United States v. Buchanan (232 U.S. 72)

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United States Supreme Court

232 U.S. 72

United States  v.  Buchanan (232 U.S. 72)

 Argued: December 3, 1913. --- Decided: January 5, 1914

The grand jury for the district of Colorado indicted Buchanan for a violation of the act 'to prevent unlawful occupancy of the public land.' The indictment charged that in February, 1907, one Edward Scott made a homestead entry, at the proper office, of a quarter section of land in Colorado, and died, March 28, 1910, leaving the homestead entry in full force and effect; that thereafter 'his heirs were in lawful possession of and were engaged in cultivating the said homestead land for the purpose of protecting their right as heirs to the same, until May 9, 1911, when the defendant, Buchanan, wilfully, wickedly, unlawfully, and feloniously did prevent and obstruct said heirs from peaceably entering upon and establishing a settlement and residence on the said homesteaded land of the United States subject to settlement and entry under the public land laws.' The defendant demurred on the ground that the facts charged did not constitute an offense punishable under § 3 of the act of February 25, 1885 (23 Stat. at L. 322, chap. 149, U.S.C.omp. Stat. 1901, p. 1525), which provides: 'Sec. 3. That no person, by force, threats, intimidation, or by any fencing or inclosing, or any other unlawful means, shall prevent or obstruct, . . . any person from peaceably entering upon or establishing a settlement or residence on any tract of public land subject to settlement or entry under the public land laws of the United States.'

The defendant's demurrer was sustained and the government brought the case here under the criminal appeals act.

Assistant Attorney General Knaebel and Mr. S. W. Williams for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. S. E. Naugle and C. W. Waterman for defendant in error.

Statement by Mr. Justice Lamar: Mr. Justice Lamar, after making the foregoing statement of facts, delivered the opinion of the court:


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).