« AnteriorContinuar »
1. An indictment for perjury in a deposition made before a special exam-
iner of the pension bureau which charges the oath to have been wil-
fully and corruptly taken before a named special examiner of the
Pension Bureau of the United States, then and there a competent
officer, and having lawful authority to administer said oath, is suffi-
cient to inform the accused of the official character and authority of
the officer before whom the oath was taken. Markham v. United States,
2. In such an indictment it is not necessary to set forth all the details or
facts involved in the issue as to the materiality of the statement, and
as to the authority of the Commissioner of Pensions to institute the
inquiry in which the deposition of the accused was taken. Ib.
3. The provision in Rev. Stat. § 1025 that "no indictment found and pre-
sented by a grand jury in any district or circuit or other court of the
United States shall be deemed insufficient, nor shall the trial, judg
ment, or other proceeding thereon be affected by reason of any defect
or imperfection in matter of form only, which shall not tend to the
prejudice of the defendant," is not to be interpreted as dispensing
with the requirement in § 5396 that an indictment for perjury must
set forth the substance of the offence charged.
4. An indictment for perjury that does not set forth the substance of the
offence will not authorize judgment upon verdict of guilty. Dunbar
v. United States, 156 U. S. 185, affirmed. Ib.
5. When two counts in an indictment for murder differ from each other
only in stating the manner in which the murder was committed, the
question whether the prosecution shall be compelled to elect under
which it will proceed is a matter within the discretion of the trial
court. Pierce v. United States, 355.
See CRIMINAL LAW, 1, 10;
HABEAS CORPUs, 3, 4.
See LOCAL LAW, 1 to 7.
See CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 7.
A. JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.
1. In the trial of a person accused of crime the exercise by the trial court
of its discretion to direct or refuse to direct witnesses for the defend-
ant to be summoned at the expense of the United States is not sub-
ject to review by this court. Goldsby v. United States, 70.
2. Where the record shows that the only matter tried and decided in the
Circuit Court was a demurrer to a plea to the jurisdiction, and the
petition upon which the writ of error was allowed asked only for
the review of the judgment that the court had no jurisdiction of the
action, the question of jurisdiction alone is sufficiently certified to this
court, as required by the act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, § 5. Interior
Construction & Improvement Co. v. Gibney, 217.
3. In an action brought in a state court against a railroad company for
ejecting the plaintiff from a car, the defence was that a silver coin,
offered by him in payment of his fare, was so abraded as to be no
longer legal tender. The Supreme Court of the State, after referring
to the Congressional legislation on the subject, held that, "so long as
a genuine silver coin is worn only by natural abrasion, is not appre-
ciably diminished in weight, and retains the appearance of a coin duly
issued from the mint, it is a legal tender for its original value." The
railroad company, although denying the plaintiff's claim, set up no
right under any statute of the United States in reference to the effect
of the reduction in weight of silver coin by natural abrasion. Judg-
ment being given for plaintiff, the railroad company sued out a writ
of error for its review. Held, that this court was without jurisdiction.
Jersey City & Bergen Railroad Co. v. Morgan, 288.
4. On an appeal from a judgment of a territorial court, this court is lim-
ited to determining whether the facts found are sufficient to sustain
the judgment rendered, and to reviewing the rulings of the court on
the admission or rejection of testimony, when exceptions thereto have
been duly taken. Haws v. Victoria Copper Mining Co., 303.
5. In an action in the state courts of New York against the collector of
the port of New York, the health officer of that port, and the owners
of warehouses employed for public storage, to recover damages suf-
fered by an importer of rags by reason of their having, been ordered
to the warehouses by the collector and disinfected there, and detained
until the charges for disinfection and storage were paid, a ruling by
the highest court of the State that the direction of the collector to
send the rags to the storehouses was pursuant to the requirement that
they should be disinfected, and was in aid of the health officer in the
execution of his official power by the observance of the regulations
made by him that the collector gave no order for their disinfection
that the health officer gave no such order- that the defendants
assumed to disinfect them without authority, and hence that their
charges were illegal — but that, as the collector had properly sent the
goods to the warehouses for such action as the health authorities
might see fit to take, the plaintiffs became liable for storage and light-
erage, presents no Federal question for review by this court. Bartlett
v. Lockwood, 357.
6. As this appeal was taken long after the act establishing the Circuit
Courts of Appeals went into effect, and as there is an entire absence
of a certificate of a question of jurisdiction, the appeal is dismissed
for want of jurisdiction. In re Lehigh Mining Co., 156 U. S. 322, and
Shields v. Coleman, 157 U. S. 628, distinguished from this case. Van
Wagenen v. Sewall, 369.
7. Even if an examination of the record would have disclosed a question
of jurisdiction, which is very doubtful, this court cannot be required
to search the record for it; as it was the object of the fifth section of
the act of 1891 to have the question of jurisdiction plainly and dis-
tinctly certified, or at least to have it appear so clearly in the decree
of the court below that no other question was involved, that no
further examination of the record would be necessary. Ib.
8. The decree, to review which this writ of error was sued out, was not a
final decree, and this court cannot take jurisdiction. Union Mutual
Life Ins. Co. v. Kirchoff, 374.
9. The rule is well nigh universal that, if a case be remanded by an ap-
pellate court to the court below for further judicial proceedings, in
conformity with the opinion of the appellate court, the decree is not
10. This court has no power to review a decision of a state court that the
averments of an answer in a pending case set forth no defence to the
plaintiff's claim. Iowa Central Railway Co. v. Iowa, 389.
11. If a defendant, among other defences, in various forms, and upon
several grounds, objects to the jurisdiction of the court, and final
judgment is rendered for the plaintiff, and, upon a petition referring
to all the proceedings in detail, and asking for a review of all the
rulings of the court upon the question of jurisdiction raised in the
papers on file, a writ of error is allowed generally, without formally
certifying or otherwise specifying a definite question of jurisdiction,
no question of jurisdiction is sufficiently certified to this court under
the act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, § 5. Chappell v. United States, 499.
12. Upon a writ of error under the act of March 3, 1891, c. 517, § 5, in a
case in which the constitutionality of a law of the United States was
drawn in question, this court has power to dispose of the whole case,
including all questions, whether of jurisdiction or of merits.
13. If the decree of a Circuit Court of Appeals is final under the sixth
section of the judiciary act of March 3, 1891, a decree upon an inter-
vention in the same suit must be regarded as equally so; and even if
the decree on such proceedings may be in itself independent of the
controversy between the original parties, yet if the proceedings are
entertained in the Circuit Court because of its possession of the sub-
ject of the ancillary or supplemental application, the disposition of
the latter must partake of the finality of the main decree, and cannot
be brought here on the theory that the Circuit Court exercised juris-
diction independently of the ground of jurisdiction which was orig-
inally invoked as giving cognizance to that court as a court of the
United States. Gregory v. Van Ee, 643.
14. By authority of the directors of a national bank in Chicago, which
had acquired some of its own stock, the individual note of its cashier,
secured by a pledge of that stock was, through a broker in Portage,
sold to a bank there. The note not being paid at maturity the Port-
age bank sued the Chicago bank in assumpsit, declaring specially on
the note, which it alleged was made by the bank in the cashier's
name, and also setting out the common counts. The bank set up
that the purchase of its own stock was illegal and that money bor-
rowed to pay a debt contracted for that purpose was equally forbid-
den by Rev. Stat. § 5201. The trial court was requested by the
Chicago bank to rule several propositions of law, and declined to do
so. Judgment was then entered for the Portage bank. The Supreme
Court of the State of Illinois held that the Portage bank was entitled
to recover under the common counts, and that it was not necessary
to consider whether the trial court had ruled correctly on the prop-
ositions of law submitted to it. Held, that that court in rendering
such judgment, denied no title, right, privilege, or immunity spe-
cially set up or claimed under the laws of the United States, and that
the writ of error must be dismissed. Chemical Bank v. City Bank of
See CASES AFFIRMED, 8;
B. JURISDICTION OF CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS.
1. Circuit Courts of Appeals have no jurisdiction over the judgments of
territorial courts in capital cases, and in cases of infamous crimes.
Folsom v. United States, 121.
2. This construction of the statute is imperative from its language, and is
not affected by the fact that convictions for minor offences are review-
able on a second appeal, while convictions for capital and infamous
crimes are not so reviewable. Ib.
3. Under the act of March 3, 1887, c. 373, as corrected by the act of August
13, 1888, c. 866, a defendant, who enters a general appearance, in an
action between citizens of different States, thereby waives the right
afterwards to object that he or another defendant is not an inhabitant
of the district in which the action is brought. Interior Construction &
Improvement Co. v. Gibney, 217.
C. JURISDICTION OF CIRCUIT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES.
1. It is established doctrine, to which the court adheres, that the constitu-
tional privilege of a grantee or purchaser of property, being a citizen
of one of the States, to invoke the jurisdiction of a Circuit Court of
the United States for the protection of his rights as against a citizen
of another State-the value of the matter in dispute being sufficient
for the purpose-cannot be affected or impaired merely because of
the motive that induced his grantor to convey, or his vendee to sell
and deliver, the property, provided such conveyance or such sale and
delivery was a real transaction by which the title passed without the
grantor or vendor reserving or having any right or power to compel or
require a reconveyance or return to him of the property in question.
Lehigh Mining & Manufacturing Co. v. Kelly, 327.
2. Citizens of Virginia were in possession of lands in that State, claiming
title, to which also a corporation organized under the laws of Virginia
had for some years laid claim. In order to transfer the corporation's
title and claim to a citizen of another State, thus giving a Circuit
Court of the United States jurisdiction over an action to recover the
lands, the stockholders of the Virginia corporation organized them-
selves into a corporation under the laws of Pennsylvania, and the
Virginia corporation then conveyed the lands to the Pennsylvania
corporation, and the latter corporation brought this action against the
citizens of Virginia to recover possession of the lands. No consider-
ation passed for the transfer. Both corporations still exist. Held,
that these facts took this case out of the operation of the established
doctrine above stated and made of the transaction a mere device to
give jurisdiction to the Circuit Court, and that it was a fraud upon
that court, as well as a wrong to the defendants. Ib.
3. Circuit Courts of the United States have jurisdiction of actions in which
the United States are plaintiffs, without regard to the value of the
matter in dispute. United States v. Sayward, 493.
See CORPORATION, 1;
HABEAS CORpus, 1;
JURISDICTION, A, 13.
D. JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS.
1. The act of March 3, 1891, c. 538, 26 Stat. 851, "to provide for the adju-
dication and payment of claims arising from Indian depredations,"
confers, by § 1, clause 1, no jurisdiction upon the Court of Claims to
adjudicate upon such a claim, made by a person who was not a citizen
of the United States at the time when the injury was suffered, although
he subsequently became so: nor, by § 1, clause 2, unless the claim was
one which, on March 3, 1885, had been examined and allowed by the
Department of the Interior or was then pending there for examina-
tion. Johnson v. United States, 546.
2. Any claim made against an Executive Department, "involving disputed
facts or controverted questions of law, where the amount in contro-
versy exceeds three thousand dollars, or where the decision will affect
a class of cases, or furnish a precedent for the future action of any
Executive Department in the adjustment of a class of cases, without