Brief Fact Summary. Certain banks were found to have loaned money in violation of federal banking statutes and regulations, and were civilly punished. Subsequently, they were indicted on criminal charges.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Double Jeopardy Clause “protects only against the imposition of multiple criminal punishments for the same offense, and then only when such occurs in successive proceedings.”
All civil penalties have some deterrent effect.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether Double Jeopardy applies in criminal matters when a defendant has already faced civil proceedings.
Held. No. The Supreme Court of the United States first considered the seven factors outlined in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez. It then further considered U.S. v. Halper, which “elevated a single Kennedy factor-whether the sanction appeared excessive in relation to its nonpunitive purposes-to dispositive status.” The Court overturned Halper, and refocused on the Kennedy test. The Supreme Court found that Congress had intended the sanctions “to be civil in nature.” Second, the OCC’s actions were not “so punitive in form and effect as to render them criminal despite Congress’ intent to the contrary.” Third, the sanctions were not an “affirmative disability or restraint.” Fourth, while “the conduct for which OCC sanctions are imposed may also be criminal.