United States v. Morgan,
222 U.S. 274 (1911)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Morgan, 222 U.S. 274 (1911)

United States v. Morgan

No. 463

Argued October 19, 1911

Decided December 11, 1911

222 U.S. 274


It is not a condition precedent to prosecutions for violation of the Pure Food and Drug Act that an investigation or hearing be had in the Department of Agriculture.

Where a statute provides for notice in one case and permits prosecutions without notice in another case, it shows that there was no intent to make notice jurisdictional.

Repeals by implication are not favored, nor is there a presumption that a law passed in the interest of public health was intended to hamper prosecutions of offenses against the statute itself.

A statute will not be construed as grafting exceptions on the criminal law in favor of offenders against that particular statute in the absence of clear and unambiguous expressions.

Citizens are furnished the surest safeguards against malicious prosecutions by the Fourth Amendment.

Section 4 of the Pure Food and Drug Act of June 30, 1906, c. 3915, 34 Stat. 678, does not repeal Rev.Stat., §§ 771 or 1022, making it the duty of the district attorney to prosecute all delinquents for crimes and offenses cognizable under the authority of the United States, nor does it limit him to prosecute only those offenders who have had a hearing before the Department of Agriculture.

Page 222 U. S. 275

The defendants maintained an establishment in New York where, after filtering Croton water drawn from the city pipes, adding mineral salts, and charging it with carbonic acid, the water was bottled and sold as "Imperial Spring Water." In October, 1908, a food and drug inspector applied to a druggist in Newark, New Jersey, for several bottles of this water. The druggist, not having them in stock, ordered them from the defendants, who shipped them from New York to the druggist in Newark. He delivered them to the inspector, who paid therefor.

The judge, in his opinion, treats the prosecution as having been instituted by the inspector, though this does not affirmatively appear in the record, and the defendants were not indicted until April, 1910, when they were found guilty of shipping misbranded goods in interstate commerce. They moved in arrest of judgment on the ground that it was not alleged that they had been given notice and a preliminary hearing by the Department of Agriculture, contending this was a condition precedent to the return of a valid indictment. The judge held that such hearing must be granted in all cases where the prosecution was instituted by the Department of Agriculture or its agent (181 F. 587), and from a later order sustaining the motion in arrest, the government brought the case here under Criminal Appeals Act.

Page 222 U. S. 279

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