Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Whelan v. The United States. 7 C. by the act of the 8th of March, 1802. The former act, after providing for the removal of all final judgments or decrees, above the value of $50, from a district to a circuit court, by appeal, and by a like proceeding for a removal to the supreme court, of those cases only, which were of equity, of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and of prize or no prize, proceeded to provide for civil actions at common law, originating in a district court, by declaring that final judgments, in such cases, if of a certain value, might be removed at once, from the district to the supreme court, by writ of error. So that, as the law stood at that time, a party, in cases at common law, had an election to carry his case, where it exceeded $2,000, by writ of error, from the district to the circuit court, under the 22d section of the act of 1789, but without the privilege of proceeding * far- [*112] ther, or to proceed with his cause at once, to the supreme court, passing by the circuit court. But it appears not to have been the policy of the legislature at that time, to subject the decisions of the district court, in civil cases at common law, to more than one reëxamination in an appellate court.

7 C. 287; 5 P. 190; 6 P. 470; 12 P. 143; 14 P. 614.

Whelan v. THE UNITED States.

7 C. 112.

Cases of seizure upon waters navigable from the sea, by vessels of more than ten tons bar

den, for breach of the laws of the United States, are civil cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and are to be tried without a jury.

This cause standing so late on the docket, that it was not likely to be called for trial at this term, Dallas, for the United States, suggested the propriety of assigning a particular day for the hearing, as it was a case of importance, and involved a question of jurisdiction, namely: whether a seizure of a vessel, on waters navigable from the sea for vessels of ten and more tons burden, for breach of a law of the United States, was to be tried by a jury. This question was said to be important, because the judge of the district of Pennsylvania had refused to try any cases of that kind, until the question was finally settled by this court.

1 2 Stats. at Large, 132.

United States v. The Brig Eliza. 7 C. The court accordingly assigned a day for hearing that question, but intimated an opinion that it was already decided in the cases of The Vengeance, 3 Dall. 297; The Betsey and Charlotte, 4 Cranch, 433; and Yeaton v. United States, 5 Cranch, 281.

E. Tilghman, for the appellant, after looking into those cases, abandoned the question as to jurisdiction, considering the cases cited as conclusive against him.

The Court said that the question had been certainly settled in this court, upon full argument.

5 H. 441.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Under the Embargo Act of January 9, 1808, (2 Stats. at Large, 453, s. 3,) the offence was not

complete until the arrival of the vessel at a foreign port. But on her return the vessel was liable to seizure.

APPEAL from a decree of the circuit court of the United States for the district of Delaware, dismissing a libel filed by the United States against The Eliza, for having proceeded to a foreign port or place, contrary to section 3, of the act of January 9, 1808, (2 Stats. at Large, 453.)

Dallas, for the United States.

J. R. Ingersoll, for the claimant.

[ *115 * MARSHALL, C. J., stated that it was the opinion of the

court that the vessel was liable to seizure; but that a majority of the court was of opinion that the offence was not complete until the arrival of the vessel in a foreign port; but the facts of the case do not appear, so as to enable the court to decide that point; the cause is therefore continued for further proof.

United States v. Crosby. 7 C.

THE UNITED STATES v. Jonah CROSBY.

7 C. 115.

The title to land can be acquired and lost only in the manner prescribed by the law of the

place where such land is situate.

This case is fully stated in the following opinion of this court, which was delivered by

STORY, J., on the 24th of February, all the judges being present,

A writ of intrusion was brought by the United States, against the defendant in error, to recover possession of an undivided part of certain land lying within the district of Maine. Upon the trial of the cause in the district court of that district, a special verdict was found by the jury, upon which the same court gave judgment in favor of the defendant in error. This judgment was afterwards affirmed in the circuit court of Massachusetts, and is now before the supreme court for a final decision.

By the special verdict, it appears that the claim of the United States to the land in controversy is under one* Nathan- [ * 116 ] iel Dowse, who derived his title, if any, from an instrument stated at large in the same verdict, and executed in his favor by one John Nelson. The instrument is without a seal, and was executed at the Island of Grenada, in the West Indies, before a notary public, according to the mode prescribed by the existing laws to pass real estate in that colony; and both parties were, at that time, residents therein.

By the laws of Massachusetts, no estate of freehold in land can be conveyed unless by a deed or conveyance, under the hand and seal of the party"; and to perfect the title as against strangers, it is further requisite that the deed should be acknowledged before a proper magistrate, and recorded in the registry of deeds for the county where the land lies.

The question presented for consideration is, whether the lex loci contractus or the lex loci rei site is to govern in the disposal of real estates.

The court entertain no doubt on the subject; and are clearly of opinion that the title to land can be acquired and lost only in the manner prescribed by the law of the place where such land is situate. The judgment of the circuit court must, therefore, be affirmed.

9 W. 565; 10 W. 192; 5 H. 233.

Schooner Exchange v. M'Faddon. 7 C.

The Schooner ExchANGE V. M'FADDON and others.

7 C. 116.

A public armed vessel, in the service of a sovereign at peace with the United States, is not

within the ordinary jurisdiction of our tribunals while in a port of the United States. But the sovereign power of the United States may interpose, and impart such a jurisdiction.

[*117 ] * APPEAL from the sentence of the circuit court of the

United States for the district of Pennsylvania. The case was this ; on the 24th of August, 1811, John M'Faddon, and William Greetham, of the State of Maryland, filed their libel in the district court of the United States, for the district of Pennsyl. vania, against the schooner Exchange, setting forth that they were her sole owners, on the 27th of October, 1809, when she sailed from Baltimore, bound to St. Sebastians, in Spain. That while lawfully and peaceably pursuing her voyage, she was, on the 30th of December, 1810, violently and forcibly taken by certain persons, acting under the decrees and orders of Napoleon, Emperor of the French, out of the custody of the libellants, and of their captain and agent, and was disposed of by those persons, or some of them, in violation of the rights of the libellants, and of the law of nations in that behalf. That she had been brought into the port of Philadelphia, and was then in the jurisdiction of that court, in possession of a certain Dennis M. Begon, her reputed captain or master. That no sentence or decree of condemnation had been pronounced against her, by any court of competent jurisdiction; but that the property of the libellants in her remained unchanged and in full force. They therefore prayed the usual process of the court, to attach the vessel, and that she might be restored to them.

Upon this libel the usual process was issued, returnable on the 30th of August, 1811, which was executed and returned accordingly, but no person appeared to claim the vessel in opposition to the libellants. On the 6th of September, the usual proclamation was made for all persons to appear and show cause why the vessel should not be restored to her former owners, but no person appeared. On the 13th of September, a like proclamation was made, but no

appearance was entered. [118] On the 20th of September, Mr. Dallas, the attorney of

the United States, for the district of Pennsylvania, appeared, and (at the instance of the executive department of the government Schooner Exchange v. M'Faddon. 7 C. of the United States, as it is understood,) filed a suggestion, to the following effect:

Protesting that he does not know, and does not admit the truth of the allegations contained in the libel, he suggests and gives the court to understand and be informed,

That inasmuch as there exists between the United States of America, and Napoleon, Emperor of France, and King of Italy, &c., &c., a state of peace and amity; the public vessels of his said imperial and royal majesty, conforming to the law of nations, and laws of the said United States, may freely enter the ports and harbors of the said United States, and at pleasure depart therefrom without seizure, arrest, detention, or molestation. That a certain public vessel described, and known as the Balaou, or vessel No. 5, belonging to his said imperial and royal majesty, and actually employed in his service, under the command of the Sieur Begon, upon a voyage from Europe to the Indies, having encountered great stress of weather upon the high seas, was compelled to enter the port of Philadelphia, for refreshment and repairs, about the 22d of July, 1811. That having entered the said port from necessity, and not voluntarily; having procured the requisite refreshments and repairs, and having conformed in all things to the law of nations, and the laws of the United States, was about to depart from the said port of Philadelphia, and to resume her voyage in the service of his said imperial and royal majesty, when on the 24th of August, 1811, she was seized, arrested, and detained, in pursuance of the process of attachment issued upon the prayer of the libellants. That the said public vessel had not, at any time, been violently and forcibly taken or captured from the libellants, their captain and agent, on the high seas, as prize of war, or otherwise; but that if the said public vessel, belonging to his said imperial and royal majesty as aforesaid, ever was a vessel navigating under the flag of the United States, and possessed by the libellants, citizens thereof, as in their libel is alleged, (which, nevertheless, * the said attorney does not admit,) the property of the [*119 ] libellants in the said vessel was seized and divested, and the same became vested in his imperial and royal majesty, within a port of his empire, or of a country occupied by his arms, out of the jurisdiction of the United States, and of any particular State of the United States, according to the decrees and laws of France, in such case provided. And the said attorney submitting, whether, in consideration of the premises, the court will take cognizance of the cause, respectfully prays, that the court will be pleased to order and decree, that the process of attachment, heretofore issued, be quashed; that the libel be dismissed with costs; and that the said public ves.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »