United States v. Hayman
342 U.S. 205 (1952)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Hayman, 342 U.S. 205 (1952)

United States v. Hayman

No. 23

Argued October 15, 1951

Decided January 7, 1952

342 U.S. 205

Syllabus

Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which provides that a federal prisoner may move the sentencing court to vacate, set aside or correct any sentence subject to collateral attack, respondent, confined in a federal penitentiary in the Washington, filed in the Federal District Court in California a motion to vacate his sentence and grant a new trial. He alleged that at his trial he did not have the effective assistance of counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, because his counsel was also counsel for another person, who was the principal witness against respondent and was defendant in a related case. The District Court, without notice to respondent and without ordering the presence of respondent, found that the counsel's dual representation was with respondent's knowledge and consent, and denied respondent's motion.

Held: the District Court erred in determining the factual issues raised by respondent's motion under § 2255 without notice to respondent and without his presence. Pp. 342 U. S. 206-224.

1. A review of the history of § 2255 shows that it was passed at the instance of the Judicial Conference to meet practical problems that had arisen in administering the habeas corpus jurisdiction of the federal courts. Pp. 342 U. S. 210-219.

2. Section 2255 was not intended to impinge upon prisoners' rights of collateral attack upon their convictions; its sole purpose was to minimize the difficulties encountered in habeas corpus hearings by affording the same rights in another and more convenient forum. Pp. 342 U. S. 214-219.

3. In making findings on controverted issues of fact relating to respondent's own knowledge without notice to respondent and without his being present, the District Court did not proceed in conformity with § 2255. Pp. 342 U. S. 219-223.

(a) The crucial issue of fact presented by respondent's motion under § 2255 was whether his counsel represented the other person with respondent's knowledge and consent, and respondent's presence at a hearing on this issue is necessary if the procedure

Page 342 U. S. 206

under § 2255 is to be adequate and effective in this case. Pp. 342 U. S. 219-220.

(b) Issuance of an order to produce the prisoner is auxiliary to the jurisdiction of the trial court over respondent granted in § 2255 itself and invoked by respondent's filing of a motion under that section. Ahrens v. Clark,335 U. S. 188, distinguished. Pp. 342 U. S. 220-222.

(c) Where, as here, there are substantial issues of fact as to events in which the prisoner participated, the trial court should require his production for a hearing. Pp. 342 U. S. 222-223.

4. The procedure prescribed by § 2255 will be adequate and effective if respondent is present for a hearing in the District Court on remand of this case, and, in the circumstances, this Court does not reach the constitutional questions presented. P. 342 U. S. 223.

5. The Court of Appeals correctly reversed the order of the District Court, but should have remanded the case for a hearing under § 2255 instead of ordering that respondent's motion be dismissed. Pp. 342 U. S. 223-224.

187 F.2d 456, judgment vacated.

Respondent's motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his sentence and grant a new trial was denied by the District Court. The Court of Appeals reversed, and ordered the motion dismissed. 187 F.2d 456. This Court granted certiorari. 341 U.S. 930. Vacated and remanded, p. 342 U. S. 224.

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