Gonzalez v. Freeman – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In Gonzalez v. Freeman (1964) 334 F.2d 570, a corporation was debarred from contracting with Commodity Credit Corporation after the corporation's named partner was indicted on felony charges of alleged misuse of official inspection certificates. (Gonzalez, supra, 334 F.2d at p. 572.)

The indictment was later dismissed, and the partner entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor based on essentially the same acts. (Ibid.)

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals deemed the debarment invalid because it was imposed without observance of procedural requirements. (Id. at p. 580.)

Among other things, the court found that there was insufficient guidance "as to what acts will precipitate a complaint of misconduct." While an experienced businessman could reasonably anticipate some action might well be taken as a result of misuse of inspection certificates, he could only speculate as to the nature of the action and the processes by which it would be effected. (Id. at p. 578.)

In addition, the court found that proper notice to the corporation had not been given, and the necessary procedural protections of a hearing and findings were not granted to the appellants. (Gonzalez, at p. 579.)