Baxstrom v. Herold Case Brief

Facts of the Case

Petitioner Johnnie K. Baxstrom, while a prisoner, was certified as insane by a prison physician and transferred to Dannemora State Hospital, an institution under the jurisdiction of the New York Department of Corrections and used for prisoners declared mentally ill while serving sentence. Dannemora’s director filed a petition in the state Surrogate’s Court stating that Baxstrom’s sentence was expiring and requesting that he be civilly committed under § 384 of the N. Y. Correction Law. At the proceeding, the State submitted medical evidence that Baxstrom was still mentally ill and in need of hospital care. The Surrogate stated that he had no objection to Baxstrom’s transfer to a civil hospital under the jurisdiction of the Department of Mental Hygiene, but that under § 384 that decision was up to the latter Department. That Department had determinedthat Baxstrom was not suitable for care in a civil hospital. When Baxstrom’s sentence expired his custody shifted to the Department of Mental Hygiene but he remained at Dannemora. Baxstrom’s petitions for writs of habeas corpus in state courts were dismissed and Baxstrom’s request that he be transferred to a civil hospital was denied as beyond the court’s power. The Supreme Court of the United states granted Baxstrom’s petition for certiorari.


“Do Medicare funds received by health care providers constitute “benefits” within the meaning of the federal bribery statute prohibiting fraud and other offenses against organizations receiving federal benefits?”



Case Information

Citation: 383 US 107 (1966)
Argued: Dec 9, 1965
Decided: Feb 23, 1966
Case Brief: 1966