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or before any chancellor, justice or judge of a supreme or superior court, mayor or chief magistrate of a city, or judge of a county court or court of common pleas of any of the United States, not being of counsel or attorney to either of the parties, or interested in the event of the cause, provided that a notification from the magistrate before whom the deposition is to be taken to the adverse party, to be present at the taking of the same, and to put interrogatories, if he think fit, be first made out and served on the adverse party or his attorney as either may be nearest, if either is within one hundred miles of the place of such caption, allowing time for their attendance after notified, not less than at the rate of one day, Sundays exclusive, for every twenty miles travel. (a) And in causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, or other cases of seizure when a libel shall be filed, in which an adverse party is not named, and depositions of persons circumstanced as aforesaid shall be taken before a claim be put in, the like notification as aforesaid shall be given to the person having the agency or possession of the property libelled at the time of the capture or seizure of the same, if known to the libellant. And every person deposing as aforesaid shall be carefully examined and cautioned, and sworn or affirmed to testify the whole truth, and shall subscribe the testimony by him or her given after the same shall be reduced to writing, which shall be done only by the magistrate taking the deposition, or by the deponent in his presence. And the depositions so taken shall be retained by such magistrate until he deliver the same with his own hand into the court for which they are taken, or shall, together with a certificate of the reasons as aforesaid of their being taken, and of the notice if any given to the adverse party, be by him the said magistrate sealed up and directed to such court, and remain under his seal until opened in court.(b) And any person may be compelled to appear and depose as aforesaid in the same manner as to appear and testify in court. And be compelled to in the trial of any cause of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction in a district court, the decree in which may be appealed from, if either party shall suggest to and satisfy the court that probably it will not be in his power to produce the witnesses there testifying before the circuit court should an appeal be had, and shall move that their testimony be taken down in writing, it shall be so done by the clerk of the court.(c) And
Adverse party to be notified.
Notice in admiralty and maritime causes.
(a) The following cases have been decided relating to depositions taken under the provisions of this act: That the deponent is a seaman on board a gun-boat in the harbour, and liable to be ordered to some other place, and not to be able to attend the court at the time of sitting, is not a sufficient reason for taking his deposition under the act of September 24, 1789, chap. 20.
If it appear on the face of the deposition taken under the act of Congress, that the officer taking the same, was authorized by the act, it is sufficient in the first instance, without any proof that he was such officer. Ruggles v. Bucknor, 1 Paine's C. C. R. 358.
Objections to the competency of the witness whose deposition is taken under the act of 1789, should be made at the time of taking the deposition, if the party attend, and the objections are known to him, in order that they may be removed: otherwise he will be presumed to waive them. United States v. Hairpencils, 1 Paine's C. C. R. 400.
A deposition taken under the 30th section of the act of 1789 cannot be made on evidence, unless the judge before whom it was taken, certify that it was reduced to writing by himself, or by the witness in his presence. Pettibone v. Derringer, 4 Wash. C. C. R. 215. See United States v. Smith, 4 Day, 121. North Carolina Cases, 81.
The authority given by the act of 1789, to take depositions of witnesses in the absence of the opposite party, is in derogation of the rules of common law, and has always been construed strictly; and therefore it is necessary to establish that all the requisites have been complied with, before such testimony can be admitted. Bell v. Morrison et al., 1 Peters, 351. The Patapsco Ins. Comp. v. Southgate, 5 Peters, 604. The United States v. Coolidge, 1 Gallis. C. C. R. 488. Evans v. Hettick, 3 Wash. C. C. R. 408. Thomas and Henry v. The United States, 1 Brocken. C. C. R. 367.
The provisions of the 30th section of the act of 1789, as to taking depositions, de bene esse, does not apply to cases pending in the Supreme Court, but only to cases in the Circuit and District Courts. The Argo, 2 Wheat. 287; 4 Cond. Rep. 119.
Where there is an attorney on record, notice must in all cases be given to him. Ibid.
The deposition of a person residing out of the State, and more than one hundred miles from the place of trial, cannot be read in evidence. Bleeker v. Bond, 3 Wash. C. C. R. 529. See Buddicum v. Kirke, 3 Cranch, 293; 1 Cond. Rep. 535.
(b) It is a fatal objection to a deposition taken under the 30th section of the act of 1789, that it was opened out of court. Beale v. Thompson, 8 Cranch, 70; 3 Cond. Rep. 35.
(c) Since the act of March 3, 1803, chap. 40, in admiralty as well as in equity cases carried up to the VOL. I.-12
if an appeal be had, such testimony may be used on the trial of the same, if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court which shall try the appeal, that the witnesses are then dead or gone out of the United States, or to a greater distance than as aforesaid from the place where the court is sitting, or that by reason of age, sickness, bodily infirmity or imprisonment, they are unable to travel and appear at court, but not otherwise. And unless the same shall be made to appear on the trial of any cause, with respect to witnesses whose depositions may have been taken therein, such depositions shall not be admitted or used in the cause. Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent Dedimus po- any court of the United States from granting a dedimus potestatem to take depositions according to common usage, when it may be necessary to prevent a failure or delay of justice, (a) which power they shall severally possess, nor to extend to depositions taken in perpetuam rei memoriam, which if they relate to matters that may be cognizable in any court of the United States, a circuit court on application thereto made as a court of equity, may, according to the usages in chancery direct to be taken.
Act of March 3, 1803, ch. 40.
Depositions used in case of sickness, death, &c.
testatem as usual.
SEC. 31. And be it [further] enacted, That where any suit shall be depending in any court of the United States, and either of the parties shall die before final judgment, the executor or administrator of such deceased may prosecute party who was plaintiff, petitioner, or defendant, in case the cause of action
doth by law survive, shall have full power to prosecute or defend any such
Executor or administrator
Neglect of executor or adbecome a party
to the suit,
judgment to be Executor and
administrator may have continuance.
Two plaintiffs. Surviving plaintiff may continue suit.
Supreme Court by appeal, the evidence goes with the cause, and it must consequently be in writing. 1
(a) When a foreign government refuses to suffer the commission to be executed within its jurisdiction, the Circuit Court may issue letters rogatory for the purpose of obtaining testimony according to the forms and practice of the civil law. Nelson et al. v. The United States, Peters' C. C. R. 255. See Buddicum v. Kirke, 3 Cranch, 293; 1 Cond. Rep. 535.
Depositions taken according to the proviso in the 30th section of the judiciary act of 1789, under a dedimus potestatem, according to common usage, when it may be necessary to prevent a failure or delay of justice, are, under no circumstances, to be considered as taken de bene esse. Sergeant's Lessee v. Biddle, 4 Wheat. 508; 4 Cond. Rep. 522.
(b) This statute embraces all cases of death before final judgment, and of course is more extensive than the 17 Car. 2, and 8 and 9 W. 3. The death may happen before or after plea pleaded, before or after issue joined, before or after verdict, or before or after interlocutory judgment; and in all these cases the proceedings are to be exactly as if the executor or administrator were a voluntary party to the suit. Hatch v. Eustis, 1 Gallis. C. C. R. 160.
(c) In real and personal actions at common law, the death of the parties before judgment abates the suit, and it requires the aid of some statutory provision to enable the suit to be prosecuted by or against the personal representatives of the deceased, where the cause of action survives. This is effected by the 31st section of the judiciary act of 1789, chap. 20. Green v. Watkins, 6 Wheat. 260; 5 Cond. Rep. 87. In real actions the death of either party before judgment, abates the suit. The 31st section of the judiciary act of 1789, which enables the action to be prosecuted by or against the representatives of the
Writs shall not abate for de
SEC. 32. And be it further enacted, That no summons, writ, declaration, return, process, judgment, or other proceedings in civil causes in any of the courts of the United States, shall be abated, arrested, quashed fect of form. or reversed, for any defect or want of form, but the said courts respectively shall proceed and give judgment according as the right of the cause and matter in law shall appear unto them, without regarding any imperfections, defects, or want of form in such writ, declaration, or other pleading, return, process, judgment, or course of proceeding whatsoever, except those only in cases of demurrer, which the party demurring shall Exceptions. specially sit down and express together with his demurrer as the cause thereof. And the said courts respectively shall and may, by virtue of this act, from time to time, amend all and every such imperfections, defects and wants of form, other than those only which the party demurring shall express as aforesaid, and may at any time permit either of the parties to mend any defect in the process or pleadings, upon such conditions as the said courts respectively shall in their discretion, and by their rules prescribe.(a)
SEC. 33. And be it further enacted, That for any crime or offence against the United States, the offender may, by any justice or judge of the United States, or by any justice of the peace, or other magistrate of any of the United States where he may be found agreeably to the usual mode of process against offenders in such state, and at the expense of the United States, be arrested, and imprisoned or bailed, as the case may be, for trial before such court of the United States as by this act has cognizance of the offence. (b) And copies of the process shall be returned as speedily as may be into the clerk's office of such court, together with the recognizances of the witnesses for their appearance to testify in the case; which recognizances the magistrate before whom the examination shall be, may require on pain of imprisonment. And if such commitment of the offender, or the witnesses shall be in a district other than that in which the offence is to be tried, it shall be the duty of the judge of that district where the delinquent is imprisoned, seasonably to issue, and of the marshal of the same district to execute, a warrant for the removal of the offender, and the witnesses, or either of them, as the case may be, to the district in which the trial is to be had. And upon all arrests in criminal cases, bail shall be admitted, except where the punishment may be death, in which cases it shall not be admitted but by the supreme or a circuit court, or by justice of the supreme court, or a judge of a district court, who shall exercise their discretion therein, regarding the nature and circumstances of the offence, and of the evidence, and the usages of law. And if a person committed by a justice of the supreme or a judge of a district court for an offence not punishable with death, shall afterwards procure bail, and there be no judge
Courts may amend imperfec
gainst U. S. arrested by any justice of the peace.
Act of March 2, 1793, ch. 22. Act of July 16, 1798, ch. 83. Recognizance to be returned
to the clerk's office.
Offender may be removed by
Bail, how ta
deceased, when the cause of action survives, is clearly confined to personal actions. Macker's heirs v. Thomas, 7 Wheat. 530; 5 Cond. Rep. 334.
(a) The 32d section of the act of 1789, allowing amendments, is sufficiently comprehensive to embrace causes of appellate as well as original jurisdiction; and there is nothing in the nature of an appellate jurisdiction, proceeding according to the common law, which forbids the granting of amendments. 1 Gallis. C. C. R. 22.
If the amendment is made in the Circuit Court, the cause is heard and adjudicated in that court, and upon appeal by the Supreme Court on the new allegation. But if the amendment is allowed by the Supreme Court, the cause is remanded to the Circuit Court, with directions to allow the amendment to be made. The Mariana Flora, 11 Wheat. 1; 6 Cond. Rep. 201.
By the provisions of the act of Congress a variance which is merely matter of form may be amended at any time. Scull v. Biddle, 2 Wash. C. C. R. 200. See Smith v. Jackson, 1 Paine's C. C. R. 486. Ex parte Bradstreet, 7 Peters, 634. Randolph v. Barrett, 16 Peters, 136. Hozey v. Buchanan, 16 Peters, 215. Woodward v. Brown, 13 Peters, 1.
(b) The Supreme Court of the United States has jurisdiction, under the constitution and laws of the United States, to bail a person committed for trial on a criminal charge by a district judge of the United States. The United States v. Hamilton, 3 Dall. 17.
The circumstances of the case must be very strong, which will, at any time, induce a court to admit a person to bail, who stands charged with high treason. The United States v. Stewart, 2 Dall.
of the United States in the district to take the same, it may be taken by any judge of the supreme or superior court of law of such state.
SEC. 34. And be it further enacted, That the laws of the several states, except where the constitution, treaties or statutes of the United States shall otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in trials at common law in the courts of the United States in cases where they apply.(a)
SEC. 35. And be it further enacted, That in all the courts of the United States, the parties may plead and manage their own causes personally or by the assistance of such counsel or attorneys at law as by the rules of the said courts respectively shall be permitted to manage and conduct causes therein. And there shall be appointed in each district a meet person learned in the law to act as attorney for the United States in such district, who shall be sworn or affirmed to the faithful execution of his office, whose duty it shall be to prosecute in such district all delinquents for crimes and offences, cognizable under the authority of the United States, and all civil actions in which the United States shall be concerned, except before the supreme court in the district in which that Compensation. court shall be holden. And he shall receive as a compensation for his
Laws of States rules of decision.
Parties may manage their
Attorney of the U. S. for each district.
(a) The 34th section of the judiciary act of 1799, does not apply to the process and practice of the courts. It merely furnishes a decision, and is not intended to regulate the remedy. Wayman v. Southard, 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Cond. Rep. 1.
In construing the statutes of a State, infinite mischief would ensue, should the federal courts observe a different rule from that which has long been established in the State. M'Keen v. Delancy's lessee, 5 Cranch, 22; 2 Cond. Rep. 179.
In cases depending on the statutes of a State, and more especially in those respecting the titles to land, the federal courts adopt the construction of the State, where that construction is settled or can be ascertained. Polk's Lessee v. Wendall, 9 Cranch, 87; 3 Cond. Rep. 286.
The Supreme Court uniformly acts under a desire to conform its decisions to the State courts on their local law. Mutual Assurance Society v. Watts, 1 Wheat. 279; 3 Cond. Rep. 570.
The Supreme Court holds in the highest respect, decisions of State Courts upon local laws, forming rules of property. Shipp et al. v. Miller's heirs, 2 Wheat. 316; 4 Cond. Rep. 132.
When the construction of the statute of the State relates to real property, and has been settled by any judicial decision of the State where the land lies, the Supreme Court, upon the principles uniformly adopted by it, would recognize the decision as part of the local law. Gardner v. Collins, 2 Peters, 58.
In construing local statutes respecting real property, the courts of the Union are governed by the decisions of State tribunals. Thatcher et al. v. Powell, 6 Wheat. 119; 5 Cond. Rep. 28.
The courts of the United States, in cases depending on the laws of a particular State, will in general adopt the construction given by the courts of the State, to those laws. Elmendorf v. Taylor, 10 Wheat. 152; 6 Cond. Rep. 47.
Under the 34th section of the judiciary act of 1789, the acts of limitation of the several States where no special provision has been made by Congress, form rules of the decision in the courts of the United States; and the same effect is given to them as is given in the State courts. M'Cluny v. Silliman, 3 Peters, 270.
The statute laws of the States must furnish the rules of decision to the federal courts, as far as they comport with the laws of the United States, in all cases arising within the respective States; and a fixed and received construction of these respective statute laws in their own courts, makes a part of such statute law. Shelby et al. v. Guy, 11 Wheat. 361; 6 Cond. Rep. 345.
The Supreme Court adopts the local law of real property as ascertained by the decisions of State courts; whether those decisions are grounded on the construction of the statutes of the State, or from a part of the unwritten law of the State, which has become a fixed rule of property. Jackson v. Chew, 12 Wheat. 153; 6 Cond. Rep. 489.
Soon after the decision of a case in the Circuit Court for the district of Virginia, a case was decided in the court of appeals of the State, on which the question on the execution laws of Virginia was elaborately argued, and deliberately decided. The Supreme Court, according to its uniform course, adopts the construction of the act, which is made by the highest court of the State. The United States v. Morrison, 4 Peters, 124.
The Supreme Court has uniformly adopted the decisions of the State tribunals, respectively, in all cases where the decision of a State court has become a rule of property. Green v. Neal, 6 Peters, 291.
In all cases arising under the constitution and laws of the United States, the Supreme Court may exercise a revising power, and its decisions are final and obligatory on all other tribunals, State as well as federal. A State tribunal has a right to examine any such questions, and to determine thereon, but its decisions must conform to those of the Supreme Court, or the corrective power of that court may be exercised. But the case is very different when the question arises under a focal law. The decision of this question by the highest tribunal of a State, should be considered as final by the Supreme Court; not because the State tribunal has power, in such a case, to bind the Supreme Court, but because, in the language of the court in Shelby v. Guy, 11 Wheat. 361, a fixed and received construction by a State, in its own courts, makes a part of the statute law. Ibid. See also Smith v. Clapp, 15 Peters, 125. Watkins v. Holman et al., 16 Peters, 25. Long v. Palmer, 16 Peters, 65. Golden v. Price, 3 Wash. C. c. R. 313. Campbell v. Claudius, Peters' C. C. R. 484. Henderson and Wife v. Griffin, 5 Peters, 151. Coates' executrix v. Muse's adm'or., 1 Brocken. C. C. R. 539. Parsons v. Bedford et al., 3 Peters, 433.
services such fees as shall be taxed therefor in the respective courts before which the suits or prosecutions shall be. And there shall also be appointed a meet person, learned in the law, to act as attorney-general for the United States, who shall be sworn or affirmed to a faithful execution of his office; whose duty it shall be to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments, touching any matters that may concern their departments, and shall receive such compensation for his services as shall by law be provided. (a)
APPROVED, September 24, 1789.
Attorney General of the U. S.
Act of May 29, 1830, ch. 153.
CHAP. XXI.—An Act to regulate Processes in the Courts of the United States.
Sept. 29, 1789.
Act of May
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all 26, 1790, ch. 13. writs and processes issuing from a supreme or a circuit court shall bear test of the chief justice of the supreme court, and if from a district court, shall bear test of the judge of such court, and shall be under the seal of the court from whence they issue; and signed by the clerk thereof. The seals of the supreme and circuit courts to be provided by the supreme court, and of the district courts, by the respective judges of the same. SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That until further provision shall be made, and except where by this act or other statutes of the United States is otherwise provided, the forms of writs and executions, except their style, and modes of process and rates of fees, except fees to judges, in the circuit and district courts, in suits at common law, shall be the same in each state respectively as are now used or allowed in the supreme courts of the same. (b) And the forms and modes of proceedings in
Act of Feb. 18, 1791, ch. 8.
Writs to bear
test of the Chief
To be under
Act of May 8,
(a) The acts relating to the compensation of the Attorney General of the United States are: Act of March 2, 1797; act of March 2, 1799, chap. 38; act of February 20, 1804, chap. 12; act of February 20, 1819, chap. 27; act of May 29, 1830, chap. 153, sec 10; act of 1789, ch. 18.
(b) The 34th section of the judiciary act of 1789, authorizes the courts of the United States to issue writs of execution as well as other writs. Wayman v. Southard, 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Cond. Rep. 1.
Whenever, by the state laws in force in 1789, a capias might issue from a state court, the acts of 1789 and 1792, extending in terms to that species of writ, must be understood to have adopted its use permanently in the federal courts. Bank of the United States v. January, 10 Wheat. 66-in note.
The process act of 1792, chap. 36, is the law which regulates executions issuing from the courts of the United States, and it adopts the practice of the supreme courts of the States existing in 1789, as the rule for governing proceedings on such executions, subject to such alterations as the Supreme Court of the United States may make ; but not subject to the alterations which have since taken place in the State laws and practice. Wayman v. Southard, 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Cond. Rep. 1.
At an early period after the organization of the federal courts, the rules of practice in the State courts, which were similar to the English practice, were adopted by the judges of the Circuit Court. A subsequent change in the practice of the State courts will not authorize a departure from the rules first adopted in the Circuit Court. 1 Peters' C. C. R. 1.
Whenever by the laws of the United States a defendant may be arrested, the process of arrest employed in the State may be adopted. Burr's trial, 431.
The process act of 1828 was passed shortly after the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Wayman v. Southard, and the Bank of the United States v. Halstead, and was intended as a legislative sanction of the opinions of the court in those cases. The power given to the courts of the United States to make rules and regulations on final process, so as to conform the same to the laws of the States on the same subject, extends to future legislation; and as well to the modes of proceeding on executions as to the forms of writs. Ross and King v. Duval et al., 13 Peters, 45.
The first judiciary act of 1789, chap. 20, does not contemplate compulsive process against any person, in any district, unless he be an inhabitant of, or found within the same district at the time of serving the writ. Picquet v Swann, 5 Mason's C. C. R. 35.
Congress have by the constitution, exclusive authority to regulate proceedings in the courts of the United States, and the States have no authority to control those proceedings, except so far as the State process acts are adopted by Congress, or by the courts of the United States under the authority of Congress. Wayman v. Southard, 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Cond. Rep. 1.
The laws of the United States authorize the courts of the United States so to alter the form of process of execution used in the Supreme Court of the United States in 1789, as to subject to executions