Zinser v. Federal Petroleum Board

Decision Date14 June 1945
Docket NumberNo. 11177.,11177.
Citation148 F.2d 993
PartiesZINSER et al. v. FEDERAL PETROLEUM BOARD.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit

John D. Glass, of Tyler, Tex., for appellants.

John D. Rienstra, Asst. U. S. Atty., of Beaumont, Tex., for appellee.

Before HOLMES, McCORD, and WALLER, Circuit Judges.

McCORD, Circuit Judge.

Federal Petroleum Board applied to the court for orders requiring Eugene S. Zinser and W. A. Brewer to give testimony touching the movement of oil by certain named companies and parties. Both Zinser and Brewer had been summoned to appear before the Board to answer under oath questions propounded to them, but they declined and refused to answer such questions. After a hearing the court entered orders requiring both Zinser and Brewer to answer the questions. Thereafter, and on motion, the court consolidated the two cases, and we have only one appeal.

Federal Petroleum Board inaugurated an investigation into the activities of certain corporations and individuals with reference to the movement of unknown quantities of oil through various pipe lines and gathering systems owned and operated by companies which were engaged in handling oil in the East Texas oil fields. The investigation was inaugurated to determine whether offenses concerning the "Connally Hot Oil Act", 15 U.S.C.A. § 715 et seq., were being or had been committed by the named concerns, especially with respect to the production, transportation and withdrawing from storage of petroleum oil and its products, and to inquire into the truth of reports made by one of the companies and filed with the Board with respect to such movements of oil.

Eugene S. Zinser and W. A. Brewer were employed by certain of the corporations under investigation as Field Gaugers. Zinser had worked for his company for three or four years, and Brewer had worked for his company six or seven years. The Board sought the evidence of Zinser and Brewer in an effort to throw light upon the movement of oil and its products by their companies. Both appellants appeared and were sworn and were informed by the Board that they would not be required to answer questions if such answers elicited would incriminate them. They declined and refused to answer many of the questions for the reason that such answers would either "incriminate" them or for "personal reasons." The Board was careful to safeguard their every constitutional right and went further and guaranteed to each of them immunity in the event any answer made would in any wise incriminate them.

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2 cases
  • United States v. Brumfield
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Louisiana
    • August 23, 1949
    ...civil liability on the part of persons concerned. Genecov et al. v. Federal Petroleum Board, 5 Cir., 146 F.2d 596; Zinser v. Federal Petroleum Board, 5 Cir., 148 F.2d 993. This ruling applies also to U. S. v. Edmonson, et al., No. 12,205, in so far as similar motions therein are 2. As to th......
  • Kilgore Nat. Bank v. Federal Petroleum Board
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • January 15, 1954
    ...Board, 5 Cir., 146 F.2d 596. See also Oklahoma Press Pub. Co. v. Walling, 327 U.S. 186, 66 S.Ct. 494, 90 L.Ed. 614; Zinser v. Federal Petroleum Board, 5 Cir., 148 F.2d 993; President of the United States v. Skeen, 5 Cir., 118 F.2d 58, 59.6 It therefore seems clear that the Board's stated fi......

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