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United States v. Rosen.

April 25, 1949

UNITED STATES
v.
ROSEN.



Author: Chase

Before AUGUSTUS N. HAND, CHASE and CLARK, Circuit Judges.

CHASE, Circuit Judge.

The appellant was adjudged in contempt of court for refusing to obey an order of the court directing him to answer certain questions he had been asked when he appeared as a witness before a grand jury duly summoned and sitting in the Southern District of New York on March 2 and 3, 1949. He was sentenced to imprisonment for six months or until such time as he purged himself by answering the questions.

There were eleven questions which the appellant refused to answer after a hearing before the court had resulted in the order directing him to do so. His refusal to answer each question was for the claimed reason that his answers would tend to incriminate him and the order adjudging him in contempt is now attacked as erroneous in that it denied him the protection against self incrimination which the Fifth Amendment provides.

The questions which he refused, on the above ground to answer are as follows:

"Q. * * * I show you Grand Jury Exhibit No. 103, which is a certificate of title of a motor vehicle issued by the Director of Vehicles & Traffic of the District of Columbia, for a Ford roadster, which certificate contains a purchase application for new certificate of title, bearing the name William Rosen, signature William Rosen, and an affidavit given before Notary Public Henry J. Gertler on July 23rd, 1936, and I ask you have you seen this document in any form, either the original or the copy, have you previously seen this document in any form either the original or the copy? * * * Prior to the time the committee or any representative of the Committee or any representative of the Committee on Un-American Activities exhibited to you a copy of that document, had you ever seen the original or a copy of the document?

"Q. Mr. Rosen, Judge Rifkind instructed you in court on March 3rd that you were to answer the question that was asked you as to whether you desired to change your answer of 'No' to the question as to whether you knew Mr. Gertler, and that is what I am asking you, do you desire to change your answer of 'No' to the question as to whether you knew Mr. Gertler, as to whether you ever met or had any conversation with Mr. Gertler? * * * I again ask you the question as to whether you desire to change your answer before the grand jury on March 3rd when you said 'No' to the juror's question as to whether you had ever met or had any conversation with Mr. Gertler?

"Q. Mr. Rosen, did you ever own a Ford roadster? That question was asked you on March 3rd in the grand jury room, and Judge Rifkind instructed you when you appeared before him to answer the question. What is your answer?

"Q. Mr. Rosen, I am again asking you a question which you were asked in the grand jury on March 3rd, 1949, and which Judge Rifkind instructed you to answer: 'Mr. Rosen did you ever own a Ford automobile?'

"Q. I am now asking you a question which was asked you before the grand jury on March 3rd, 1949 and which Judge Rifkind instructed you to answer: 'Mr. Rosen, did you ever seek to obtain a certificate of title or to register a Ford automobile at any time?'

"Q. Mr. Rosen, I am again asking you a question which was asked before the grand jury on March 3rd, 1949, and which Judge Rifkind on that same date instructed you to answer: 'Did you appear before a notary public, Henry J. Gertler, in Washington, D.C., on July 23rd, 1936?'

"Q. Mr. Rosen, I am again asking you a question which you were asked by a juror in the grand jury room on March 3rd, 1949 and which Judge Rifkind instructed you to answer on the same date when you appeared before him in court. Question by a juror: 'Will, if you were not in Washington, if it is true that you were not in Washington on that particular day, how could you possible have had any connection with the signing of this document and, therefore, why can't you say that you did not sign that document or that you did not appear before Mr. Gertler?'

"Q. Mr. Rosen, I am again asking you a question which you were asked before the grand jury on March 3rd, 1949 and which Judge Rifkind subsequently instructed you to answer: 'Did you ever purchase an automobile from any automobile dealer either ...


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