-continued series of such acts.

Where statements made to the prosecuting attorney by the complainant, at the commencement of the criminal proceedings, would tend to discredit his testimony at the trial, they should in fairness to the defendant be admitted. In this case the communication was made to a public officer, and the party making them can assume no control as to the use made of them subsequently. They are not in such a case privileged.

Error to Macomb.

[18 N.W. 362]

J.J. Van Riper, for the People.

Edgar Weeks, for appellant.


The information in this case charges the respondent with having committed adultery with one Sarah M. O'Rourke, the wife of Thomas O'Rourke, at the township of Armada, in Macomb county, on the first day of September, 1881. Before the case came on for trial the respondent moved the court that the prosecuting attorney be required to furnish to respondent's counsel a particular statement, specifying the times and places where the alleged acts of adultery upon which he expected to rely for a conviction were suffered to have been committed. This motion was denied.

The record does not show whether respondent had had any preliminary examination upon the charge; but if he had it, it is to be presumed the information was framed with reference to the facts then disclosed, and that the evidence was directed to some transaction of or near the date mentioned in the information. But as the prosecution would not be restricted on the trial to the time mentioned in the information, (People v. Jenness, 5 Mich. 305,) we think the particulars called for should have been required. The justice of such a requirement was made apparent by the very first step taken by the prosecution in the cause; for instead of attempting to prove an act of adultery occurring on or near September 1, 1881, the complaining witness swore to having caught the parties flagrante delicto on the night of April 30, 1882;

[18 N.W. 363]

and it was upon this evidence that a conviction was sought and obtained. If the prosecution, when the information was filed, intended to rely upon proof of a transaction in April, the information-which was verified by the oath of the prosecutor himself, testifying as of his own knowledge-should have given that as the time of the alleged offense; for the defendant might otherwise be altogether misled in his preparation for a defense. And whenever it is possible that such a result...

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22 cases
  • People v. Taylor, Docket No. 79360
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • July 21, 1987
    ...that would have been imposed by a court order for discovery. 13 People v. Dellabonda, 265 Mich. 486, 251 N.W. 594 (1933); People v. Davis, 52 Mich. 569, 18 N.W. 362 (1884), and cases cited therein. 14 The rejection was based on the content of the statements, the court holding that they were......
  • State v. Hunt, A--38
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • January 20, 1958
    ...for its use on cross-examination. Justice Schaefer referred approvingly to Chief Judge Cooley's telling comment in People v. Davis, 52 Mich. 569, 18 N.W. 362, 363 (Sup.Ct.1884) that the state 'has no interest in interposing any obstacle to the disclosure of the facts, unless it is intereste......
  • Barbour v. People
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • November 18, 1994
    ...for the prosecution, or to show that it is unworthy of credence" (id. at 290, 213 N.Y.S.2d 448, 173 N.E.2d 881; citing, People v. Davis, 52 Mich. 569, 572, 573-574, 18 N.W. 362; People v. Walsh, 262 N.Y. 140, 150, 186 N.E. Page 894 Notwithstanding the laudatory objectives of the Rosario rul......
  • People v. Williams, Cr. 6275
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 19, 1958
    ...709, 312 P.2d 698; People v. Moses, 11 Ill.2d 84, 142 N.E.2d 1, 4; State v. Guagliardo, 146 La. 949, 84 So. 216, 216; People v. Davis, 52 Mich. 569, 18 N.W. 362, 363-364; Centoamore v. State, 105 Neb. 452, 181 N.W. 182, 183-184; People v. Schainuck, 286 N.Y. 161, 36 N.E.2d 94, 96; see Unite......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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