HOUSE V. MAYO, 324 U. S. 42 (1945)

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U.S. Supreme Court

House v. Mayo, 324 U.S. 42 (1945)

House v. Mayo

No. 921

Decided February 5, 1945

324 U.S. 42


A petition to the federal district court for a writ of habeas corpus, by one confined under a state court sentence for burglary, alleged that the trial court, without warning and over the petitioner's protests, forced him to plead to the information without the aid and advice of his counsel, whose presence he requested. The district judge denied the petition and also denied a certificate of probable cause for an appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 466. The circuit court of appeals denied a timely application for allowance of an appeal.


1. The case is reviewable here by certiorari not under § 240(a), but under § 262 of the Judicial Code. P. 324 U. S. 44.

2. Review here by certiorari under § 262 extends not only to the question whether the circuit court of appeals abused its discretion in refusing to allow the appeal, but also to questions on the merits sought to be raised by the appeal. P. 324 U. S. 44.

3. The petition for habeas corpus sufficiently alleged a denial of the petitioner's constitutional right to a fair trial. P. 324 U. S. 46.

4. The decision of the district court denying habeas corpus on the ground that the questions sought to be raised had been fairly adjudicated by the state courts was unsupported, since the basis

Page 324 U. S. 43

of the state court decisions relied on was, in each instance, that the particular remedy sought was not one provided by state law. P. 324 U. S. 47.

5. Where a state court adjudicates the merits of a state prisoner's federal questions, and this Court either reviews or declines to review its decision, a federal court will not ordinarily reexamine on habeas corpus the questions thus adjudicated. But that rule is inapplicable when the basis of the state court's decision is that the particular remedy sought is one which the state law does not provide. P. 324 U. S. 48.

6. The circuit court of appeals erred in not considering whether the case was an appropriate one for a certificate of probable cause under 28 U.S.C. § 466, and also in not issuing the certificate. P. 324 U. S. 48.

7. The motion for leave to file a petition for habeas corpus in this Court is denied, and the cause is remanded to the district court for further proceedings in conformity with the opinion of this Court. P. 324 U. S. 48.

Certiorari granted; decisions below reversed.

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