Arceneaux v. Louisiana

PETITIONER: Arceneaux
RESPONDENT: Louisiana
LOCATION: Cumberland Hospital

DOCKET NO.: 76
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 376 US 336 (1964)
ARGUED: Jan 15, 1964
DECIDED: Mar 09, 1964

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Arceneaux v. Louisiana

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 15, 1964 (Part 1) in Arceneaux v. Louisiana

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 15, 1964 (Part 2) in Arceneaux v. Louisiana

J. Minos Simon:

Justice Black.

Yes sir I'll reserve remainder of my time Your Honors for rebuttal unless the Court should have questions for me.

Bertrand De Blanc:

May I proceed Your Honor?

May it please the Court.

Our position is that the question has become moot.

Our position is first that the question has become moot because there is no controversy, that there is no adversity that the relief sought cannot be granted and second that the District Court did not err in denying the accused a preliminary examination and third that the vagrancy laws are not vague, does not penalize our status and that the vagrancy laws have generally been held to be constitution and fourth that no federal question was presented, because no writ of habeas corpus was properly presented to any court.

Now Your Honors, I think that this case should be presented to Your Honors on the record and we should stick to the record and the record consists of an affidavit which was made against the accused charging him with vagrancy.

That there was a warrant issued for his arrest, a valid warrant issued for his arrest, a valid affidavit made out charging him with vagrancy of crime in the State of Louisiana and that he was found near a structure without being able to account for his presence therein, that was a motion for a preliminary examination made on his behalf by counsel, that after that the state filed a bill of information against the accused based upon the affidavit and based on the same offence.

(Inaudible)

Bertrand De Blanc:

There is no evidence Your Honors that he was ever arrested.

There is no evidence in the record as to what happened to the warrant, whether it was executed or not.

(Inaudible)

Bertrand De Blanc:

There is no record that he was ever in jail.

(Inaudible)

Bertrand De Blanc:

Yes he was, but that's --

(Inaudible)

Bertrand De Blanc:

Well Your Honor if I told you it would be yes hearsay.

I saw him in jail later on when he asked me to go out and talk to him wanting to plead guilty.

(Inaudible)

Bertrand De Blanc:

Yes Your Honor he was, but there is evidence, and the record does not contain that fact, so I don't know how this Court is able to determine that he was arrested, because the record doesn't show that.

William O. Douglas:

Do many people just report to jail, like the courtroom.

Bertrand De Blanc:

No it doesn't show that he was in jail.

William O. Douglas:

Mr. Lebank you saw him in jail, you said you saw him jail.

Bertrand De Blanc:

Yes Your Honor.

William O. Douglas:

So I ask you how do you think he had got there?

Bertrand De Blanc:

Well, Your Honor I could talk off the record and tell you that he was properly arrested.

Now there was a Bill of Information filed by the District Attorney charging him with the same offence in the same affidavit, what we do is we do not prosecute in the District Court on affidavits, we prosecute on Bills of Information which are based upon affidavits.

We prosecute in city court on affidavits.

Now there was a recall of the preliminary examination by the judge based upon the fact that the District Attorney had filed a Bill of Information.

There was request for writs and a prayer for preliminary a examination and for habeas corpus.