Criminal Law – Due Process – Public Policy as Valid Grounds for Denying Recovery of Proceeds of Illegal Act

Plaintiff collected a $10 fee from a number of persons for the privilege of attending a farm outing and photographing female models, some of whom posed in the nude. The sheriff arrested all concerned. Plaintiff pleaded guilty to a charge of outraging public decency and was fined $50. The others were found guilty of disorderly conduct. Plaintiff brought a trover action against the sheriff who had kept the money ($149) which the plaintiff had collected, but the trial court dismissed the action. On appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, held, affirmed, one judge dissenting. Plaintiff could not invoke the aid of the courts to regain the proceeds of his illegal act. Carr v. Hoy, 2 N.Y. (2d) 185, 158 N.Y.S. (2d) 572 (1957).