Lapas attēli

in a state court against an alien, or by a citizen of the state in which the suit is brought against a citizen of another state, or against a citizen of the same state claiming lands under a grant from another state, and the matter in dispute exceeds 500 dollars, exclusive of costs, the defendant, on giving security, may remove the cause to the next Circuit Court. The Circuit Courts have also original cognizance in equity and at law of all suits arising under any law of the United States relative to copyrights, and the rights growing out of inventions and discoveries, and to protect such rights by injunction. The jurisdiction in cases of copyrights applies, without regard to the character of the parties, or the amount in controversy; and with respect to the jurisdiction of the Circuit Courts, it may be laid down as the settled doctrine, that they are courts of limited, though not of inferior jurisdiction; and it is necessary, therefore, that there should appear upon the record of a Circuit Court, the facts or circumstances which give jurisdiction, either expressly or by necessary legal intendment.c


(3.) The District, as well as the Circuit Courts, are de- District rived from the power granted to Congress by the constitution, of constituting tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court. The United States are at present divided into thirty-three districts, which generally consist of an entire state; but in New-York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana and Alabama, there are more districts than one. A court is established in each district, consisting of one judge, who holds annually four stated terms, and also special courts, in his discretion.

The District Courts have, exclusive of the state courts,

a Act of 24th September, 1789, sec. 12.

b Act of 17th April, 1800, ch. 25. sec. 3. and of February 15th, 1819, sec. 1.

c Stanley v. The Bank of America, 4 Dallas, 11. McCormick v. Sullivant, 10 Wheaton, 192.

d Art. 1. sec. 8.

cognizance of all lesser crimes and offences cognizable under the authority of the United States, and committed within their respective districts, or upon the high seas, and which are punishable by fine not excceeding 500 dollars, by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or when corporal punishment, not exceeding thirty stripes, is to be inflicted. They have also exclusive original cognizance of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, of seizures under impost, navigation, or trade laws of the United States, where the seizures are made upon the high seas, or on waters within their districts navigable from the sea with vessels of ten or more tons burthen; and also of all other seizures made under the laws of the United States; and also of all suits for penalties and forfeitures incurred under those laws. They have also cognizance, concurrent with the Circuit Courts, and the state courts, of causes where an alien sues for a tort committed in violation of the law of nations, or of a treaty of the United States; and of all suits at common law, in which the United States are plaintiffs, and the matter in dispute amounts, exclusive of costs, to 100 dollars. They have jurisdiction, likewise, exclusive of the courts of the several states, of all suits against consuls or vice-consuls, except for offences above the magnitude which has been mentioned. They have also cognizance of complaints, by whomsoever instituted, in cases of captures made within the waters of the United States, or within a marine league. of its coasts; and to repeal patents unduly obtained.

The judges of the District Courts have also, in cases where the party has not had a reasonable time to apply to the Circuit Court, as full power to grant writs of injunction to operate within their respective districts, as is exercised by the judges of the Supreme Court, and to continue until the

a Act of 24th September, 1789, sec. 10.

b Act of April 20th, 1818, sec. 7.

e Act of Congress, February 21st, 1793, ch. 11. sec. 10.

next Circuit Court. They may also grant injunctions, in particular cases, under the act for the better organization of the treasury department.

In addition to these general powers vested in the District Courts, they have, in those cases where the districts are so situated as not to permit conveniently the presence of a judge of the Supreme Court, the powers of a Circuit Court superadded to their ordinary powers of a District Court."

To guard against the inconvenience of a difference of opinion between the circuit judge and the district judge, when holding together a Circuit Court, it is provided by law, that in all cases of appeal or error, from the District to the Circuit Court, judgment is to be rendered in conformity to the opinion of the judge of the Supreme Court, presiding in such Circuit Court. And in all other cases of a disagreement of opinion between the circuit and district judges, the point may be certified into the Supreme Court for its decision; but in no case shall imprisonment be allowed, or punishment inflicted, where the judges of the Circuit Court are divided in opinion upon the question.d

The superior courts of the several territories of the United States, in which no District Court is established, have the enlarged jurisdiction of Circuit Courts, subject to revision by writ of error and appeal to the Supreme Court. The district and territorial judges of the United States are required to reside within their respective jurisdictions; and no federal judge can act as counsel, or be engaged in the practice of the law.

This is the case in re

a Act of February 13th, 1807, sec. 1. b Act of May 15th, 1820, sec. 4 and 5. c Act of Congress, 19th February, 1831. spect to the northern district of New-York, the western district of Pennsylvania, the district of Indiana, the district of Illinois, the district of Missouri, the district of Mississippi, the eastern district of Louisiana, and the northern and southern districts of Alabama.

d Act of April 29th, 1802, sec. 5, 6.

e Act of March 3d, 1805, sec. 1.

f Act of December 18th, 1812, sec. 1. VOL. I.


Duties vested

in state courts.

and Counsel

(4.) The state courts are, in some cases, invested by acts of Congress, with the cognizance of cases arising under the laws of the United States. By the acts of March 8th, 1806, and April 21st, 1808, and March 3d, 1815, the county courts within, or adjoining the revenue districts, in certain parts of the states of New-York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, are authorized to take cognizance of prosecutions for fines, penalties, and forfeitures, arising under the revenue laws of the United States; and the state or county courts adjoining any collection district, in relation to taxes or internal duties which may, at any time hereafter, be assessed, have cognizance of all suits for taxes, duties, fines, penalties, and forfeitures, arising thereon."

In attending to this general survey of the organization of the judiciary establishment of the United States, it will be perceived, that all the great features of the system are to be found in the act of Congress which was passed in September, 1789, at the first session of the first Congress under the present constitution. That act has stood the test of experience since that time, with very little alteration or improvement, and this fact is no small evidence of the wisdom of the plan, and of its adaptation to the interest and convenience of the country. The act of 1789 was the work of much profound reflection, and of great legal knowledge; and the system then formed and reduced to practice has been so successful, and so beneficial in its operation, that the administration of justice in the federal courts has been constantly rising in influence and reputation.

The principal officers of the courts are attorneys and counsellors, clerks and marshals.

Attorneys (1.) Attorneys and counsel are regularly admitted by the several courts, to assist the parties in their pleadings, and in the conduct of their causes, in those cases in which the parties do not appear and manage their own causes personally,

[ocr errors][merged small]

as they are expressly permitted to do. This privilege conceded to parties, though reasonable in itself, is upon the whole useless, and the necessity of a distinct profession, to render the application of the law easy and certain to every individual case, has always been felt in every country under the government of written law. As property becomes secure, and the arts are cultivated, and commerce flourishes, and when wealth and luxury are introduced, and create the infinite distinctions and refinements of civilized life, the law will gradually and necessarily assume the character of a complicated science, requiring for its application the skill and learning of a particular profession. After the publication of the twelve tables, suitors at Rome were obliged to resort to the assistance of their patrons, and judicial proceedings became the study and practice of a distinct and learned body of men. The division of advocates into attorneys and counsel has been adopted from the prevailing usage in the English courts. The business of the former is to carry on the practical and more mechanical parts of the suit, and of the latter to draft or review and correct the special pleadings, to manage the cause at the trial, and also during the whole course of the suit, to apply established principles of law to the exigencies of the case. In the Supreme Court of the United States, the two degrees of attorney and counsel are kept separate, and no person is permitted to practise both as attorney and counsellor in that court. This was by a

rule of the court in February, 1790; and when, afterwards, in August, 1801, the court declared that counsellors might be admitted as attorneys, on taking the usual oath, this did not mean or imply, that if a counsellor was thus admitted an attorney, he could continue to act as counsellor. He must make his election between the two degrees. In all the other courts of the United States, as well as in the courts of

a Act of 24th September, 1789, sec. 35.

b Gravina, de Ortu et Prog. Jur. Civ. sec. 33. 40.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »