United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/1st Congress/1st Session/Chapter 20

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United States Statutes at Large, Volume 1
United States Congress
Public Acts of the First Congress, First Session, Chapter XX
The first page of the Judiciary Act of 1789.

The Judiciary Act of 1789 (1 Stat. 73) was a landmark statute adopted on September 24, 1789 in the first session of the First United States Congress establishing the U.S. federal judiciary. Article Three of the United States Constitution created the Supreme Court and gave Congress the power to establish inferior courts. It made no provision, though, for the composition or procedures of any of the courts, leaving this to Congress to decide.

The existence of a separate federal judiciary had been controversial during the debates over the ratification of the Constitution. Anti-Federalists had denounced the judicial power as a potential instrument of national tyranny. Indeed, of the ten amendments that eventually became the Bill of Rights, five (the Fourth through Eighth) dealt primarily with judicial proceedings. Even after ratification, some opponents of a strong judiciary urged that the federal court system be limited to a Supreme Court and perhaps local admiralty judges. The Congress, however, decided to establish a system of federal trial courts with broader jurisdiction, thereby creating an arm for enforcement of national laws within each state. — Excerpted from Judiciary Act of 1789 on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Sept. 24, 1789.
Chap. ⅩⅩ.—An Act to establish the Judicial Courts of the United States.[1]


Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, ThatSupreme court to consist of a chief justice, and five associates. the supreme court of the United States shall consist of a chief justice and five associate justices,[2] any four of whom shall be a quorum, and shall hold annually at the seat of government two sessions, the one commencing the first Monday of February,Two sessions annually. and the other the first Monday of August. That the associate justices shall have precedence according to the date of their commissions,Precedence. or when the commissions of two or more of them bear date on the same day, according to their respective ages.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted,Thirteen districts. That the United States shall be, and they hereby are divided into thirteen districts, to be limited and called as follows, to wit: one to consist of that part of the State of Massachusetts which lies easterly of the State of New Hampshire, and to be called Maine District;Maine. one to consist of the State of New Hampshire, and to be called New Hampshire District;N. Hampshire.[3] one to consist of the remaining part of the State of Massachusetts, and to be called Massachusetts district;Massachusetts. one to consist of the State of Connecticut, and to be called Connecticut District;Connecticut. one to consist of the State of New York, and to be called New York District;New York. one to consist of the State of New Jersey, and to be called New Jersey District;New Jersey. one to consist of the State of Pennsylvania, and to be called Pennsylvania District;Pennsylvania. one to consist of the State of Delaware, and to be called Delaware District;Delaware. one to consist of the State of Maryland, and to be called Maryland District;Maryland. one to consist of the State of Virginia, except that part called the District of Kentucky, and to be called Virginia District;Virginia. one to consist of the remaining part of the State of Virginia, and to be called Kentucky District;Kentucky. one to consist of the State of South Carolina, and to be called South Carolina District;South Carolina. and one to consist of the State of Georgia, and to be called Georgia District.Georgia.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, A district court in each district.That there be a court called a District Court, in each of the afore mentioned districts, to consist of one judge, who shall reside in the district for which he is appointed, and shall be called a District Judge, and shall hold annually four sessionsFour sessions annually in a district; and when held., the first of which to commence as follows, to wit: in the districts of New York and of New Jersey on the first, in the district of Pennsylvania on the second, in the district of Connecticut on the third, and in the district of Delaware on the fourth, Tuesdays of November next; in the districts of Massachusetts, of Maine, and of Maryland, on the first, in the district of Georgia on the second, and in the districts of New Hampshire, of Virginia, and of Kentucky, on the third Tuesdays of December next; and the other three sessions progressively in the respective districts on the like Tuesdays of every third calendar month afterwards, and in the district of South Carolina, on the third Monday in March and September, the first Monday in July, and the second Monday in December of each and every year, commencing in December next; Special district courts.and that the District Judge shall have power to hold special courts at his discretion. That the stated District Court shall be held at the places following, to wit:Stated district courts; when holden. in the district of Maine, at Portland and Pownalsborough alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of New Hampshire, at Exeter and Portsmouth alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of Massachusetts, at Boston and Salem alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of Connecticut, alternately at Hartford and New Haven, beginning at the first; in the district of New York, at New York; in the district of New Jersey, alternately at New Brunswick and Burlington, beginning at the first; in the district of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia and York Town alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of Delaware, alternately at Newcastle and Dover, beginning at the first; in the district of Maryland, alternately at Baltimore and Easton, beginning at the first; in the district of Virginia, alternately at Richmond and Williamsburgh, beginning at the first; in the district of Kentucky, at Harrodsburgh; in the district of South Carolina, at Charleston; and in the district of Georgia, alternately at Savannah and Augusta, beginning at the first; Special courts, where held.and that the special courts shall be held at the same place in each district as the stated courts, or in districts that have two, at either of them, in the discretion of the judge, or at such other place in the district, as the nature of the business and his discretion shall direct. Where records kept.And that in the districts that have but one place for holding the District Court, the records thereof shall be kept at that place; and in districts that have two, at that place in each district which the judge shall appoint.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, Three circuits, and how divided.
[Obsolete.]
That the before mentioned districts, except those of Maine and Kentucky, shall be divided into three circuits, and be called the eastern, the middle, and the southern circuit. That the eastern circuit shall consist of the districts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York; that the middle circuit shall consist of the districts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia; and that the southern circuit shall consist of the districts of South Carolina and Georgia, and that there shall be held annually in each district of said circuits, two courts, which shall be called Circuit Courts, and shall consist of any two justices of the Supreme Court, and the district judge of such districts, any two of whom shall constitute a quorum: Provided, That no district judge shall give a vote in any case of appeal or error from his own decision; but may assign the reasons of such his decision.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, First session of the circuit courts; when holden.
[Obsolete.]
That the first session of the said circuit court in the several districts shall commence at the times following, to wit: in New Jersey on the second, in New York on the fourth, in Pennsylvania on the eleventh, in Connecticut on the twenty-second, and in Delaware on the twenty-seventh, days of April next; in Massachusetts on the third, in Maryland on the seventh, in South Carolina on the twelfth, in New Hampshire on the twentieth, in Virginia on the twenty-second, and in Georgia on the twenty-eighth, days of May next, and the subsequent sessions in the respective districts on the like days of every sixth calendar month afterwards, except in South Carolina, where the session of the said court shall commence on the first, and in Georgia where it shall commence on the seventeenth day of October, and except when any of those days shall happen on a Sunday, and then the session shall commence on the next day following. Where holden.And the sessions of the said circuit court shall be held in the district of New Hampshire, at Portsmouth and Exeter alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of Massachusetts, at Boston; in the district of Connecticut, alternately at Hartford and New Haven, beginning at the last; in the district of New York, alternately at New York and Albany, beginning at the first; in the district of New Jersey, at Trenton; in the district of Pennsylvania, alternately at Philadelphia and Yorktown, beginning at the first; in the district of Delaware, alternately at New Castle and Dover, beginning at the first; in the district of Maryland, alternately at Annapolis and Easton, beginning at the first; in the district of Virginia, alternately at Charlottesville and Williamsburgh, beginning at the first; in the district of South Carolina, alternately at Columbia and Charleston, beginning at the first; and in the district of Georgia, alternately at Savannah and Augusta, beginning at the first. And the circuit courts shall have power to hold special sessionsCircuit courts. Special sessions. for the trial of criminal causes at any other time at their discretion, or at the discretion of the Supreme Court.[4]

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, Supreme court adjourned by one or more justices; circuit courts adjourned.That the Supreme Court may, by any one or more of its justices being present, be adjourned from day to day until a quorum be convened; and that a circuit court may also be adjourned from day to day by any one of its judges, or if none are present, by the marshal of the district until a quorum be convened;[5] and that a district court, in case of the inability of the judge to attend at the commencement of a session, may by virtue of a written order from the said judge, directed to the marshal of the district, be adjournedDistrict courts adjourned. by the said marshal to such day, antecedent to the next stated session of the said court, as in the said order shall be appointed; and in case of the death of the said judge, and his vacancy not being supplied, all process, pleadings and proceedings of what nature soever, pending before the said court, shall be continued of course until the next stated session after the appointment and acceptance of the office by his successor.

Sec. 7. And be it [further] enacted, The courts have power to appoint clerks.That the Supreme Court, and the district courts shall have power to appoint clerks for their respective courts,[6] and that the clerk for each district court shall be clerk also of the circuit court in such district, and each of the said clerks shall, before he enters upon the execution of his office, take the following oath or affirmation, to wit: “I, A. B., being appointed clerk of  , do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will truly and faithfully enter and record all the orders, decrees, judgments and proceedings of the said court, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties of my said office, according to the best of my abilities and understanding. So help me God.” Which words, so help me God, shall be omitted in all cases where an affirmation is admitted instead of an oath. And the said clerks shall also severally give bond, with sufficient sureties, (to be approved of by the Supreme and district courts respectively) to the United States, in the sum of two thousand dollars, faithfully to discharge the duties of his office, and seasonably to record the decrees, judgments and determinations of the court of which he is clerk.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the justices of the Supreme Court, and the district judges, before they proceed to execute the duties of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation, to wit:Oath of justices of supreme court and judges of the district court. “I, A. B., do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as  , according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the constitution, and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, District courts exclusive jurisdiction.That the district courts[7] shall have, exclusively of the courts of the several States, cognizance of all crimes and offences that shall be cognizable under the authority of the United States, committed within their respective districts, or upon the high seas;[Acts of June 5, 1794, sect. 6; act of Feb. 13, 1807; act of March 3, 1815, sect. 4.]
Original cognizance in maritime causes and of seizure under the laws of the United States.
where no other punishment than whipping, not exceeding thirty stripes, a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months, is to be inflicted; and shall also have exclusive original cognizance of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, including all seizures under laws of impost, navigation or trade of the United States, where the seizures are made, on waters which are navigable from the sea by vessels of ten or more tons burthen, within their respective districts as well as upon the high seas;[8] saving to suitors, in all cases, the right of a common law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it; and shall also have exclusive original cognizance of all seizures on land, or other waters than as aforesaid, made, and of all suits for penalties and forfeitures incurred, under the laws of the United States.[9] And shall also have cognizance,Concurrent jurisdiction. concurrent with the courts of the several States, or the circuit courts, as the case may be, of all causes where an alien sues for a tort only in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.[10] And shall also have cognizance, concurrent as last mentioned, of all suits at common law where the United States sue, and the matter in dispute amounts, exclusive of costs, to the sum or value of one hundred dollars. And shall also have jurisdiction exclusively of the courts of the several States, of all suits against consuls or vice-consuls, except for offences above the description aforesaid.[11] And the trial of issues in fact,Trial of fact by jury. in the district courts, in all causes except civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, shall be by jury.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the district court in Kentucky district shall,Kentucky district court.
[Obsolete.]
besides the jurisdiction aforesaid, have jurisdiction of all other causes, except of appeals and writs of error, hereinafter made cognizable in a circuit court, and shall proceed therein in the same manner as a circuit court, and writs of error and appeals shall lie from decisions therein to the Supreme Court in the same causes, as from a circuit court to the Supreme Court, and under the same regulations.[12] And the district court in Maine district shall,Maine district court.
[Obsolete.]
besides the jurisdiction herein before granted, have jurisdiction of all causes, except of appeals and writs of error herein after made cognizable in a circuit court, and shall proceed therein in the same manner as a circuit court: And writs of error shall lie from decisions therein to the circuit court in the district of Massachusetts in the same manner as from other district courts to their respective circuit courts.

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, Circuit courts original cognizance where the matter in dispute exceeds five hundred dollars.That the circuit courts shall have original cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the several States, of all suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity, where the matter in dispute exceeds, exclusive of costs, the sum or value of five hundred dollars, and the United States are plaintiffs, or petitioners; or an alien is a party, or the suit is between a citizen of the State where the suit is brought, and a citizen of another State.[13] And shall have exclusive Exclusive cognizance of crimes and offences cognizable under the laws of the United States.
No person to be arrested in one district for trial in another on any civil suit.
Limitation as to civil suits.
cognizance of all crimes and offences cognizable under United States,[14] except where this act otherwise provides, or the laws of the United States shall otherwise direct, and concurrent jurisdiction with the district courts of the crimes and offences cognizable therein. But no person shall be arrested in one district for trial in another, in any civil action before a circuit or district court.[15] And no civil suit shall he brought before either of said courts against an inhabitant of the United States, by any original process in any other district than that whereof he is an inhabitant, or in which he shall be found at the time of serving the writ,Actions on promissory notes. nor shall any district or circuit court have cognizance of any suit to recover the contents of any promissory note or other chose in action in favour of an assignee, unless a promissory suit might have been prosecuted in such court to recover the said contents if no assignment had been made, except in cases of foreign bills of exchange.[16]Circuit courts shall also have appellate jurisdiction. And the circuit courts shall also have appellate jurisdiction from the district courts under the regulations and restrictions herein after provided.[17]

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, Matter in dispute above 500 dollars.That if a suit be commenced in any state court against an alien, or by a citizen of the state in which the suit is brought against a citizen of another state, and the matter in dispute exceeds the aforesaid sum or value of five hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, to be made to appear to the satisfaction of the court; Removal of causes from state courts.and the defendant shall, at the time of entering his appearance in such state court, file a petition for the removal of the cause for trial into the next circuit court, to be held in the district where the suit is pending, or if in the district of Maine to the district court next to be holden therein, or if in Kentucky district to the district court next to be holden therein, and offer good and sufficient surety for his entering in such court, on the first day of its session, copies of said process against him, and also for his there appearing and entering special bail in the cause, Special bail.if special bail was originally requisite therein, it shall then be the duty of the state court to accept the surety, and proceed no timber in the cause, and any bail that may have been originally taken shall be discharged, and the said copies being entered as aforesaid, in such court of the United States, the cause shall there proceed in the same manner as if it had been brought there by original process.[18] And any attachment of the Attachment of goods holden to final judgment.goods or estate of the defendant by the original process, shall hold the goods or estate so attached, to answer the final judgment in the same manner as by the laws of such state they would have been holden to answer final judgment, had it been rendered by the court in which the suit commenced. Title of land where value exceeds 500 dollars.And if in any action commenced in a state court, the title of land be concerned, and the parties are citizens of the same state, and the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of five hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, the sum or value being made to appear to the satisfaction of the court, either party, before the trial, shall state to the court and make affidavit if they require it, that he claims and shall rely upon a right or title to the land, under a grant from a state other than that in which the suit is pending, and produce the original grant or an exemplification of it, except where the loss of public records shall put it out of his power, end shell move that the adverse party inform the court, whether he claims a right or title to the land under a grant from the state in which the suit is pending; the said adverse [party] shall give such information, or otherwise not be allowed to plead such grant, or give it in evidence upon the trial, and if he informs that he does claim under such grant, the party claiming under the grant first mentioned may then, on motion, remove the cause for trial to the next circuit court to be holden in such district, If in Maine and Kentucky, where causes are removable.
[Obsolete.]
or if in the district of Maine, to the court next to be holden therein; or if in Kentucky district, to the district court next to be holden therein; but if he is the defendant, shall do it under the same regulations as in the before-mentioned case of the removal of a cause into such court by an alien; and neither party removing the cause, shall be allowed to plead or give evidence of any other title than that by him stated as aforesaid, as the ground of his claim; Issues in fact by jury.and the trial of issues in fact in the circuit courts shall, in all suits, except those of equity, and of admiralty, and maritime jurisdiction, be by jury.[19]

Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, Supreme court exclusive jurisdiction.That the Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies of a civil nature, where a state is a party, except between a state and its citizens; and except also between a state and citizens of other states, or aliens, in which latter case it shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction.[20] Proceedings against public ministers.And shall have exclusively all such jurisdiction of suits or proceedings against ambassadors, or other public ministers, or their domestics, or domestic servants, as a court of law can have or exercise consistently with the law of nations; and original, but not exclusive jurisdiction of all suits brought by ambassadors, or other public ministers, or in which a consul, or vice consul, shall be a party.[21] And the trial of issues in fact in the Supreme Court, in all actions at law against citizens of the United States, shall be by jury. Sup. Court appellate jurisdiction.The Supreme Court shall also have appellate jurisdiction from the circuit courts and courts of the several states, in the cases herein after specially provided for[22] Writs of Prohibition.and shall have power to issue writs of prohibition[23] to the district courts, when proceeding as courts of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and writ of mandamus,[24] Of Mandamus.in cases warranted by the principles and usages of law, to any courts appointed, or persons holding office, under the authority of the United States.

Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, Courts may issue writs scire facias, habeas corpus, &c.That all the before-mentioned courts of the United States, shall have power to issue writs of scire facias, habeas corpus,[25] and all other writs not specially provided for by
Act of 1793, ch. 22; act of 1807, ch. 13; act of 1818, ch. 83; act of Feb. 1819; act of May 20, 1826, ch. 124.
Limitation of writs of habeas corpus.
statute, which may be necessary for the exercise of their respective jurisdictions, and agreeable to the principles and usages of law. And that either of the justices of the supreme court, as well as judges of the district courts, shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus for the purpose of an inquiry into the cause of commitment.—Provided, That writs of habeas corpus shall in no case extend to prisoners in gaol, unless where they are in custody, under or by colour of the authority of the United States, or are committed for trial before some court of the same, or are necessary to be brought into court to testify.

Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, Parties shall produce books and writingsThat all the said courts of the United States, shall have power in the trial of actions at law, on motion and due notice thereof being given, to require the parties to produce books or writings in their possession or power, which contain evidence pertinent to the issue, in cases and under circumstances where they might be compelled to produce the same by the ordinary rules of proceeding in chancery; and if a plaintiff shall fail to comply with such order, to produce books or writings, it shall be lawful for the courts respectively, on motion, to give the like judgment for the defendant as in cases of nonsuit; and if a defendant shall fail to comply with such order, to produce books or writings, it shall be lawful for the courts respectively on motion as aforesaid, to give judgment against him or her by default.[26]

Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, Suits in equity limited.That suits in equity shall not be sustained in either of the courts of the United States, in any case where plain, adequate and complete remedy may be had at law.[27]

Sec. 17. And be it further enacted, Courts may grant new trials.That all the said courts of the United States shall have power to grant new trials, in cases where there has been a trial by jury for reasons for which new trials have usually been granted in the courts of law;[28] and shall have power to impose and administer all necessary oaths or affirmations, and to punish by fine or imprisonment, at the discretion of said courts, all contempts of Act of March 2, 1831, ch. 99.authority in any cause or hearing before the same;[29] and to make establish all necessary rules for the orderly conducting business in the said courts, provided such rules are not repugnant to the laws of the United States.

Sec. 18. And be it further enacted, Execution may be stayed on conditions.That when in a circuit court, judgment upon a verdict in a civil action shall be entered, execution may on motion of either party, at the discretion of the court, and on such conditions for the security of the adverse party as they may judge proper, be stayed forty-two days from the time of entering judgment, to give time to file in the clerk’s office of said court, a petition for a new trial. And if such petition be there filed within said term of forty-two days, with a certificate thereon from either of the judges of such court, that he allows the same to be filed, which certificate he may make or refuse at his discretion, execution shall of course be further stayed to the next session of said court.[30] And if a new trial be granted, the former judgment shall be thereby rendered void.

Sec. 19. And be it further enacted, Facts to appear on record.That it shall be the duty of circuit courts, in causes in equity and of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, to cause the facts on which they found their sentence or decree fully to appear upon the record either from the pleadings and decree itself, or a Altered by act of March 3, 1803, chap. 40.state of the case agreed by the parties, or their counsel, or if they disagree by a stating of the case by the court.

Sec. 20. And be it further enacted, Costs not allowed unless 500 dollars recovered.That where in a circuit court, a plaintiff in an action, originally brought there, or a petitioner in equity, other than the United States, recovers less than the sum or value of five hundred dollars, or a libellant, upon his own appeal, less than the sum or value of three hundred dollars, he shall not be allowed, but at the discretion of the court, may be adjudged to pay costs.

Sec. 21. And be it further enacted, Appeals from the district to the circuit court where matter in dispute exceeds 300 dolls.That from final decrees in a district court in causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, where the the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of three hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, an appeal shall be allowed to the next circuit court, Altered by the 2d section of the act of March 3, 1803, chap. 40.
[Obsolete.]
to be held in such district. Provided nevertheless, That all such appeals from final decrees as aforesaid, from the district court of Maine, shall be made to the circuit court, next to be holden after each appeal in the district of Massachusetts.

Sec. 22. And be it further enacted, Final decrees re-examined above 50 dollars.
Altered by the 2d section of the act of March 3, 1803, chap. 40.
That final decrees and judgments in civil actions in a district court, where the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of fifty dollars, exclusive of costs, may be reexamined, and reversed or affirmed in a circuit court, holden in the same district, upon a writ of error, whereto shall be annexed and returned therewith at the day and place therein mentioned, an authenticated transcript of the record, an assignment of errors, and prayer for reversal, with a citation to the adverse party, signed by the judge of such district court, or a justice of the Supreme Court, the adverse party having at least twenty days’ notice.[31]And suits in equity, exceeding 2000 dollars in value. And upon a like process, may final judgments and decrees in civil actions, and suits in equity in a circuit court, brought there by original process, or removed there from courts of the several States, or removed there by appeal from a district court where the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of two thousand dollars, exclusive of costs, be re-examined and reversed or affirmed in the Supreme Court, the citation being in such case signed by a judge of such circuit court, or justice of the Supreme Court, and the adverse party having at least thirty days’ notice.[32] But there shall be no reversal in either court on such writ of errorWrits of error limited. for error in ruling any plea in abatement, other than a plea to the jurisdiction of the court, or such plea to a petition or bill in equity, as is in the nature of a demurrer, or for any error in fact. And writs of error shall not be brought but within five years after rendering or passing the judgment or decree complained of, or in case the person entitled to such writ of error be an infant, feme covert, non compos mentis, or imprisoned, then within five years as aforesaid, exclusive of the time of such disability.[33] Plaintiff to give security.And every justice or judge signing a citation on any writ of error as aforesaid, shall take good and sufficient security,Act of December 12, 1794, chap. 3. that the plaintiff in error shall prosecute his writ to effect, and answer all damages and costs if he fail to make his plea good.[34]

Sec. 23. And be it further enacted,Writ of error a supersedeas. That a writ of error as aforesaid shall be a supersedeas and stay execution in cases only where the writ of error is served, by a copy thereof being lodged for the adverse party in the clerk’s office where the record remains, within ten days, Sundays exclusive, after rendering the judgment or passing the decree complained of. Until the expiration of which term of ten days, executions shall not issue in any case where a writ of error may be a supersedeas; and whereupon such writ of error the Supreme or a circuit court shall affirm a judgment or decree, they shall adjudge or decree to the respondent in error just damages for his delay, and single or double costs at their discretion.[35]

Sec. 24. And be it further enacted,Judgment or decree reversed. That when a judgment or decree shall be reversed in a circuit court, such court shall proceed to render such judgment or pass such decree as the district court should have rendered or passed; and the Supreme Court shall do the same on reversals therein, except where the reversal is in favour of the plaintiff, or petitioner in the original suit, and the damages to be assessed, or matter to be decreed, are uncertain, in which case they shall remand the cause for a final decision. Supreme court not to issue execution but mandate.And the Supreme Court shall not issue execution in causes that are removed before them by writs of error, but shall send a special mandate to the circuit court to award execution thereupon.

Sec. 25. And be it further enacted,Cases in which judgment and decrees of the highest court of a state may be examined by the supreme court, on writ of error. That a final judgment or decree in any suit, in the highest court of law or equity of a State in which a decision in the suit could be had, where is drawn in question the validity of a treaty or statute of, or an authority exercised under the United States, and the decision is against their validity; or where is drawn in question the validity of a statute of, or an authority exercised under any State, on the ground of their being repugnant to the constitution, treaties or laws of the United States, and the decision is in favour of such their validity,[36] or where is drawn in question the construction of any clause of the constitution, or of a treaty, or statute of, or commission held under the United States, and the decision is against the title, right, privilege or exemption specially set up or claimed by either party, under such clause of the said Constitution, treaty, statute or commission, may be re-examined and reversed or affirmed in the Supreme Court of the United States upon a writ of error, the citation being signed by the chief justice, or judge or chancellor of the court rendering or passing the judgment or decree complained of, or by a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the same manner and under the same regulations, and the writ shall have the same effect, as if the judgment or decree complained of had been rendered or passed in a circuit court, and the proceeding upon the reversalProceedings on reversal. shall also be the same, except that the Supreme Court, instead of remanding the cause for a final decision as before provided, may at their discretion, if the cause shall have been once remanded before, proceed to a final decision of the same, and award execution. No writs of error but as above mentioned.But no other error shall be assigned or regarded as a ground of reversal in any such case as aforesaid, than such as appears on the face of the record, and immediately respects the before mentioned questions of validity or construction of the said constitution, treaties, statutes, commissions, or authorities in dispute.[37]

Sec. 26. And be it further enacted,In cases of forfeiture the courts may give judgment according to equity. That in all causes brought before either of the courts of the United States to recover the forfeiture annexed to any articles of agreement, covenant, bond, or other speciality, where the forfeiture, breach or non-performance shall appear, by the default or confession of the defendant, or upon demurrer, the court before whom the action is, shall render judgment therein for the plaintiff to recover so much as is due according to equity. Jury to assess damages when the sum is uncertain.And when the sum for which judgment should be rendered is uncertain, the same shall, if either of the parties request it, be assessed by a jury.

Sec. 27. And be it further enacted,Marshal to be appointed. That a marshal shall be appointed in and for each district for the term of four years, but shall be removable from office at pleasure, Duration of office.whose duty it shall be to attend the district and circuit courts when sitting therein, and also the Supreme Court in the district in which that court shall sit.[38] Act of May 15, 1820, ch. 101, 106, sec. 8.And to execute throughout the district, all lawful precepts directed to him, and issued under the authority of the United States, and he shall have power to command all necessary assistance in the execution of his duty, and to appoint as there shall be occasion, one or more deputies,[39] who shall be Deputies removable by the district and circuit courts.removable from office by the judge of the district court, or the circuit court sitting within the district, at the pleasure of either; and before he enters on the duties of his office, he shall become bound for the faithful performance of the same, by himself and by his deputies before the judge of the district court to the United States, jointly and severally, with two good and sufficient sureties,Sureties. inhabitants and freeholders of such district, to be approved by the district judge, in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, and shall take before said judge, as shall also his deputies, before they enter on the duties of their appointment, the following oath of office:Oath of marshal, and of his deputies. “I, A. B., do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will faithfully execute all lawful precepts directed to the marshal of the district of   under the authority of the United States, and true returns make, and in all things well and truly, and without malice or partiality, perform the duties of the office of marshal (or marshal’s deputy, as the case may be) of the district of  , during my continuance in said office, and take only my lawful fees. So help me God.”

Sec. 28. And be it further enacted,If marshal, or his deputy, a party to a suit, process to be directed to a person selected by the court. That in all causes wherein the marshal or his deputy shall be a party, the writs and precepts therein shall be directed to such disinterested person as the court, or any justice or judge thereof may appoint, and the person so appointed, is hereby authorized to execute and return the same. And in case of the death of any marshal,Deputies to continue in office on the death of the marshal. his deputy or deputies shall continue in office, unless otherwise specially removed; and shall execute the same in the name of the deceased, until another marshal shall be appointed and sworn: And the defaults or misfeasances in office of such deputy or deputiesDefaults of deputies. in the mean time, as well as before, shall be adjudged a breach of the condition of the bond given, as before directed, by the marshal who appointed them; Powers of the executor or administrator of deceased marhsals.and the executor or administrator of the deceased marshal shall have like remedy for the defaults and misfeasances in office of such deputy or deputies during such interval, as they would be entitled to if the marshal had continued in life and in the exercise of his said office, until his successor was appointed, and sworn or affirmed: And every marshal or his deputy when removed from office, or when the term for which the marshal is appointed shall expire, shall have power notwithstanding to execute all such precepts as may be in their hands respectively at the time of such removal or expiration of office; Marhsal’s power after removal.and the marshal shall be held answerable for the delivery to his successor of all prisoners which may be in his custody at the time of his removal, or when the term for which he is appointed shall expire, and for that purpose may retain such prisoners in his custody until his successor shall be appointed and qualified as the law directs.[40]

Trial of cases punishable with death to be had in county.Sec. 29. And be it further enacted, That in cases punishable with death, the trial shall be had in the county where the offence was committed, or where that cannot be done without great inconvenience, twelve petit jurors at least shall be summoned from thence.[41] And jurors in all cases to serve in the courts of the United States shall be designated by lot or otherwise in each State respectively according to the mode of forming juries therein now practised, so far as the laws of the same shall render such designation practicable by the courts or marshals of the United States; Jurors by lot.
Act of May 13, 1800, ch. 61.
and the jurors shall have the same qualifications as are requisite for jurors by the laws of the State of which they are citizens, to serve in the highest courts of law of such State, and shall be returned as there shall be occasion for them, from such parts of the district from time to time as the court shall direct, so as shall be most favourable to an impartial trial, and so as not to incur an unnecessary expense, or unduly to burthen the citizens of any part of the district with such services. Writs of venire facias from clerk’s office.And writs of venire facias when directed by the court shall issue from the clerk’s office, and shall be served and returned by the marshal in his proper person, or by his deputy, or in case the marshal or his deputy is not an indifferent person, or is interested in the event of the cause, by such fit person as the court shall specially appoint for that purpose, to whom they shall administer an oath or affirmation that he will truly and impartially serve and return such writ. And when from challenges or otherwise there shall not be a jury to determine any civil or criminal cause, the marshal or his deputy shall, by order of the court where such defect of jurors shall happen, return jurymen de talibus circumstantibus sufficient to complete the pannel; Juries de talibus, &c.and when the marshal or his deputy are disqualified as aforesaid, jurors may be returned by such disinterested person as the court shall appoint.

Mode of proof.Sec. 30. And be it further enacted, That the mode of proof by oral testimony and examination of witnesses in open court shall be the same in all the courts of the United States, Act of April 29, 1802, ch. 31, § 25.as well in the trial of causes in equity and of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, as of actions at common law. And when the testimony of any person shall be necessary in any civil cause depending in any district in any court of the United States, who shall live at a greater distance from the place of trial than one hundred miles, or is bound on a voyage to sea, or is about to go out of the United States, or out of such district, and to a greater distance from the place of trial than as aforesaid, before the time of trial, or is ancient or very infirm, Depositions de bene esse.the deposition of such person may be taken de bene esse before any justice or judge of any of the courts of the United States, or before any chancellor, justice or judge of a supreme or superior court, mayor or chief magistrate of a city, or judge of a county court or court of common pleas of any of the United States, not being of counsel or attorney to either of the parties, or interested in the event of the cause, provided that a notification from the magistrate before whom the deposition is to be taken to the adverse party,Adverse party to be notified. to be present at the taking of the same, and to put interrogatories, if he think fit, be first made out and served on the adverse party or his attorney as either may be nearest, if either is within one hundred miles of the place of such caption, allowing time for their attendance after notified, not less than at the rate of one day, Sundays exclusive, for every twenty miles travel.[42] Notice in admiralty and maritime causes.And in causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, or other cases of seizure when a libel shall be filed, in which an adverse party is not named, and depositions of persons circumstanced as aforesaid shall be taken before a claim Agent notified.be put in, the like notification as aforesaid shall be given to the person having the agency or possession of the property libelled at the time of the capture or seizure of the same, if known to the libellant. And every person deposing as aforesaid shall be carefully examined and cautioned, and sworn or affirmed to testify the whole truth, and shall subscribe the testimony by him or her given after the same shall be reduced to writing, which shall be done only by the magistrate taking the deposition, or by the deponent in his presence. Depositions retained.And the depositions so taken shall be retained by such magistrate until he deliver the same with his own hand into the court for which they are taken, or shall, together with a certificate of the reasons as aforesaid of their being taken, and of the notice if any given to the adverse party, be by him the said magistrate sealed up and directed to such court, and remain under his seal until opened in court. And any person may be compelled to appear and depose as aforesaid in the same manner as to appear and testify in court.[43]Persons may be compelled to appear and testify.
Appeal allowed.
And in the trial of any cause of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction in a district court, the decree in which may be appealed from, if either party shall suggest to and satisfy the court that probably it will not be in his power to produce the witnesses there testifying before the circuit court should an appeal be had, and shall move that their testimony be taken down in writing, it shall be so done by the clerk of the court.[44] And Act of March 3, 1803, ch. 40.if an appeal be had, such testimony may be used on the trial of the same, if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court which shall try the appeal, that the witnesses are then dead or gone out of the United States, or to a greater distance than as aforesaid from the place where the court is sitting, or that by reason of age, sickness, bodily infirmity or imprisonment, they are unable to travel and appear at court, but not otherwise. Depositions used in case of sickness, death, &c.And unless the same shall be made to appear on the trial of any cause, with respect to witnesses whose depositions may have been taken therein, such depositions shall not be admitted or used in the cause. Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent any court of the United States from granting a Dedimus potestatem as usual.dedimus potestatem to take depositions according to common usage, when it may be necessary to prevent a failure or delay of justice,[45] which power they shall severally possess, nor to extend to depositions taken in perpetuam rei memoriam, which if they relate to matters that may be cognizable in any court of the United States, a circuit court on application thereto made as a court of equity, may, according to the usages in chancery direct to be taken.

Sec. 31. And be it [further] enacted, That where any suit shall be depending in any court of the United States, and either of the parties shall die before final judgment, Executor or administrator may prosecute and defend.the executor or administrator of such deceased party who was plaintiff, petitioner, or defendant, in case the cause of action doth by law survive, shall have full power to prosecute or defend any such suit or action until final judgment; and the defendant or defendants are hereby obliged to answer thereto accordingly; and the court before whom such cause may be depending, is hereby empowered and directed to hear and determine the same, and to render judgment for or against the executor or administrator, as the case may require. Neglect of executor or administrator to become a party to the suit, judgment to be rendered.And if such executor or administrator having been duly served with a scire facias from the office of the clerk of the court where such suit is depending, twenty days beforehand, shall neglect or refuse to become a party to the suit, the court may render judgment against the estate of the deceased party, in the same manner as if the executor or administrator had voluntarily made himself a party to the suit.[46] Executor and administrator may have continuance.And the executor or administrator who shall become a party as aforesaid, shall, upon motion to the court where the suit is depending, be entitled to a continuance of the same until the next term of the said court. And if there be two or Two plaintiffs.
Surviving plaintiff may continue suit.
more plaintiffs or defendants, and one or more of them shall die, if the cause of action shall survive to the surviving plaintiff or plaintiffs, or against the surviving defendant or defendants, the writ or action shall not be thereby abated; but such death being suggested upon the record, the action shall proceed at the suit of the surviving plaintiff or plaintiffs against the surviving defendant or defendants.[47]

Sec. 32. And be it further enacted, That no summons, writ, declaration, return, process, judgment, or other proceedings in civil causes in any of the courts of the United States,Writs shall not abate for defect of form. shall be abated, arrested, quashed or reversed, for any defect or want of form, but the said courts respectively shall proceed and give judgment according as the right of the cause and matter in law shall appear unto them, without regarding any imperfections, defects, or want of form in such writ, declaration, or other pleading, return, process, judgment, or course of proceeding whatsoever, exceptExceptions. those only in cases of demurrer, which the party demurring shall specially sit down and express together with his demurrer as the cause thereof. And the said courtsCourts may amend imperfections. respectively shall and may, by virtue of this act, from time to time, amend all and every such imperfections, defects and wants of form, other than those only which the party demurring shall express as aforesaid, and may at any time permit either of the parties to amend any defect in the process or pleadings, upon such conditions as the said courts respectively shall in their discretion, and by their rules prescribe.[48]

Sec. 33. And be it further enacted,Criminals against U.S. arrested by any justice of the peace.
Act of March 2, 1793, ch. 22.
Act of July 16, 1798, ch. 83.
That for any crime or offence against the United States, the offender may, by any justice or judge of the United States, or by any justice of the peace, or other magistrate of any of the United States where he may be found agreeably to the usual mode of process against offenders in such state, and at the expense of the United States, be arrested, and imprisoned or bailed, as the case may be, for trial before such court of the United States as by this act has cognizance of the offence.[49] Recognizance to be returned to the clerk’s office.And copies of the process shall be returned as speedily as may be into the clerk’s office of such court, together with the recognizances of the witnesses for their appearance to testify in the case; which recognizances the magistrate before whom the examination shall be, may require on pain of imprisonment. Offender may be removed by warrant.And if such commitment of the offender, or the witnesses shall be in a district other than that in which the offence is to be tried, it shall be the duty of the judge of that district where the delinquent is imprisoned, seasonably to issue, and of the marshal of the same district to execute, a warrant for the removal of the offender, and the witnesses, or either of them, as the case may be, to the district in which the trial is to be had. Bail admitted.And upon all arrests in criminal cases, bail shall be admitted, except where the punishment may be death, in which cases it shall not be admitted but by the supreme or a circuit court, or by a justice of the supreme court, or a judge of a district court, who shall exercise their discretion therein, regarding the nature and circumstances of the offence, and of the evidence, and the usages of law. Bail, how taken.And if a person committed by a justice of the supreme or a judge of a district court for an offence not punishable with death, shall afterwards procure bail, and there be no judge of the United States in the district to take the same, it may be taken by any judge of the supreme or superior court of law of such state.

Laws of States rules of decision.Sec. 34. And be it further enacted, That the laws of the several states, except where the constitution, treaties or statutes of the United States shall otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in trials at common law in the courts of the United States in cases where they apply.[50]

Parties may manage their own cause.Sec. 35. And be it further enacted, That in all courts of the United States, the parties may plead and manage their own causes personally or by assistance of such counsel or attorneys at law as by the rules of the said courts respectively shall be permitted to manage and conduct causes therein.Attorney of the U.S. for each district. And there shall be appointed in each district a meet person learned in the law to act as attorney for the United States in such district, who shall be sworn or affirmed to the faithful execution of his office,His duties. whose duty it shall be to prosecute in such district all delinquents for crimes and offences, cognizable under the authority of the United States, and all civil actions in which the United States shall be concerned, except before the supreme court in the district in which that court shall be holden.Compensation. And he shall receive as compensation for his services such fees as shall be taxed therefor in the respective courts before which the suits or prosecutions shall be. Attorney General of the U.S.And there shall also be appointed a meet person, learned in the law, to act as attorney-general for the United States, who shall be sworn or affirmed to a faithful execution of his office; Duties.whose duty it shall be to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required Act of May 29, 1830, ch. 153.by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments, touching any matters that may concern their departments, and shall receive such compensation for his services as shallCompensation. by law be provided.[51]

Approved, September 24, 1789.


  1. The 3d article of the Constitution of the United States enables the judicial department to receive jurisdiction to the full extent of the constitution, laws and treaties of the United States, when any question respecting them shall assume such a form that the judicial power is capable of acting on it. That power is capable of acting only where the subject is submitted to it by a party who asserts his right in a form presented by law. It then becomes a case. Osborn et al. v. The Bank of the United States, 9 Wheat. 738; 5 Cond. Rep. 741.
  2. By the act of April 29, 1802, chap. 31, the Supreme Court was declared to consist of a Chief Justice and six associate Justices, and by the act of March 3, 1837, chap. 32, it was made to consist of a Chief Justice and eight associate Justices.

    By the act of April 29, 1802, chap. 31, the provision of the act of September 24, 1789, requiring two annual sessions of the Supreme Court, was repealed, and the 2d section of that act required that the associate Justice of the fourth circuit should attend at Washington on the first Monday of August annually, to make all necessary rules and orders, touching suits and actions depending in the court. This section was repealed by the 7th section of the act of February 28, 1839, chap. 36.

    By an act passed May 4, 1826, chap. 37, the sessions of the Supreme Court were directed to commence on the second Monday in January annually, instead of the first Monday in February; and by an act passed June 17, 1844, the sessions of the Supreme Court were directed to commence on the first Monday in December annually.

  3. The jurisdiction and powers of the District Courts have been declared and established by the following acts of Congress: Act of September 24, 1789; act of June 5, 1794, sec. 6; act of May 10, 1800; act of December 31, 1814; act of April 16, 1816; act of April 20, 1818; act of May 15, 1820; act of March 3, 1793.

    The decisions of the Courts of the United States on the jurisdiction of the District Courts have been: The Thomas Jefferson, 10 Wheat. 428; 6 Cond. Rep. 73. McDonough v. Danery, 3 Dall. 188; 1 Cond. Rep. 94. United States v. La Vengeance, 3 Dall. 297; 1 Cond. Rep. 132. Glass et al. v. The Betsey, 3 Dall. 6; 1 Cond. Rep. 10. The Alerta v. Blas Moran, 9 Cranch, 359; 3 Cond. Rep. 425. The Merino et al., 9 Wheat. 391; 5 Cond. Rep. 623. The Josefa Segunda, 10 Wheat. 312; 6 Cond. Rep. 111. The Bolina, 1 Gallis’ C. C. R. 75. The Robert Fulton, Paine’s C. C. R. 620. Jansen v. The Vrow Christiana Magdalena, Bee’s D. C. R. 11. Jennings v. Carson, 4 Cranch, 2; 2 Cond. Rep. 2. The Sarah, 8 Wheat. 391; 5 Cond. Rep. 472. Penhallow et al. v. Doane’s Adm’rs, 3 Dall. 54; 1 Cond. Rep. 21. The United States v. Richard Peters, 3 Dall. 121; 1 Cond. Rep. 60. M‘Lellan v. the United States, 1 Gallis’ C. C. R. 227. Hudson et al. v. Guestier, 6 Cranch, 281; 2 Cond. Rep. 374. Brown v. The United States, 8 Cranch, 110; 3 Cond. Rep. 56. De Lovio v. Boit et al., 2 Gallis’ Rep. 398. Burke v. Trevitt, 1 Mason, 96. The Amiable Nancy, 3 Wheat. 546; 4 Cond. Rep. 322. The Abby, 1 Mason, 860. The Little Ann, Paine’s C. C. R. 40. Slocum v. Maybury et al., 2 Wheat. 1; 4 Cond. Rep. 1. Southwick v. The Postmaster General, 2 Peters, 442. Davis v. A New Brig, Gilpin’s D. C. R. 473. Smith v. The Pekin, Gilpin’s D. C. R. 203. Peters’ Digest, “Courts,” “District Courts of the United States.”

    The 3d section of the act of Congress of 1789, to establish the Judicial Courts of the United States, which provides that no summary writ, return of process, judgment, or other proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be abated, arrested or quashed for any defect or want of form, &c., although it docs not include verdicts, eo nomine, but judgments are included; and the language of the provision, “writ, declaration, judgment or other proceeding, in court causes,” and further “such writ, declaration, pleading, process, judgment or other proceeding whatsoever,” is sufficiently comprehensive to embrace every conceivable step to be taken in court, from the emanation of the writ, down to the judgment. Roach v. Hulings, 16 Peters, 319.

  4. The sessions of the Circuit Courts have been regulated by the following acts:

    In Alabamaact of March 3, 1837. In Arkansasact of March 3, 1837. In Connecticut—act of September 24, 1789; act of April 13, 1792; act of March 2, 1793; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of May 13, 1826. In Delaware—act of September 24, 1789; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 24, 1804; act of March 3, 1837. In Georgia—act of September 24, 1789; act of August 11, 1790; act of April 13, 1792; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of May 13, 1826; act of Jan. 21, 1829. Kentuckyact of March 3, 1801; act of March 8, 1802; act of March 2, 1803; act of Feb. 27, 1807; act of March 22, 1808; April 22, 1824. Louisianaact of March 3, 1837. Maineact of March 3, 1801; act of March 8, 1802; act of March 30, 1820. Maryland—act of Sept. 24, 1789; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of Feb. 11, 1830; act of March 3, 1837. Massachusetts—act of Sept. 24, 1789; act of March 3, 1791; act of June 9, 1794; act of March 2, 1793; act of March 3, 1797; act of March 3, 1801; act of March 8, 1802; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 26, 1812. Missouriact of March 3, 1837. Mississippiact of March 3, 1839. New Hampshire—act of Sept. 24, 1789; act of March 3, 1791; act of April 13, 1792; act of March 2, 1793; act of March 3, 1797; act of March 3, 1801; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 6, 1812. New Jersey—act of September 24, 1789; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 2, 1802. New York—act of September 24, 1789; act of March 3, 1791; act of April 13, 1792; act of March 2, 1793; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 3, 1825; act of February 10, 1832; act of May 13, 1836; act of March 3, 1837. North Carolina—act of September 24, 1789; act of April 13, 1792; act of March 2, 1793; act of March 31, 1796; act of March 3, 1797; act of July 5, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 8, 1806; act of February 4, 1807. Ohioact of February 24, 1807; act of March 22, 1808; act of April 22, 1824; act of May 20, 1826. Pennsylvania—act of September 24, 1789; act of May 12, 1796; act of March 3, 1797; act of December 24, 1799; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 3, 1837. Rhode Islandact of June 23, 1790; act of March 3, 1791; act of March 2, 1793; act of May 22, 1796; act of March 3, 1797; act of March 3, 1801; act of March 8, 1802; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 26, 1812. South Carolina—act of September 24, 1789; act of August 11, 1790; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of April 14, 1816; act of May 25, 1824; act of March 3, 1825; act of May 4, 1826; act of February 5, 1829. Tennesseeact of February 24, 1807; act of March 22, 1808; act of March 10, 1812; act of January 13, 1831. Vermontact of March 2, 1791; act of March 2, 1793; act of May 27, 1796; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 22, 1816. Virginia—act of September 24, 1789; act of March 3, 1791; act of April 13, 1792; act of March 3, 1797; act of April 29, 1802; act of March 2, 1837.

    By the act of March 10, 1838, the Justice of the Supreme Court is required to attend but one circuit in the districts of Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan.

    By an act passed in 1844, the Justices of the Supreme Court are empowered to hold but one session of the Circuit Court in each district in their several circuits. The Judges of the District Courts hold the other sessions of the Circuit Court in their several districts.

  5. The provisions of law on the subject of the adjournments of the Supreme Court in addition to the 6th section of this act, are, that in case of epidemical disease, the court may be adjourned to some other place than the seat of government. Act of February 25, 1799.
  6. By the 2d section of the set entitled “an act in amendment of the acts respecting the judicial system of the United States,” passed February 28, 1839, chap. 36, it is provided “that all the circuit courts of the United States shall have the appointment of their own clerks, and in case of disagreement between the judges, the appointment shall be made by the presiding judge of the court.” See ex parte Duncan N. Hennen, 13 Peters, 230.
  7. The further legislation on the subject of the jurisdiction and powers of the District Courts are: the act of June 5, 1794, ch. 50, sec. 6; act of May 10, 1800, chap. 51, sec. 5; act of February 24, 1807, chap. 13; act of February 24, 1807, chap. 16; act of March 3, 1815; act of April 16, 1816, chap. 56, sec. 6; act of April 20, 1818, chap. 103; act of May 15, 1820, chap. 106, sec. 4; act of March 3, 1823, chap. 71.
  8. Jurisdiction of the District Courts in cases of admiralty seizures, under laws of impost, navigation and trade. M‘Donough v. Danery, 3 Dall. 188; 1 Cond. Rep. 94. The United States v. La Vengeance, 3 Dall. 297; 1 Cond. Rep. 132. Glass et al. v. The Betsey, 3 Dall. 6; 1 Cond. Rep. 10. The Alerta, 3 Cranch, 359; 3 Cond. Rep. 425. The Merino et al., 9 Wheat. 391; 5 Cond. Rep. 623. The Josefa Segunda, 10 Wheat. 312; 6 Cond. Rep. 111. Jennings v. Carson, 4 Cranch, 2; 2 Cond. Rep. 2. The Sarah, 8 Wheat. 691; 5 Cond. Rep. 472. Penhallow et al. v. Doane’s Adm’rs, 3 Dall. 54; 1 Cond. Rep. 21. United States v. Richard Peters, 3 Dall. 121; 1 Cond. Rep. 60. Hudson et al. v. Guestier, 6 Cranch, 281; 2 Cond. Rep. 374. Brown v. The United States, 8 Cranch, 110; 3 Cond. Rep. 56. The Sarah, 8 Wheat. 391; 5 Cond. Rep. 472. The Amiable Nancy, 3 Wheat. 546; 4 Cond. Rep. 322. Slocum v. Maybury, 2 Wheat. 1; 4 Cond. Rep. 1. Gelston et al. v. Hoyt, 3 Wheat. 246; 4 Cond. Rep. 244. The Bolina, 1 Gallis’ C. C. R. 75. The Robert Fulton, 1 Paine’s C. C. R. 620; Bee’s D. C. R. 11. De Lovio v. Beit et al., 2 Gallis’ C. C. R. 398. The Abby, 1 Mason’s Rep. 360. The Little Ann, Paine’s C. C. R. 40. Davis v. A New Brig, Gilpin’s D. C. R. 473. The Catharine, 1 Adm. Decis. 104.
  9. An information against a vessel under the act of Congress of May 22, 1794, on account of an alleged exportation of arms, is a case of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; and an appeal from the District to the Circuit Court, in such a case is sustainable. It is also a civil cause, and triable without the intervention of a jury, under the 9th section of the judicial act. The United States v. La Vengeance, 3 Dall. 297; 1 Cond. Rep. 132. The Sarah, 8 Wheat. 691; 5 Cond. Rep. 472. The Abby, 1 Mason, 360. The Little Ann, Paine’s C. C. R. 40.

    When the District and State courts have concurrent jurisdiction, the right to maintain the jurisdiction attaches to that tribunal which first exercises it, and obtains possession of the thing. The Robert Fulton, Paine’s C. C. R. 620.

  10. Burke v. Trevitt, 1 Mason, 96. The courts of the United States have exclusive jurisdiction or all seizures made on land or water, for a breach of the laws of the United States, and any intervention of State authority, which by taking the thing seized out of the hands of the officer of the United States, might obstruct the exercise of this jurisdiction, is unlawful. Slocum v. Mayberry et al., 2 Wheat. 1; 4 Cond. Rep. 1.
  11. Davis v. Packard, 6 Peters, 41. As an abstract question, it is difficult to understand on what ground a State court can claim jurisdiction of civil suits against foreign consuls. By the Constitution, the judicial power of the United States extends to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; and the judiciary act of 1789 gives to the district courts of the United States, exclusively of the courts of the several States, jurisdiction of all suits against consuls and vice consuls, except for certain offences enumerated in this act. Davis v. Packard, 7 Peters, 276.

    If a consul, being sued in a State court, omits to plead his privilege of exemption from the suit, and afterwards, on removing the judgment of the inferior court to a higher court by writ of error, claims the privilege, such an omission is not a waiver of the privilege. If this was to be viewed merely as a personal privilege, there might be grounds for such a conclusion. But it cannot be so considered; it is the privilege of the country or government which the consul represents. This is the light in which foreign ministers are considered by the law of nations; and our constitution and law seem to put consuls on the same footing in this respect. Ibid.

  12. By an act passed February 24, 1807, the Circuit Court jurisdiction of the District Court of Kentucky was abolished.
  13. The amount laid in the declaration is the sum in controversy. If the plaintiff receive less than the amount so claimed, the jurisdiction of the court is not affected. Green v. Liter, 8 Cranch 229. Gordon v. Longest, 16 Peters, 97. Lessee of Hartshorn v. Wright, Peters’ C. C. R. 64.

    By the 5th section of the act of February 21, 1794, “an act to promote the progress of the useful arts,” &c., jurisdiction in actions for violations of patent rights, is given to the Circuit Courts. Also by the act of February 15, 1819, original cognizance, as well in equity as at law, is given to the Circuit Courts of all actions, and for the violation of copy rights. In such cases appeals lie to the Supreme Court of the United States. So also in cases of interest, or disability of a district judge. Act of May 8, 1792, sec. 11; act of March 2, 1809, sec. 1; act of March 3, 1821.

    Jurisdiction in cases of injunctions on Treasury warrants of distress. Act of May 15, 1820, sec. 4.

    Jurisdiction in cases removed from State courts. Act of February 4, 1815, sec. 8; act of March 3, 1815, sec. 6.

    Jurisdiction in cases of assigned debentures. Act of March 2, 1799.

    Jurisdiction of crimes committed within the Indian territories. Act of March 30, 1830, sec. 15; act of April 30, 1816, sec. 4; act of March 3, 1817, sec. 2.

    Jurisdiction in bankruptcy. Act of August 19, 1841, chap. 9, [repealed.]

    Jurisdiction in cases where citizens of the same State claim title to land under a grant from a State other than that in which the suit is pending in a State court. Act of September 24, 1789, sec. 12. See Colson v. Lewis, 2 Wheat. 377; 4 Cond. Rep. 168.

    Jurisdiction where officers of customs are parties. Act of February 4, 1815, sec. 8; act of March 3, 1815, sec. 6; act of March 3, 1817, sec. 2.

    A circuit court though an inferior court in the language of the constitution, is not so in the language of the common law; nor are its proceedings subject to the scrutiny of those narrow rules, which the caution or jealousy of the courts at Westminster long applied to courts of that denomination; but are entitled to as liberal intendments and presumptions in favour of their regularity, as those of any supreme court. Turner v. The Bank of North America, 4 Dall. 8; 1 Cond. Rep. 205.

    The Circuit Courts of the United States have cognizance of all offences against the United States. What those offences are depends upon the common law applied to the sovereignty and authorities confided to the United States. The United States v. Coolidge, 1 Gallis’ C. C. R. 488, 495.

    Where the jurisdiction of the federal courts has once attached, no subsequent change in the relation or condition of the parties in the progress of the cause, will oust that jurisdiction. The United States v. Meyers, 2 Brocken, C. C. R. 516.

    All the cases arising under the laws of the United States are not, per se, among the cases comprised within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court, under the provisions of the 11th section of the judiciary act of 1789. The Postmaster General v. Stockton and Stokes, 12 Peters, 524.


    Jurisdiction of the Circuit Courts of the United States in suits between aliens and citizens of another State than that in which the suit is brought:

    The courts of the United States will entertain jurisdiction of a cause where all the parties are aliens, if none of them object to it. Mason et al. v. The Blaireau, 2 Cranch, 240; 1 Cond. Rep. 397.

    The Supreme Court understands the expressions in the act of Congress, giving jurisdiction to the courts of the United States “where an alien is a party, or the suit is between a citizen of the State where the suit is brought, and a citizen of another State,” to mean that each distinct interest should be represented by persons, all of whom have a right to sue, or may be sued in the federal courts: that is, when the interest is joint, each of the persons concerned in that interest must be competent to sue or be liable to be sued in those courts. Strawbridge v. Curtis, 3 Cranch, 267; 1 Cond. Rep. 523.

    Neither the Constitution nor the act of Congress regards the subject of the suit, but the parties to it. Mossrnan’s Ex’ors v. Higginson, 4 Dall. 12; 1 Cond. Rep. 210.

    When the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court depends on the character of the parties, and such party consists of a number of individuals, each one must be competent to sue in the courts of the United States, or (jurisdiction cannot be entertained. Ward v. Arredendo et al., Paine’s C. C. R. 410. Strawbridge v. Curtis, 3 Cranch, 267; 1 Cond. Rep. 623.

    The courts of the United States have not jurisdiction, unless it appears by the record that it belongs to them, as that the parties are citizens of different States. Wood v. Wagnon, 2 Cranch, 9; 1 Cond. Rep. 335.

    Where the parties to a suit are such as to give the federal courts jurisdiction, it is immaterial that they are administrators or executors, and that those they represent were citizens of the same State. Chappedeleine et al. v. Decheneaux, 4 Cranch, 306; 2 Cond. Rep. 116. Childress et al. v. Emory et al., 8 Wheat. 642; 5 Cond. Rep. 547. See also Brown v. Strode, 5 Cranch, 303; 2 Cond. Rep. 265. Bingham v. Cabot, 3 Dall. 382; 1 Cond. Rep. 170. Gracie v. Palmer, 8 Wheat. 699; 5 Cond. Rep. 561. Music v. Watts, 6 Cranch, 148; 2 Cond. Rep. 332. Sere et al. v. Pitot et al., 6 Cranch, 332; 2 Cond. Rep. 389. Shute v. Davis, Peters’ C. C. R. 431. Flanders v. The Ætna Ins. Com., 3 Mason, C. C. R. 158. Kitchen v. Sullivan et al., 4 Wash. C. C. R. 54. Briggs v. French, 2 Sumner’s C. C. R. 252.

  14. The Circuit Courts of the United States have jurisdiction of a robbery committed on the high seas under the 8th section of the act of April 30, 1790, although such robbery could not, if committed on land, be punished with death. The United States v. Palmer et al., 3 Wheat. 610; 4 Cond. Rep. 352. See The United States v. Coolidge et al., 1 Gillis’ C. C. R. 488, 495. The United States v. Coombs, 12 Peters, 72.

    The Circuit Courts have no original jurisdiction in suits for penalties and forfeitures arising under the laws of the United States, but the District Courts have exclusive jurisdiction. Ketland v. The Cassius, 2 Dall. 365.

  15. The petitioner was arrested in Pennsylvania, by the marshal of the district of Pennsylvania, under an attachment from the Circuit Court of Rhode Island, for a contempt in not appearing in that court after a monition, served upon him in the State of Pennsylvania, to answer in a prize cause as to a certain bale of goods condemned to the captors, which had come into the possession of Peter Graham, the petitioner. Held, that the circuit and district courts of the United States cannot, either in suits at law or equity, send their process into another district, except where specially authorized so to do by some act of Congress. Ex parte Peter Graham, 3 Wash. C. C. R. 456.
  16. Bean v. Smith, 2 Mason’s C. C. R. 252. Young v. Bryan, 6 Wheat. 146; 5 Cond. Rep. 44. Mollan v. Torrance, 9 Wheat. 537; 5 Cond. Rep 666.
  17. Smith v. Jackson, Paine’s C. C. R. 453.
  18. The Judge of a State Court to which an application is made for the removal of a cause into a court of the United States must exercise a legal discretion as to the right claimed to remove the cause; the defendant being entitled to the right to remove the cause under the law of the United States, on the facts of the case, (the Judge of the State court could not legally prevent the removal;) the application for the removal having been made in proper form, it was the duty of the State court to proceed no further in the cause. Gordon v. Longest, 16 Peters, 97.

    One great object in the establishment of the courts of the United States, and regulating their jurisdiction, was to have In tribunal in each State presumed to be free from local influence, and to which all who were non-residents or aliens, might resort for legal redress; and this object would be defeated if a judge in the exercise of any other than a legal discretion, may deny to the party entitled to it, a removal of his cause. Ibid.

  19. The provisions of the laws of the United States relating to juries, and trials by jury are:—Trial by jury—act of September 24, 1789, chap. 20, sec. 10, sec. 12, sec. 15.—Exemption from attending on juriesact of May 7, 1800, chap. 46, sec. 4. Choice of jurors and qualification of juries—act of September 24, 1789, chap. 20, sec. 29; act of May 13, 1800; act of July 20, 1840; act of March 3, 1841, chap. 19. Expired as to juries in Pennsylvania. Special jury act of April 29, 1802, chap. 31, sec. 30.—Jury in criminal cases—act of September 24, 1789, chap. 20, sec. 29; act of April 30, 1790, chap. 9. Manner of summoning jurors—act of September 24, 1789, sec. 29; act of April 29, 1802, chap. 31. Jurymen de talibus—act of September 24, 1789, chap. 20.
  20. As to cases in which States, or alleged States, are parties, the following cases are referred to: The Cherokee Nation v. The State of Georgia, 5 Peters, 1. New Jersey v. The State of New York, 5 Peters, 284. Ex parte Juan Madrazzo, 7 Peters, 627. The State of Rhode Island v. The State of Massachusetts, 12 Peters, 651. Cohens v. The State of Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264; 5 Cond. Rep. 90. New York v. Connecticut, 4 Dall. 3. Fowler v. Lindsay et al., 3 Dall. 411.
  21. The United States v. Ortega, 11 Wheat. 467; 6 Cond. Rep. 894. Davis v. Packard, 6 Peters, 41.
  22. As to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, see the cases collected in Peters’s Digest, “Supreme Court," "Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court," and the following cases: The United States v. Coodwin, 7 Cranch, 108; 2 Cond. Rep. 434. Wiscart v. Dauchy, 3 Dall. 321; 1 Cond. Rep. 144. United States v. Moore, 3 Cranch, 159; 1 Cond. Rep.480. Owings v. Norwood’s Lessee, 5 Cranch, 344; 2 Cond. Rep. 275. Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 1 Wheat. 304; 3 Cond. Rep, 575. Gordon v. Caldcleugh, 3 Cranch, 268; 1 Cond. Rep. 524. Ex parte Kearney, 7 Wheat. 38; 5 Cond. Rep. 225. Smith v. The State of Maryland, 6 Cranch, 286; 2 Cond. Rep. 377. Inglee v. Coolidge, 2 Wheat. 363; 4 Cond. Rep. 155. Nicholls et al. v. Hodges Ex’ors, 1 Peters, 562. Buel et al. v. Van Ness, 8 Wheat. 312; 5 Cond. Rep. 445. Miller v. Nicholls, 4 Wheat. 811; 4 Cond. Rep. 465. Matthews v. Zane et al., 7 Wheat. 164; 5 Cond. Rep. 265. M‘Cluny v. Silliman, 6 Wheat. 5; 5 Cond. Rep. 197. Houston v. Moore, 3 Wheat. 433; 3 Cond. Rep. 286. Montgomery v. Hernandez et al., 12 Wheat. 129; 6 Cond. Rep. 475. Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264; 5 Cond. Rep. 90. Gibbons v. Ogden, 6 Wheat. 448; 5 Cond. Rep. 134. Weston et al. v. The City Council of Charleston, 2 Peters, 449. Hickie v. Starke et. al., 1 Peters, 94. Satterlee v. Matthewson, 2 Peters, 380. M‘Bride v. Hoey, 11 Peters, 167. Ross v. Barland et. al., 1 Peters, 655. The City of New Orleans v. De Armas, 9 Peters, 224. Crowell v. Randell, 10 Peters, 368. Williams v. Norris, 12 Wheat. 117; 6 Cond. Rep. 462. Menard v. Aspasia, 5 Peters, 505. Worcester v. The State of Georgia, 6 Peters, 615. The United States v. Moore, 5 Cranch, 159; 1 Cond. Rep. 480.
  23. Prohibition. Where the District Court of the United States has no jurisdiction of a cause brought before it, a prohibition will be issued from the Supreme Court to prevent proceedings. The United States v. Judge Peters, 3 Dall. 121; 1 Cond. Rep. 60.
  24. Mandamus. The following cases have been decided on the power of the Supreme Court to issue a mandamus. Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch, 137; 1 Cond. Rep. 267. M‘Cluny v. Silliman, 2 Wheat. 369; 4 Cond. Rep. 162. United States v. Lawrence, 3 Dall. 42; 1 Cond. Rep. 19. United States v. Peters, 3 Dall. 121; 1 Cond. Rep. 60. Ex parte Burr, 9 Wheat. 529; 5 Cond. Rep. 660. Parker v. The Judges of the Circuit Court of Maryland, 1 Wheat. 561; 6 Cond. Rep. 644. Ex parte Roberts et al., 6 Peters, 216. Ex parte Davenport, 6 Peters, 661. Ex parte Bradstreet, 12 Peters, 174; 7 Peters, 634; 8 Peters, 588. Life and Fire Ins. Comp. of New York v. Wilson’s heirs, 8 Peters, 291.

    On a mandamus a superior court will never direct in what manner the discretion of the inferior tribunal shall be exercised; but they will, in a proper case, require an inferior court to decide. Ibid. Life and Fire Ins. Comp. of New York v. Adams, 9 Peters, 571. Ex parte Story, 12 Peters, 839. Ex parte Jesse Hoyt, collector, &c., 13 Peters, 279.

    A writ of mandamus is not a proper process to correct an erroneous judgment or decree rendered in an inferior court. This is a matter which is properly examinable on a writ of error, or an appeal to a proper appellate tribunal. Ibid.

    Writs of mandamus from the Circuit Courts of the United States. A Circuit Court of the United States has power to issue a mandamus to a collector, commanding him to grant a clearance. Gilchrist et al. v. Collector of Charleston, 1 Hall’s Admiralty Law Journal, 429.

    The power of the Circuit Court to issue the writ of mandamus is confined exclusively to those cases in which it may be necessary to the exercise of their jurisdiction. M‘Intire v. Wood, 7 Cranch, 504; 2 Cond. Rep. 588.

    The Circuit Courts of the United States have no power to issue writs of mandamus after the practice of the King’s Bench; but only where they are necessary for the exercise of their jurisdiction. Smith v. Jackson, Paine’s C. C. R. 453.

  25. Habeas corpus. Ex parte Burford, 3 Cranch, 448; 1 Cond. Rep. 594; Ex parte Bollman, 4 Cranch, 75; 2 Cond. Rep. 33.

    The writ of habeas corpus does not lie to bring up a person confined in the prison bounds upon a capius ad satisfaciendum, issued in a civil suit. Ex parte Wilson, 6 Cranch, 52; 2 Cond. Rep. 300. Ex parte Kearney, 7 Wheat. 38; 5 Cond. Rep. 225.

    The power of the Supreme Court to award writs of habeas corpus is conferred expressly on the court by the 14th section of the judicial act, and has been repeatedly exercised. No doubt exists respecting the power. No law of the United States prescribes the cases in which this great writ shall be issued, nor the power of the court over the party brought up by it. The term used in the constitution is one which is well understood, and the judicial act authorize the court, and all other courts of the United States and the judges thereof to issue the writ “for the purpose of inquiring into the cause of commitment.” Ex parte Tobias Watkins, 3 Peters, 201.

    As the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is appellate, it must be shown to the court that the court has power to award a habeas corpus, before one will be granted. Ex parte Milburn, 9 Peters, 704.

    The act of Congress authorising the writ of habeas corpus to be issued “for the purpose of inquiring into the cause of commitment,” applies as well to cases of commitment under civil as those of criminal process. See Chief Justice Marshall, 2 Brocken C. C. R. 447. Ex parte Cabrera, 1 Wash. C. C. R. 232. United States v. French, 1 Gallis’s C. C. R. 2. Holmes v. Jennison, Governor of the State of Vermont, 14 Peters, 540.

  26. It is sufficient for one party to suggest that the other is in possession of a paper, which he has, under the act of Congress, given him notice to produce at the trial, without offering other proof of the fact; and the party so called upon must discharge himself of the consequences of not producing it, by, affidavit or other proof that he has it not in his power to produce it. Hylton v. Brown, 1 Wash. C. C. R. 298.

    The court will not, upon a notice of the defendant to the plaintiff to produce a title paper to the land in dispute, which is merely to defeat the plaintiff’s title, compel him to do so; unless the defendant first shows title to the land. Merely showing a right of possession is not sufficient to entitle him to the aid of a court of chancery, or of the Supreme Court, to compel a discovery of papers which are merely to defeat the plaintiff's title without strengthening the defendant’s. It is sufficient, in order to entitle him to call for papers to show the title to the land, although none is shown in the papers. Ibid.

    Where one party in a cause wishes the production of papers supposed to be in the possession of the other, he must give notice to produce them: if not produced, he may give inferior evidence of their contents. But if it is his intention to nonsuit the plaintiff, or if the plaintiff requiring the papers means to obtain a judgment by default, under the 15th section of the judicial act, he is bound to give the opposite party notice that he means to move the court for an order upon him to produce the papers, or on a failure so to do, to award a nonsuit or judgment, as the case may be. Bas v. Steele, 3 Wash. C. C. R,. 381.

    No advantage can be taken of the non-production of papers, unless ground is laid for presuming that the papers were, at the time notice was given, in the possession or power of the party to whom notice was given, and that they were pertinent to the issue. In either of the cases, the party to whom notice was given may be required to prove, by his own oath, that the papers are not in his possession or power; which oath may be met by contrary proof according to the rules of equity. Ibid.

    To entitle the defendant to nonsuit the plaintiff for not obtaining papers which he was noticed to produce, the defendant must first obtain an order of the court, under a rule that they should be produced. But this order need not be absolute when moved for, but may be nisi, unless cause be shown at the trial. Dunham v. Riley, 4 Wash. C. C. R. 126.

    Notice to the opposite party to produce on the trial all letters in his possession, relating to monies received by him under the award of the commissioners under the Florida treaty, is sufficiently specific as they described their subject matter. If to such notice the party answer on oath that he has not a particular letter in his possession, and after diligent search could find none such, it is sufficient to prevent the offering of secondary proof of its contents. The party cannot be asked or compelled to answer whether he ever had such a letter in his possession. Vasse v. Mifflin, 4 Wash. C. C. R. 519.

  27. The equity jurisdiction of the courts of the United States is independent of the local law of any State, and is the same in nature extent as the equity jurisdiction of England from which it is derived. Therefore it is no objection to this Jurisdiction, that there is a remedy under the local law. Gordon v. Hobart, 2 Sumner’s C. C. R. 401.

    If a case is cognizable at common law, the defendant has a right of trial by jury, and a suit upon it cannot be sustained in equity. Baker v. Biddle, 1 Baldwin’s C. C. R. 405.

    There cannot be concurrent jurisdiction at law and equity, where the right and remedy are the same; but equity may proceed in aid of the remedy at law, by incidental and auxiliary relief; if the remedy at law is complete. Its jurisdiction is special, limited and defined; not as in England, where it depends on usage. Ibid.

    The 16th section of the judiciary law is a declaratory act settling the law as to cases of equity jurisdiction, in the nature of a proviso, limitation or exception to its exercise. If the plaintiff have a plain, adequate and complete remedy at law, the case is not a suit in equity, under the constitution, or the judiciary ict. Ibid.

    Though the rules and principles established in English Chancery at the revolution, are adopted in the federal courts, the changes introduced there since, are not followed here; especially in matters of jurisdiction, as to which the 16th section of the act of 1789 is imperative. Ibid.

  28. New trials. Calder v. Bull and Wife, 3 Dall. 386; 1 Cond. Rep. 172. Arnold v. Jones, Bee’s Rep. 104.
  29. Contempt of court. The courts of the United States have no common law jurisdiction of crimes against the United States. But independent of statutes, the courts of the United tates have power to fine for contempts, and imprison for contumacy and to enforce obedience to their orders, &c. The United States v. Hudson et al., 7 Cranch, 32; 2 Cond. Rep. 405.

    By an act passed March 2, 1831, chap. 99, it is enacted, that the power of the courts of the United States to punish for contempts shall not extend to any cases, except to misbehaviour in the presence of the court, or so near to the court as to obstruct the administration of justice, or the misbehaviour of the officers of the court in their official transactions, and disobedience or resistance by any officer of the court, party, juror, witness or any person to any writ, process, order or decree of the court. Indictments may be presented against persons impeding the proceedings of the court, &c. See the statute.

  30. Execution. The 14th section of the Judiciary act of September 24, 1789, chap. 20, authorizes the courts of the United States to issue writs of execution upon judgments which hare been rendered. This section provides only for the issuing of the writ, and directs no mode of proceeding by the officer obeying its command. Bank of the United States v. Halstead, 10 Wheat. 51; 6 Cond. Rep. 22.
  31. The rules, regulations and restrictions contained in the 21st and 22d sections of the judiciary act of 1789, respecting the time within which a writ of error shall be brought, and in what instances it shall operate as a supersedeas, the citation to the opposite party, the security to be given by the plaintiff in error, and the restrictions on the appellate court as to reversals in certain enumerated cases, are applicable to the act of 1803, and are to be substantially observed; except that where the appeal is prayed for at the same time when the decree or sentence is pronounced, a citation is not necessary. The San Pedro, 2 Wheat. 132; 4 Cond. Rep. 65.

    By the 2d section of the act of March 3, 1803, chap. 40, appeals are allowed from all final judgments or decrees in any of the District courts, where the matter in dispute, exclusive of costs, shall exceed the sum or value of fifty dollars. Appeals from the Circuit Court to the Supreme Court are allowed when the sum or value, exclusive of costs exceeds $2000. This section repeals so much of the 19th and 20th sections of the act of 1789, as comes within the purview of those provisions.

    By the provisions of the act of April 2, 1816, chap. 39, appeals from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Columbia, are allowed when the matter in dispute in the cause exceeds $1000, exclusive of costs.

  32. The following cases have been decided on the questions which have arisen as to the value in controversy, in a case removed by writ of error or appeal.

    The verdict and judgment do not ascertain the matter in dispute between the parties. To determine this, recurrence must be had to the original controversy; to the matter in dispute when the action was instituted. Wilson v. Daniel, 3 Dall. 401; 1 Cond. Rep. 185.

    Where the value of the matter in dispute did not appear in the record, in a case brought by writ of error, the court allowed affidavits to be taken to prove the same, on notice to the opposite party. The writ of error not to be a supersedeas. Course v. Stead’s Ex’ors, 4 Dall. 22; 1 Cond. Rep. 217; 4 Dall. 20; 1 Cond. Rep. 215.

    The Supreme Court will permit viva voce testimony to be given of the value of the matter in dispute in a case brought up by a writ of error or by appeal. The United States v. The Brig Union et al., 4 Cranch, 216; 2 Cond. Rep. 91.

    The plaintiff below claimed more than $2000 in his declaration, but obtained a verdict for a less sum. The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court depends on the sum or value in dispute between the parties, as the case stands on the writ of error in the Supreme Court; not on that which was in dispute in the Circuit Court. If the writ of error be brought by the plaintiff below, then the sum the declaration shows to be due may still be recovered, should the judgment for a smaller sum be reversed; and consequently the whole sum claimed is in dispute. Smith v. Honey, 3 Peters, 469; Gordon v. Ogden, 3 Peters, 33.

    In cases where the demand is not for money, and the nature of the action does not require the value of the thing to be stated in the declaration, the practice of the courts of the United States has been to allow the value to be given in evidence. Ex parte Bradstreet, 7 Peters, 634.

    The onus prohandi of the amount in controversy, to establish the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in a case brought before it by a writ of error, is upon the party seeking to obtain the revision of the case. He may prove that the value exceeds $2000 exclusive of costs. Hagan v. Foison, 10 Peters, 160.

    The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction in a case in which separate decrees have been entered in the Circuit Court for the wages of seamen, the decree in no one case amounting to $2000, although the amount of the several decrees exceed that sum, and the seamen in each case claimed under the same contract. Oliver v. Alexander, 6 Peters, 143. See Scott v. Lunt’s Adm’rs, 6 Peters, 349.

    The Supreme Court will not compel the hearing of a cause unless the citation be served thirty days before the first day of the term. Welsh v. Mandeville, 5 Cranch, 321; 2 Cond. Rep. 268.

    A citation must accompany the writ of error. Lloyd v. Alexander, 1 Cranch, 365; 1 Cond. Rep. 334.

    When an appeal is prayed during the session of the court, a citation to the appellee is not necessary. Riley, appellant, v. Lamar et al., 2 Cranch, 344; 1 Cond. Rep. 419.

  33. An appeal under the judiciary acts of 1789 and 1803, was prayed for and allowed within five years; held to be valid, although the security was not given within five years. The mode of taking the security and the time of perfecting it, are exclusively within the control of the court below. The Dos Hermanos, 10 Wheat. 306; 6 Cond. Rep. 109.
  34. By the act of December 12, 1794, chap. 3, the security required to be taken on signing a citation on any writ of error which shall not be a supersedeas, and stay execution, shall only be for an amount which will be sufficient to answer for costs.
  35. Supersedeas. The Supreme Court will not quash an execution issued by the court below to enforce its decree, pending a writ of error, if the writ be not a supersedeas to the decree. Wallen v. Williams, 7 Cranch, 278; 2 Cond. Rep. 491.
  36. In delivering the opinion of the Supreme Court in the case of Fisher v. Cockrell, 5 Peters, 248, Mr. Chief Justice Marshall said: “In the argument the court has been admonished of the jealousy with which the States of the Union view the revising power entrusted by the constitution and laws to this tribunal. To observations of this character the answer uniformly has been that the course of the judicial department is marked out by law. We must tread the direct and narrow path prescribed for us. As this court has never grasped at ungranted jurisdiction, so it never will, we trust, shrink from that which is conferred upon it.”

    The appellate power of the Supreme Court of the United States extends to cases pending in the State courts; and the 25th section of the judiciary act, which authorizes the exercise of this jurisdiction in the specified cases by writ of error, is supported by the letter and spirit of the constitution. Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 1 Wheat. 304; 3 Cond. Rep. 575.

    Under the 25th section of the judiciary act of 1789, where the construction of any clause in the constitution or any statute of the United States is drawn in question, in any suit in a State court, the decision must be against the title or right set up by the party under such clause in the constitution or statute; otherwise the Supreme Court has no appellate jurisdiction in the case. It is not sufficient that the construction of the statute was drawn in question, and that the decision was against the title. It must appear that the title set up depended on the statute. Williams v. Norris, 12 Wheat. 117; 6 Cond. Rep. 462.

    If the construction or validity of a treaty of the United States is drawn in question in the State courts, and the decision is against its validity, or against the title set up by either party under the treaty, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to ascertain that title, and to determine its legal meaning; and is not confined to the abstract construction of the treaty itself. Ibid.

    The 2d article of the constitution of the United States enables the Supreme Court to receive jurisdiction to the full extent of the constitution, laws and treaties of the United States, when any question respecting them shall assume such form that the judicial power is capable of acting upon it. That power is capable of acting only when the subject is submitted to it by a party who asserts his right in the form prescribed by law. It then becomes a case. Osborn v. The Bank of the United States, 6 Wheat. 738; 5 Cond. Rep. 741.

    The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction under the 25th section of the act of 1789, unless the judgment or decree of the State court be a final judgment or decree. A judgment reversing that of an inferior court, and awarding a scire facias de novo, is not a final judgment. Houston v. Moore, 3 Wheat. 433; 4 Cond. Rep. 286.

    The Supreme Court has no appellate jurisdiction under the 25th section of the judiciary act, unless the right, title, privilege, or exemption under a statute or commission of the United States be specially set up by the party claiming it in the State court, and the decision be against the same. Montgomery v. Hernandez, 12 Wheat. 129; 6 Cond. Rep. 475.

    It is no objection to the exercise of the appellate jurisdiction under this section, that one party is a State, and the other a citizen of that State. Cohens v. The State of Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264; 5 Cond. Rep. 90.

    In order to brings a case for a writ of error or an appeal to the Supreme Court from the highest court of a State within the 25th section of the judiciary act, it must appear on the face of the record: 1. That some of the questions stated in that section did arise in the State court. 2. That the question was decided in the State court as required in the section.

    It is not necessary that the question shall appear in the record to have been raised, and the decision made in direct and positive terms, ipsissimis verbis; but it is sufficient if it appears by clear and necessary intendment that the question must have been raised, and must have been decided, in order to induce the judgment. It is not sufficient to show that a question might have arisen and been applicable to the case, unless it is further shown, on the record, that it did arise and was applied by the State Court to the case. Crowell v. Randall, 10 Peters, 368. See also Williams v. Norris, 12 Wheat. 117; 6 Cond. Rep. 462. Jackson v. Lamphire, 3 Peters, 280. Menard v. Aspasia, 5 Peters, 505. Fisher v. Cockrell, 5 Peters, 248. Gelston v. Hoyt, 3 Wheat. 246; 4 Cond. Rep. 244. Gordon v. Caldcleugh et al., 3 Cranch, 268; 1 Cond. Rep. 524. Owings v. Norwood’s Lessee, 5 Cranch, 344; 2 Cond. Rep. 275. Buel et al. v. Van Ness, 8 Wheat. 312; 5 Cond. Rep. 445. Miller v. Nicholls, 4 Wheat. 311; 4 Cond. Rep. 465. Matthews v. Zane et al., 7 Wheat. 164; 5 Cond. Rep. 265. Gibbons v. Ogden, 6 Wheat. 448; 5 Cond. Rep. 134.

    Under the 25th section of the judiciary act of 1789, three things are necessary to give the Supreme Court jurisdiction of a case brought up by writ of error or appeal: 1. The validity of a statute of the United States, or of authority exercised under a State, must be drawn in question. 2. It must be drawn in question on the ground that it is repugnant to the constitution, treaties and laws of the United States. 3. The decision of the State court must be in favour of its validity. The Commonwealth Bank of Kentucky v. Griffith et al., 14 Peters, 46. See also Pollard’s heirs v. Kibbe, 14 Peters, 353. M‘Cluny v. Silliman, 6 Wheat. 598; 5 Cond. Rep. 197. Weston et al. v. The City Council of Charleston, 2 Peters, 449. Hickie v. Starke et al., 1 Peters, 94. Sutterlee v. Matthewson, 2 Peters, 380. Wilson et al. v. The Blackbird Creek Marsh Association, 2 Peters, 245. Harris v. Dennie, 3 Peters, 292. M‘Bride v. Hoey, 11 Peters, 167. Winn’s heirs v. Jackson et al., 12 Wheat. 135; 6 Cond. Rep. 479. City of New Orleans v. De Armas, 9 Peters, 224. Davis v. Packard, 6 Peters, 41.

  37. Williams v. Norris, 6 Wheat. 117; 6 Cond. Rep. 462.
  38. A marshal is not removed by the appointment of a new one, until he receives notice of such appointment. All acts done by the marshal after the appointment of a new one, before notice, are good; but his acts subsequent to notice are void. Wallace’s C. C. R. 119.

    It is the duty of a marshal of a court of the United States to execute all process which may be placed in his hand, but he performs this duty at his peril, and under the guidance of law. He must, of course, exercise some judgment in the performance. Should he fail to obey the exegit of the writ without a legal excuse, or should he in its letter violate the rights of others, he is liable to the action of the injured party. Life and Fire Ins. Comp. of New York v. Adams, 9 Peters, 573.

  39. A marshal is liable on his official bond for the failure of his deputies to serve original process, but the measure of his liability is the extent of the injury received by the plaintiff, produced by his negligence. If the loss of the debt be the direct legal consequence of a failure to serve the process, the amount of the debt is the measure of the damages; but not so if otherwise. The United States v. Moore’s Adm’rs, 2 Brocken’s C. C. R. 317. See San Jose Indiano, 2 Gallis. C. C. R. 311. Ex parte Jesse Hoyt, collector, &c., 13 Peters, 279.
  40. If a debtor committed to the State jail under recess of the courts of the United States escapes, the marshal is not liable. Randolph v. Donnaldson, 9 Cranch, 76; 3 Cond. Rep. 280.
  41. The Circuit Courts of the United States are bound to try all crimes committed within the district, which are duly presented before it; but not to try them in the county where they have been committed. The United States v.Wilson and Porter, Baldwin’s C. C. R. 78.
  42. The following cases have been decided relating to depositions taken under the provisions of this act:

    That the deponent is a seaman on board a gun-boat in the harbour, and liable to be ordered to some other place, and not to be able to attend the court at the time of sitting, is not a sufficient reason for taking his deposition under the act of September 24, 1789, chap. 20.

    If it appear on the face of the deposition taken under the act of Congress, that the officer taking the memo, was authorized by the act, it is sufficient in the first instance, without any proof that he was such officer. Ruggles v. Bucknor, 1 Paine’s C. C. R. 358.

    Objections to the competency of the witness whose deposition is taken under the act of 1789, should be made at the time of taking the deposition, if the party attend, and the objections are known to him, in order that they may be removed: otherwise he will be presumed to waive them. United Staten v. Hairpencils, 1 Paine’s C. C. R. 400.

    A deposition taken under the 30th section of the act of 1789 cannot be made on evidence, unless the judge before whom it was taken, certify that it was reduced to writing by himself, or by the witness in his presence. Pettibone v. Derringer, 4 Wash. C. C. R. 215. See United States v. Smith, 4 Day, 121. North Carolina Cases, 81.

    The authority given by the act of 1789, to take depositions of witnesses in the absence of the opposite party, is in derogation of the rules of common law, and has always been construed strictly; and therefore it is necessary to establish that all the requisites have been complied with, before such testimony can be admitted. Bell v. Morrison et al., 1 Peters, 351. The Patapsco Ins. Comp. v. Southeate, 5 Peters, 604. The United States v. Coolidge, 1 Gallis. C. C. R. 488. Evans v. Hettick, 3 Wash. C. C. R. 408. Thomas and Henry v. The United States, 1 Brockeb’s C. C. R. 367.

    The provisions of the 30th section of the act of 1789, as to taking depositions, de bene esse, does not apply to cases pending in the Supreme Court, but only to cases in the Circuit and District Courts. The Argo, 2 Wheat. 287; 4 Cond. Rep. 119.

    Where there is an attorney on record, notice must in all cases be given to him. Ibid.

    The deposition of a person residing out of the State, and more than one hundred miles from the place of trial, cannot be rend in evidence. Blocker v. Bond, 3 Wash. C. C. R. 529. See Buddicum v. Kirke, 3 Cranch, 293; 1 Cond. Rep. 535.

  43. It is a fatal objection to a deposition taken under the 30th section of the act of 1789, that it was opened out of court. Beale v. Thompson, 8 Cranch, 70; 3 Cond. Rep. 35.
  44. Since the act of March 3, 1803, chap. 40, in admiralty as well as in equity cases carried up to the Supreme Court by appeal, the evidence goes with the cause, and it must consequently be in writing. 1 Gallis. C. C. R. 25; 1 Sumner’s C. C. R. 328.
  45. When a foreign government refuses to suffer the commission to be executed within its jurisdiction, the Circuit Court may issue letters rogatory for the purpose of obtaining testimony according to the forms and practice of the civil law. Nelson et al. v. The United States, Peters’ C. C. R. 255. See Buddicum v. Kirke, 3 Cranch, 293; 4 Cond. Rep. 522.

    Depositions taken according to the proviso in the 30th section of the judiciary act of 1789, under a dedimus potestatem, according to common usage, when it may be necessary to prevent a failure or delay of justice, are, under no circumstances, to be considered as taken de bene esse. Sergent’s Lessee v. Biddle, 4 Wheat. 408; 4 Cond. Rep. 522.

  46. This statute embraces all cases of death before final judgment, and of course is more extensive than the 17 Car. 2, and 8 and 9 W. 3. The death may happen before or after plea pleaded, before or after issue joined, before or after verdict, or before or after interlocutory judgment; and in all these cases the proceedings are to be exactly as if the executor or administrator were a voluntary party to the suit. Hatch v. Eustis, 1 Gallis. C. C. R. 160.
  47. In real and personal actions at common law, the death of the parties before judgment abates the suit, and it requires the and of some statutory provision to enable the suit to be prosecuted by or against the personal representatives of the deceased, where the cause of action survives. This is effected by the 31st section of the Judiciary act of 1789, chap. 20. Green v. Watkins, 6 Wheat. 260; 5 Cond. Rep. 87.

    In real actions the death of either party before judgment, abates the suit. The 31st section of the Judiciary act of 1789, which enables the action to be prosecuted by or against the representatives of the deceased, when the cause of action survives, is clearly confined to personal actions. Macker’s heirs v. Thomas, 7 Wheat. 530; 5 Cond. Rep. 334.

  48. The 32d section of the act of 1789, allowing amendments, is sufficiently comprehensive to embrace causes of appellate as well as original jurisdiction; and there is nothing in the nature of an appellate jurisdiction, proceeding according to the common law, which forbids the granting of amendments. 1 Gallis. C. C. R. 22.

    If the amendment is made in the Circuit Court, the cause is heard and adjudicated in that court, and upon appeal by the Supreme Court on the new allegation. But if the amendment is allowed by the Supreme Court, the cause is remanded to the Circuit Court, with directions to allow the amendment to be made. The Mariana Flora, 11 Wheat. 1; 6 Cond. Rep. 201.

    By the provisions of the act of Congress, variance which is merely matter of form may be amended at any time. Scull v. Biddle, 2 Wash. C. C. R. 200. See Smith v. Jackson, 1 Paine’s C. C. R. 486. Ex parte Bradstreet, 7 Peters, 634. Randolph v. Barrett, 16 Peters, 136. Hozey v. Buchanan, 18 Peters, 215. Woodward v. Brown, 13 Peters, 1.

  49. The Supreme Court of the United States has jurisdiction, under the constitution and laws of the United States, to bail a. person committed for trial on a criminal charge by a district judge of the United States. The United States v. Hamilton, 3 Dall. 13.

    The circumstances of the case must be very strong, which will, at any time, induce a court to admit a person to bail, who stands charged with high treason. The United States v. Stewart, 2 Dall. 345.

  50. The 34th section of the Judiciary act of 1799, does not apply to the process and practice of the courts. It merely furnishes a decision, and is not intended to regulate the remedy. Wyman v. Southard, 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Cond. Rep. 1.

    In construing the statutes of a State, infinite mischief would ensue, should the federal courts observe a different rule from that which has long been established in the State. M‘Keen v. Delancy’s Lessee, 5 Cranch, 22; 2 Cond. Rep. 179.

    In cases depending on the statutes of a State, and more especially in those respecting the titles to land, the federal courts adopt the construction of the State, where that construction is settled or can be ascertained. Polk’s Lessee v. Wendell, 9 Cranch, 87; 3 Cond. Rep. 286.

    The Supreme Court uniformly acts under a desire to conform its decisions to the State courts on their local law. Mutual Assurance Society v. Watts, 1 Wheat. 279; 3 Cond. Rep. 670.

    The Supreme Court holds in the highest respect, decisions of State Courts upon local laws, forming rules of property. Shipp et al. v. Millows heirs, 2 Wheat. 316; 4 Cond. Rep. 132.

    When the construction of the statute of the State relates to real property, and has been settled by any judicial decision of the State where the land lies, the Supreme Court, upon the principles uniformly adopted by it, would recognize the decision as part of the local law. Gardner v. Collins, 2 Peters, 58.

    In construing local statutes respecting real property, the courts of the Union are governed by the decisions of State tribunals. Thatcher et al. v. Powell, 6 Wheat. 119; 5 Cond. Rep. 28.

    The courts of the United States, in cases depending on the laws of a particular State, will in general adopt the construction given by the courts of the State, to those laws. Elmendorf v. Taylor, 10 Wheat. 152; 6 Cond. Rep. 47.

    Under the 34th section of the judiciary act of 1789, the acts of limitation of the several States where no special provision has been made by Congress, form rules of the decision in the courts of the United States the Hume effect is given to them as is given in the State courts. M‘Cluny v. Silliman, 3 Peters, 277.

    The statute laws of the States must furnish the rules of decision to the federal courts, as fur as they comport with the laws of the United States, in all cases arising within the respective States; and a fixed and received construction of these respective statute laws in their own courts, makes a part of such statute law. Shelby et al. v. Guy, 11 Wheat. 361; 6 Cond. Rep. 345.

    The Supreme Court adopts the local law of real property as ascertained by the decisions of State courts; whether those decisions are grounded on the construction of the statutes of the State, or from a part of the unwritten law of the state, which has become a fixed rule of property. Jackson v. Chew, 12 Wheat. 153; 6 Cond. Rep. 489.

    Soon after the decision of a case in the Circuit Court for the district of Virginia, a case was decided in the court of appeals of the State, on which the question on the execution laws of Virginia was elaborately argued and deliberately decided. The Supreme Court, according to its uniform course, adopts the construction of the act, which is made by the highest court of the State. The United States v. Morrison, 4 Peters, 124.

    The Supreme Court has uniformly adopted the decisions of the State tribunals, respectively, in all cases where the decision of at State court become a rule of property. Green v. Neal, 6 Peters, 291.

    In all cases arising under the constitution and laws of the United States, the Supreme Court may exercise a revising power, and its decisions are final and obligatory on all other tribunals, State as well as federal. A State tribunal has a right to examine any such questions, and to determine thereon, but its decisions must conform to those of the Supreme Court, or the corrective power of that court may be exercised. But the case is very different when the question arises under a local law. The decision of this question by the highest tribunal of a State, should be considered as final by the Supreme Court; not because the State tribunal has power, in such a case, to bind the Supreme Court, but because, in the language of the court in Shelby v. Guy, 11 Wheat. 361, a fixed and received construction by a State, in its own courts, makes a part of the statute law. Ibid. See also Smith v. Clapp, 15 Peters, 125. Watkins v. Holman et al., 16 Peters, 25. Long v. Palmer, 16 Peters, 65. Golden v. Price, 3 Wash. C. C. R. 313. Campbell v. Claudius, Peters’ C. C. R. 484. Henderson and Wife v. Griffin, 5 Peters, 151. Coates’ executrix v. Muse’s adm’or., 1 Brocken’s C. C. R. 539. Parsons v. Bedford et al., 3 Peters, 433.

  51. The acts relating to the compensation of the Attorney General of the United States are: Act of March 2, 1797; act of March 2, 1799, chap. 38; act of February 20, 1804, chap. 12; act of February 20, 1819, chap. 27; act of May 29, 1830, chap. 153, sec. 10.