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NCJ Number: 134877 Find in a Library
Title: Civil RICO -- In Search of a "Pattern" -- H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co.
Journal: Wake Forest Law Review  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:(1990)  Pages:315-343
Author(s): C W Coltrane
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 29
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In the case of H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone, the U.S. Supreme Court relied on the statutory language and legislative history of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act to reject the Eighth Circuit's multiple schemes approach to interpreting pattern in racketeering activity.
Abstract: In specifically stating that a plaintiff must prove the continuity element to show a pattern, the Supreme Court also rejected the multiple acts approach used by the Fifth Circuit. The court brought all circuit courts toward a moderate interpretation of RICO's pattern requirement. Nevertheless, the court should have seized the opportunity to cut through the statutory "fog" of RICO's pattern language and should have enunciated a more substantial test for determining pattern rather allowing circuit courts to pick and choose between various approaches. The case-by-case approach adopted by the Supreme Court contains the requisite amount of flexibility needed to adapt to the various RICO case scenarios, but it lacks the objectivity and uniformity inherent in the Seventh Circuit's objective criteria approach. Consequently, even in light of RICO's prevalence in commercial litigation, the statute's focal pattern of racketeering activity language continues to be veiled in confusion. 233 footnotes
Main Term(s): Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; US Supreme Court decisions
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