Robins v. United States, No. 71-5405

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRENNAN
Citation404 U.S. 1049,92 S.Ct. 721,30 L.Ed.2d 740
PartiesRobert Joe ROBINS v. UNITED STATES
Decision Date17 January 1972
Docket NumberNo. 71-5405

404 U.S. 1049
92 S.Ct. 721
30 L.Ed.2d 740
Robert Joe ROBINS

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 71-5405.

Supreme Court of the United States

January 17, 1972

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN, with whom Mr. Justice DOUGLAS and Mr. Justice MARSHALL join, dissenting.

On March 4, 1964 petitioner was arraigned in the United States District Court on charges of prison escape and accompanying assaults. Counsel was appointed that day, and after petitioner and the attorney assured the court they had had sufficient time earlier in the day to

Page 1050

confer, the court accepted petitioner's guilty pleas. On June 22, 1964, petitioner returned for sentencing, and the following occurred:

'The Court: Mr. Robbins [sic], when [last] before the Court, was represented by appointed counsel, Mr. Sheldon Crossette, a member of the bar of Wyandotte County and of this Court.

'I excused Mr. Corssette [sic] from further representation of Mr. Robbins [sic] since he is in Kansas City and this hearing is in Leavenworth.

* * * * *

'Mr. Robbins [sic], do you desire that other counsel be appointed to represent you at this hearing?

'Defendant Robbins [sic]: No.

'The Court: You understand that you have the right to have counsel?

'Defendant Robbins [sic]: Yes.

'The Court: And you waive that right?

'Defendant Robbins [sic]: Yes, sir.'

Petitioner was then sentenced to consecutive five-year terms of imprisonment on two counts and a concurrent five-year term on a third, all to follow any sentence then being served.

Petitioner subsequently filed a motion in the sentencing court to vacate sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, contending, first, that in summarily relieving his appointed attorney, the trial court had denied him his constitutional right to the assistance of counsel and, second, that he had not validly waived his right to counsel. In particular, petitioner alleges that he did not accept the court's offer to appoint new counsel from fear of angering the court, and because he did not think a new attorney, unfamiliar with the case, could help him. The District Court in an unreported order denied relief without a

Page 1051

hearing, on the ground that the records of the case 'conclusively' demonstrated a valid waiver. The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed in an unreported per curiam opinion.

The principles governing this case are well-established. Petitioner, of course, had a constitutional right to counsel at his sentencing proceedings. McConnell v. Rhay, 393 U.S. 2, 89 S.Ct. 32, 21 L.Ed.2d 2 (1968); Mempa v. Rhay, 389 U.S. 128, 88 S.Ct. 254, 19 L.Ed.2d 336 (1967). Although the Constitution 'does not require that under all circumstances counsel be forced upon a defendant,' Carter v. Illinois, 329 U.S. 173, 174-175, 67 S.Ct. 216, 218, 91 L.Ed. 172 (1946), a waiver of the right to counsel is valid only if it is...

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282 practice notes
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    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
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    ...Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 266-267, 90 S.Ct. 1011, 25 L.Ed.2d 287 (1970); Sostre v. McGinnis, 442 F.2d 178, 198 (2d Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 1049, 92 S.Ct. 719, 30 L.Ed.2d 740 25 E. g., In re Connelly, 19 A.D.2d 466 (1963). 26 Woodbury v. McKinnon, supra, 447 F.2d at 844. 27 Woodbury v.......
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    ...v. Stenocord Corp., supra, 460 F.2d at 121; Cornwell Quality Tools Co. v. C.T.S. Co., 446 F.2d 825, 832 (9th Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 1049, 92 S.Ct. 715, 30 L.Ed.2d 740 (1972); Industrial Bldg. Materials, Inc. v. Interchemical Corp., supra 437 F.2d at 1344; Lessig v. Tidewater Oil......
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    ...456 F.2d 79 (2d Cir. 1972) 369 F. Supp. 227 (in banc); Sostre v. McGinnis, 442 F. 2d 178, 182 (2d Cir. 1971) (in banc), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 1049, 92 S.Ct. 719, 30 L.Ed.2d 740 (1972). It is still the law in this Circuit, however, that a Civil Rights plaintiff must exhaust state administra......
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282 cases
  • Knutson v. Daily Review, Inc., No. C-73-1354-CBR.
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    ...v. Stenocord Corp., supra, 460 F.2d at 121; Cornwell Quality Tools Co. v. C.T.S. Co., 446 F.2d 825, 832 (9th Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 1049, 92 S.Ct. 715, 30 L.Ed.2d 740 (1972); Industrial Bldg. Materials, Inc. v. Interchemical Corp., supra 437 F.2d at 1344; Lessig v. Tidewater Oil......
  • Davis v. Balson, No. C 73-205.
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