Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lambert v. California case brief

Lambert v. California case brief summary
355 U.S. 225 (1957)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant was arrested on suspicion of another offense and charged with violating Los Angeles, Cal., Municipal Code § 52.39, which made it an offense for a convicted felon to fail to register with the chief of police. The Appellate Department of the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, affirmed defendant's conviction and held that there was no merit to her claim that the ordinance was unconstitutional. Defendant appealed.

CASE FACTS
Though convicted of forgery, a crime punishable as a felony, defendant had not, at the time of her arrest on suspicion of another offense, registered under Los Angeles, Cal., Municipal Code § 52.39, which made it an offense for a person who had been convicted of a crime punishable in California as a felony to remain in the city for more than five days without registering with the chief of police. The trial court convicted defendant of violating the registration law.

DISCUSSION

  • The appellate court affirmed, holding that there was no merit to defendant's claim that the ordinance was unconstitutional. 
  • Defendant appealed. 
  • The U.S. Supreme Court reversed, holding that the ordinance violated the due process requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment when it was applied to a person who had no actual knowledge of her duty to register and where no showing was made of the probability of such knowledge.

CONCLUSION
The Court reversed defendant's conviction.

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