CURCIO V. UNITED STATES, 354 U. S. 118 (1957)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Curcio v. United States, 354 U.S. 118 (1957)

Curcio v. United States

No. 260

Argued March 28, 1957

Decided June 10, 1957

354 U.S. 118


In the circumstances of this case, the custodian of a union's books and records, who had failed to produce them before a federal grand jury pursuant to subpoena, could, on the ground of his privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, lawfully refuse to answer questions asked by the grand jury as to the whereabouts of such books and records, and his conviction of criminal contempt for refusing to answer such questions is reversed. Pp. 354 U. S. 118-128.

(a) Though the custodian of the books and records of a corporation or a labor union may not, on grounds of possible self-incrimination, refuse to produce them pursuant to subpoena, he cannot lawfully be compelled, in the absence of a grant of adequate immunity from prosecution, to condemn himself by his own oral testimony. Pp. 354 U. S. 122-128.

(b) In the circumstances of this case, the questions which petitioner refused to answer were incriminating. P. 121, n 2.

234 F.2d 470 reversed and remanded.

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