United States Hughes v. Gault

Decision Date03 May 1926
Docket NumberNo. 513,513
Citation271 U.S. 142,70 L.Ed. 875,46 S.Ct. 459
PartiesUNITED STATES ex rel. HUGHES v. GAULT, U. S. Marshal
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

[Statement of Case from pages 142-144 intentionally omitted] Messrs. Charles E. Hughes, of New York City, Herbert Pope, of Chicago, Ill., Benjamin M. Price, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and E. Barrett Prettyman, of Washington, D. C., for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 144-146 intentionally omitted] Mr. Assistant Attorney General Donovan, for appellee.

Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

The relator was indicted for violation of the Anti-Trust Act of July 2, 1890, c. 647 (Comp. St. §§ 8820-8823, 8827-8830), in the Eastern Division of the Northern District of Ohio. He appeared, upon notice, before a commissioner of Ottumwa, Iowa, and after a hearing he was ordered to be held for removal. Rev. Stat. § 1014 (Comp. St. § 1674). The relator thereupon applied to the judges of the District Court for a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that the indictment was band and that the Commissioner rejected evidence that the relator was innocent and that therefore there was no probable cause to believe him guilty of a crime in Ohio. He also prayed for a writ of certiorari to bring the proceedings below before the Court. The writs were issued and after a hearing the District Court denied the relator his discharge and directed an order of removal to be prepared. The relator appeals under section 238 of the Judicial Code, Act March 3, 1911, c. 231, 36 Stat. 1087, 1157 (Comp. St. § 1215), before the Act of February, 13, 1925, c. 229 (43 Stat. 938), went into effect. The grounds alleged are that by the refusal to hold that the indictment did not show probable cause to believe the relator guilty and that by the exclusion of the evidence the relator was deprived of his right to be tried in the District wherein the crime was committed, Constitution, art. 3, § 2, and Amendment 6, and that he was detained without due process of law. Amendment 5.

The Constitution does not require any preliminary hearing before a person charged with a crime against the United States is brought into the Court having jurisdiction of the charge. There he may deny the jurisdiction of the Court as he may deny his guilt, and the Constitution is satisfied by his right to contest it there. With immaterial exceptions any one in the United States is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and may be required to stand trial wherever he is alleged to have committed the crime. In Tinsley v. Treat, 205 U. S. 20, 33, 27 S. Ct. 430, 51 L. Ed. 689, the conclusion is not that the appellant by being denied the right to present any evidence was deprived of his rights under the Constitution, but that he was denied 'a right secured by statute under the Constitution.'

As that instrument does not provide for bringing the accused into the power of the Court authorized to try him, a statute was necessary and is found in Rev. Stat. § 1014. This might have been interpreted as contemplating a summary order without other hearing than was necessary, when there was an indictment, to show that fact and that the person present was the person charged. The hardship of removal, however, has grown with the growth of the United States, and there is a natural desire to prevent it when possible, if a preliminary sifting will show that there is no probable cause for the charge. Accordingly it is held that the District Judge on application to remove acts judicially and that probable cause must be shown. Beavers v. Henkel, 194 U. S. 73, 83, 24 S. Ct. 605, 48 L. Ed. 882; Tinsley v. Treat, 205 U. S. 20, 27, 29, 32, 27 S. Ct. 430, 51 L. Ed. 689. It is to be noticed however that 'where any offender * * * is committed in any district other than that where the offense is to be tried. it shall be the duty of the judge of the district where such offender * * * is imprisoned, seasonably to issue, and of the marshal to execute, a warrant for his removal,' etc. But the commitment, supposed by these words already to have taken place, is entrusted not only to judges and commissioners of the United States, and judges of state courts, but to any 'mayor of a city, justice of the peace, or other magistrate, of any State where he may be found.' Obviously, in order to make it the duty of the judge to issue the warrant a mayor or a magistrate not a lawyer cannot be expected to do more than to decide in a summary way that the indictment is intended to charge an offense against the laws of the United States, that the person before him is the person charged and that there is probable cause to believe him guilty, without the magistrate's being held to more than avoiding palpable injustice. He is not intended to hold a preliminary trial and if probable cause is shown on the government side, he is not to set it aside because on the other evidence he believes the defendant innocent. The rule that would apply to a mayor applies to a commissioner of the United States.

The relator testified before the Commissioner both in general terms and in detail that he and his company were innocent. The Commissioner excluded further details from him confirmatory of what he had sworn and evi- dence of customers that they were...

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  • State v. Smith
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • May 23, 1960
    ...Goldsby v. United States, 160 U.S. 70, 73, 16 S.Ct. 216, 40 L.Ed. 343, 344 (1895); United States ex rel. Hughes v. Gault, 271 U.S. 142, 149, 46 S.Ct. 459, 70 L.Ed. 875, 877 (1926); Garrison v. Johnston, 104 F.2d 128, 130 (9 Cir. 1939), certiorari denied 308 U.S. 553, 60 S.Ct. 107, 84 L.Ed. ......
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    ...is unknown to the common law. 27 Am.Jur., Indictments and Informations, p. 596; 22 C.J.S. Criminal Law § 331, p. 484; United States ex rel. Hughes v. Gault, 271 U.S. 142, (46 S.Ct. 459,) 70 L.Ed. In People v. Daniels, 49 Ill.App.2d 48, 199 N.E.2d 33 (1964), an Illinois appellate court saw n......
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    ...precedent to a valid indictment. (See Goldsby v. United States, 160 U.S. 70, 73, 16 S.Ct. 216, 40 L.Ed. 343; Hughes v. Gault, 271 U.S. 142, 149, 46 S.Ct. 459, 70 L.Ed. 875; People ex rel. Hirschberg v. Close, supra, 1 N.Y.2d 258, 152 N.Y.S.2d 1, 134 N.E.2d 818; People v. Abbatiello, 30 A.D.......
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    ...180.70). Defendant has no constitutional or statutory right to a preliminary hearing, however (United States ex rel. Hughes v. Gault, 271 U.S. 142, 149, 46 S.Ct. 459, 459, 70 L.Ed. 875; Goldsby v. United States, 160 U.S. 70, 73, 16 S.Ct. 216, 218, 40 L.Ed. 343; People ex rel. Hirschberg v. ......
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