Baker v. McCollan Case Brief

Facts of the Case

“An individual’s brother, using a duplicate of the individual’s driver’s license which bore the brother’s picture, was arrested in Potter County, Texas on narcotics charges, booked in the individual’s name and released on bail. Eventually, an arrest warrant intended for the brother was issued for the individual. This individual was later stopped for a traffic violation in another locale, and a routine warrant check revealed that a man bearing his name was wanted in Potter County. Over his protests of mistaken identification, the individual was held in custody for several days before the error was discovered and he was released. He then brought an action against the county sheriff and his surety in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeking relief under 42 USCS 1983, which imposed civil liability on any person who, under color of state law, deprived another of rights secured by “the Constitution and laws.” The District Court directed a verdict in favor of the sheriff and his surety, but the United States Court of Appeals to the Fifth Circuit reversed, holding that the individual was entitled to have his claim presented to a jury even though the evidence supported no more than a finding of negligence on the sheriff’s part.”


Does a court’s order that a citizen who has not yet been indicted by a grand jury must authorize the release of undisclosed foreign bank documents violate the Fifth Amendment?



Case Information

Citation: 443 US 137 (1979)
Argued: Apr 23, 1979
Decided: Jun 26, 1979
Case Brief: 1979