« AnteriorContinuar »
Opinion of the Court.
more than that an indictment, actually presented by the grand jury to the court, lacked the words "a true bill," and was found by the grand jury by mistake and misconception. Such matters are proper subjects of inquiry in the courts of the State, but afford no ground for interposition by the courts of the United States by writ of habeas corpus. In re Wood, 140 U. S. 278; In re Wilson, 140 U. S. 575.
The only other allegation in the petition is that the petitioner was not, at the time of his extradition from Massachusetts, a fugitive from the justice of Connecticut.
The record, independently of the opinion of the Circuit Court, does not show what, if any, evidence was introduced at the hearing upon which the writ of habeas corpus was discharged and the prisoner left in custody. The case was heard by the Circuit Court, and not by the District Judge at chambers or out of court. Had it been so heard by him, there could have been no appeal to this court from his decision. Rev. Stat. §§ 751, 752, 764; Act of March 3, 1885, c. 353, 23 Stat. 437; Carper v. Fitzgerald, 121 U. S. 87; Lambert v. Barrett, 157 U. S. 697. The subsequent correspondence between the District Judge and the petitioner's counsel had no proper place in the record of the court, and it does not appear that the judge intended or expected his letter to be filed or recorded. In that letter he did no more than express his willingness that the record should be amended, provided it could properly be done. It does not appear that the judge afterwards allowed, or was requested to allow, any amendment of the record, or of the appeal; and the petitioner or his counsel could not amend either the record or the appeal by his own act, without leave of the judge.
If, in order to ascertain what was proved, or offered to be proved, at the hearing, we turn to the opinion filed in the court below and sent up with the record, it thereby appears that the petitioner offered to prove that the indictment against him was procured by some mistake of the grand jury, and that he was not in fact a fugitive from justice; and that the judge assumed, for the purpose of the disposition of the writ of habeas corpus, that all the allegations of the petition
Opinion of the Court.
But if the opinion can be referred to as showing part of what took place at the hearing, it may likewise be referred to as showing other matters then before the court, and especially the proceedings for extradition.
As to those proceedings, the opinion (consistently with the allegations of the petition, so far as anything upon the subject is distinctly and unequivocally alleged therein,) not only states, as uncontroverted facts, that the petitioner was arrested in Massachusetts, and brought into Connecticut, under a warrant of extradition issued by the Governor of Massachusetts, upon a requisition of the Governor of Connecticut, accompanied by a certified copy of the indictment, and by an affidavit that the petitioner was a fugitive from justice; but expressly says that it was not denied that the demand upon the executive authority of Massachusetts, and his action thereon, were proper in form.
A warrant of extradition of the Governor of a State, issued upon the requisition of the Governor of another State, accompanied by a copy of an indictment, is prima facie evidence, at least, that the accused had been indicted and was a fugitive from justice; and, when the court in which the indictment was found has jurisdiction of the offence, (which there is nothing in this case to impugn,) is sufficient to make it the duty of the courts of the United States to decline interposition by writ of habeas corpus, and to leave the question of the lawfulness of the detention of the prisoner, in the State in which he was indicted, to be inquired into and determined, in the first instance, by the courts of the State, which are empowered and obliged, equally with the courts of the United States, to recognize and uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the United States. Robb v. Connolly, 111 U. S. 624; Ex parte Reggel, 114 U. S. 642; Roberts v. Reilly, 116 U. S. 80; Cook v. Hart, 146 U. S. 183; Pearce v. Texas, 155 U. S. 311.
The return of the sheriff to the writ of habeas corpus does not (as it might well have done) set forth the indictment, and the warrant of extradition, as grounds for the detention of the prisoner. But any defect in the return in this respect affords no
Opinion of the Court.
reason why the courts of the United States should take the prisoner out of the custody of the authorities of the State.
The return does show that the petitioner is held in custody by the sheriff by virtue of a mittimus issued to him by a justice of the peace, in accordance with sections 962 and 1613 of the General Statutes of Connecticut of 1887,1 which authorize the surety on a recognizance, either in civil or in criminal proceedings, upon making affidavit that his principal intends to abscond, to obtain from a justice of the peace a mittimus to commit him to jail.
The only objections taken by the petitioner to the sufficiency of this mittimus are, 1st, that it shows that the recognizance was entered into on the 17th of January, 1895, for his appearance "before the Superior Court to be holden at New Haven within and for the county of New Haven on the first Tuesday of January, 1895," which was a day already passed; and 2d, that it describes him as "of the town of Newton, State of Massachusetts," while the statute only authorizes the issue of a mittimus by "a justice of the peace of the county in which such principal resides." But the first Tuesday of January was the day appointed by law for the beginning of the term of the Superior Court. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1615. And the question whether the recognizance might be construed as requiring an appearance at a subsequent day in the course of the term,
1 SEC. 962. Any bail or surety who has entered into a recognizance for the personal appearance of another, and shall afterwards believe that his principal intends to abscond, may apply to a justice of the peace in the county in which such principal resides, produce his bail bond, or evidence of his being bail or surety, and verify the reason of his application by oath or otherwise; and thereupon such justice shall forthwith grant a mittimus, directed to a proper officer or indifferent person of such county, commanding him forthwith to arrest such principal, and commit him to the jail of such county; and the keeper of such jail shall receive such principal, and retain him in jail until discharged by due order of law; and such surrender of the principal shall be a full discharge of the surety upon his bond or recognizance.
SEC. 1613. Any surety in a recognizance in criminal proceedings, who believes that his principal intends to abscond, may have the same remedy, and proceed and be discharged in the same manner, as sureties upon bail bonds in civil actions.
as well as the question whether the word "resides," as used in the statute, implies domicil, or only presence in the county, is a question which should be left to the decision of the courts of the State.
There could be no better illustration than this case affords of the wisdom, if not necessity, of the rule, established by the decisions of this court, above cited, that a prisoner in custody under the authority of a State should not, except in a case of peculiar urgency, be discharged by a court or judge of the United States upon a writ of habeas corpus, in advance of any proceedings in the courts of the State to test the validity of his arrest and detention. To adopt a different rule would unduly interfere with the exercise of the criminal jurisdiction of the several States, and with the performance by this court of its appropriate duties.
In re SANFORD FORK AND TOOL COMPANY,
No. 8. Original. Submitted December 2, 1895. - Decided December 28, 1895.
When a case has once been decided by this court on appeal, and remanded to the Circuit Court, that court must execute the decree of this court according to the mandate. If it does not, its action may be controlled, either by a new appeal, or by writ of mandamus; but it may consider and decide any matters left open by the mandate; and its decision of such matters can be reviewed by a new appeal only. The opinion delivered by this court, at the time of rendering its decree, may be consulted to ascertain what was intended by the mandate; and, either upon an application for a writ of mandamus, or upon a new appeal, it is for this court to construe its own mandate.
When the Circuit Court, at a hearing upon exceptions to an answer in equity,
sustains the exceptions, and (the defendant electing to stand by his answer) enters a final decree for the plaintiff; and this court, upon appeal, orders that decree to be reversed, and the cause remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with its opinion; the plaintiff is entitled to file a replication, and may be allowed by the Circuit Court to amend his bill.
Statement of the Case.
This was a petition for a writ of mandamus to the Honorable William A. Woods, as Judge of the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Indiana, to command him to enter, in a suit in equity pending before him, a final decree in favor of the present petitioners, defendants in that suit, in accordance with a mandate of this court upon reversing a decree of that court, on an appeal reported as Sanford Fork & Tool Co. v. Howe, Brown & Co., 157 U. S. 312.
By the former opinion and mandate of this court, the petition for a mandamus, and the return to the rule to show cause, the case appeared to be as follows:
A bill in equity was filed in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Indiana, by creditors of the Sanford Fork and Tool Company, against that company and certain of its directors and stockholders, to set aside a mortgage made by the company to the other defendants to secure them for their indorsements of promissory notes of the company.
To that bill the defendants filed an answer under oath, insisting that the mortgage was valid; and the plaintiffs filed exceptions to the answer, upon the ground that the matters therein averred were insufficient to constitute a defence to the bill or to any part the eof, as well as upon the ground that the defendants had not duly answered specific allegations of the bill. The Circuit Court, held by Judge Woods, after hearing arguments upor those exceptions, sustained them; and the defendants declir ing to plead further, and electing to stand by their answer, he court, "having considered the pleadings, and being fully advised in the premises,” entered a final decree, adjudging the mortgage to be void as against the plaintiffs, and granting then the relief prayed for.
The defendants appealed to this court, which, after hearing the appeal, delivered an opinion beginning thus: "In the absence of any testimony, and in the manner in which this case was submitted for decision, it must be assumed that the matters alleged in the bill and not denied in the answer, and the new matters set forth in the answer, are true. And the question which arises is, whether, upon these admitted facts, the decree in favor of the plaintiffs can be sustained." 157