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In re Novotny

January 22, 1937

EX PARTE NOVOTNY; NOVOTNY
v.
RAGEN



Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division; William H. Holly, Judge.

Before Evans and Sparks, Circuit Judges, and Briggle, District Judge.

Author: Evans

EVANS, Circuit Judge.

This appeal seeks to restore to appellant his freedom through reversal of the District Court's order quashing a writ of habeas corpus. He has been imprisoned since January, 1931, on an indeterminate sentence of from one to ten years, entered in the Illinois state court on December 29, 1930, upon a jury's verdict of guilt under an indictment which charged him with obtaining money by means of a confidence game.

Appellant has been a lawyer for nearly twenty-five years. His petition discloses his representation of an association inthe making of loans. In his petition he asserts that in the course of one such loan he received $89.17 from the complainant in the criminal prosecution. This sum was immediately turned over to the association, so he says, for use in payment of taxes on the property to be given as security. The attempted loan did not materialize, but no refund of the sum was made. This transaction furnished the basis of appellant's prosecution, resulting in acquittal, in the Municipal Court. He was thereafter indicted for the charge on which he is now imprisoned, that of a "confidence game." His petition states that four terms elapsed between arrest and the commencement of trial despite his repeated demands for early trial. He was neither furnished nor shown a copy of the indictment. He had no counsel, although at the time of trial an assistant public defender attempted, in the midst of numerous other activities, to aid him, but he had no consultation with him before trial. The state court submitted the "confidence" count to the jury and directed a verdict on the other two charges. He instructed them that they were judges of both law and fact. The verdict was of guilt. Appellant did not appeal the judgment of conviction because of his impoverished condition and inadequate counsel and insufficient time. He later sought habeas corpus in the Illinois Supreme Court, but was denied relief.

The history of appellant's case is as follows:

December 19, 1930, trial started;

December 29, 1930, judgment sentencing him from one to ten years;

January 29, 1931, taken into custody;

December 28, 1932, paroled, but gained freedom on May 10, 1933;

June 5, 1933, reported while on parole;

July 6, 1933, returned to prison;

September 27, 1933, informed that he was a violator of parole;

May 31, 1934, questioned and his imprisonment ...


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