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Molinaro v. New Jersey

U.S.
Jan 19, 1970
396 U.S. 365 (1970)

Summary

holding bailed defendant became a fugitive because he "failed to surrender himself to state authorities" when required

Summary of this case from Kupperstein v. Schall (In re Kupperstein)

Opinion

APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

No. 663.

Decided January 19, 1970

The Court, absent any contrary provision in the statute under which the appeal in this criminal case was made, declines to adjudicate the merits since appellant who was free on bail refused to surrender himself to state authorities and is now a fugitive from justice.

54 N.J. 246, 254 A.2d 792, appeal dismissed.

Burrell Ives Humphreys for appellant.


This case comes to the Court on appeal from the New Jersey state courts, which have affirmed appellant Molinaro's conviction for abortion and conspiracy to commit abortion. We are informed by both appellant's counsel and counsel for the State that Molinaro, who was free on bail, has failed to surrender himself to state authorities. His bail has been revoked, and the State considers him a fugitive from justice. Under these circumstances we decline to adjudicate his case.

The Court has faced such a situation before, in Smith v. United States, 94 U.S. 97 (1876), and Bonahan v. Nebraska, 125 U.S. 692 (1887). In each of those cases, which were before the Court on writs of error, the Court ordered the case removed from the docket upon receiving information that the plaintiff in error had escaped from custody. In Smith, the case was dismissed at the beginning of the following Term. See 18 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 427, 430 (1950). In Bonahan, the case was stricken from the docket on the last day of the Term in which it arose. See also National Union v. Arnold, 348 U.S. 37, 43 (1954); Eisler v. United States, 338 U.S. 189 and 883 (1949); Allen v. Georgia, 166 U.S. 138 (1897). No persuasive reason exists why this Court should proceed to adjudicate the merits of a criminal case after the convicted defendant who has sought review escapes from the restraints placed upon him pursuant to the conviction. While such an escape does not strip the case of its character as an adjudicable case or controversy, we believe it disentitles the defendant to call upon the resources of the Court for determination of his claims. In the absence of specific provision to the contrary in the statute under which Molinaro appeals, 28 U.S.C. § 1257 (2), we conclude, in light of the Smith and Bonahan decisions, that the Court has the authority to dismiss the appeal on this ground. The dismissal need not await the end of the Term or the expiration of a fixed period of time, but should take place at this time.

It is so ordered.

MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS concurs in the result.


Summaries of

Molinaro v. New Jersey

U.S.
Jan 19, 1970
396 U.S. 365 (1970)

holding bailed defendant became a fugitive because he "failed to surrender himself to state authorities" when required

Summary of this case from Kupperstein v. Schall (In re Kupperstein)

holding that a fugitive is disentitled from calling upon the resources of the court for determination of their claims

Summary of this case from Yuan v. City of L.A.

holding that fugitive criminal defendant is not entitled to call upon resources of court for determination of his claims

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Torres

holding that convicted defendant's escape warranted dismissal of his appeal

Summary of this case from Dixon v. Toole

finding "[n]o persuasive reason" to adjudicate the merits of a criminal case after a convicted defendant's escape

Summary of this case from Taveras v. Smith

determining that the fugitive waived his rights under the justice system and thus was "disentitle[d]" to his normal rights

Summary of this case from Commonwealth v. Adams

In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365 (1970), we declined to adjudicate a defendant's case because he fled after appealing his state conviction.

Summary of this case from Ortega-Rodriguez v. United States

In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the fugitive disentitlement doctrine and dismissed a state defendant's direct appeal to the United States Supreme Court because the state defendant was a fugitive from justice.

Summary of this case from Lynn v. U.S.

dismissing appeal because defendant's refusal to surrender to authorities "disentitles [him] to call upon the resources of the Court for determination of his claims"

Summary of this case from Lynn v. U.S.

stating that the dismissal of an appeal of a convicted defendant who has escaped from prison need not "await . . . the expiration of a fixed period of time"

Summary of this case from Lynn v. U.S.

In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970), the Supreme Court initially agreed to hear an appeal by a criminal defendant convicted in New Jersey of abortion and conspiracy to commit abortion.

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Awadalla

In Molinaro, in which the Supreme Court dismissed with prejudice the appeal of a felon who failed to surrender to state authorities after his bail expired, the Court did not rely on the distinction drawn in Eisler between formal resistance to an appellate court's jurisdiction and mere jailbreaks.

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Awadalla

noting that an appellant's fugitive status does not strip a case of its character as an adjudicable case or controversy

Summary of this case from Pesin v. Rodriguez

In Molinari v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365 (1970), the Court refused to adjudicate the appeal of a convicted abortionist who refused to surrender himself to authorities after he was released on bail.

Summary of this case from Brown v. O'Dea

declining to adjudicate appellant's criminal appeal where appellant was a fugitive from justice in that case

Summary of this case from Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Pharaon

In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365 (1970), the Court declined to adjudicate the appeal of a defendant convicted of crimes in state court who failed to surrender to state authorities.

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Lanier

coining doctrine of disentitlement

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Delagarza-Villarreal

discussing fugitive-from-justice doctrine

Summary of this case from United Elec. Wkrs. v. 163 Pleasant St. Corp.

In Molinaro, 396 U.S. at 366, 90 S.Ct. at 499, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of a criminal conviction when the defendant failed to surrender himself to state authorities.

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Van Cauwenberghe

In Molinaro, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. at 498, the criminal defendant had escaped while his direct appeal was pending before the Supreme Court, which thereupon summarily and unconditionally dismissed the appeal, observing that a court should not deal with the merits of an appeal while the defendant who seeks review of the conviction deliberately absconds from the legal restraints imposed as a result of the same conviction.

Summary of this case from United States v. Eng

In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970), the United States Supreme Court held that it need not adjudicate the pending appeal of a fugitive.

Summary of this case from Katz v. U.S.

In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970), the Supreme Court ruled that an appellate court could dismiss the appeal from a criminal conviction if the defendant-appellant has become a fugitive from justice.

Summary of this case from U.S. v. One Parcel of Real Estate Dade Cty

In Molinaro, the Supreme Court explained that "such an escape... disentitles the defendant to call upon the resources of the Court for determination of his claims."

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Persico

In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970), the Supreme Court held that "[no] persuasive reason exists" why it should proceed to adjudicate the merits of a criminal case after the convicted defendant who had sought review had escaped.

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Puzzanghera

In Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970), the Supreme Court dismissed a defendant's appeal from a criminal conviction because, following his conviction, he had fled.

Summary of this case from Ali v. Sims
Case details for

Molinaro v. New Jersey

Case Details

Full title:MOLINARO v . NEW JERSEY

Court:U.S.

Date published: Jan 19, 1970

Citations

396 U.S. 365 (1970)
90 S. Ct. 498

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