Monday, December 23, 2013

Gladden v. Frazier case brief

Gladden v. Frazier case brief summary
382 F.2d 777 (1969)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant prisoner challenged a judgment by a United States District Court (Texas), which denied his petition for writ of habeas corpus, and argued that his state appeal was improperly dismissed after he had left the state and that there was a defect in his state trial.

CASE FACTS
Appellant prisoner was convicted of robbery by assault in a Texas state court. While his appeal was pending, appellant moved to another state, conducted business, and paid taxes under his own name. During appellant's absence from Texas, the state obtained a dismissal of the appeal on the grounds that appellant's departure was equivalent to an escape pursuant to Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 824. Upon returning to Texas, appellant was unsuccessful in reinstating his state appeal. Thus, appellant filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with the federal trial court, which was denied.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court reversed and remanded. 
  • The court held that the trial court erroneously believed that appellant's state appeal was dismissed for want of prosecution, and thus did not consider appellant's assertion that he believed that he was at liberty to leave the state. 
  • The court remanded the case for the trial court to make findings of fact regarding appellant's assertions, especially because it appeared that appellant's absence was at least partially due to the mistake of state officials and there appeared to be a serious defect in the state trial.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the trial court's denial of appellant prisoner's petition for writ of habeas corpus. The court remanded the case for the trial court to make findings of fact regarding appellant's assertions that he believed that he was at liberty to leave the state while his appeal of a state conviction was pending.


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