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United States v. Marzgliano

decided: November 27, 1978.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE,
v.
SALVATORE MARZGLIANO, JOSEPH MOGAVERA, PAUL R. LABRIOLA, THOMAS GRAHAM, BERNARD CARROLL, WILLIAM SEVRANSKY, ANTHONY NOTO, PETER SCHEIB, CARLO JOSEPH SCALA, RICHARD CAMPO, CIRO J. GRAZIANO, TIMOTHY MITTEAGER, MARILYN WALLACE, JEROME OTIERI, RICHARD GUNN, THEODORE MENDEL, JOSEPH MOGAVERA, APPELLANT.



APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY D.C. Crim. No. 74-295

Before Gibbons, Hunter and Garth, Circuit Judges.

Author: Hunter

Opinion OF THE COURT

Joseph Mogavera appeals from the denial of a motion for dismissal of his indictment or, in the alternative, for withdrawal of his guilty plea and subsequent sentence. Without a hearing, the district court denied relief determining first, that the dismissal of the indictment was not mandated by the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, 18 U.S.C. app. § 2 (1976), and second, that Mogavera had not demonstrated that his guilty plea was involuntary under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (1976). We agree that the Interstate Agreement on Detainers was not violated, though on different grounds from those advanced by the district court. However, we hold that Mogavera is entitled to a hearing on the voluntariness of his guilty plea.

I.

On August 5, 1974 Mogavera and fifteen others were indicted for conspiracy to forge and utter United States Savings Bonds and for the substantive offense of forging United States Savings Bonds in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 495 (1976). Mogavera was also charged with failure to file an income tax return. He was arraigned in United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on September 20, 1974; he pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. While awaiting trial on the federal charges, he pleaded guilty to a New York state charge in February, 1975, and was sentenced to a three year term. He began serving his sentence in a New York state prison on March 10, 1975. On June 13, 1975 the federal government procured his transfer to the federal correctional facility in New York City pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum.

While in federal custody, Mogavera pleaded guilty to the forgery and tax charges on June 27, 1975. The district court judge conducted a hearing to determine the voluntariness of Mogavera's guilty plea as required by Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Under oath, Mogavera declared that neither his attorney nor the government had made any promises to him which induced him to plead guilty. Mogavera does not challenge the sufficiency of the Rule 11 proceeding.

After the acceptance of the plea, he was returned to the state facility pending the preparation of the federal probation report. On October 6, 1975 he was again transferred to federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. He was sentenced by the district court judge on October 24, 1975 to a five year term to run consecutive to his state sentence and to five years probation to follow his release from custody.

II.

Mogavera first contends that he is entitled to the dismissal of his indictment on the federal charges because his rights under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers were violated. The Agreement governs the transfer of a prisoner from a jurisdiction where he is serving a sentence to another jurisdiction for proceedings against him.*fn1 Under article IV(e), if the prisoner is returned to the original place of imprisonment before being tried in the second jurisdiction, then his indictment in the second jurisdiction must be dismissed with prejudice.*fn2

The district court held that the transfer of Mogavera from the federal facility back to the state prison after the acceptance of Mogavera's guilty plea but before sentencing did not violate the Agreement. The court read article IV(e) as requiring dismissal only if "Trial is not had on any indictment . . . prior to the prisoner's being returned to the original place of imprisonment." See note 2 Supra (emphasis supplied). Thus, it reasoned that the Agreement does not prevent transfers after the prisoner is tried in the second jurisdiction. Since it determined that the entry of a guilty plea is the legal equivalent of a "trial," the district court held that the post-guilty plea transfers were outside the ambit of the Agreement.

We need not reach the merits of the district court's statutory construction. After the district court's decision, the Supreme Court held in United States v. Mauro, 436 U.S. 340, 360, 98 S. Ct. 1834, 56 L. Ed. 2d 329 (1978), that a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum is not a "detainer" within the meaning of the Agreement.*fn3 In each instance, Mogavera's transfer from state to federal custody was achieved pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. Since the writ does not invoke the protections of the Agreement, Mogavera is not entitled to the dismissal of his indictment.*fn4

III.

Mogavera contends alternatively that his guilty plea was not voluntary. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 he is entitled to a hearing on his petition "(unless) the motion and the files and records of the case Conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief."*fn5 (emphasis supplied) After reviewing the appropriate materials, the district court, without a hearing, denied relief. We address solely the issue of whether Mogavera ...


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