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United States v. Allied Towing Corp.

Citation: 8 ELR 20673
No. No. 77-1403, 578 F.2d 978/12 ERC 1305/(4th Cir., 07/12/1978)

Affirming the lower court, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals holds that a corporation which reports oil spills to the Coast Guard pursuant to § 311(b)(5) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act is not entitled to the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in a subsequent prosecution for the same oil spills under § 311(b)(6). The court rejects the corporation's argument that the penalties are criminal in nature and protected under the use-immunity provision of § 311(b)(5). The court agrees with the conclusion reached by other courts that the penalty is civil in nature, and the statutory immunity therefore does not apply.

Counsel for Appellant
Robert L. O'Donnell, Morton H. Clark
Vandevanter, Black, Meredith & Martin
2050 Virginia Nat'l Bank Bldg., 1 Commercial Plaza Norfolk VA 23510
(804) 622-3281

Counsel for Appellee
Harland F. Leathers; Barbara Allen Babcock, Ass't Attorney General; Morton Hollander, Chief, Appellate Section
Civil Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-3301

William B. Cummings, U.S. Attorney
117 S. Washington St., Alexandria VA 22314
(703) 557-9100