Escoe v. Zerbst,
295 U.S. 490 (1935)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Escoe v. Zerbst, 295 U.S. 490 (1935)

Escoe v. Zerbst

No. 773

Argued May 6, 1935

Decided May 20, 1935

295 U.S. 490


1. The federal District Court, acting on the request of a probation officer based on information received by him concerning a probationer's delinquency, is without power to revoke a suspension of sentence and commit the probationer to prison to serve the sentence where the probationer was not "taken before the court" and afforded an opportunity to be heard in answer to the charges. Act of March 4, 1925, c. 521, § 2, as amended. P. 295 U. S. 492.

2. This privilege of the probationer is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution, but is based upon the Act of Congress governing the procedure in such cases. P. 295 U. S. 492.

3. The requirement of the Act of March 4, 1925, c. 521, § 2, that, upon the arrest of a probationer, he " shall forthwith be taken before the court" is mandatory in meaning as well as in form. P. 295 U. S. 494.

4. Habeas corp is a proper remedy to obtain the release of a probationer who has been committed without an opportunity to be heard. His discharge will be without prejudice to his arrest and commitment as a result of subsequent proceedings conforming to the statute. P. 295 U. S. 494.

5. The contention that the district judge, in revoking probation on an ex parte showing in this case, has plainly indicated how his discretion will be exercised if a hearing is granted is a non sequitur, and affords no basis for denial of a hearing. P. 295 U. S. 494.

74 F.2d 924 reversed.

Certiorari, 294 U.S. 704, to review a judgment affirming an order of the District Court dismissing an application for a writ of habeas corpus.

Page 295 U. S. 491

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