ALEXANDER V. UNITED STATES, 201 U. S. 117 (1906)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Alexander v. United States, 201 U.S. 117 (1906)

Alexander v. United States

Nos. 381-385

Argued January 5, 8, 1906

Decided March 12, 1906

201 U.S. 117


In a suit in a circuit court of the United States brought by the United States against corporations for violations of the Anti-Trust Law of July 2, 1890, a witness refused to answer questions or produce books before the examiner on the ground of immateriality, also pleading the privileges of the Fifth Amendment; the court overruled the objections and ordered the witness to answer the questions and produce the books, an appeal was taken to this Court. Held that:

While such an order might leave the witness no alternative except to obey or be punished for contempt, it is interlocutory in the principal suit, and not a final order, nor does it constitute a practically independent proceeding amounting to a final judgment, and an appeal will not lie therefrom to this Court.

If the witness refuses to obey and the court goes further and punishes him for contempt, there is a right of review, and this is adequate for his protection without unduly impeding the process of the case.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 201 U. S. 118

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