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WEISS v. UNITED STATES

January 29, 1951

WEISS
v.
UNITED STATES



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARKSDALE

Hugo Weiss seeks damages against the United States under authority of 28 U.S.C.A. § 1495, which is as follows:

'Damages for unjust conviction and imprisonment; claim against United States.

 'The Court of Claims shall have jurisdiction to render judgment upon any claim for damages by any person unjustly convicted of an offense against the United States and imprisoned.'

 To this end, he has filed his petition in this Court, alleging that he has been unjustly convicted and imprisoned, and praying for a certificate of innocence under the provisions of 28 U.S.C.A. § 2513, which is as follows:

 'Unjust conviction and imprisonment.

 '(a) Any person suing under section 1495 of this title must allege and prove that:

 '(1) His conviction has been reversed or set aside on the ground that he is not guilty of the offense of which he was convicted, or on new trial or rehearing he was found not guilty of such offense, as appears from the record or certificate of the court setting aside or reversing such conviction, or that he has been pardoned upon the stated ground of innocence and unjust conviction and

 '(2) He did not commit any of the acts charged or his acts, deeds, or omissions in connection with such charge constituted no offense against the United States, or any State, Territory or the District of Columbia, and he did not by misconduct or neglect cause or bring about his own prosecution.

 '(b) Proof of the requisite facts shall be by a certificate of the court or pardon wherein such facts are alleged to appear, and other evidence thereof shall not be received.

 '(c) No pardon or certified copy of a pardon shall be filed with the Court of Claims unless it contains recitals that the pardon was granted after applicant had exhausted all recourse to the courts and that the time for any court to exercise its jurisdiction had expired.

 '(d) The Court may permit the plaintiff to Prosecute such action in forma pauperis.

 '(e) The amount of damages awarded shall not exceed the sum of $ 5,000.'

 Prior to Amy 24, 1938, Congress had enacted no statute for the recovery of damages by any person unjustly convicted and imprisoned by a court of the United States. Effective on that date, legislation was enacted which became Sections 729-732, inclusive, of Title 18 of the U.S.C.A. On September 1, 1948, Sections 729-732, inclusive, of Title 18 U.S.C.A., were repealed and the above-quoted sections 1495 and 2513 of Title 28 U.S.C.A. were enacted in their place. The Revisor's Note to 28 U.S.C.A. § 2513 is as follows:

 'Revisor's Note. Based on section 729-732 of Title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Crimes and Criminal Procedure (May 24, 1938, c. ...


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