United States v. Dreos, Crim. No. 23812.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
Writing for the CourtGeorge C. Dreos, pro se
Citation156 F. Supp. 200
Docket NumberCrim. No. 23812.
Decision Date11 October 1957
PartiesUNITED STATES of America v. George C. DREOS.

156 F. Supp. 200

George C. DREOS.

Crim. No. 23812.

United States District Court D. Maryland. Criminal Division

October 11, 1957.

156 F. Supp. 201

Leon H. A. Pierson, U. S. Atty., and William J. Evans, Asst. U. S. Atty., Baltimore, Md., for plaintiff.

George C. Dreos, pro se.

THOMSEN, Chief Judge.

The information in this case charges that: "On or about the 15th day of August, 1956, in Prince George's County, in the State and District of Maryland, George C. Dreos did, on lands reserved or defined for use of the United States and under the concurrent jurisdiction of the United States and the State of Maryland, to wit, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, operate a motor vehicle * * * at a rate of speed exceeding fifty-five (55) miles per hour. U.S.C. Title 18, Sections 7(3) and 13, Annotated Code of Maryland, (1951), Art. 66½, Sec. 176."1

156 F. Supp. 202

Defendant, a lawyer, raises three issues: (1) jurisdiction, (2) use of radar equipment in determining the speed of the car, and (3) proof of criminal intent.

(1) Defendant states the first issue as follows:

"Whether this Court has jurisdiction of this case in view of the provision of the U. S. Constitution, to wit: Article I, Section 8, Clause 17, which provides that `the Federal Government shall exercise exclusive legislation * * * over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings' and Article 4 of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of Maryland which provides, `That the people of this State have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof, as a free sovereign and independent State'?"

He concedes that the Government properly acquired legal title to the land upon which the Washington half of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway was built, over which he is charged with speeding, and concedes that the term "building" in Art. I, sec. 8, clause 17 includes "whatever structures are found to be necessary in the performance of the functions of the federal government". James v. Dravo Contracting Co., 302 U.S. 134, 58 S.Ct. 208, 213, 82 L.Ed. 155. He contends, however, that highway roadbeds are not structures and that the Federal Government did not acquire either exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction over the land condemned for the construction of the parkway.

Defendant's statement of the issue is too narrow. For the reasons set out below, concurrent legislative jurisdiction in the United States sufficient to justify the enactment and enforcement of the law under which defendant is prosecuted in this case may be sustained either under Art. I, sec. 8, clause 17, quoted above, or under Art. IV, sec. 3, clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States, which reads as follows:

"The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State."

The problem of jurisdiction over federal areas within the states is difficult and complicated. It is the subject of a recent two volume report entitled "Jurisdiction over Federal Areas within the States", prepared by an Interdepartmental Committee and published by the Government Printing Office, vol. 1 in 1956 and vol. 2 in 1957. This report considers at great length the legislative, administrative and judicial history of the problem over the years, and analyzes the present situation in the several states with respect to land acquired and held by the Federal Government for various purposes. I will not repeat that historical discussion, but will refer only to the Federal and State statutes which affect this case.

156 F. Supp. 203

The Baltimore-Washington Parkway is divided into two roughly equal parts. The Baltimore half was built by the State of Maryland on land owned by the State; the Washington half was built by the Federal Government on land owned by the United States.

The Washington half, comprising a small portion within the District of Columbia and a much larger portion within the territorial boundaries of the State of Maryland, is regarded as an extension of the park system of the District of Columbia and its environs; it was constructed and developed and is administered and maintained by the Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, subject to the provisions of the Act of Congress of Aug. 25, 1916, 39 Stat. 535, 5 U.S.C.A. § 485, the provisions of which were extended over and made applicable to the parkway by the Act of Aug. 3, 1950, 64 Stat. 400. See also 16 U.S.C.A. §§ 1c, 2, 3, and 40 U.S.C.A. §§ 70 to 74, together with notes and annotations thereto.

The parkway passes through areas acquired by the Federal Government at different times and for different purposes, so the several areas do not have the same legislative jurisdictional status. Portions of the land on which the parkway was built were acquired originally by the War Department (where the road passes through Fort George G. Meade), by the Department of Agriculture (near Beltsville), and by the Resettlement Division (near Greenbelt). The portion on which the offense charged in this case occurred was acquired in 1944 through condemnation proceedings in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Civil No. 2272.2

Before 1943 the Maryland Code contained the three sections quoted below, which were enacted by chap. 743 of the Acts of 1906. They are now codified as secs. 31, 35 and 36 of Art. 96 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, 1951 ed.

"31. The consent of the State of Maryland is hereby given in accordance with the seventeenth
156 F. Supp. 204
clause, eighth section of the first article of the constitution of the United States, to the acquisition by the United States by purchase, condemnation or otherwise of any land in this State required for sites for custom houses, courthouses, post-offices, arsenals or other public buildings whatever, or for any other purposes of the government."
"35. Exclusive jurisdiction in and over any land so acquired by the United States shall be and the same is hereby ceded to the United States for all purposes except the service upon such sites of all civil and criminal process of the courts of this State, but the jurisdiction so ceded shall continue no longer than the said United States shall own such lands."
"36. The jurisdiction ceded shall not vest until the United States shall have acquired the title to said lands by purchase, condemnation or otherwise; and so long as the said lands shall remain the property of the United States when acquired as aforesaid, and no longer, the same shall be and continue exempt and exonerated from all State, county and municipal taxation, assessment, or other charges which may be levied or imposed under the authority of this State."

In 1943 the Maryland Legislature passed two acts, chap. 644, now codified as sec. 32 of Art. 96, and chap. 687, now codified as sec. 46. They provide:

"32. The consent of the State of Maryland is hereby given, in accordance with the Seventeenth Clause, Eighth Section of the First Article of the Constitution of the United States, to the acquisition by the United States by purchase, condemnation, gift or otherwise of any land, rights of way, easements, etc., in this State required or needed by the United States for the construction of a parkway, highway, motorway or freeway between the City of Washington, D. C., and the City of Baltimore, Maryland, the consent hereby given to apply particularly to all parklands acquired or to be acquired in the name of the State of Maryland by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission pursuant to the authority of Chapter 448 of the Acts of 1927, as amended. * * *"
"46. Notwithstanding anything contained in any of the sections of this Article to the contrary the State of Maryland hereby reserves as to all lands within the State hereafter acquired by the United States or any agency thereof, whether by purchase, lease, condemnation or otherwise, and as to all property, persons and transactions on any such lands, jurisdiction and authority to the fullest extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States and not inconsistent with the Governmental uses, purposes, and functions for which the land was acquired or is used. Nothing in this section shall be deemed or construed to restrict the jurisdiction and authority of the State over any lands heretofore acquired by the United States, or any agency thereof, or over property, persons or transactions on any such lands."

Sec. 46 (chap. 687 of the Acts of 1943) was probably inspired (a) by the decision of the Supreme Court in James v. Dravo Contracting Co., 302 U.S. 134, 58 S.Ct. 208, 82 L.Ed. 155, which clearly recognized the possibility of concurrent legislative jurisdiction under Art. 1, sec. 8, cl. 17 of the Constitution, and (b) by the amendments of R.S. 355 effected by the Act of Feb. 1, 1940, 54 Stat. 19, and the Act of Oct. 9, 1940, 54 Stat. 1083, 40 U.S.C.A. § 255. In 1943 and 1944 the relevant portion of what is now 40 U.S.C.A. § 255 read as follows:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the obtaining of exclusive jurisdiction in the United States over lands or interests therein which have been or shall hereafter be
156 F. Supp. 205
acquired by it shall not be required; but the head or other authorized officer of any department or independent establishment or agency of the Government may, in such cases and at such times as he may deem desirable, accept or secure from the

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