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The People v. Ryan

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 27, 1951

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT IN ERROR,

v.

JAMES RYAN, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR.



WRIT OF ERROR to the Criminal Court of Cook County; the Hon. JULIUS H. MINER, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE SCHAEFER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied January 21, 1952.

A judgment of the criminal court of Cook County found the defendant, James Ryan, guilty of criminal contempt of court and sentenced him to the county jail until such time as he should comply with the order of the court by producing the books and records of Tam O'Shanter Country Club, a corporation, as specifically designated in a subpoena duces tecum. The case is here on writ of error.

The July, 1950, grand jury of the criminal court of Cook County was investigating violations of the State's antigambling laws. On July 19, 1950, the State's Attorney filed a verified petition in the criminal court seeking the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum requiring the Tam O'Shanter Country Club, an Illinois corporation, and Wilfred A. Weismann, its secretary, to produce certain books, records and documents alleged to be in their possession and necessary and material to be produced.

An order was entered that the desired subpoena duces tecum issue, directed to the club and its secretary, Weismann, commanding each of them to appear forthwith before the grand jury to give evidence in the cause and to produce all papers described. The subpoena duces tecum issued the same day contained the name of the defendant, James Ryan, in addition to the parties named in the petition and order. It commanded the corporation, Weismann and defendant to produce the following records before the grand jury:

"(A.) All records showing Cash Receipts of Tam O'Shanter Country Club for period January 5th, 1949, to July 5th, 1950.

"(B.) All records showing Cash Disbursements of Tam O'Shanter Country Club for period January 5th, 1949, to July 5th, 1950.

"(C.) All records showing Cash Receipts received by Tam O'Shanter Country Club for period January 5th, 1949, to July 5th, 1950, from operation of Coin Machines, including slot machines and from Gambling Games.

"(D.) General Ledger of Tam O'Shanter Country Club for period January 5th, 1949, to July 5th, 1950.

"(E.) All records showing Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable of Tam O'Shanter Country Club for period January 5th, 1949, to July 5th, 1950.

"(F.) All records showing Accounts of Each Member belonging to Tam O'Shanter Country Club for the last three years,

"together with all copies, drafts, and vouchers relating to said documents, and all other documents, letters and paper writings whatsoever, that can or may afford any information or evidence in said matter."

This subpoena duces tecum and a grand jury subpoena ad testificandum were served upon defendant on the following day. He appeared before the grand jury, answered some questions, refused to answer others on the ground that the answers might tend to incriminate him, but failed to produce the materials demanded by the subpoena duces tecum. On August 3, 1950, the foreman of the grand jury filed a verified petition for a rule to show cause why defendant should not be held in contempt for failure to obey the subpoena duces tecum. An order directing defendant to show cause was entered on the same day. Defendant filed a sworn answer, and, after a hearing, he was found guilty of contempt and committed by the court to the ...


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