Shepard’s Off The Wall ‘Warning’ Re: Mooney v. Holohan, 294 US 103 (1935)

With apologies, probably only lawyers will really understand this post.  Nevertheless, on to it.

Shepard’s is this service that’s been around for a log time helping lawyers to find cases (usually published opinions from appellate courts) dealing with a specific subject, where those cases have been cited by other cases, whether the citations are favorable or unfavorable – and very importantly, whether a case has been overruled and is no longer good law.

In recent years of course all these functions have been computerized and data-based and Shepard’s is primarily an online tool.

So recently I was checking Shepard’s for any recent developments relating to a case that’s been pretty important fodder for discussion around here for quite some time:  Mooney v. Holohan, 294 US 103 (1935).  That’s a US Supreme Court case.

And Shepards contains a warning that Mooney has been “abrogated”.  The warning then directs the reader by hyperlink to an unpublished opinion from a case in an intermediate state appeals court in Arizona – State v. Branch, decided April 17th of this year.

This unpublished opinion maintains that while under Mooney the prosecution’s knowing use of perjured or false testimony in a criminal case is a denial of due process, Mooney has been qualified to include a “materiality standard”:  that is, there is only a denial of due process of law when the perjury or false testimony affected the outcome of a criminal trial.

Two things about this.  First, it’s not true.  Mooney has never been limited or qualified, and we can hope never will be. 

But second, how can Shepard’s issue a “warning”, complete with the red stop sign symbol, that a US Supreme Court case has been “abrogated” by an unpublished opinion from an intermediate appellate court in Arizona?  State intermediate appellate courts don’t have the authority to limit or abrogate US Supreme Court precedents. 

Who is running things over there at Shepard’s?




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4 responses to “Shepard’s Off The Wall ‘Warning’ Re: Mooney v. Holohan, 294 US 103 (1935)

  1. It may be a prosecutor (even an AZ one) interjecting the clear error.

    You are correct in the premise that no court (much less a State one) can subjugate the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Not only is the cited (less sovereign) court’s conclusion of law clearly errant; it is well established (per “In re: Hazel-Atlass Glass v Hartford Empire (U.S. Sup Ct 1944) {ubiquitously adopted by the Circuits}) that “fraud on the court ” by “Officers of the court” has NO statute of limitations.

    Nothing more heinous & egregious than approved counsels perpetrating intentional slights against the integrity of the judicial process.

    Integrity of (impartial) adjudication upon the merits;

    must remain sacrosanct!


  2. Rolf Rosendahl

    Well, I tried to tell that one to the D.C. Court of Appeals in Rosendahl v. Jeremiah Nixon, et al, in 2009 and SCOTUS in 2010. Their concept is quite clear, “Heck v. Humphrey, 114 S.Ct. 2364 (1994), bars even a jurisdictional challenge by a convicted prisoner absent proof that the prisoner has not overturned the conviction by appeal, habeas corpus, or pardon.” However, when you ask “how” when the jurisdiction of a state trial court is based upon the PERJURY of the Governor on an extradition warrant and not based upon an indictment without a Grand Jury? I served my 15 years for allegedly “growing 28.83 grams” of weed and if you type Rosendahl v. Jeremiah Nixon, et al., into Google you will see my pro se “jailhouse lawyer” case(s) that were “proven” as perjury and Wrongful Conviction, but are nevertheless given both a time bar and res judicata sua sponte by the appellate court. Heck v. Humphrey itself requires a “dismissal WITHOUT prejudice” which is NOT a “ruling on the merits” to which res judicata even applies, There is no time bar to a jurisdictional challenge, right?


    • Mr. Rosendahl I’m sorry you are having such a tough time I wish I could help but it seems to me you should get a copy of that Poventud case and try to find a lawyer. Not me, though. Again, I’m sorry about all the trouble you are having and I wish you the best.


  3. Rolf Rosendahl

    Yes, I have Poventud case, reason I posted here. I also had John William Simon (Spencer v. Kemna, 118 S.Ct. 998 (1998) on state habeas), but facts were “summarily ignored” and judges said they had no habeas jurisdiction to decide their own jurisdiction if that makes any sense. You really think judges who are appointed by the Governor will rule against him? He was the State Attorney General for over 16 years before his term as Governor. Lying and cheating individuals like this do not back down and I already had my skull cracked. What good would it do to hire another lawyer and what would they do??? Heck v. Humphrey was already the bar to my lawsuit, even though it was decided and “retroactively” applied in 1994. Now the D.C. Court of Appeals added both a time bar and res judicata to a “dismissal without prejudice” in their unpublished decision. Being sorry is putting it mildly, how about tossing SCOTUS in the river??? If you believe they will overturn Heck v. Humphrey, regardless of the ruling in Spencer, or Poventud, that U.S. Courts cannot “slam the door shut” in my face, well, I guess you should “go on strike” until they overrule Article III and shake hands. Only less than 1% of cases ever get heard by SCOTUS and The Constitution looks great hanging in the bathroom. When was the last time you defended a case where NO GRAND JURY WAS CONVENED AND NO INDICTMENT EXISTED!!! Perhaps the “belief” of a prosecutor as the “complaining witness” is sufficient in any felony case. See State ex. rel. Buresh v. Adams, 468 S.W.2d 18, 20-22 (Mo. banc 1971); and see State ex rel. Steely v. Oswald, 147 S.W.3d 81, 83 (Mo. banc 2004), holding that in Missouri “a probable cause hearing is a ‘mini-trial’ in which a Sixth Amendment right to counsel applies, and Missouri is only one of a few states that has such statutory requirements. But if the Governor lies on the extradition warrant, it is all good and statutes don’t matter Wish I could post that warrant here, Judge Royce sure got the idea quickly in D.C. District Court, but Heck bars this obvious perjury and D.C. Appeals Court also “summarily ignored” what was staring them in the face.


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