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United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
September 5, 1986
[*662] This appeal raises the question of whether it violates the double jeopardy clause to retry a defendant whose criminal conviction was reversed because of improper venue. We hold that reversal because of improper venue is not the same as reversal for insufficient evidence to support a conviction, which would bar a retrial, and that retrial is permitted here. We therefore affirm the district court's denial of a writ of habeas corpus to this state petitioner.
William Haney, a psychiatrist practicing in Morgan County, Alabama, was convicted in Montgomery County Circuit Court of multiple counts of making fraudulent Medicaid claims, in violation of Ala.Code § 22-1-11. Subsequent [**2] to his trial, the Alabama Supreme Court held that proper venue for prosecuting charges of Medicaid fraud is in the county where the fraud allegedly was committed, rather than in Montgomery County, where the Medicaid agency is located. The trial judge then set aside the conviction. Haney was reindicted, this time in Morgan County, and after exhausting his state remedies, Haney brought these federal proceedings seeking a writ of habeas corpus to prevent his retrial.
Before the first trial, Haney had sought to have venue changed to Morgan County. He contended throughout the trial that venue was improper in Montgomery County. At the time of the trial, though, both the prosecution and the trial, though, both the prosecution and the trial court relied on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals' opinion in McKennie v. State, 439 So. 2d 706 (Ala.Crim.App. 1982), which held that proper venue for prosecuting Medicaid fraud was in Montgomery County, where the Medicaid agency was located. The Alabama Supreme Court adopted a contrary rule in Ex parte Hunte, 436 So. 2d 806 (Ala. 1983), and reversed McKennie. Ex parte McKennie, 439 So. 2d 713 (Ala. 1983). [**3]
When the trial court quashed Haney's indictment in light of Hunte, Haney argued that proof of venue is a necessary part of the State's case and that the proof was insufficient to support the conviction. In Burks v. United States, 437 U.S. 1, 98 S. Ct. 2141, 57 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1978), the Supreme Court held that ] where a conviction is reversed because of insufficient evidence to support the verdict, the defendant cannot be retried without offending the Double Jeopardy Clause.
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799 F.2d 661 *; 1986 U.S. App. LEXIS 29623 **
William K. HANEY, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Buford R. BURGESS, Sheriff Morgan County, Alabama and Charles A. Graddick, Attorney General for the State of Alabama, Respondents-Appellees
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. CV-85-A-5721-NE.
Civil Procedure, Preliminary Considerations, Venue, General Overview, Criminal Law & Procedure, Commencement of Criminal Proceedings, Double Jeopardy, Attachment Jeopardy, Collateral Estoppel, Trials, Burdens of Proof, Prosecution, Jurisdiction & Venue, Venue