Green v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Shotwell Manufacturing Co.

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 356 US 165 (1958)
ARGUED: Oct 21, 1957
DECIDED: Mar 31, 1958

Facts of the case


Media for Green v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 21, 1957 (Part 1) in Green v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 21, 1957 (Part 2) in Green v. United States

Earl Warren:

Mr. Abt, you may proceed.

John J. Abt:

May it please the Court.

At the recess, I was making the point that the finding of the trial court that petitioners had knowingly violated the order for their surrender was without support in the evidence as I recited it or indeed in the facts as found by the trial court itself.

All of the evidence established was that petitioners knew that they were to be in Court on July 2nd.

Knew that in all probability, they would be committed on that day and that they fled in order to avoid service of sentences which they knew were in store for them.

But petitioners were not charged and could not have been convicted of contempt merely because a jump-bail and were fugitives from justice.

They were charged with and convicted of knowing disobedience of a specific order for their surrender which they well knew to the outstanding.

Proof that they had knowledge of the existence of that order was therefore required and there was no such proof.

Apparently, the trial judge himself recognized the vulnerable -- vulnerability of this finding that petitioners have knowledge of the surrender order.

For he made the further finding in the Green case that Green had and I quote --

William O. Douglas:

What -- where are you reading from?

John J. Abt:

Record page 67, Mr. Justice Douglas.

In his written opinion that's -- the written opinion on the Green case, the trial court made the further finding that Green had notice of the order and willfully disobeyed it.

In support of this finding that is that Green have notice of the order, the Court cited United States versus Hall, a Second Circuit decision in which the majority of the Court sustained the contempt conviction of another absconding Dennis defendant.

It is -- it is true, however, isn't it that in this case, the Green case, the trial court made a specific finding that he had knowledge of the order.

John J. Abt:

Made both findings, Your Honor.

The point I'm making is that there would have been no necessity for a finding of notice that the judge had been fully satisfied that the evidence established knowledge.

And the very fact that he went on to find notice is at least an indication that he had some doubt as -- as to the validity of his findings (Voice Overlap) --

But where is it -- where in the Green case, where is this, his finding -- where is his finding as to notice?

John J. Abt:

As to the the notice?

Record 67, I believe, Your Honor.

But isn't that in the Green case -- isn't that in the other case?

John J. Abt:

In -- in which case, in the Winston case?


John J. Abt:


There was -- there was no written opinion on the Winston case.

And --

I see.

John J. Abt:

-- in his oral opinion in the Winston case --

I see.