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well as the judges of the District Courts, may, by habeas corpus, relieve the citizens from all manner of unjust imprisonment occurring under or by colour of the authority of the United States.
(2.) The Circuit Courts are established in each district Circuit (with one or two exceptions) of the seven great circuits into which the United States are divided. The first circuit is composed of the districts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island; the second circuit, of the districts of Connecticut, Vermont, and the southern district of New-York; the third circuit, of the district of New Jersey, and the eastern district of Pennsylvania; the fourth circuit, of the districts of Maryland and Delaware; the fifth circuit, of the district of North Carolina, and the eastern district of Virginia; the sixth circuit, of the districts of South Carolina and Georgia; and the seventh circuit, of the districts of Kentucky, East and West Tennessee, and Ohio. In each district of these circuits, two Circuit Courts are annually held by one of the judges of the Supreme Court and the district judge of the district; but the Supreme Court may, in cases where special circumstances shall in their judgment render the same necessary, assign two of the judges of the Supreme Court to attend a Circuit Court, and when the district judge shall be absent, or shall have been counsel, or be interested in the cause, the Circuit Court may consist only of a judge of the Supreme Court. These circuits do not
power, by declaring that the power to issue attachments, and inflict summary punishments, for contempt of court, shall not be construed to extend to any cases except the misbehaviour of any person in the presence of the court, or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice; and the misbehaviour of any of the officers of the said courts in their official transactions; and the disobedience, or resistance, by any officer of the said courts, party, juror, witness, or any other person, to any lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command of the said courts.
a Act of 24th September, 1789, sec. 14.
b Acts of March 2, 1793, sec, 1. April 29th, 1802, sec. 4. February 24th, 1807, sec. 2. March 220, 1808, sec. 1. March 30th, 1820, sec. 1.
include the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, the northern district of NewYork, the western district of Pennsylvania, and the western district of Virginia. The want of Circuit Courts in those parts of the Union is supplied by the grant of the powers and jurisdiction of Circuit Courts to the District Courts.
These Circuit Courts, thus organized, are vested with original cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the several states, of all suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity, where the matter in dispute exceeds 500 dollars, exclusive of costs, and the United States are plaintiffs, or an alien is a party, or the suit is between a citizen of the state where the suit is brought, and a citizen of another state. They have likewise exclusive cognizance, except in certain cases which will be hereafter mentioned, of all crimes and offences cognizable under the authority of the United States, exceeding the degree of ordinary misdemeanors, and of them they have concurrent jurisdiction with the District Courts. But no person can be arrested in one district for trial in another, and no civil suit can be brought against an inhabitant of the United States out of his district; and the act of Congress provides against the assumption of federal jurisdiction to be created by the assignment of promissory notes, or other choses in action, except foreign bills of exchange. The Circuit Court have also appellate jurisdiction from all final decrees and judgments in the District Courts, where the matter in dispute, exclusive of costs, exceeds 50 dollars. If the remedy be on final decrees in the District Courts, in cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, it is by appeal; and if on final judgments in civil actions, it is by writ of error. And if any suit be commenced
a Act of Congress, February 9, 1831.
1 The damages laid in the declaration, if they exceed $500, give the jurisdiction as to the matter in dispute. Muns v. Dupont, 2 Wash. Cir. R. 463.
c Act of September 28th, 1789, ecc. 11. 21, 22, Act of 3d March, 1808, sec, 11.
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- Districe 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 bis 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. M.Cormick 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 bigh 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 reasonalıle 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. c 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.
a Act of February 13th, 1807, sec. 1.
c Act of Congress, 19th February, 1831. This is the case in respect 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 trict Louisiana, and the northern and southern districts of Alabama.
d Act of April 29th, 1802, sec. 5, 6.