United States v. U.S. Coin & Currency
401 U.S. 715 (1971)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. U.S. Coin & Currency, 401 U.S. 715 (1971)

United States v. United States Coin & Currency

No. 5

Argued February 25-26, 1969

Reargued October 20, 1970

Decided April 5, 1971

401 U.S. 715

Syllabus

The United States brought this action for the forfeiture of money in the possession of one Angelini when he was arrested for failing to register as a gambler and to pay the gambling tax required by 26 U.S.C. §§ 4411, 4412, and 4901. Having found that the money had been used in violation of those laws, the District Court ordered forfeiture under 26 U.S.C. § 7302. After the Court of Appeals affirmed, the case was remanded for further consideration in the light of this Court's subsequent decisions in Marchetti v. United States,390 U. S. 39, and Grosso v. United States,390 U. S. 62, which held that gamblers had the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent despite the statutory requirement that they submit reports that could incriminate them. The Court of Appeals thereafter ordered the money's return, having concluded that Angelini could assert his Fifth Amendment privilege. The Government contends that (1) the Marchetti-Grosso rationale is inapplicable to § 7302 forfeiture proceedings because, under that provision, "any property intended for use in violating the . . . internal revenue laws" is subject to forfeiture regardless of the property owner's guilt, and (2) Marchetti and Grosso should not be given retroactive effect.

Held:

1. The Fifth Amendment privilege may properly be invoked in this case, since the forfeiture statutes, when viewed in their entirety, are intended to penalize only persons significantly involved in a criminal enterprise. Pp. 401 U. S. 717-722.

2. The Marchetti-Grosso rule has retroactive effect in a forfeiture proceeding under § 7302. Pp. 401 U. S. 722-724.

393 F.2d 499, affirmed.

HARLAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BLACK, DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, and MARSHALL, JJ., joined. BLACK, J., filed a concurring statement, post, p. 401 U. S. 724. BRENNAN, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 401 U. S. 724. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined, post, p. 401 U. S. 730.

Page 401 U. S. 716

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