Douglas v. Buder, 412 U.S. 430 (1973)
U.S. Supreme CourtDouglas v. Buder, 412 U.S. 430 (1973)
Douglas v. Buder
Decided June 4, 1973
412 U.S. 430
Petitioner, who had been given a suspended sentence for manslaughter and placed on probation for four years, with a condition that "all arrests for any reason must be reported without delay," was thereafter involved in an automobile accident in Arkansas, for which he received a traffic citation. Eleven days later, he mentioned the citation to his probation officer, who notified respondent judge. At a hearing, the prosecutor and the probation officer recommended continued probation but respondent, stating that the failure to report the accident and the citation was not in "strict compliance with the terms of the probation," revoked probation and sentenced petitioner to jail on the original counts. The Missouri Supreme Court denied a writ of prohibition.
Held: The issuance of the traffic citation was not an "arrest" under either Missouri or Arkansas law, and the finding that petitioner had violated his probation conditions was so totally devoid of evidentiary support as to violate due process. Even were it clear that respondent held Missouri law to be that a traffic citation is the equivalent of an arrest, such an unforeseeable holding, retroactively applied, would also deprive petitioner of due process. Certiorari granted; 485 S.W.2d 609, reversed and remanded.