Silverthorne Lumber Company v. United States

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Silverthorne Lumber Company v. United States by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385]] (1920), was a U.S. Supreme Court Case in which Silverthorne attempted to evade paying taxes. Federal agents illegally seized tax books from Silverthorne and created copies of the records. The issue in this case is whether or not derivatives of illegal evidence are permissible in court. The ruling was that to permit derivatives would encourage police to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, so the illegal copied evidence was held tainted and inadmissible. This precedent is known as Fruit of the Poisonous Tree and is an extension of the exclusionary rule. — Excerpted from Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Court Documents
Opinion of the Court

United States Supreme Court

251 U.S. 385


 Argued: Dec. 12, 1919. --- Decided: Jan 26, 1920

Messrs. Frederic D. McKenney and Myer Cohen, both of Washington, D. C., and William D. Guthrie, of New York City, for plaintiffs in error.

Mr. Assistant Attorney General Stewart, for the United States.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 385-390 intentionally omitted]

Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).