Al Capone legal document to be auctioned; was it swiped from court file?

Legal History

Al Capone/Wikimedia Commons


A nearly 90-year-old legal document signed by Al Capone is scheduled to be auctioned this week–raising questions about why it’s not in the Florida court file.

In the special demurrer dated April 26, 1930, Capone claims allegations that he sold liquor in Miami were “scandalous” and “impertinent,” the Miami Herald reports.

The document is related to a raid of Capone’s mansion that led the crime kingpin to accuse the Dade County sheriff a falsely imprisoning him. In response, Capone was charged with perjury for allegedly lying about the sheriff’s conduct.

A Herald reporter reviewed court archives and found no original or duplicate of the document that’s part of a “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen” auction of historical items. Other items being auctioned include Capone’s pocketwatch and original Bonnie and Clyde arrest warrants, according to Fine Books & Collections.

Bobby Livingston, the auction house’s executive vice president, told the Herald that multiple copies of court documents are produced, and some of those end up in private hands.

“It’s not uncommon,” he said.

But Scott Silverman, a retired judge who served as the court system’s historian, was shocked to learn the document was up for sale.

“If this is an original document that was filed with the court, it needs to be back in a court file and preserved for future generations,” he told the Herald.

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