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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Massey v. United States
Citation:320 A.2d 296.
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
At about 3:00am, on November 30, 1972, Mrs. Waiter was in her residence when she heard knocking and hammering on a door. She looked out her back window and observed someone matching the defendant’s description kicking and pounding on a door of the nearby New Jersey Bar and Grill. She saw him stop for a while, run across the street, come back again, pound on the door some more and finally enter the building. She called the police.
When the police arrived, they noticed a splintered door. The officer then entered the storeroom area and saw someone back in that darkened area. He was asked to halt, but instead the figure disappeared into another room and footsteps were heard running up a stairway. The officer called for backup and he called for anyone in the building to come out. At this time, the defendant came down the stairs. He was only in his underwear and was rubbing his eyes. The defendant followed the officers upstairs, telling them that he was staying with Mr. Matthews, who resided over the bar and grill, and that he had heard nothing unusual. The search of the upstairs area revealed nothing of a suspicious nature and the officers returned to search the storeroom area. They noticed several clothes racks and saw that several items of clothing were folded and stacked on the floor.
Mr. Miller, the owner of the bar and grill, testified that the defendant frequented his establishment and that he had been there on the evening of November 29. He closed the establishment around 2:40 a.m. and offered the defendant a ride home. He drove him to a tourist home a few blocks away. Mr. Miller had not given the defendant permission to enter the premises after hours or to take the clothes off the rack.
The defendant testified that he had permission to enter the premises, that he had taken his shoes and coat off, left them downstairs, and then gone upstairs to sleep. His next recollection was being awakened by police with flashlights. He was found guilty of burglary. He appealed, arguing that the state failed to prove that he entered the building with an intent to steal.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.