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Reentry Resource Center - New York

Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

Fowlkes v. Adamec (2d Cir 2005)

  • Organization: Second Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Date Created: Wednesday, December 07, 2005
  • Submitted: Wednesday, December 07, 2005
  • Attachment(s): PDF

The Second Circuit remanded to the Commissioner to examine whether Fowlkes's benefits were suspended as of the date of a warrant or order issued by a court or other authorized tribunal on the basis of a finding that Fowlkes fled or was fleeing from justice, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1382(e)(4)(A) (2000) and 206 C.F.R. § 416.1339(b)(1).

The Court held that the statute does not permit the Commissioner to conclude simply from the fact that there is an outstanding warrant for a person's arrest that he is "fleeing to avoid prosecution." 10 U.S.C. § 1382(e)(4)(A). "Fleeing" in § 1382(e)(4)(A) is understood to mean the conscious evasion of arrest or prosecution. See Black's Law Dictionary 670 (8th ed. 2004) (defining "flight" as "[t]he act or an instance of fleeing, esp. to evade arrest or prosecution"). Thus, there must be some evidence that the person knows his apprehension is sought.

The Court also held that 20 C.F.R. § 416.1339(b)(1) does not permit the

agency to make a finding of flight; rather, it demands a court or other appropriate tribunal to have issued a warrant or order based on a finding of flight.

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