United States v. Manuszak

Decision Date13 July 1977
Docket NumberCrim. No. 73-647.
Citation438 F. Supp. 613
PartiesUNITED STATES of America v. Alfred Henry MANUSZAK a/k/a Sassy Doc.
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Joel M. Friedman, Philadelphia Strike Force, Philadelphia, Pa., for plaintiff.

Donald J. Goldberg, Philadelphia, Pa., for respondent.


DITTER, District Judge.

The question presented in this case is whether probation may be revoked upon the basis of court-authorized wiretap evidence without first giving the probationer an opportunity to litigate the validity of the wiretap. Reluctantly, I conclude that it may not.

On January 30, 1974, respondent, Alfred Henry Manuszak, also known as "Sassy Doc," plead guilty to operating an illegal gambling business in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1955. I imposed a fine of $4,000., suspended sentence of imprisonment, and placed Manuszak on probation for a period of three years upon the condition, inter alia, that he "refrain from any unlawful conduct." Subsequently, on January 27th of this year, the government petitioned to have Manuszak's probation revoked on the grounds that he has continued to engage in illegal gambling activities. The evidence upon which the government intends to rely at the revocation hearing consists of a telephone conversation between Manuszak and another individual which was intercepted pursuant to a wiretap order initially entered by Judge Broderick and extended by Judge Newcomer. After the petition was filed Manuszak requested that the government supply him with copies of the original and extension wiretap applications, orders, and supporting affidavits so that he might file a motion to suppress the intercepted conversations. Since Local Rule of Criminal Procedure 16(b) requires that motions to suppress evidence derived from electronic surveillance be heard by the judge who originally authorized it, in effect respondent requests this court to stay his probation revocation hearing until after Judge Broderick has ruled on his motion to suppress.

The government resists disclosure1 of the requested items and opposes staying the revocation hearing on the grounds that these measures are unnecessary since, in its view, respondent is not entitled to test the validity of wire interceptions as a prerequisite to the use of evidence derived therefrom in a probation revocation proceeding. Two arguments are advanced by the government in support of its position. First, it contends that the legality of the interceptions is simply immaterial because the exclusionary rule does not apply to probation revocation proceedings. Alternatively, the government contends that even if the exclusionary rule does apply to probation revocation proceedings, this court's review of the legality of the interceptions should be limited to an in camera inspection of the court orders to see if they are facially valid.2 The respondent takes issue with both of the government's arguments.

At the outset it is important to note that respondent does not and could not rely on the exclusionary rule developed by the courts as a remedy designed to safeguard fourth amendment rights through its supposed deterrent effect. See Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (1961); Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383, 34 S.Ct. 341, 58 L.Ed. 652 (1914). Numerous cases have held that this judicially created doctrine has no application in the probation revocation context. See, e. g., United States v. Vandemark, 522 F.2d 1019 (9th Cir. 1975); United States v. Winsett, 518 F.2d 51 (9th Cir. 1975); United States v. Farmer, 512 F.2d 160, 162-63 (6th Cir. 1975); United States v. Brown, 488 F.2d 94, 95 (5th Cir. 1973); United States ex rel. Sperling v. Fitzpatrick, 426 F.2d 1161 (2d Cir. 1970) (parole revocation). Rather, respondent relies on the statutory exclusionary rule contained in Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Section 802, as amended, 18 U.S.C. § 25153 which, he contends, provides a significantly broader exclusionary remedy where illegal electronic surveillance is involved than does the judicially created exclusionary rule. The government disputes that this statute has a broader sweep than its judicially created counterpart, yet in support of its position it relies primarily on cases which have refused to apply the judicially created rule to non-wiretap evidence in a variety of contexts. These cases are not controlling in the matter at hand.4

The only authority supporting the government's position that the statutory exclusionary rules does not apply to probation revocation proceedings is United States v. Caron, 474 F.2d 506, 509-10 (5th Cir. 1973), in which the court held that Section 2515 did not proscribe the use of evidence obtained by unlawful wiretapping for impeachment purposes.5 In reaching its decision on the statutory point the court relied on a certain passage in the legislative history of Title III as evidencing Congress' intent that Section 2515 was not to expand the exclusionary rule beyond the confines of the judicially-created doctrine. The passage in question, contained in the Senate Report on the bill that included Title III, states:

Section 2515 of the new chapter imposes an evidentiary sanction to compel compliance with the other prohibitions of the chapter. It provides that intercepted wire or oral communications or evidence derived therefrom may not be received in evidence in any proceeding before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision of a State, where the disclosure of that information would be in violation of this chapter. The provision must, of course, be read in light of section 2518(10)(a) discussed below, which defines the class entitled to make a motion to suppress. It largely reflects existing law. It applies to suppress evidence directly (Nardone v. United States, 58 S.Ct. 275, 302 U.S. 379 82 L.Ed. 314 (1937)) or indirectly obtained in violation of the chapter. (Nardone v. United States, 60 S.Ct. 266, 308 U.S. 338 84 L.Ed. 307 (1939).) There is, however, no intention to change the attenuation rule. See Nardone v. United States, 127 F.2d 521 (2d), certiorari denied, 62 S.Ct. 1296, 316 U.S. 698 86 L.Ed. 1767 (1942); Wong Sun v. United States, 83 S.Ct. 407, 371 U.S. 471 9 L.Ed.2d 441 (1963). Nor generally to press the scope of the suppression role beyond present search and seizure law. See Walder v. United States, 74 S.Ct. 354, 347 U.S. 62 98 L.Ed. 503 (1954).

S.Rep.No.1097, 90th Cong., 2d Sess., 1968 U.S.Code Cong. & Adm.News, pp. 2184-85 (emphasis added), quoted in Caron, supra, at 509-10.

The problem with the quoted statement is that it is in fundamental conflict with the language of the statute itself, which plainly does extend the scope of the suppression remedy beyond conventional search and seizure law by providing that unlawfully intercepted communications may not be received in evidence "in any trial, hearing or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, . . . etc." (Emphasis added.) The most obvious example of the expanded scope of the statutory exclusionary rule is found in the grand jury context. It traditionally has been the rule that the grand jury may consider incompetent or illegally obtained evidence and that an indictment based upon such evidence is not subject to challenge. See United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 94 S.Ct. 613, 38 L.Ed.2d 561 (1974); United States v. Blue, 384 U.S. 251, 86 S.Ct. 1416, 16 L.Ed.2d 510 (1966); Lawn v. United States, 355 U.S. 339, 78 S.Ct. 311, 2 L.Ed.2d 321 (1958); Costello v. United States, 350 U.S. 359, 76 S.Ct. 406, 100 L.Ed. 397 (1956). Yet Section 2515 specifically excludes from use by the grand jury evidence derived from unlawful electronic surveillance. See Gelbard v. United States, 408 U.S. 41, 92 S.Ct. 2357, 33 L.Ed.2d 179 (1972). While disagreeing with the majority over the right of a grand jury witness to raise Section 2515 as a defense to a contempt charge brought for failure to answer questions based on information obtained through allegedly unlawful wiretapping, even the dissenters in Gelbard agreed that the statute "prohibits the use of illegally overheard . . . communications before grand juries as well as other governmental bodies." Id. at 72-73, 92 S.Ct. at 2373-74 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting). In Calandra, Mr. Justice Powell, who was one of the dissenters in Gelbard, offered the following explanation for the differing results reached in the two cases:

The dissent's reliance on Gelbard v. United States, 408 U.S. 41, 92 S.Ct. 2357, 33 L.Ed.2d 179 (1972), is misplaced. . . The Court's holding in Gelbard rested exclusively on the interpretation of Tit. III, which represented a congressional effort to afford special safeguards against the unique problems posed by misuse of wiretapping and electronic surveillance. There was no indication, in either Gelbard or the legislative history, that Tit. III was regarded as a restatement of existing law with respect to grand jury proceedings. As Mr. Justice White noted in his concurring opinion in Gelbard, Tit. III "unquestionably works a change in the law with respect to the rights of grand jury witnesses . . ." 408 U.S. at 70, 92 S.Ct. at 2372.

Calandra, supra at 355 n. 11, 94 S.Ct. at 623 (emphasis added).

Taken together, the combined force of Gelbard, Calandra, and the plain language of Section 2515 are sufficiently compelling to override the single passage in the legislative history relied on in Caron6 and to convince me that the statute does indeed create a broader exclusionary rule than the judicially-created one. And since it cannot be disputed that a probation revocation proceeding is a "proceeding" within the meaning of Section 2515, I conclude that the statutory exclusionary rule is applicable here.

The government's fallback position is that...

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13 cases
  • United States v. Cianfrani
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • March 27, 1978
    ...admissible even in probation violation proceedings. This view was likewise adopted by our colleague Judge Ditter in United States v. Manuszak, 438 F.Supp. 613 (E.D.Pa.1977). As far as we can ascertain, the Title III exclusionary rule is still strong. We note that those courts that have rest......
  • USA v. Forrester
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • July 30, 2010
    ...applications in their entirety before using the evidence derived from the wiretaps. Id. at 1062-63; see also United States v. Manuszak, 438 F.Supp. 613, 619, 625 (E.D.Pa.1977) (“Unlike Section 2518(8)(d) ... which gives the court discretion to deny access to the order and application, Secti......
  • U.S. v. Forrester
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • January 5, 2010
    ...applications in their entirety before using the evidence derived from the wiretaps. Id. at 1062-63; see also United States v. Manuszak, 438 F.Supp. 613, 619, 625 (E.D.Pa.1977) ("Unlike Section 2518(8)(d) ... which gives the court discretion to deny access to the order and application, Secti......
  • United States v. Vest
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Massachusetts
    • July 2, 1986
    ...— if defect it is — is inherent in the statute as written, and its correction must lie with Congress"). See also United States v. Manuszak, 438 F.Supp. 613, 619 (E.D.Pa.1977) (rejecting contention that court should apply narrower judicial exclusionary rule rather than broadly sweeping statu......
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