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24th, 1789, § 11, to give jurisdiction to the circuit court the matter in dispute must exceed $500. In actions to recover damages for torts, the sum laid in the declaration is the criterion as to the amount of the matter in dispute. 3 Dall. 358. In an action of covenant on an instrument under seal, containing a penalty less than 8500, the court has jurisdiction if the declaration demand more than $500. 1 Wash. C. C. R. 1. In ejectment the value of the land should appear in the declaration, 4 Wash. C. C. R. 624; H Cranch, 220; 1 Pet. 73; but though the jury do not find the value of the land in dispute, yet if evidence be given on the trial, that the value exceeds $500, it is sufficient to fix the jurisdiction; or the court may ascertain its value by affidavits. Pet. C. C. R. 73.
If the matter in dispute arise out of a local injury, for which a local action must be brought in order to give the circuit court jurisdiction, it must be brought in the district where the lands lie. 4 Hall's Law Journal, 78.
By various acts of congress jurisdiction is given to the circuit courts in cases where actions are brought to recover damages for the violation of patent and copy-rights, without fixing any amount as the limit. See Acts of April 17, 1800, § 4; Feb. 15, 1819; 7 Johns. 144; 9 Johns. 507.
The circuit courts have jurisdiction in cases arising under the patent laws. By the Act of July 4, 1836, § 17, it is enacted, " That all actions, suits, controversies, and cases arising under any law of the United States, granting or confirming to inventors the exclusive right to their inventions or discoveries, shall be originally cognizable, as well in equity as at law, by the circuit courts of the United States, or any district court having the powers and jurisdiction of a circuit court; which courts shall have power, upon bill in equity filed by any party aggrieved, in any such case, to grant
injunctions, according to the course and principles of courts of equity, to prevent the violation of the rights of any inventor, as secured to him by any law of the United States, on such terms and conditions as said courts may deem reasonable. Provided, however, That from all judgments and decrees, from any such court rendered in the premises, a writ of error or appeal, as the case may require, shall lie to the supreme court of the United States, in the same manner and under the same circumstances as is now provided by law in other judgments and decrees of circuit courts, and in all other cases in which the court shall deem it reasonable to allow the same."
For the jurisdiction given to the circuit courts in cases of bankruptcy, see Bankrupt.
In general the circuit court has no original jurisdiction of suits for penalties and forfeitures arising under the laws of the United States, nor in admiralty cases. 2 DalL 365; 4 Dall. 342; Bee, 19. (2.) The Character of the Parties.
[ 36 ] Under this head will be considered, 1. The United States; 2 Citizens of different states; 3. Suits where an alien is a party; 4. When an assignee is plaintiff; 5. Defendant must be an inhabitant of the circuit. (i.) The United States
[ 37 ] The United States may sue on all contracts in the circuit courts where the sum in controversy exceeds, besides costs, the sum of $500; but in cases of penalties the action must be commenced in the district court, unless the law gives express jurisdiction to the circuit courts. 4 Dall. 342. Under the act of March 3, 1815, § 4, the circuit court has jurisdiction concurrently with the district court, of all suits at common law where any officer of the United States sues under the authority of an act of congress; as where the postmastergeneral sues under an act of congress for debts or balances due to the general postoffice. 12 Wheat. 136. See 2 Pet. 447; 1 Pet. 318.
[ 38 ] The circuit court has jurisdiction on a bill in equity filed by the United States against the debtor of their debtor, they claiming priority under the statute of March 2, 1798, c. 28, § 65, though the law of the state where the suit is brought permits a creditor to proceed against the debtor of his debtor by a peculiar process at law. 4 Wheat. 11)8. (ii.) Suits between Citizens of different States.
[ 39 ] The act of September 24, 1789, § 11, gives jurisdiction to the circuit court in suits of a civil nature when the matter in dispute is of a certain amount, between a citizen of the state where the suit is brought, and a citizen of another state, one of the parties must therefore be a citizen of the state where the suit is brought. See 4 Wash. C. C. R. 84 ; Pet. C. C. R. 431: 1 Sumn. 581; 1 Mason, 520; 5 Cranch, 288; 3 Mason, 185; 8 Wheat. 699 ; 2 Mason, 472; 5 Cranch, 57; Id. 51; 6 Wheat. 450; 1 Pet. 238; 4 Wash. C. C. R. 482, n.; Id. 595.
Under this section the division of a state into two or more districts does not affect the jurisdiction of the circuit court, on account of citizenship. The residence of a party in a different district of a state from that in which the suit is brought does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the court; if he is found in the district where he is sued he is not within the prohibition of this section. 11 Pet. 25.
(iii.) Suits whrre an Alien is a Party.
[ 40 ] The act of September 24, 1789, § 11, gives the circuit court cognisance of all suits of a civil nature where an alien is a party; but these general words must be restricted by the provision in the constitution which gives jurisdiction in con
troversies between a state, or the citizens of a state, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects; and the statute cannot extend the jurisdiction beyond the limits of the constitution. 4 Dal I. 11; 5 Cranch, 303. When both parties are aliens, the circuit court has no jurisdiction. 4 Cranch, 46; 4 Dall. 11. An alien who holds lands under a special law of the state in which he is resident, may maintain an action in relation to those lands, in the circuit court. 1 Baldw. 216. (iv.) When an Assignee is the Plaintiff.
[ 41 ] The court has no jurisdiction unless a suit might have been prosecuted in such court to recover on the contract assigned, if no assignment had been made, except in cases of bills of exchange. Act of September 24, 1789, §11; see 2 Pet. 319; 1 Mason, 243; 6 Wheat. 146; 11 Pet. 83; 9 Wheat. 537; 6 Cranch, 332; 4 Wash. C. C. R. 349; 4 Mason, 435; 12 Pet. 164; 2 Mason, 252. It is said that this section of the act of congress has no application to the conveyance of lands from a citizen of one state to a citizen of another. The grantee in such case may maintain his action in the circuit court, when otherwise properly qualified, to try the title to such lands. 2 Sumn. 252.
(v.) The Defendant must be an Inhabitant of or found in the Cir- cuit.
[ 42 ] The circuit court has no jurisdiction of an action against a defendant unless he be an inhabitant of the district in which such court is located or found therein, at the time of serving the writ. 3 Wash. C. C. R. 456. A citizen of one state may be sued in another, if the process be served upon him in the latter; but in such cases, the plaintiff must be a citizen of the latter state, or an alien' 1 Pet. C. C. R. 431.
2d. Removal of Actions from the State Courts.
[ 43 ] The act of September 24, 1789, gives, in certain cases, the right of removing a suit instituted in a state court to the circuit court of the district. It is enacted by that law, that if a suit be commenced in any state court against an alien, or by a citizen of the state in which the suit is brought, against a citizen of another state, and the matter in dispute exceeds the aforesaid sum or value of five hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, to be made to appear to the satisfaction of the court, and the defendant shall, at the time of entering his appearance in such state court, file a petition for the removal of the cause for trial, into the next circuit court, to be held in the district where the suit is pending, and offer good and sufficient security for his entering in such court, on the first day of its session, copies of said process against him, and also for his then appearing and entering special bail in the cause, if special bail was originally required therein, it shall then be the duty of the state court to accept the surety, and proceed no further in the cause. And any bail that may have been originally taken, shall be discharged. And the said copies being entered as aforesaid in such court of the United States, the cause shall there proceed in the same manner as if it had been brought there by original process. And any attachment of the goods or estate of the defendant, by the original process, shall hold the goods or estate so attached, to answer the final judgment, in the same manner as by the laws of such state they would have been holden to answer final judgment, had it been rendered by the court in which the suit commenced. Vide act of September 24, 1789, § 12; 4 Dall. 11 ; 5 Cranch, 303; 4 Johns. R. 493; 1 Pet. R. 220; 2 Yeatcs R. 275; 4 W. C. C. R. 286, 344.
[ 44 ] By the constitution, art. 3,
§ 2, 1, the judicial power shall extend to controversies between citizens of the same state, claiming lands under grants of different states. By a clause of the 12th section of the act of September 24th, 1789, it is enacted, that if, in any action commenced in a state court, the title of land be concerned, and the parties are citizens of the same state, and the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of five hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, the sum or value being made to appear to the satisfaction of the court, either party, before the trial, shall state to the court, and make affidavit, if it require it, that he claims, and shall rely upon a right or title to the land, under grant from a state, other than that in which the suit is pending, and produce the original grant, or an exemplification of it, except where the loss of records shall put it out of his power, and shall move that the adverse party inform the court, whether he claims a right or title to the land under a grant from the state in which the suit is pending; the said adverse party shall give such information, otherwise not be allowed to plead such grant, or give it in evidence upon the trial; and if he informs that he does claim under any such grant, the party claiming under the grant first mentioned, may then, on motion, remove the cause for trial, to the next circuit court to be holden in such district. But if he is the defendant, he shall do it under the same regulations as in the before-mentioned case of the removal of a cause into such court by an alien. And neither party removing the cause shall be allowed to plead, or give evidence of, any other title than that by him stated as aforesaid, as the ground of his claim. See 9 Cranch, 292; 2 Wheat. R. 378.
[ 45 ] Application for removal must be made during the term at which the defendant enters his appearance. 1 J. J. Marsh. 232. If a state court agree to consider a petition to remove the cause as filed of the preceding term, yet if the circuit court see by the record, that it was not filed till a subsequent term, they will not permit the cause to be docketed. Pet. C. C. R. 44; Paine, 410; but see 2 Penning. 625. In chancery, when the defendant wishes to remove the suit, he must file his petition when he enters his appearance; 4 Johns. Ch. 94; and in an action in a court of law, at the time of putting in special bail. J 2 Johns. 153. And if an alien file his petition when he filed special bail, he is in time, though the bill be excepted to. 1 Caines, 248; Coleman, 58. A defendant in ejectment may file his petition when he is let in to defend. 4 Johns. 403. See Pet. C. C. R. 220; 2 Wash. C. C. R. 463; 2 Yeates, 275, 352; 3 Dall. 467; 4 Wash. C. C. R. 286;
2 Root, 444; 5 John. Ch. R. 300;
3 Ham. 48; 4 Wash. C. C. R. 84.
3rf. Remedy by Mandamus. [ 46 ] The power of the circuit court to issue a mandamus, is confined, exclusively, to cases in which it may be necessary for the exercise of a jurisdiction already existing; as, for instance, if the court below refuse to proceed to judgment, there a mandamus in the nature of a procedendo may issue. 7 Cranch, 504; 6 Wheat. R. 598. After the state court had refused to permit the removal of a cause on petition, the circuit court issued a mandamus to transfer the cause.
4th. Appellate Jurisdiction. [ 47 ] The appellate jurisdiction is exercised by means of, 1. Writs of error; 2. Appeals from the district courts in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; 3. Certiorari; 4. Procedendo.
[1.] This court has jurisdiction to issue writs of error to the district court, on judgments of that court in
civil cases at common law. The 11 th section of the act of September 24th, 1789, provides, that the circuit courts shall also have appellate jurisdiction from the district courts, under the regulations and restrictions thereinafter provided. By the 22d section, final decrees and judgments in civil actions in a district court, where' the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of fifty dollars, exclusive of costs, may be re-examined, and reversed or affirmed in a circuit court holden in the same district, upon a writ of error, whereto shall be annexed and returned therewith at the day and place therein mentioned, an authenticated transcript of the record and assignment of errors, and prayer for reversal, with a citation to the adverse party, signed by the judge of such district court, or a justice of the supreme court, the adverse party having at least twenty days'. notice. But there shall be no reversal on such writ of error, for error in ruling any plea in abatement, other than a plea to the jurisdiction of the court, or for any error in fact. And writs of error shall not be brought but within five years after rendering or passing the judgment or decree complained of; or, in case the person entitled to such writ of error be an infant, non compos mentis, or imprisoned, then within five years, as aforesaid, exclusive of the time of such disability. And every justice or judge signing a citation, or any writ of error as aforesaid, shall take good and sufficient security, that the plaintiff in error shall prosecute his writ to effect, and answer all damages and costs, if he fail to make his plea good. The district judge cannot sit in the circuit court on a writ of error to district court. 5 Wheat R. 434. It is above observed, that writs of error may be issued to the district court in civil cases at common law, but a writ of error does not lie from a circuit to a district
court in an admiralty or maritime i cause. 1 Gall. R. 5.
[ 43 ] P.] Appeals from the dis-; trict to the circuit court take place generally in civil causes of admiralty . or maritime jurisdiction. By the act of March 3, 1803, l 2, it is enacted, That from all final judgments or decrees in any of the district courts of the United States, an appeal, where the matter in dispute, exclusive of costs, shall exceed the sum or value of fifty dollars, shall be allowed to the district court next to be holden in the district where such final judgment or judgments, decree or decrees shall be rendered: and the circuit courts are thereby authorized and required, to hear and determine such appeals.
[ 49 ] [3.1 Although no act of congress authorizes the circuit court to issue a certiorari to the district court for the removal of a cause, yet if the cause be so removed, and instead of taking advantage of the irregularity in proper time and in a proper manner, the defendant makes defence and pleads to issue, he thereby waives the objection, and the suit will be considered as an original one in the circuit court, made so by consent of parties. 2 Wheat. R. 221.
[ 50 ] [4.] The circuit court may issue a writ of procedendo to the district court.
2. Equity Jurisdiction of the Cir-
shall have original cognizance, as well in equity as at law, of all actions, suits, controversies, and cases arising under any law of the United States, granting or confirming to authors or inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings, inventions, and discoveries; and upon any bill in equity filed by any party aggrieved, in such cases, shall have authority to grant injunctions according to the course and principles of courts of equity, to prevent the violation of the rights of any authors or inventors, secured to them by any laws of the United States, on such terms and conditions as the said courts may deem fit and reasonable: provided, however, that from all judgments and decrees of any circuit courts rendered in the premises, a writ of error or appeal, as the case may require, shall lie to the supreme court of the United States, in the same manner and under the same circumstances, as is now provided by law, in other judgments and decrees of such circuit court."
[ 52 ] By the act of August 23, 1842, it is enacted, § 5, "That the district courts as courts of admiralty, and the circuit courts as courts of equity, shall be deemed always open for the purpose of filing libels, bills, petitions, answers, pleas, and other pleadings, for issuing and returning mesne and final process and commissions, and for making and directing all interlocutory motions, orders, rules, and other proceedings whatever, preparatory to the hearing of all causes pending therein upon their merits. And it shall be competent for any judge of the court, upon reasonable notice to the parties, in the clerk's office or at chambers, and in vacation as well as in term, to make and direct, and award all such process, commissions, and interlocutory or: ders, rules, and other proceedings, i whenever the same are not grantable