Malloy v. Hogan

LOCATION: Apartment

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)

CITATION: 378 US 1 (1964)
ARGUED: Mar 05, 1964
DECIDED: Jun 15, 1964

Facts of the case

William Malloy was arrested during a gambling raid in 1959 by Hartford, Connecticut police. After pleading guilty to pool selling, a misdemeanor, he was sentenced to one year in jail and fined $500, but the sentence was suspended after 90 days and Malloy was placed on two years probation. Some 16 months following his plea, a Superior Court appointed referee ordered Malloy to testify about gambling and other criminal activities in Hartford County. When Malloy refused, "on grounds it may tend to incriminate [him]" he was imprisoned for contempt and held until willing to answer questions. Malloy filed a habeas corpus petition challenging his confinement. On appeal from the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors ruling, upholding an adverse Superior Court denial, the Supreme Court granted certiorari.


Does the Fourteenth Amendment protect a state witness's Fifth Amendment guarantee again self-incrimination in a criminal proceeding?

Media for Malloy v. Hogan

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 05, 1964 in Malloy v. Hogan

Earl Warren:

William Malloy, versus Patrick J. Hogan, Sheriff of Hartford County.

Harold Strauch:

Mr. Chief Justice.

Earl Warren:

May I ask sir, just how you pronounce your name?

Harold Strauch:

You think of grouch, it's easy Strauch.

Earl Warren:

Grouch, Strauch, very well Mr. Strauch you may proceed.

Harold Strauch:

This -- Mr. Chief Justice and members -- and may it please the Court.

This I believe is an uncomplicated case, which modestly requests of this Court a ruling that the Fifth Amendment applies to the individual states.

I think that the facts in the case, which are very brief, should be annunciated.

In September of 1959, in the state and local police officials in concert conducted a raid throughout the Hartford County Community and caught a number of individuals including the petitioner and two others.

Incidentally, the case that will be decided here, the decision of this Court will be binding upon the other two as well as on the particular petitioner that's mentioned in this case.

These three gentlemen were caught in an apartment, in one of the large apartment houses in Hartford, where presumably they were manning telephones, collecting bets and relaying the bets to a central source.

The petitioner was found guilty of pool selling.

What is that, is that a potential crime?

Harold Strauch:

Pool selling it's what is known as --


Harold Strauch:

Pool selling, it's a misdemeanor, it's a gambling.

It's booking.

He was -- the petitioner was found guilty of pool selling, which is a misdemeanor in Connecticut, given a one year sentence in the county jail, which was audit suspended after 90 days but then he was put on probation for a period of two years.

Subsequently, in January of 1961, a special -- the equivalent of a grand jury investigation was brought about and the former Chief Justice of State of Connecticut was the Grand Juror.

And the -- these three people were called before the Grand Jury and Malloy, in particular, was asked a series of six questions, which he refused to answer, basing his refusal upon the Fifth Amendment as supplemented by the Fourteenth.

The questions that were asked of the petitioner were as follows For whom he worked on September 11, 1959, which happened to be the day of the raid?

Who selected and paid his counsel in connection with his arrest on September 11, 1959 and paid for his subsequent appearances in Court due to that arrest?

Who selected and paid his bondsman, who paid his fine, the name of the tenant of the apartment in which he was arrested, and whether or not he knew one John Bergoti?

As a result of his refusal to answer these questions, he was found guilty of contempt, which was confirmed by our Supreme Court of Errors, and as a result of that we are before this Court.

(Inaudible) a civil contempt, criminal contempt --

Harold Strauch:

I would think it's criminal contempt sir.

Does it get a sentence of which term?

Harold Strauch:

He was fined -- he was sent to the county jail until he purges himself of his contempt or until the court releases him.

In other words, the threat that was over him was that he remains incarcerated until he releases himself from prison by confessing or answering the questions that were asked of him and that could possibly incriminate him.

Is he still in prison?