United States v. Loud Hawk

PETITIONER: United States
LOCATION: Hardwick's Apartment

DOCKET NO.: 84-1361
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 474 US 302 (1986)
ARGUED: Nov 12, 1985
DECIDED: Jan 21, 1986

Bruce M. Kuhlik - on behalf of the petitioner
Bruce Neil Kuhlik - on behalf of the petitioner -- rebuttal
Kenneth Saul Stern - on behalf of the respondents
Kenneth H. Stern - on behalf of the respondents

Facts of the case


Media for United States v. Loud Hawk

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 12, 1985 in United States v. Loud Hawk

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments first this morning in United States against Kenneth Moses Loud Hawk.

Mr. Kuhlik, you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Bruce Neil Kuhlik:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court, the defendants in this case were apprehended in November, 1975, illegally transporting dynamite and firearms.

They have thus far successfully avoided trial by filing an extensive series of pretrial motions.

In 1983, the District Court dismissed the indictment on the ground that the accrued delay violated the speedy trial clause of the Sixth Amendment.

A divided panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal, and we are here on certiorari for a review of that decision.

The defendants were arrested while traveling in a motor home and a station wagon.

In the station wagon were 350 pounds of dynamite, several time bombs, and a loaded revolver.

In the motor home were blasting caps, more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, several empty hand grenades, and eight firearms with chliterated serial numbers.

The defendants were promptly indicted on charges of unlawful possession and transportation of explosives and firearms.

Following their indictment, the defendants began filing numerous pretrial motions.

One motion sought suppression of evidence of the dynamite which had been destroyed by state law enforcement officials.

The District Court granted the motion to suppress.

The government appealed the suppression order, but the defendants in the District Court sought to force the government to go to trial without the suppressed evidence while the appeal was pending.

The defendants did not ask for and the District Court did not order a severance of the dynamite and firearms counts.

When the government declined to go to trial without the suppressed evidence, the District Court dismissed the indictment with prejudice under Rule 48(b) for what it termed unnecessary delay.

The government appealed, and its appeal was consolidated with that from the suppression order.

The defendants were completely free of all restraints during the appeal.

A panel of the Court of Appeals initially affirmed, but the Court of Appeals reheard the case en banc and reversed the judgment of the District Court.

In comprehensive majority and concurring opinions, the Court of Appeals set forth guiding rules for cases, criminal cases in which evidence has been lost or destroyed.

The defendants unsuccessfully sought rehearing and certiorari on an interlocutory basis.

When the case returned to the District Court in 1980, the defendants resumed their motion practice.

They successfully required the government to reindict, and they sought a number of extensions of time in which to file further pretrial motions.

At one time almost two dozen of these motions were pending.

The District Court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment on grounds of vindictive prosecution as to defendant Ka Mook Banks, and denied the vindictive prosecution motions of the other defendants.

Both sides appealed.

Once again the defendants were free of all restraints during the appeal.

Harry A. Blackmun:

Does that mean that they could have left the country?

Bruce Neil Kuhlik:

During the second appeal, as far as I am aware, they were not under travel restrictions, Justice Blackmun.

Harry A. Blackmun:

Of any kind?