Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

RICHARD DEMAREST v. JAMES MANSPEAKER ET AL.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES No. 89-5916 111 S. Ct. 599, 498 U.S. 184, 112 L. Ed. 2d 608, 59 U.S.L.W. 4047, 1991.SCT.40345 <http://www.versuslaw.com> decided: January 8, 1991. RICHARD DEMAREST, PETITIONERv.JAMES MANSPEAKER ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT. James E. Scarboro, by appointment of the Court, 495 U.S. 928, argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Alfred T. McDonnell and David C. Warren. Michael R. Lazerwitz argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Starr, Acting Assistant Attorney General Keeney, and Deputy Solicitor General Bryson. Rehnquist, C. J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. Author: Rehnquist


CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT.

Rehnquist, C. J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Author: Rehnquist

 CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question presented is whether 28 U. S. C. § 1821 requires payment of witness fees to a convicted state prisoner who testifies at a federal trial pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum. The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit concluded that it does not. We disagree and conclude that it does. In March 1988, petitioner Richard Demarest, an inmate in a Colorado state correctional facility, was summoned to appear as a defense witness in a federal criminal trial. He was transported by a United States marshal to the Denver County Jail pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum which had been issued by the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Demarest testified on the 8th day of the 11-day trial and remained in the custody of federal marshals throughout that period. After completing his testimony, Demarest sought fees as a "witness . . . in attendance," pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 1821 for the eight days that he was available to testify and the two days that he spent in transit to and from the Denver County Jail.

In accordance with 28 U. S. C. § 1825(a), petitioner requested that the Clerk of the District Court, respondent James Manspeaker, certify that petitioner was entitled to receive witness fees, and forward that certification to the United States marshal for payment of the fee. Respondent forwarded petitioner's request to the United States attorney, who in turn denied petitioner's request for certification on the ground that § 1821(a) does not entitle prisoners to receive witness fees. Demarest subsequently sought a writ of mandamus requesting the District Court to order Manspeaker to certify his request for fees. The District Court dismissed the petition, agreeing with respondent that § 1821 does not authorize the payment of witness fees to prisoners.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed by a divided vote. 884 F.2d 1343 (1989). The court held that while the language of § 1821 was "unqualified," other evidence revealed that Congress did not intend to permit prisoners to receive witness fees. We granted certiorari, 495 U.S. 903 (1990), in order to determine whether a convicted state prisoner brought to testify at a federal trial by virtue of a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum is entitled to witness fees under § 1821. In deciding a question of statutory construction, we begin of course with the language of the statute. Section 1821 provides as follows:

"(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided by law, a witness in attendance at any court of the United States . . . shall be paid the fees and allowances provided by this section.

"(b) A witness shall be paid an attendance fee of $30 per day for each day's attendance. A witness shall also be paid the attendance fee for the time necessarily occupied in going to and returning from the place of attendance at the beginning and end of such attendance or at any time during such attendance.

"(d)(1) A subsistence allowance shall be paid to a witness (other than a witness who is incarcerated) when an overnight stay is required at the place of attendance because such place is so far removed from the residence of such witness as to prohibit return thereto from day to day.

"(e) An alien who has been paroled into the United States for prosecution, pursuant to section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U. S. C. 1182(d) (5)), or an alien who either has admitted belonging to a class of aliens who are deportable or has been determined pursuant to section 242(b) of such Act (8 U. S. C. 1252 (b)) to be deportable, shall be ineligible to receive the fees or allowances provided by this section."

Subsection (a)(1) provides that a "witness in attendance at any court of the United States" shall be paid fees. Subsection (b) provides that "a witness shall be paid an attendance fee of $30." Subsection (d)(1) provides for subsistence fees to witnesses, but excepts those who are incarcerated. Subsection (e) excludes paroled or deportable aliens from eligibility for fees. We think this analysis shows that Congress was thinking about incarcerated individuals when it drafted the statute, since it excluded them from eligibility for subsistence fees. We believe subsection (e) removes all doubt on this question, since Congress expressly excepted another class of incarcerated witnesses -- detained aliens -- from eligibility for fees. The conclusion is virtually inescapable, therefore, that the general language "witness in attendance at any court of the United States" found in subsection (a)(1) includes prisoners unless they are otherwise excepted in the statute.

Respondents rely on the cognate provisions of 28 U. S. C. § 1825 to sustain the decision below. That section provides:

"(a) In any case in which the United States . . . is a party, the United States marshal for the district shall pay all fees of witnesses on the certificate of the United States attorney or assistant United States attorney, . . . except that any fees of defense witnesses, other than experts, appearing pursuant to subpoenas issued upon approval of the court, shall be paid by the United States marshal for the district --

"(2) on the certificate of the clerk of the court upon the affidavit of such witnesses' attendance given by . . . counsel appointed pursuant to section 3006A of title 18, in a criminal case in which ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.