Durley v. Mayo - 351 U.S. 277 (1956)


U.S. Supreme Court

Durley v. Mayo, 351 U.S. 277 (1956)

Durley v. Mayo

No. 489

Argued April 2, 1956

Decided June 4, 1956

351 U.S. 277

Syllabus

Upon reviewing the decision of the Supreme Court of Florida denying, without opinion, petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, in which he claimed, inter alia, that his state conviction and imprisonment for stealing cattle violated the Federal Constitution, it appeared that the judgment of that Court might have rested on one or both of two adequate state grounds.

Held: the case is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Pp. 351 U. S. 278-285.

(a) Where the highest court of a State delivers no opinion and it appears that its judgment might have rested on a nonfederal ground, this Court will not take jurisdiction to review the judgment. Stembridge v. Georgia, 343 U. S. 541. Pp. 351 U. S. 281-282.

(b) The Supreme Court of Florida might have rested its denial of the petition here involved on either or both of the following grounds: (1) that the several federal issues presented by it had been raised previously within the meaning of Fla.Stat.Ann., 1943, § 79.10, and therefore could not be raised again under state practice; (2) that they could have been raised in the prior proceedings and, accordingly, were not available as a matter of state law under Florida decisions. Pp. 351 U. S. 282-284.

(c) There is nothing in the order of the Supreme Court of Florida to show that that Court must have decided the case on federal grounds, rather than on the readily available and substantial state grounds. Pp. 351 U. S. 284-285.

Case dismissed.

Page 351 U. S. 278



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