Carafas v. LaVallee

LOCATION: Jewelry Store/Post Office Contract Station # 7

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1967-1969)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 391 US 234 (1968)
ARGUED: Mar 27, 1968
DECIDED: May 20, 1968

Facts of the case


Media for Carafas v. LaVallee

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 27, 1968 in Carafas v. LaVallee

Earl Warren:

No.71, James P.Carafas, Petitioner, versus J.Edwin LaVallee, Warden.

Mr. Cally.

James J. Cally:

Mr. Chief Justice Warren and Honorable Justices of this Court.

In this case here we have several violations, we believe, of the Constitution of the United States as they apply to this individual, Carafas.

The facts are simply as follows, on June the 3rd, of 1959, a theft complaint was given to the detectives of Nassau County which is in Mineola, New York.

Someone had -- someone has stolen furniture from a development.

It developed that a Cadillac and a trailer was seen in the vicinity of this area sometime earlier that day.

And as a consequence of the situation, the detectives learned who the owner that automobile, a Cadillac automobile was and it was James Carafas.

Thereafter, the detectives learned where he resided -- 35-53 36th Avenue, in New York -- in Queens, New York and they went to the premises.

This is a premises which contains two-stories.

The first storey was occupied by a physician and the second story was occupied by Mr. Carafas and his family.

Upon arriving there, Detective Grame and Capler (ph) turned the knob of the door and entered the premises in the vestibule.

Thereafter, they said they went into the doctor's office and they inquired where Carafas lived and someone said, "upstairs", and Detective Grame and Capler (ph) then mounted the stairway.

As they mounted the stairway, they said they noticed some furniture which was on the landing which was of the type described to them by the owner of the Development.

And upon reaching the top of the stairway, they said they put one James Carafas under arrest.

The version of the defendant or the petitioner in this instance is quite different.

His version is that he was lying on a divan in his living room, and that these two detectives walked into his living room, awakened him and then start to run -- rushed at into his premises.

So much so that quite a commotion was caused and other police had to be called from the City of New York.

Both husband and wife were put under arrest.

Now the issues involved in this particular case are as follows: whether or not the evidence that was procured at this time should have been suppressed under the Mapp rule, which this Court decided on June the 19th, 1961.

And whether or not the violations of the Constitution also occurred as to the individual rights as to whether or not he had to be questioned without an attorney or whether he had to be given his constitutional guarantees.

Now, we contend --

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Aren't you going to argue the mootness question?

James J. Cally:

I will sir, on my reply.

Potter Stewart:


Byron R. White:

I'm not (Voice Overlap) --

James J. Cally:

I'm not sure (Voice Overlap) --

Earl Warren:

I think that's very important.

I'd like to hear it on your case in chief that's a --

James J. Cally:

I see, sir.