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Costello v. United States

United States Supreme Court
365 U.S. 265 (1961)


Costello (defendant) was naturalized on September 10, 1925. The United States Government (Government) (plaintiff) later brought a denaturalization complaint against Costello on the grounds of willful misrepresentation and fraud. The complaint was dismissed based on the possibility that the Government’s wiretapping had tainted the evidence. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed. The United States Supreme Court reversed again, based on the Government’s failure to file an affidavit of good cause, which was a prerequisite to bringing denaturalization proceedings at the time it filed the complaint. The case was remanded to the district court, which dismissed without indicating whether the dismissal was with or without prejudice. The Government subsequently brought a second denaturalization complaint, together with an affidavit of good cause. The district court thereafter revoked Costello’s citizenship. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

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