Gardner v. Broderick


DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1967-1969)

CITATION: 392 US 273 (1968)
ARGUED: Apr 30, 1968
DECIDED: Jun 10, 1968

J. Lee Rankin - for the appellees
Ronald Podolsky - for the appellant

Facts of the case


Media for Gardner v. Broderick

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 30, 1968 in Gardner v. Broderick

Earl Warren:

Number 635, Robert Vincent Gardner, Appellant, versus Vincent L. Broderick, as Police Commissioner at the City of New York.

Mr. Podolsky.

Ronald Podolsky:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please this Court.

In this case probable jurisdiction has already been noted.

It's a -- an appeal by a former policeman who was dismissed by the appellees.

This policeman was served with departmental charges involving conspiracy to violate gambling laws -- the next -- and suspended.

The next day, he was subpoenaed before the grand jury of New York County and asked to sign a waiver of immunity from prosecution.

It was announced at that hearing that it was a criminal investigation into conspiracy to violate gambling laws.

The appellant refused to sign such a waiver on advice of counsel stating that since he was a target of the investigation, the grand jury had no authority to subpoena and question him.

He was not questioned.

He was not granted immunity but rather excused and thereupon was served with an additional departmental charge, refusal to sign a waiver of immunity before the grand jury as required by Article I, Section 6 of the New York State Constitution and Section 1123 of the New York City Charter.

And --

Potter Stewart:

I'm a -- I want to be sure I understand the context here.

He -- what he did was refuse to sign a waiver of immunity which would imply to me that otherwise he would have had immunity had he testified?

Ronald Podolsky:

It is my position, Your Honor.

The appellant's position that since he was under subpoena.

Any testimony that he gave at that hearing would cause immunity to attach to the substantive area of the inquiry.

Potter Stewart:

As a matter of New York law?

Ronald Podolsky:

As a matter of New York and I believe federal law as well.

Potter Stewart:

Well, but perhaps required by the Constitution, if --

Ronald Podolsky:

Yes, sir.

Potter Stewart:

You can make a person testify if you give him -- brought enough immunity.

And do I understand that New York law does -- would have given him immunity --

Ronald Podolsky:

Under these circumstances --

Potter Stewart:

-- in the absence of his signing a waiver of immunity.

Ronald Podolsky:


There is a more formal procedure under 244 -- 2447 at the Code of Criminal Procedure which was not followed in this case.

But it is my position that he would have been granted immunity had he testified under the compelled compulsion of the subpoena.

Yes, Your Honor.

Now the appellant was served with an additional charge, refusal to sign a waiver of immunity by the police commissioner and directed to report for a hearing on that charge.