United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
870 F.2d 769 (1989)
John Sturm (defendant) received a loan from the Worcester County Institution for Savings (WCIS) to purchase an Aero Commander aircraft. The loan was secured by the aircraft itself, as well as the plane’s logbooks. Logbooks were required for all commercial aircrafts. After several missed payments, WCIS learned that Sturm had financial problems and repossessed the plane without the logbooks. However, WCIS learned that it could not obtain a fair auction price for the plane without the logbooks. WCIS asked Sturm to return the logbooks on various occasions. Sturm told WCIS representatives that he did not know where the logbooks were but would return the books for a fee of $20,000. Thereafter, WCIS contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). WCIS then informed Sturm that the fee had been approved. Shortly thereafter, FBI agents posing as WCIS officers met with Sturm. The FBI agents arrested Sturm after he showed the agents the logbooks. Sturm was charged with and convicted of attempted extortion in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. §1951, which punishes anyone who affects interstate commerce by robbery or extortion. Extortion is defined as the obtaining of property from another with consent by the wrongful use of threats, force, violence, or fear. At trial, the judge instructed the jury that Sturm had a claim-of-right defense and that the government was not required to prove that Sturm knew his acts were illegal. The jury rendered a verdict finding Sturm guilty of attempted extortion. Sturm appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Torruella, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 220,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.