135 U.S. 1 (1890), Cunningham v. Neagle

Citation135 U.S. 1, 10 S.Ct. 658, 34 L.Ed. 55
Party NameCUNNINGHAM, Sheriff, v. NEAGLE. [*] [1]
Case DateApril 14, 1890
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Page 1

135 U.S. 1 (1890)

10 S.Ct. 658, 34 L.Ed. 55

CUNNINGHAM, Sheriff,

v.

NEAGLE. [*] 1

United States Supreme Court.

April 14, 1890

COUNSEL

[10 S.Ct. 659] G. A. Johnson, Atty. Gen. Cal., S. Shellabarger, J. M. Wilson, and Z. Montgomery, for appellant.

W. H. H. Miller, Atty. Gen., Jos. H. Choate, and Jas. C. Carter, for appellee.

OPINION

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MILLER, J.

This is an appeal by Cunningham, sheriff of the county of San Joaquin, in the state of California, from a judgment of the circuit court of the United States for the northern district of California, discharging David Neagle from the custody of said sheriff, who held him a prisoner on a charge of murder. On the 16th day of August, 1889, there was presented to Judge SAWYER, the circuit judge of the United States for the ninth circuit, embracing the northern district of California, a petition signed, 'DAVID NEAGLE, Deputy United States Marshal,' by A. L. Farish on his behalf. This petition represented that

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the said Farish was a deputy-marshal duly appointed for the northern district of California by J. C. Franks, who was the marshal of that district. It further alleged that David Neagle was, at the time of the occurrences recited in the petition, and at the time of filing it, a duly-appointed and acting deputy United States marshal for the same district. It then proceeded to state that said Neagle was imprisoned, confined, and restrained of his liberty in the county jail in San Joaquin county, in the state of California, by Thomas Cunningham, sheriff of said county, upon a charge of murder, under a warrant of arrest, a copy of which was annexed to the petition. The warrant was as follows:

In the justice's court of Stockton township. State of California, county of San Joaquin--as.: The people of the state of California to any sheriff, constable, marshal, or policeman of said state, or of the county of San Joaquin: Information on oath having been this day laid before me by Sarah A. Terry that the crime of murder, a felony, has been committed within said county of San Joaquin on the 14th day of August, A. D. 1889, in this, that one David S. Terry, a human being then and there being, was willfully, unlawfully, feloniously, and with malice aforethought, shot, killed, and murdered, and accusing Stephen J. Field and David Neagle thereof, you are therefore commanded forthwith to arrest the above-named Stephen J. Field and David Neagle, and bring them before me, at my office in the city of Stockton, or, in

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case of my absence or inability to act, before the nearest and most accessible magistrate in the county. Dated at Stockton this 14th day of August, A. D. 1889. H. V. J. SWAIN, Justice of the Peace.

'The defendant, David Neagle, having been brought before me on this warrant, is committed for examination to the sheriff of San Joaquin county, California. Dated August 15, 1889. H. V. J. SWAIN, justice of the Peace.'

The petition then recites the circumstances of a rencounter between said Neagle and David S. Terry, in which the latter was instantly killed by two shots from a revolver in the hands of the former. The circumstances of this encounter, and of what led to it, will be considered with more particularity hereafter. The main allegation of this petition is that Neagle, as United States deputy-marshal, acting under the orders of Marshal Franks, and in pursuance of instructions from the attorney general of the United States, had, in consequence of an anticipated attempt at violence on the part of Terry against the Honorable STEPHEN J. FIELD, a justice of the supreme court of the United States, been in attendance upon said justice, and was sitting by his side at a breakfast table when a murderous assault was made by Terry on Judge FIELD, and in defense of the life of the judge the homicide was committed for which Neagle was held by Cunningham. The allegation is very distinct that Justice FIELD was engaged in the discharge of his duties as circuit justice of the United States for that circuit, having held court at Los Angeles, one of the places at which the court is by law held, and, having left that court, was on his way to San Francisco for the purpose of holding the circuit court at that place. The allegation is also very full that Neagle was directed by Marshal Franks to accompany him for the purpose of protecting him, and that these orders of Franks were given in anticipation of the assault which actually occurred. It is also stated, in more general

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terms, thatMARSHAL NEAGLE, in killing Terry under the circumstances, was in the discharge of his duty as an officer of the United States, and was not, therefore, guilty of a murder, and that his imprisonment under the warrant held by Sheriff Cunningham is in violation of the laws and constitution of the United States, and that he is in custody for an act done in pursuance of the laws of the United States. This petition being sworn to by Farish and presented to Judge SAWYER, he made the following order: 'Let a writ of habeas corpus issue in pursuance of the prayer of the within petition, returnable before the United States circuit court for the northern district of California. SAWYER, Circuit Judge.' The writ was accordingly issued and delivered to Cunningham, who made the following return: 'County of San Joaquin, State of California. Sheriff's Office. To the honorable circuit court of the United States for the Northern District of California: I hereby certify and return that before the coming to me of the annexed writ of habeas corpus the said David Neagle was committed to my custody, and is detained by me by virtue of a warrant issued out of the justice's court of Stockton township, state of California, county of San Joaquin, and by the indorsement made upon said warrant. Copy of said warrant and indorsement is annexed hereto, and made a part of this return. Nevertheless, I have the body of the said David Neagle before the honorable court, as I am in the said writ commanded. August 17, 1889. THOS. CUNNINGHAM, Sheriff San Joaquin County, California.' Various pleadings and amended pleadings were made, which do not tend much to the elucidation of the matter before us. Cunningham filed a demurrer to the petition for the writ of [10 S.Ct. 660]

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habeas Corpus; and Neagle filed a traverse to the return of the sheriff, which was accompanied by exhibits, the substance of which will be hereafter considered, when the case comes to be examined upon its facts.

The hearing in the circuit court was had before Circuit Judge SAWYER and District Judge SABIN. The sheriff, Cunningham, was represented by G. A. Johnson, attorney general of the state of California, and other counsel. A large body of testimony, documentary and otherwise, was submitted to the court, on which, after a full consideration of the subject, the court made the following order: 'In the matter of David Neagle. On habeas corpus. In the above-entitled matter, the court, having heard the testimony introduced on behalf of the petitioner, none having been offered for the respondent, and also the arguments of the counsel for petitioner and respondent, and it appearing to the court that the allegations of the petitioner in his amended answer or traverse to the return of the sheriff of San Joaquin county, respondent herein, are true, and that the prisoner is in custody for an act done in pursuance of a law of the United States, and in custody in violation of the constitution and laws of the United States, it is therefore ordered that petitioner be, and he is hereby, discharged from custody.' From that order an appeal was allowed, which brings the case to this court, accompanied by a voluminous record of all the matters which were before the court on the hearing.

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If it be true, as stated in this order of the court discharging the prisoner, that he was held 'in custody for an act done in pursuance of a law of the United States, and in custody in violation of the constitution and laws of the United States,' there does not seem to be any doubt that, under the statute on that subject, he was properly discharged by the circuit court. Section 753 of the Revised Statutes reads as follows: 'The writ of habeas corpus 1 shall in no case extend to a prisoner in jail, unless where he is in custody under or by color

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of the authority of the United States, or is committed for trial before some court thereof; or is in custody for an act done or omitted in pursuance of a law of the United States, or of an order, process, or decree of a court or judge thereof; or is in custody in violation of the constitution, or of a law or treaty of the United States; or, being a subject or citizen of a foreign state, and domiciled therein, is in custody for an act done or omitted under any alleged right, title, authority, privilege, protection, or exemption claimed under the commission, or order, or sanction of any foreign state, or under color thereof, the validity and effect whereof depend upon the law of nations; or unless it is necessary to bring the prisoner into court to testify.' And section 761 declares that when, by the writ of habeas corpus, the petitioner is brought up for a hearing, the 'court or justice shall proceed in a summary way to determine the facts of the case, by hearing the testimony and arguments, and thereupon to dispose of the party as law and justice require.' This, of course, means that if he is held in custody in violation of the constitution or a law of the United States, or for an act done or omitted in pursuance of a law of the United States, he must be discharged.

By the law, as it existed at the time of the enactment of the Revised Statutes, an appeal could be taken to the circuit court from any court of justice or judge inferior to the circuit court in a certain class of habeas corpus cases. But there was no appeal to the supreme court in any case except...

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349 practice notes
  • Facial Challenges, Legislative Purpose, and the Commerce Clause
    • United States
    • Iowa Law Review Nbr. 92-1, November 2006
    • November 1, 2006
    ...see also Georgia, 126 S. Ct. at 882 (emphasizing that Title II is valid insofar as it creates a remedy "for conduct that actually violates the Fourteenth Amendment"); cf. Fallon, As-Applied, supra note 91, at 1357-58. But see Metzger, supra note 8, at 897 n.114 (dismissing the Court's ......
  • The Protean take care clause.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 164 Nbr. 7, June - June 2016
    • June 1, 2016
    ...on the President to see the laws faithfully executed, implies a power to forbid their execution"). (17) See Cunningham v. Neagle, 135 U.S. 1,67-68 (1890) (recognizing the President's inherent authority to provide a bodyguard to protect a federal judge despite the lack of any explicit s......
  • EXECUTIVE ORDERS AS LAWFUL LIMITS ON AGENCY POLICYMAKING DISCRETION.
    • United States
    • Notre Dame Law Review Vol. 93 Nbr. 4, March 2018
    • March 1, 2018
    ...52 (1926). (54) Id. at 132-33 (1926) (first emphasis added) (citation omitted). (55) Id. at 133-34 (emphasis added) (quoting In reNeagle, 135 U.S. 1, 63 (1890)) (internal quotation marks omitted). (56) Cf. JERRY L. MASHAW, CREATING THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONSTITUTION 49 (2012) ("In reality......
  • The steel seizure case and inherent presidential power.
    • United States
    • Constitutional Commentary Vol. 19 Nbr. 1, March 2002
    • March 22, 2002
    ...the Prize Cases, 67 U.S. (2 Black) 635 (1863). (104.) The Appollon, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 362, 366-67 (1824). (105.) 67 U.S. at 670-71. (106.) 135 U.S. 1 (1890). (107.) Id. at 56. (108.) Id. at 80. (109.) Id. at 64 (emphasis added). (110.) Id. at 54-58. (111.) Id. at 67-68. (112.) In re Debs, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
316 cases
  • 519 F.2d 821 (D.C. Cir. 1975), 75-1061, Buckley v. Valeo
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • August 15, 1975
    ...of offenses be faithfully executed. United States v. San Jacinto Tin Co., 125 U.S. 273 (8 S.Ct. 850, 31 L.Ed. 747); In re Neagle, 135 U.S. 1 (10 S.Ct. 658, 34 L.Ed. 55); Kern River Co. v. United States, 257 U.S. 147, 42 S.Ct. 60, 66 L.Ed. 175; . . Id. at 262, 42 S.Ct. at 311. [6] Another br......
  • 315 F.Supp.3d 602 (D.D.C. 2018), 18-34 (BAH), In re Grand Jury Investigation
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Court, Federal Circuit
    • July 31, 2018
    ..."personally and through officers whom he appoints." (internal citations and quotation marks omitted) ); In re Neagle, 135 U.S. 1, 63, 10 S.Ct. 658, 34 L.Ed. 55 (1890) (describing the President’s powers to appoint and commission officers and to fill vacancies as......
  • 644 F.2d 187 (3rd Cir. 1980), 80-1348, United States v. City of Philadelphia
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 29, 1980
    ...the Court was considering habeas corpus petition of state prisoner and defendants instigated prisoner's lynching). See also In re Neagle, 135 U.S. 1, 10 S.Ct. 658, 34 L.Ed. 55 (1890) (upholding nonstatutory exercise of executive power without contemporaneous judicial approval to dispatch fe......
  • 342 F.2d 255 (2nd Cir. 1965), 156-165, People of State of N. Y. v. Galamison
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 26, 1965
    ...rather limited situation when there is a statute or order specifically directing him to do some particular act. Cf. Cunningham v. Neagle, 135 U.S. 1, 58-59, 10 S.Ct. 658, 666, 34 L.Ed. 55 (1890). The second alleged aspect of the 'particular context' is that the first clause of § 1443 uses t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 firm's commentaries
  • Publisher’s Platform: What Are Utah, New Hampshire Afraid Of?
    • United States
    • LexBlog United States
    • January 29, 2012
    ...crime if the individual was acting necessarily and properly under the authority of the laws of the United States. Cunningham v. Neagle, 135 U.S. 1, 75 (1890). The only relevant question is whether Congress, again through its statutorily created agencies FDA and USDA, has the power to regula......
  • What is Utah and New Hampshire Agriculture afraid of?
    • United States
    • LexBlog United States
    • January 29, 2012
    ...crime if the individual was acting necessarily and properly under the authority of the laws of the United States. Cunningham v. Neagle, 135 U.S. 1, 75 (1890). The only relevant question is whether Congress, again through its statutorily created agencies FDA and USDA, have the power to regul......
27 books & journal articles
  • Facial Challenges, Legislative Purpose, and the Commerce Clause
    • United States
    • Iowa Law Review Nbr. 92-1, November 2006
    • November 1, 2006
    ...see also Georgia, 126 S. Ct. at 882 (emphasizing that Title II is valid insofar as it creates a remedy "for conduct that actually violates the Fourteenth Amendment"); cf. Fallon, As-Applied, supra note 91, at 1357-58. But see Metzger, supra note 8, at 897 n.114 (dismissing the Court's ......
  • The Protean take care clause.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 164 Nbr. 7, June - June 2016
    • June 1, 2016
    ...on the President to see the laws faithfully executed, implies a power to forbid their execution"). (17) See Cunningham v. Neagle, 135 U.S. 1,67-68 (1890) (recognizing the President's inherent authority to provide a bodyguard to protect a federal judge despite the lack of any explicit s......
  • EXECUTIVE ORDERS AS LAWFUL LIMITS ON AGENCY POLICYMAKING DISCRETION.
    • United States
    • Notre Dame Law Review Vol. 93 Nbr. 4, March 2018
    • March 1, 2018
    ...52 (1926). (54) Id. at 132-33 (1926) (first emphasis added) (citation omitted). (55) Id. at 133-34 (emphasis added) (quoting In reNeagle, 135 U.S. 1, 63 (1890)) (internal quotation marks omitted). (56) Cf. JERRY L. MASHAW, CREATING THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONSTITUTION 49 (2012) ("In reality......
  • The steel seizure case and inherent presidential power.
    • United States
    • Constitutional Commentary Vol. 19 Nbr. 1, March 2002
    • March 22, 2002
    ...the Prize Cases, 67 U.S. (2 Black) 635 (1863). (104.) The Appollon, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 362, 366-67 (1824). (105.) 67 U.S. at 670-71. (106.) 135 U.S. 1 (1890). (107.) Id. at 56. (108.) Id. at 80. (109.) Id. at 64 (emphasis added). (110.) Id. at 54-58. (111.) Id. at 67-68. (112.) In re Debs, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results