plaintiffs do not allege, nor do they prove, such prejudice.
Defendants further add that the time to process each arrestee differs according to the crime for which he has been arrested. So wide variances in processing times are understandable. The defendants argue also that other agents of the United States are responsible for part of the delay before presentment, and no remedy can be ordered by the court if a constitutional violation is found, unless these other parties are joined.
The court finds all defendants' arguments unconvincing and that they have fundamentally misconstrued the "reasonableness" requirement of the Fourth Amendment.
II. The standard by which the court is to judge whether the defendants' processing procedures before presentment pass constitutional muster is whether they lead to the detainment of the arrestee only so long as needed to complete "the administrative steps incident to arrest." Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 114, 43 L. Ed. 2d 54, 95 S. Ct. 854 (1975). After that short period of time the core guarantee of the Fourth Amendment moves into the foreground - the individual arrested and held by police must be brought before a judicial officer who determines if probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed by the person detained. As the Supreme Court in United States v. United States District Court, 407 U.S. 297, 316, 92 S. Ct. 2125, 32 L. Ed. 2d 752 (1972) pointed out, the "very heart of the Fourth Amendment directive" is that a search or seizure necessarily involves "the judgment of the magistrate that the collected evidence is sufficient to justify invasion of a citizen's private premises or conversation."
The essential reason the detached judgment of a judicial officer is needed to detain an individual beyond the critical "stop and frisk" or processing steps after arrest is that a judicial officer belongs to a branch of the government different than the police who are charged with investigating crime. "The point of the Fourth Amendment . . . consists in requiring that . . . inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime." Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14, 92 L. Ed. 436, 68 S. Ct. 367 (1948).
This judicial judgment can be delayed only for the time necessary for the police to process an individual arrested and detained. At the point at which these administrative steps are completed (or should have been completed) the Fourth Amendment operates to force the police to present the arrestee before a magistrate.
The Court in Terry v. Ohio, supra, clearly said that "the scheme of the Fourth Amendment becomes meaningful only when it is assured that at some point the conduct of those charged with enforcing the laws can be subjected to the more detached, neutral scrutiny of a judge who must evaluate the reasonableness of a particular search or a seizure in light of the particular circumstances." Id. at 21.
The issue in this case is how long may the police detain an arrestee before presenting him or her before a magistrate? The Supreme Court, in exercising its supervisory powers over the administration of criminal justice in the federal courts as early as 1943 established in McNabb v. United States, 318 U.S. 332, 87 L. Ed. 819, 63 S. Ct. 608 (1943), that the police must present a person "with reasonable promptness." Id. at 344. Arraignment of a detained individual needs to be held "without unnecessary delay" the court repeated in 1957, on the basis of the then new Rule 5(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Mallory v. United States, 354 U.S. 449, 452, 1 L. Ed. 2d 1479, 77 S. Ct. 1356 (1957). In both cases the court held that the confessions extracted by police officers during the extended period defendants were detained prior to presentment could not be admitted at trial. The whole purpose of Rule 5(a) is to protect individual rights without hampering law enforcement. Id. at 453.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has emphasized that the right to a prompt presentment is a fundamental constitutional right. Brown v. Fauntleroy, 143 U.S. App. D.C. 116, 442 F.2d 838, 839 n.2 (1971); In re Barnard, 147 U.S. App. D.C. 302, 455 F.2d 1370, 1374 (1971), rooted in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Cooley v. Stone, 134 U.S. App. D.C. 317, 414 F.2d 1213, 1214 (1969). Most recently the Supreme Court has emphasized how heavily the balance of interests weighs in favor of the individual during this pre-presentment detention period. In Gerstein v. Pugh, supra, the court explained its holding that an individual could be detained before trial only upon a finding of probable cause by a neutral magistrate.
A prosecutor's information was not sufficient:
Once the subject is in custody . . . the reasons that justify dispensing with the magistrate's neutral judgment evaporate. There no longer is any danger that the suspect will escape or commit further crimes while the police submit their evidence to a magistrate. And, while the State's reasons for taking summary action subside, the suspect's need for a neutral determination of probable cause increases significantly. The consequences of prolonged detention may be more serious than the interference occasioned by arrest. Pretrial confinement may imperil the suspect's job, interrupt his source of income, and impair his family relationships. . . . When the stakes are this high, the detached judgment of a neutral magistrate is essential if the Fourth Amendment is to furnish meaningful protection from unfounded interference with liberty. Id. at 114.