United States v. Dieter

Decision Date12 October 1976
Docket NumberNo. 75-1547,75-1547
Citation50 L.Ed.2d 8,429 U.S. 6,97 S.Ct. 18
PartiesUNITED STATES v. Frank Daniel DIETER
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

PER CURIAM.

The respondent was indicted in early 1973 for violating 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) after a search at a permanent immigration traffic checkpoint in New Mexico of a vehicle in which he was a passenger had turned up a substantial quantity of marihuana. His motion to suppress the marihuana was initially denied by the District Court. Thereafter, this Court ruled in Almeida-Sanchez v. United States, 413 U.S. 266, 93 S.Ct. 2535, 37 L.Ed.2d 596 (1973), that a warrantless roving patrol search of a vehicle conducted without probable cause on a road removed from the border, violated the Fourth Amendment. The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit subsequently ruled in United States v. King, 485 F.2d 353 (10 Cir. 1973), and United States v. Maddox, 485 F.2d 361 (10 Cir. 1973), that Almeida-Sanchez should be applied retroactively.1 The District Court then reconsidered the respondent's motion to suppress, and on October 4, 1974, dismissed the indictment.

On October 16, 1974, the Government filed a "Motion to Set Aside (the) Order of Dismissal" on the ground that the facts in this case were materially different from those in Almeida-Sanchez and that "the Order dismissing the case was entered through inadvertence." On November 6, 1974, the District Court denied the motion on the ground that it had "no authority or jurisdiction" to set aside the order. On November 7, 1974, the Government filed a notice of appeal.

(1) The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal, holding that it was untimely because the notice of appeal had not been filed until 34 days after entry of the October 4 order and hence fell outside the 30-day limitation period for a Government appeal from an order dismissing an indictment.2 The appellate court held that the October 4 order was final for purposes of appeal, notwithstanding the Government's October 16 motion to set aside that order. In denying the Government's petition for rehearing and suggestion for rehearing en banc, the court recognized that in United States v. Healy, 376 U.S. 75, 84 S.Ct. 553, 11 L.Ed.2d 527 (1964), decided at a time when a Government appeal from an order dismissing an indictment was taken directly to this Court rather than to a court of appeals, we held that the 30-day limitation period runs from the denial of a timely petition in the District Court for rehearing, rather than from the date of the order itself. The Court of Appeals reasoned, however, that Healy did not control because the post-dismissal motion there involved "was directed squarely at an alleged error of law committed by the trial court," whereas in this case the Government's motion "to set aside on the grounds of mistake or inadvertence was an entirely different species of pleading . . . ." App. to Pet. for Cert. 4A.

(2) The Court of Appeals misconceived the basis of our decision in Healy. We noted there that the consistent practice in civil and criminal cases alike has been to treat timely petitions for rehearing as rendering the original judgment nonfinal for purposes of appeal for as long as the petition is pending. 376 U.S., at 78-79, 84 S.Ct., at 555-56.3 To have held otherwise might have prolonged litigation and unnecessarily burdened this Court, since plenary consideration of an issue by an appellate court ordinarily requires more time than is required for disposition by a trial court of a petition for rehearing. Id., at 80, 84 S.Ct., at 556. The fact that appeals are now routed to the courts of appeals does not affect the wisdom of giving district courts the opportunity promptly to correct their own alleged errors, and we must likewise be...

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  • Browder v. Director, Department of Corrections of Illinois
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • January 10, 1978
    ...November 18 was timely because it was filed within the 30-day period allowed for appeal, as was the case in United States v. Dieter, 429 U.S. 6, 97 S.Ct. 18, 50 L.Ed.2d 8 (1976). In relying upon Dieter, respondent misconceives our holding in that case. There the Court followed United States......
  • United States v. Thorne
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    ...of such motions." United States v. Ferguson , 574 F. Supp. 2d 111, 113 (D.D.C. 2008) ; see also United States v. Dieter , 429 U.S. 6, 8, 97 S.Ct. 18, 50 L.Ed.2d 8 (1976) (per curiam) (noting "the wisdom of giving district courts the opportunity promptly to correct their own alleged errors" ......
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    • July 13, 1992
    ...like a petition for rehearing, renders the original judgment nonfinal for purposes of appeal, see United States v. Dieter, 429 U.S. 6, 7-8, 97 S.Ct. 18, 19, 50 L.Ed.2d 8 (1976).2 Other than Rothseiden the only cases relied upon by the Vastola court were appeals by a defendant, whose appeals......
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