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11/25/75 WILLIAMS v. WAYNE COUNTY SHERIFF

November 25, 1975

WILLIAMS
v.
WAYNE COUNTY SHERIFF



M. S. Coleman, J. (to affirm). Fitzgerald and Lindemer, JJ., concurred with Coleman, J. Williams, J.,dissenting. T. G. Kavanagh, C. J., and Levin, J., concurred with Williams, J.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Decision of the Court

1. Appeal and Error -- Equally Divided Court.

A decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing a complaint for a writ of , which alleged that a request for plaintiff's extradition was based on forged indictments, is affirmed by an equally divided court.

Opinion for Affirmance

Coleman, Fitzgerald, and Lindemer, JJ.

2. Extradition -- Duty.

The governor of the asylum state has the duty to extradite a fugitive when the governor of the demanding state produces an indictment charging crime, certified as authentic.

3. Extradition -- Uniform Criminal Extradition Act -- Federal Law.

The Uniform Criminal Extradition Act recognizes that Federal law is controlling on the subject of extradition; the act is expressly subject to all acts of Congress (MCLA 780.1 et seq.).

4. Extradition -- Fugitivity -- Presumptions -- .

The question whether the person whose extradition is demanded is a fugitive from the Justice of the state which makes the demand is a question of fact for decision by the governor; his decision on fugitivity creates a presumption which may be overturned by contrary proof in proceedings.

5. Extradition -- -- Charge of Crime -- Question of Law.

Whether the fugitive is substantially charged with a crime by the indictment of the state seeking extradition is a question of law which is always open upon the face of the papers to judicial inquiry, upon an application for a discharge under a writ of .

6. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency.

Deficiencies in an indictment such as insufficient statement of facts of the crime, uncertain or vague statement of the crime, barring of prosecution by the statute of limitations, and legal impossibility, do not destroy the indictment for purposes of charging a crime for extradition.

7. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency.

The standard for an indictment upon which extradition is sought is that it substantially charge a crime, however inartificially; a bad indictment, which might be quashed at trial, will support extradition.

8. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency.

Requiring more than a surface examination of an indictment in an extradition proceeding is objectionable because: (1) the asylum state would be required to deal with law and criminal procedure of the demanding state, inevitably resulting in error; (2) extradition is of utmost importance to enforcement of s, requiring a high degree of respect and cooperation among states, which should not be endangered by looking past a governor's authentication; and (3) while a state's citizens should be protected from illegal action, extradition should not be so narrowly construed that offenders find permanent asylum in another state.

9. Extradition -- Indictment -- -- Forgery.

A plaintiff who alleges that indictments issued against him in the demanding state are forgeries has not so distinguished his challenge to an extradition based on those indictments from traditional case law as to warrant an exception to the long-standing rule that the court in a proceeding may not look behind the face of an indictment; the hearing on the valid issuance of the indictment should be held in the demanding state.

Opinion for Reversal

T. G. Kavanagh, C. J., and Williams and Levin, JJ.

10. Extradition -- -- Indictment -- Forgery.

The court in a proceeding erred in not allowing petitioner, who was sought to be extradited, to bring in testimony and proofs which, he alleged, showed the indictments upon which extradition was sought to be forgeries; if the indictments on record are indeed forgeries with respect to the petitioner, there can be no lawful extradition upon them.

11. Extradition -- -- Indictment -- Authentication -- Proofs -- Forgery.

The authentication of indictments by the governor of the demanding state is not controlling proof of the authenticity of the indictments and a petitioner in proceedings may properly introduce proofs tending to dispute the claim of authenticity by showing the indictments to be forgeries.

12. Extradition -- Warrant -- .

Traditionally, upon the issuance of a warrant for extradition by the governor of the asylum state the accused may test the validity of his arrest in the asylum state in proceedings and the issues before the habeas court are: (1) whether the petitioner is the person named in the extradition papers, (2) whether the petitioner is a fugitive, (3) whether the extradition papers are in proper form on their face, and (4) whether the petitioner is substantially charged with a treason, felony or other crime.

13. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency -- Question of Law.

To justify extradition, it must appear that the person demanded is substantially charged with a crime against the laws of the demanding state by an indictment or an affidavit, certified as authentic by the governor of the state making the demand; this prerequisite is a question of law, and is always open upon the face of the papers to judicial inquiry, on an application for discharge under a writ of .

14. Extradition -- Constitutional Law -- "Charged".

The word "charged" in the extradition clause of the Federal Constitution was used in its broad signification to cover any proceeding which a state might see fit to adopt by which a formal accusation is made against an alleged criminal (US Const, art IV, § 2).

15. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency -- Substantiality.

Reliance on the general rule in proceedings of liberal construction of an indictment in examining the substantiality of a charge on which extradition is sought would be misplaced where the questions are whether the petitioner is charged with crime at all and whether the courts of the demanding state have jurisdiction.

16. Extradition -- Indictment -- Forgery.

A forged indictment charges no offense, provides no jurisdiction, and does not provide grounds for extradition.

17. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency.

Before the asylum state can lawfully comply with an extradition demand, the accused must be substantially charged with a crime.

18. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency.

An indictment which charges no offense against the law, therefore providing no jurisdiction to the demanding state's courts, does not provide justification for extradition.

19. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency.

Objections to the charging indictment which go beyond destroying the sufficiency of the indictment as a criminal pleading can destroy its sufficiency as a substantial charge of crime in an extradition proceeding.

20. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency.

Extradition documents prepared in plain contravention of law are insufficient as a substantial charge of crime.

21. Extradition -- Indictment -- Sufficiency -- Forgery.

Allegations of forgery of an indictment and the non-existence of a properly returned indictment in an extradition proceeding involve a mixed question of law and fact which is unanswerable on the face of the documents alone.

22. Extradition -- Indictment -- -- Evidence.

A petitioner for must present clear and convincing evidence supporting his claim of non-indictment in order to ...


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