United States v. Michael, No. 9473.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMARIS, McLAUGHLIN and KALODNER, Circuit
Citation180 F.2d 55
Decision Date29 December 1949
Docket NumberNo. 9473.
PartiesUNITED STATES v. MICHAEL et al.

180 F.2d 55 (1949)

UNITED STATES
v.
MICHAEL et al.

No. 9473.

United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit.

Reargued November 21, 1949.

Decided December 29, 1949.

Rehearing Denied March 13, 1950.

Writ of Certiorari Denied June 5, 1950.


Robert T. McCracken, Philadelphia, Pa. (George G. Chandler, Philadelphia, Pa., J Julius Levy, Scranton, Pa., on the brief), for appellant.

M. H. Goldschein, Washington, D. C., for appellee.

Before MARIS, McLAUGHLIN and KALODNER, Circuit Judges.

Writ of Certiorari Denied June 5, 1950. See 70 S.Ct. 1023.

MARIS, Circuit Judge.

George L. Fenner, Sr. and Harry S. Knight were convicted in the District

180 F.2d 56
Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania under an indictment in which they were charged jointly with Robert Michael, Homer N. Davis and Donald M. Johnson of violating Section 29, subdivision a, of the Bankruptcy Act, 11 U.S. C.A. § 52, sub. a, and of conspiring to commit the substantive offenses charged. Michael pleaded guilty and Davis and Johnson were acquitted. Knight alone appealed. Concluding that the evidence did not support the charges made in the indictment we reversed his conviction and directed his acquittal. 3 Cir., 169 F.2d 1001. On certiorari, the Supreme Court disagreed with our view of the evidence, reversed our judgment and remanded the case to us for further proceedings. 336 U.S. 505, 69 S.Ct. 704. We thereupon set the case down for reargument of certain other questions which the appellant had raised and which neither this court nor the Supreme Court had decided. These questions have now been fully reargued and we accordingly proceed to their consideration

The first is the appellant's contention that the district court erred in dismissing his plea in abatement which was based upon the fact, as he alleges, that the indictment was not found within a period of three years after the commission of the offense. Section 29, subdivision d, of the Bankruptcy Act, as amended, and in force when this indictment was acted on, provided: "d. A person shall not be prosecuted for any offense arising under this act unless the indictment is found or the information is filed in court within three years after the commission of the offense: * * *." 52 Stat. 856.

The factual basis of this contention will be stated briefly. The offense was alleged to have been committed on or about April 24, 1942. On April 20, 1945 the grand jury brought the indictment in question into an open session of the district court. It was endorsed "A True Bill" by the foreman. The indictment was handed by the grand jury to the judge of the district court who, without publicly stating its contents or the names of the accused, sealed it in an envelope and handed it to the clerk with an order directing that it be impounded. The clerk made a notation on the criminal docket of the order for impoundment without indicating the names of the defendants or the nature of the offenses charged and kept the indictment in his safe thus impounded until June 13, 1945. On that date the sealed indictment was delivered by the clerk to the judge of the district court in open court who thereupon opened it and delivered it to the clerk with instructions to file it, as of April 20, 1945. The clerk thereupon publicly announced the indictment, regularly filed it in his office and made the appropriate entries on his criminal docket.

The appellant argues that in view of its impoundment the indictment was not "found" within the meaning of the statute of limitations prior to April 24, 1945, the last day of the statutory period of three years. We do not agree. The finding of an indictment is the function of the grand jury. When an indictment has been submitted to the...

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34 practice notes
  • United States v. Bryant, Criminal Case No. 3:04cr00047-1
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • January 31, 2013
    ...jury foreperson and indicates that it is a true bill; that is, a quorum of grand jurors agreed to indict."); United States v. Michael, 180 F.2d 55, 56 (3d Cir. 1950) ("The finding of an indictment is the function of the grand jury. When an indictment has been submitted to the grand jury by ......
  • U.S. v. Southland Corp., Nos. 479
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • April 23, 1985
    ...Rule can justify the sealing of an indictment. There is a surprising dearth of authority upon the subject. In United States v. Michael, 180 F.2d 55, 57 (3 Cir.1949), cert. denied sub nom. United States v. Knight, 339 U.S. 978, 70 S.Ct. 1023, 94 L.Ed. 1383 (1950), decided only three years af......
  • U.S. v. Levine, No. 80-2648
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • September 24, 1981
    ...of interests of state and accused renders speedy trial claim inseparable from merits). Thus, this Court in United States v. Michael, 180 F.2d 55 (3d Cir. 1949), cert. denied, 339 U.S. 978, 70 S.Ct. 1023, 94 L.Ed. 1383 (1950), held that a timely-filed sealed indictment satisfied the statute ......
  • US v. Maling, No. CR. 88-116-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • April 23, 1990
    ...whatsoever at the time of its request for sealing. See Lakin, 875 F.2d at 171; Srulowitz, 819 F.2d at 41; United States v. Michael, 180 F.2d 55, 57 (3d Cir.1949), cert. denied, 339 U.S. 978, 70 S.Ct. 1023, 94 L.Ed. 1383 (1950). Under these cases, the sealing is proper so long as the governm......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • United States v. Bryant, Criminal Case No. 3:04cr00047-1
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • January 31, 2013
    ...jury foreperson and indicates that it is a true bill; that is, a quorum of grand jurors agreed to indict."); United States v. Michael, 180 F.2d 55, 56 (3d Cir. 1950) ("The finding of an indictment is the function of the grand jury. When an indictment has been submitted to the grand jury by ......
  • U.S. v. Southland Corp., Nos. 479
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • April 23, 1985
    ...Rule can justify the sealing of an indictment. There is a surprising dearth of authority upon the subject. In United States v. Michael, 180 F.2d 55, 57 (3 Cir.1949), cert. denied sub nom. United States v. Knight, 339 U.S. 978, 70 S.Ct. 1023, 94 L.Ed. 1383 (1950), decided only three years af......
  • U.S. v. Levine, No. 80-2648
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • September 24, 1981
    ...of interests of state and accused renders speedy trial claim inseparable from merits). Thus, this Court in United States v. Michael, 180 F.2d 55 (3d Cir. 1949), cert. denied, 339 U.S. 978, 70 S.Ct. 1023, 94 L.Ed. 1383 (1950), held that a timely-filed sealed indictment satisfied the statute ......
  • US v. Maling, No. CR. 88-116-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • April 23, 1990
    ...whatsoever at the time of its request for sealing. See Lakin, 875 F.2d at 171; Srulowitz, 819 F.2d at 41; United States v. Michael, 180 F.2d 55, 57 (3d Cir.1949), cert. denied, 339 U.S. 978, 70 S.Ct. 1023, 94 L.Ed. 1383 (1950). Under these cases, the sealing is proper so long as the governm......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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