United States v. John Morgan, 463

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation32 S.Ct. 81,222 U.S. 274,56 L.Ed. 198
Docket NumberNo. 463,463
PartiesUNITED STATES, Plff. in Err., v. JOHN MORGAN and Alfred Y. Morgan
Decision Date11 December 1911

222 U.S. 274
32 S.Ct. 81
56 L.Ed. 198
UNITED STATES, Plff. in Err.,


JOHN MORGAN and Alfred Y. Morgan.

No. 463.
Argued and submitted October 19, 1911.
Decided December 11, 1911.

Page 275

The defendants maintained an establishment in New York where, after filtering Croton water drawn from the city pipes, adding mineral salts, and charging it with carbonic acid, the water was bottled and sold as 'Imperial Spring Water.' In October, 1908, a food and drug inspector applied to a druggist in Newark, New Jersey, for several bottles of this water. The druggist, not having them in stock, ordered them from the defendants, who shipped them from New York to the druggist in Newark. He delivered them to the inspector, who paid therefor.

The judge, in his opinion, treats the prosecution as having been instituted by the inspector, though this does not affirmatively appear in the record, and the defendants were not indicted until April, 1910, when they were found guilty of shipping misbranded goods in interstate commerce. They moved in arrest of judgment on the ground that it was not alleged that they had been given notice and a preliminary hearing by the Department of Agriculture, contending this was a condition precedent to the return of a valid indictment. The judge held that such hearing must be granted in all cases where the prosecution was instituted by the Department of Agriculture or its agent (181 Fed. 587), and from a later order sustaining the motion in arrest, the government brought the case here under criminal appeals act.

Solicitor General Lehmann and Messrs. Jesse C. Adkins and Loring C. Christie for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 275-277 intentionally omitted]

Page 277

Mr. Alexander Thain for defendants in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 277-279 intentionally omitted]

Page 279

Mr. Justice Lamer, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court:

The Federal courts have not agreed as to the effect of the provision for notice and hearing, found in § 4 of the pure food and drug act of June 30, 1906 (34 Stat. at L. 768, chap. 3915, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1909, p. 1187). United States v. Nine Barrels of Olives, 179 Fed. 984; United States v. Twenty Cases of Grape Juice, 189 Fed. 331. Whether it confers a right upon the defendant, or results in imposing a duty upon the district attorney, can be determined by a brief examination of a few of the provisions of the act.

Under the pure food law not only a manufacturer, but any dealer, shipping adulterated or misbranded goods in interstate commerce, is guilty of a misdemeanor. In aid of enforcement of the statute, it is made the duty of the Department of Agriculture to collect specimens of such articles so shipped, and the Bureau of Chemistry is required to analyze them. But, even if the specimen, on analysis, is found to be adulterated, there is no requirement that the case should be turned over at once to the district attorney, for the reason that the 'party from whom the sample was obtained' might be a dealer holding a guaranty from his vender that the articles were not adulterated. In such case the...

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52 cases
  • U.S. v. General Dynamics Corp., 86-5292
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • September 23, 1987
    ...an exception upon the criminal law would require a clear and unambiguous expression of the legislative will." United States v. Morgan, 222 U.S. 274, 282, 32 S.Ct. 81, 82, 56 L.Ed. 198 United States v. International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 701, 638 F.2d 1161, 1162 (9th Cir.1979),......
  • Cooper v. O'CONNOR, 6956.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 27, 1938
    ...1081); not only as concerned prosecution (United States v. Winston, 170 U.S. 522, 18 S.Ct. 701, 42 L.Ed. 1130; United States v. Morgan, 222 U.S. 274, 32 S.Ct. 81, 56 L.Ed. 198), but also the power to enter a nolle prosequi, dismiss, or refuse to prosecute.6 Moreover, as the allegation conce......
  • U.S. v. Laurenti, 767
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 19, 1978
    ...may employ language mandatory on its face without intending a penalty for the Government's failure to comply. See United States v. Morgan, 222 U.S. 274, 280-81, 32 S.Ct. 81, 56 L.Ed. 198 (1911); Cf. Scott v. United States, --- U.S. ----, ----, 98 S.Ct. 1717, 56 L.Ed.2d 168 (1978) (Brennan, ......
  • Albrecht v. United States, 9
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • January 3, 1927
    ...and on which there has been diversity of opinion in the lower courts, due in part to language in the opinions in United States v. Morgan, 222 U. S. 274, 282, 32 S. Ct. 81, 56 L. Ed. 198, and in United States v. Thompson, 251 U. S. 407, 413-414, 40 S. Ct. 289, 64 L. Ed. 333. The information ......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The Broken Fourth Amendment Oath.
    • United States
    • Stanford Law Review Vol. 74 No. 3, March 2022
    • March 1, 2022
    ...responsible"). (505.) E.g., United States v. Kennedy, 5 F.R.D. 310, 313 (D. Colo. 1946). (506.) Id. (507.) See United States v. Morgan, 222 U.S. 274, 282 (1911) (stating in dicta that the Fourth Amendment oath requires "some one having knowledge of facts showing ... probable cause"); Rice v......

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