Mattiello v. Connecticut

RESPONDENT: Connecticut
LOCATION: Surface Transportation Board at the United States Department of Transportation

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1969)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 395 US 209 (1969)
ARGUED: Dec 11, 1968
DECIDED: May 26, 1969

Facts of the case


Media for Mattiello v. Connecticut

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 11, 1968 in Mattiello v. Connecticut

Earl Warren:

Number 150, Francis Mattiello appellant versus Connecticut.

Mr. Grosby.

Robert N. Grosby:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

The appellant in this case was arrested in March of 1966 and charged with violation of Section 17-379 Connecticut General Statutes -- statute causing the arrest and imprisonment of someone who is in manifest danger of falling into vise or is living a vicious life.

The appellant file a demur to this information on two grounds.

One was that its terms are vague and uncertain in meaning, thereby depriving here of due process; The second ground for demur was that the statute discriminates against certain females; that is unmarried females between the ages of 18 and 21 without basis for its support and thereby denying equal protection.

On the same day, the demur was filed, the State of Connecticut filed a substitute information alleging two additional charges.

One was violation of Section 53-219 of the general statutes that statute entitled “lascivious carriage and fornication”, and Section 53-175 of the statutes which is the disorderly conduct statute, the demur was overruled, the plaintiff pleaded not guilty to all charges elected a trial to the Court was found guilty of 17-379, guilty of 53-219, and not guilty of disorderly conduct.

And her sentence was commitment to the study -- the Connecticut State Farm for Women.

I think all parties agree that these sentences were concurrent under applicable Connecticut law.

Hugo L. Black:

How is that work by look to the Connecticut statute and found some difficulty?

Well, I -- as far as the city is carriage charge, they maximum term that she could get is two years (Inaudible) arise under the manifest danger although never the statute, she got a free of sentence.

Robert N. Grosby:

That's right sir.

Hugo L. Black:

And then how they concur it?

Robert N. Grosby:

Except this way that at the time of sentencing, the applicable law was that the sentence on lascivious carriage could also be for three years to the reformatory.

Recent developments particularly the cases we cited in our reply brief, two federal District Court cases and two Connecticut Superior Court cases have held that by compelling a three-year sentence on lascivious carriage, that say discrimination against the female because boys can only be convicted for two years under the applicable statute for boys.

So, that --

Byron R. White:

I understand.

I didn't know there was a comfortable time to well --

Robert N. Grosby:

And -- Well, not with respect to 17-379.

17-379 Your Honor deals only with manifest danger.

Now, 17-360 says that a female over the age of 16 who has been convicted of a misdemeanor and lascivious carriage as a misdemeanor can go to the Connecticut State Farm for three years.

17-390 says that a young boy who is convicted of a misdemeanor can go to the reformatory for two years.

Therefore, subsequent cases --

Byron R. White:

In cases of course as death with situation wherein the boys and girls can be convicted with same thing.

Robert N. Grosby:

Yes, sir.

Byron R. White:

Not so --

Robert N. Grosby:

With respect --

Byron R. White:

You can get something proper than that that you can figure (Inaudible).

Robert N. Grosby:

A man could be convicted of fornication or breach of the peach or disorderly conduct and be sentence to two years to reformatory.