California v. Superior Court of California, San Bernardino County

PETITIONER: California
RESPONDENT: Superior Court of California, San Bernardino County
LOCATION: U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

DOCKET NO.: 86-381
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-1987)
LOWER COURT: Supreme Court of California

CITATION: 482 US 400 (1987)
ARGUED: Apr 22, 1987
DECIDED: Jun 09, 1987

Dennis P. Riordan - on behalf of Respondent
J. Robert Jibson - on behalf of Petitioner

Facts of the case


Media for California v. Superior Court of California, San Bernardino County

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 22, 1987 in California v. Superior Court of California, San Bernardino County

William H. Rehnquist:

Mr. Jibson, you may proceed whenever--

J. Robert Jibson:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

The issue before the Court in this case is whether an Asylum State Court may block extradition on the ground that the person is not charged with a crime because that court concludes, based on extrinsic evidence, that the person is innocent.

On March 9th, 1984, real parties in interest, Gerard and Richard Smolin took Richard Smolin's two minor children from his school bus stop in Slidell, Louisiana, St. Tammany Parish, and removed them to the State of California.

Mr. Jibson are you reciting facts?

Now, from where are you getting those facts?

J. Robert Jibson:

These facts are from the record of the record of the habeas corpus hearing, Your Honor.

The record of the habeas corpus xxx.

J. Robert Jibson:

That's correct.

At the time of the abduction, the children had been living with their mother, in her custody for three years in the State of Louisiana.

Three days after the abduction, the St. Tammany Parish prosecutor filed simple kidnapping charges against Gerard and Richard Smolin.

And their extradition from the state of California was sought.

Two months later, in June of 1984, the Louisiana Governor sent a requisition to the Governor of California, requesting the extradition of the Smolin's.

After two more months, in August of 1984, the California Governor granted the extradition request and issued his warrant for the rendition of the Smolin's.

However, the courts of California have now blocked the extradition on the basis that the Smolin's are not actually charged with a crime.

They reached this conclusion only after the habeas corpus courts in California took judicial notice of some other California court records containing a decree which gave Richard Smolin custody of the children.

Essentially, the habeas corpus court found that since, in light of that decree giving Mr. Smolin custody, he could not be found guilty in the state of Louisiana; therefore, he and his father Gerard were not actually charged with a crime in Louisiana.

xxx does the state argue at all that the habeas proceeding should not have gone forward at all?

J. Robert Jibson:

No, the state is not taking that position, Your Honor.

So that there maybe some inquiry made by the habeas court into what?

J. Robert Jibson:

the habeas corpus court may inquire into four very narrow areas, Your Honor.

Two of those are factual, and two of those are legal.

Where do these limitations come from.

J. Robert Jibson:

They come from this Court's case in Michigan v. Doran in 1978, Your Honor.

The factual questions that may be inquired into in habeas corpus are Number 1: Whether the person before the court is, in fact, the person wanted by the demanding state.

Question of identity as the person charged.

Secondly, whether in fact he is a fugitive and by that I mean a legal term of art whether he was in the state at the time the alleged offense took place.

And thereafter, is found in another state.

Fugitivity if you will.

Those two factual questions.