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ART. 494. The supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction from the circuit courts and courts of the several states, in cases especially provided for.(1)*
495. Final judgments and decrees in civil actions other than cases of equity, of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction and prize and no prize in a circuit court, brought there by original process, or removed there by appeal from a district court, where the matter in dispute exceeds the value of two thousand dollars exclusive of costs, may be re-examined and reversed or affirmed in the supreme court upon writ of error: The citation in such case being signed by a judge of such circuit court, or justice of the supreme court, the adverse party having at least thirty days' notice.(3)
496. There shall be no reversal on such writ of error 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 in the nature of a demurrer, or for any error in fact.(4)
497. 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
(1) Act 24th September, 1789, sec. 13.
(3) Act 24th September, 1789, sec. 22. (4) Ibid.
The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction both as to law and fact, in all cases mentioned in the third article of the constitution, other than those in which their jurisdiction is exclusive, or original, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as congress shall make.-Wilson v. Mason, 1 Cranch, 91.
Hence it has appellate jurisdiction in all cases where original jurisdiction is given to the inferior courts with such exceptions and under such regulations only as congress may make.-Durosseau v. United States, 6 Cranch, 307.
Its original jurisdiction is founded on the character of the parties, to a suit, its appellate jurisdiction on the character of the case. Hence in a case arising under the laws of the United States brought in a state court, to which a state is a party, a writ of error will lie.-Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 392.
The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction only in cases where it is given by the acts of congress. The constitution and law, must concur in order to vest it.— United States v. Moore, 3 Cranch, 170. Durosseau v. United States, 6 Cr. 212. Wilson v. Mason, 1 Cr. 91. Wiscart v. Dauchy, 3 Dall. 237.
And a compact between the legislatures of two states since the adoption of the constitution, in relation to titles to land and the mode in which the courts should determine them, cannot deprive the supreme court of such jurisdiction.-Wilson v. Mason, 1 Cr. 92.
If a suit be pending in a circuit court, the supreme court will not entertain a case stated by the counsel; nor will it take cognizance of a cause not regularly brought before it.-Dewhurst v. Coulthard, 3 Dall. 409. Lanusse v. Barker, 3 Wheat. 101. United States v. Tenbrock, 2 Wheat, 248.
The judge who has tried a cause in a circuit court, is not excused from sitting in the supreme court, when such cause is brought before that court on appeal or writ of error.-Shirras v. Craig, 7 Cranch, 42.
Congress has not given to the supreme court, appellate jurisdiction, by writ of error from courts of the United States in criminal cases. The supreme court exercises such appellate power only in cases in which the opinions of the judges of the circuit court are opposed.-United States v. More, 3 Cranch, 159. United States v. La Vengeance, 3 Dall. 301.
The appellate jurisdiction given to the supreme court by the constitution, (art. 3, sec. 2,) being with such exceptions and under such regulations as congress shall make; if congress has provided no rule, the court cannot exercise appellate jurisdiction; if the rule is provided, it cannot be departed from.-Grayson v. Virginia, 3 Dall. 320.
mentis, or imprisoned, then within five years as aforesaid exclusive of the time of such disability.(1)*
498. Every justice or judge signing a citation on any such writ of error, shall take good and sufficient security that the plaintiff in error shall prosecute his writ with effect and answer all damages and costs if he fail to make his plea good. But such security on any writ of error which shall not be a supersedeas and stay of execution shall be only to such an amount as, in the opinion of the justice or judge taking the same shall be sufficient to answer all such costs as upon an affirmance of the judgment, or decree may be adjudged to respondent in error.(2)†
(1) Act 24th September, 1789, sec.
(2) Act 24th September, 1789, sec. 22.-Act December 12th, 1794, sec. 1, 2.
And the like limitation is applied to bills of review.-Thomas v. Harvie, 10 Wheat. 146.
The supreme court, in the exercise of its ordinary appellate jurisdiction, can take cognizance of no cause until a final judgment or decree shall have been made in the inferior court. Though the merits of the cause may have been substantially decided, while any thing, though merely formal, remains to be done, this court cannot pass upon the subject.-Life and Fire Insurance Company of New York v. Adams, 9 Peters, 574.
A writ of error lies to the circuit court of the district of Columbia to remove à judgment, awarding a peremptory mandamus to admit the defendant, in error to office, where the matter in dispute is of sufficient value.-Col. Ins. Co. v. Wheelright,
7 Wheat. 534.
It lies on a bill of exceptions to instructions by the court below, determining on a challenge of a juror for cause-Mima v. Hepburn, 7 Cr. 290; and to a refusal by the court below to rule the party to grant oyer of letters testamentary.-Wilson v. Codmans, 3 Cr. 193.
It is error in the court below to entertain a cause, though by consent of parties, of which they have not jurisdiction; and the plaintiff in error may assign for error, the want of jurisdiction in the court below, to which, as plaintiff, he had chosen to resort-Capron v. Van Noorden, 2 Cr. 126.
A writ of error, accompanied by citation, may issue for the removal of judgments in favour of the United States, into a superior court; though no suit can be commenced or prosecuted against them; the acts of congress not authorizing such suit.—Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 411, 412.
If a bill of exceptions state generally, that the court below instructed the jury that the several matters and things allowed and proved, were not sufficient to bar the plaintiff, nor constituted any defence, yet, a writ of error thereon will be sustained, and the court will look through the record to ascertain whether the instructions should be different.-Otis v. Walter, 2 Wheat. 22. Sergt. Con. L. 36.
If there be a general verdict, subject to the opinion of the court, on a statement of facts which appear on the record, the supreme court will consider the facts, and decide according to the law arising upon them.-Faw v. Roberdeau's Ex. 3 Cr. 174. Tucker v. Oxley, 5 Cr. 34. Brent v. Chapman, 5 Cr. 358. If the verdict be subject to the opinion of the court on points reserved, and judgment be entered accordingly, and there be no statement of facts or points reserved upon the record, the judgment will be reversed, and a venire facias de novo awarded. The facts should appear so that the judgment may be reversed or affirmed on its merits.— Smith v. Delaware Ins. Co. 7 Cranch, 434.
A writ of error does not lie to reverse the judgment of a circuit court in a civil action,carried to the circuit court from a district court by writ of error:-United States v. Goodwin, 7 Cr. 108. United States v. Gordon, ibid. 287. United States v. Ten Brock, 2 Wheat. 248: nor upon an interlocutory judgment:-4 Dall. 22. 7 Cr. 597. 3 Dall. 401: nor to the decision of a matter within the discretion of the court below-Young v. Clark, 7 Cr. 569. United States v. Evans, 5 Cranch, 280. Welsh v. Mandeville. Evans v. Philips, 4 Wheat. 73. Woods v. Young, 4 Cr. 237. Marine Ins. Co. v. Hodgson, 6 Cr. 217, 5 Cr. 187. Henderson v. Moore, 5 Cr. 11. Barr v. Gratz, 4 Wheat. 213. Moss v. Biddle, 5 Cr. 358. Mandeville v. Wilson,
ib. 17. No writ of error lies to a district court, having the original jurisdiction of a circuit court, if the act establishing such district court direct that a writ of error shall
The supreme court, on the reversal therein, of a judgment or decree, shall render such judgment as the court below should have rendered, 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. 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 thereon.(1)*
500. A final judgment or decree in any suit, in the highest court of law or equity in 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, or where is drawn in question the construction of any clause in 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, especially set up or claimed by either party, under such clause of the 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, (1) Act 24th September, 1789, sec. 24.-See United States v. Sawyer, 1 Gall. 86.
lie from its decisions to a particular circuit court.-United States v. Weeks, 5 Cr. 1. United States v. Moore, 3 Cr. 159. United States v. La Vengeance, 3 Dall. 297:nor does a writ of error lie to the circuit court of the United States, or of the district of Columbia in criminal cases-ibid. nor from the general court of the northwestern territory for the United States.-Clarke v. Bazadone, 1 Cr. 212.
As a writ of error or appeal does not lie where the matter in dispute is of the value of two thousand dollars or less, the value of the thing demanded in the court below, determines the legality of the writ of error, or appeal in relation to the value.-Wilson v. Daniel, 3 Dall. 401. Where this value does not conclusively appear by the record, it may be ascertained by affidavit, notice being given to the opposite party; the affidavit rule is mutual:-Williamson v. Kincaid, 4 Dall. 20. United States v. Brig Union, 4 Cr. 216. Rule of court, Aug. 15th, 1800. Course v. Stead, 4 Dall. 22. Rush v. Parker, 5 Cr. 287: by the examination of a witness viva voce-United States v. Brig Union, 4 Cr. 216: by appraisement of sworn appraisers, especially if the property be delivered to the claimant below, on security given to the appraised value. Ibid. In actions for damages, the value is determined by the judgment of the court below, if that be for the defendant; if that be for the plaintiff, by the amount claimed in the declaration.-Cooke v. Woodrow, 5 Cr. 13. Wilson v. Daniel, 3 Dall, 401. And in case of a bond, the sum due upon the condition, and not the penalty, is the measure of value.-United States v. M'Dowel, 4 Cranch, 316,
If the plaintiff below claim more than two thousand dollars, but obtain judgment for less, and he bring a writ of error, the supreme court has jurisdiction, the sum originally claimed being still that in dispute: but if the writ of error be brought by the defendant below, the judgment of the court can only affirm that of the circuit court, and consequently the sum in dispute is that of the judgment and does not give the supreme court jurisdiction of the case.-Gordon v. Ogden, 3 Pet. 33. Smith v. Honey, 3 Pet. 469.
After deciding upon evidence, that the value in dispute is not sufficient to sustain the appeal, the court will not continue the cause, that the appellant may procure affidavits to show the value.-United States v. Brig Union, 4 Cr. 216.
After a cause has been sent back by mandate, it is too late to question the jurisdiction of the circuit court.—Skillens' Exor. v. Mayo Exors. 6 Cr. 267.
as if the judgment or decree complained of had been rendered or passed in a circuit court, and the proceeding upon the 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. But no other error shall be assigned or regarded as a ground of reversal, in any such case than such as appears on the face of the record, and immediately respects the before-mentioned questions of validity or construction of the constitution, treaties, statutes, commissions, or authorities, in dispute.(1)*
(1) Act 24th September, 1789, sec. 25.
The twenty-fifth section of the judicial act is limited by the Constitution, and must be construed so as to be confined within these limits. But to construe this section, so that a case can arise under the Constitution or a treaty, only, when the right is created by the Constitution or treaty, would defeat the obvious purpose of the constitution, as well as the act of congress. The language of both instruments extends the jurisdiction of this court to rights protected by the constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States, from whatever source these rights may spring. -City of New Orleans v. Armas and Cucullur, 9 Peters, 225.
The words final judgment in this section must be understood as applying to all judgments and decrees which determine the particular cause; and it is not required that such judgments shall finally decide upon the rights which are litigated, that the same shall be within the purview of the section.-Weston et al. v. The City Council of Charleston, 2 Pet. 449.
For the jurisdiction of the supreme court over cases which draw in question the vaidity of treaties with Indians, the construction of such treaties, and the validity of a state statute on the ground of repugnancy to the constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States, see Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. 515.
The superior judicature of a state is considered the highest court of a state in which a decision may be had, though the legislature may rehear the cause, if it cannot give a new decision.-Olney v. Arnold, 3 Dall. 308. A borough court, claiming exclusive jurisdiction of the case, is regarded in the same character.-Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264, 290, 376. And a writ of error will lie to remove a cause from both to the supreme court of the United States. But such judgment of the highest court of a state must be final.-Houston v. Moore, 3 Wheat. 433.
The sum, or value of the matter in dispute, is not material in a writ of error to a state court-Buel v. Van Ness, 8 Wheat. 323.
The writ of error may be directed to any court of the state, in which the record and judgment of the highest court of that state may be found. If the highest court of a state remit the record and its judgment to the inferior court whence it came, before receipt of a writ of error, it cannot execute such writ, having parted with the record: the writ must be directed to the court possessing the record,-Gelston v. Hoyt, 3 Wheat. 246,-and may be issued by the clerk of a circuit court under the wal of that court, in the form prescribed by the act of the 8th of May, 1792, section 9, and the writ itself need not state, that it is directed to a final judgment of the state court, or that the court is the highest court of law or equity of the state. -Buel v. Van Ness, 8 Wheat. 313.
A writ of error lies to the state courts: where on reversal of a former judgment, the supreme court directs the state court to carry into effect the judgment of the supreme court, and the state court declines so to do, on the ground that the act of trngress allowing a writ of error from the supreme court of the United States to state courts is unconstitutional-Martin v. Hunters' lessee, 1 Wheat. 304: where a question is raised, whether a confiscation under a state law was complete before the treaty of peace with Great Britain-Smith v. Maryland, 6 Cr. 286. And the 8.preme court is not confined to the inquiry into the construction of the treaty by the court below; nor is it requisite to the jurisdiction of the supreme court that the state court give any construction to the treaty, it is sufficient that a title be claimed under it, and that there is a decision against such title-Martin v. Hunters' lessee, 1 Wheat. 304. See 5 Cr. 344, 348: where two citizens of the same state claim under the same act of congress; the design of the constitution and laws being not only to maintain their authority in cases arising under them, but to enable the supreme court to render uniform the construction of the laws-Matthew v. Zane, 7
501. From all final judgments or decrees rendered in any circuit court, or
Wheat. 164, 206. 4 Cr. 382. 5 Cr. 92. Buel v. Van Ness, 8 Wheat. 312; and in such case, the court is confined to an examination of the title of the party, as depending on the construction of the act of congress: where a state court issues a mandamus to an officer of the United States, though it dismiss the suit upon the merits; the supreme court will, on writ of error brought by plaintiff, affirm the judgment with costs, on the ground that the state court has not authority to issue a mandamus in such cases-M'Clung v. Silliman, 6 Wheat. 598: where the validity of an act of congress, regulating the affairs of the district of Columbia, or a state law repugnant to such act is drawn in question, and the decision of the highest state court is against the validity of the act, or in favour of the validity of the law -Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 164. Williams v. Norris, 12 Wheat. 117: where a question is made, whether congress, in passing such act, intended to legislate beyond the district of Columbia, such point involving the question, whether the act, if intended so to operate, is warranted by the constitution: Ibid. where judgment is rendered in the highest state court against the defendant, on an information brought by the attorney for the state, to recover a fine imposed by the state law for the use of the state.-6 Wheat. 264, 375. It is no objection to this jurisdiction that one of the parties is a state, and the other a citizen of that state.-Ibid. Exparte Kearny, 7 Wheat. 38.
The general provisions of the ordinance of 1787 relative to the north-west territory, as to the rights of property, do not give jurisdiction to this court, not coming within the 25th section of the judiciary act.-Menard v. Aspasia, 5 Pet. 505.
If there be various grounds of claim stated in the court below, by bill in equity, some of which depend on acts of congress, and such court decide against them all, and dismiss the bill, the supreme court, on writ of error, will review only such grounds of claim as arise under the acts of congress.-Matthews v. Zane, 7 Wheat. 164, 206.
To sustain a writ of error to a state court, it must appear from the record, that an act of congress, the constitutionality of a state law, or other matter required by law, to give jurisdiction to the supreme court, is applicable to the case.-Martin v. Hunters' lessee, 1 Wheat. 304. Inglee v. Coolidge, 2 Wheat. 363. Miller v. Nichols, 4 Wheat. 311. Thompson et al. v. The Black-Bird Creek Marsh Co. 2 Pet. 245.
But it is not necessary that the record should state, in terms, that an act of congress was, in point of fact, drawn in question. It is sufficient, if it appears from the record that an act of congress was applicable to the case, and was misconstrued; or the decision of the state court was against the privilege or exemption specially set up under such statute.-Davis v. Packard et al. 6 Peters, 41. See 4 Wheat. 311. 3 Peters, 250, 301. 4 Pet. 429. Crowell v. Randell, Shoemaker v. Randell, 10 Peters, 369. In these last cases, the court have reviewed all the cases touching the subject.
No writ of error lies from the judgment of a state court, if the decision be in favour of the privilege set up under an act of congress.-Gordon v. Caldcleugh, 3 Cr. 278.
When a writ of error is brought from a state court of appeals, to revise its decision reversing the judgment of an inferior state court, and the supreme court reverse the decision of the state court of appeals, the latter becomes a nullity, and the supreme court will direct its mandate to the inferior state court.-Clerke v. Harwood, 3 Dall. 342.
The appellate jurisdiction may be exercised by a writ of error, issued by a clerk of a circuit court, and it is not requisite that such writ should state that it is directed to a final judgment of the state court, or that the court is the highest court of law or equity of the state.-8 Wheat. 312, 320.
The supreme court has no authority, on a writ of error from a state court, to declare a state law void on account of its collision with a state constitution; it not being a case embraced in the judiciary act, which gives the power of a writ of error to the highest judicial tribunal of the state.-Jackson v. Lamphire, 3 Peters,
In cases intended for argument in the supreme court, the court require to be furnished with a statement of the material points of the case from the counsel on each side of the cause.-Rule of court, Feb. T. 1795.
If a cause have been remanded from the supreme to a state court, and the latter decline or refuse to carry into effect the mandate of the supreme court, that court will proceed to a final decision of the cause, and itself award execution thereon. -Martin v. Hunters' lessee, 1 Wheat, 353.