United States Statutes at Large/Volume 4/18th Congress/1st Session/Chapter 28

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March 10, 1824.
Chap. XXVIII.—An Act for the better organization of the district courts of the United States within the state of Alabama.[1]

Act of April 21, 1820, ch. 47.
The state of Alabama to be divided into two districts.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of Alabama shall be, and the same is hereby, divided into two districts, in manner following, to wit:—That part thereof composing the counties of Jackson, Decatur, Madison, Limestone, Lauderdale, Franklin, Lawrence, Morgan, Blount, St. Clair, Jefferson, Walker, and Marion, shall compose one district to be called the northern district of Alabama; and the residue thereof, shall compose another district to be called the southern district of Alabama.

District court for the southern district to be held at Mobile twice, at Cahawba once; and that of the northern district at Huntsville once in each year.Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be two terms of the district court for the southern district, held at Mobile, in each year, to begin on the third Monday after the fourth Monday in March, and the fourth Monday after the fourth Monday in October; and one term at Cahawba, in each year, to begin on the third Monday in June; and one term of the district court, for the northern district, shall be held in Huntsville, in each year, to begin on the second Monday in July; and the district judge of the United States, for the state of Alabama, is hereby required to hold the courts aforesaid, and furthermore, to hold one or more special terms, at Cahawba, and at Huntsville, in each year, if, in his opinion, the business of the court shall require it to be done.

All writs and executions to be returned to the district court at Mobile and Cahawba, to be adjourned, &c. to the times appointed by this act.Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the third Monday in December, in each year, shall be a return day for writs and executions, returnable to the said district court at Cahawba; and the second Monday in January, in each year, shall be a return day for writs and executions returnable to the said district court at Huntsville; and the parties to such suits as shall be so returned, shall make up their pleadings under such rules as the court shall prescribe, in order to have the causes so returned, in a state for trial at the next regular term.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That all causes pending in the All cases pending in the district courts, at Mobile and Cahawba, to be adjourned, &c. to the times appointed by this act, &c.said district courts at Mobile and Cahawba shall be adjourned and continued from the times heretofore prescribed by law for holding said courts respectively, to the times appointed by this act: and all recognisances and process of every description, made returnable to the former terms of holding said courts, respectively, shall be returned to the terms herein established, and be as valid as if the time of holding the same had not been changed.

All cases pending in said courts, in which the defendant or defendants resided in the northern district at the time of serving the process, to be transferred to the court for the northern district, &c.Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That all causes at law or in chancery, pending in the said district courts at Mobile and Cahawba, in which the defendant or defendants resided in the northern district, at the time of serving the process, shall be transferred to the district court for the said northern district, established by this act, and be proceeded in, adjudged, and determined, in the same manner as if originally commenced in said court; and it shall be the duty of the clerks of the said district courts at Mobile and Cahawba, to transmit by some safe conveyance, to the clerk of the district court for the northern district, the original papers in all such causes, together with a transcript of all proceedings had therein.

All suits hereafter to be brought, not of a local nature, to be brought only in the district where the defendant shall reside, &c.Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That all suits hereafter to be brought, in either of the courts aforesaid, not of a local nature, shall be brought only in the district where the defendant shall reside; but if there be more than one defendant, and some of them reside in the northern, and some in the southern district, the plaintiff may sue in either, and send a duplicate writ to the other, on which he shall endorse that it is part of a suit brought in the district from which it is sent; and the said writs, when executed and returned, shall constitute one suit, and be proceeded in accordingly.

A clerk of the district court for the northern district to be appointed.Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the judge of said courts shall appoint a clerk of the district court of the northern district, who shall reside and keep his office, and the records and documents appertaining thereto, at the place of holding said court: be entitled to the same fees allowed by law to the clerks of the southern district, and be subject to the same liabilities and penalties.

The district attorney for the district of Alabama to be attorney for the southern, and one to be appointed for the northern district.Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the district attorney heretofore appointed for the district of Alabama, shall be the district attorney for the southern district of Alabama; and there shall be a district attorney appointed for the northern district of Alabama, who shall hold his appointment for the same term, be subject to the same duties, and receive the same salary, fees, and emoluments allowed to the district attorney of the southern district of Alabama.

Adjournment in case of the non-attendance of the judge.Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That, should the judge fail to attend at the time and place of holding any of the courts herein mentioned, before the close of the third day of the term, the business thereof shall stand adjourned to the next term.

Approved, March 10, 1824.