Charles Moyer v. James Peabody, No. 55

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHolmes
Citation29 S.Ct. 235,212 U.S. 78,53 L.Ed. 410
PartiesCHARLES H. MOYER, Plff. in Err., v. JAMES H. PEABODY, Sherman M. Bell, and Bulkeley Wells
Docket NumberNo. 55
Decision Date18 January 1909

212 U.S. 78
29 S.Ct. 235
53 L.Ed. 410
CHARLES H. MOYER, Plff. in Err.,

v.

JAMES H. PEABODY, Sherman M. Bell, and Bulkeley Wells.

No. 55.
Argued January 5, 6, 1909.
Decided January 18, 1909.

Page 79

Messrs. Edmund F. Richardson and Horace N. Hawkins for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 79-80 intentionally omitted]

Page 81

Messrs. Horace Phelps, William H. Dickson, and John M. Waldron for defendant in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 80-81 intentionally omitted]

Page 82

Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion of the court:

This is an action brought by the plaintiff in error against the former governor of the state of Colorado, the former adjutant general of the national guard of the same state, and a captain of a company of the national guard, for an imprisonment of the plaintiff by them while in office. The complaint was dismissed on demurrer, and the case comes here on a certificate that the demurrer was sustained solely on the ground that there was no jurisdiction in the circuit court. 148 Fed. 870.

The complaint alleges that the imprisonment was continued from the morning of March 30, 1904, to the afternoon of June 15, and that the defendants justified under the Constitution of Colorado, making the governor commander in chief of the state forces, and giving him power to call them out to execute laws, suppress insurrection, and repel invasion. It alleges that his imprisonment was without probable cause, that no complaint was filed against the plaintiff, and that (in that sense) he was prevented from having access to the courts of the state, although they were open during the whole time; but it sets out proceedings on habeas corpus, instituted by him before the supreme court of the state, in which that court refused to admit him to bail and ultimately discharged the writ. 35 Colo. 154, 91 Pac. 738, and 35 Colo. 159, 12 L.R.A.(N.S.) 979, 117 Am. St. Rep. 189, 85 Pac. 190. In those proceedings it appeared that the governor had declared a county to be in a state of insurrection, had called out troops to put down the trouble, and

Page 83

had ordered that the plaintiff should be arrested as a leader of the outbreak, and should be detained until he could be discharged with safety, and that then he should be delivered to the civil authorities, to be dealt with according to law.

The jurisdiction of the circuit court, if it exists, is under Rev. Stat. § 629, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 506, Sixteenth. That clause gives original jurisdiction 'of all suits authorized by law to be brought by any person to redress the deprivation, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any state, of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution of the United States, or of any right secured by any law providing for equal rights of citizens of the United States, or of all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States.' The complaint purports to be founded upon the Constitution and on Rev. Stat. § 1979, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1262, which authorizes suit to be brought for such deprivation as above described. Therefore the question whether the complaint states a case upon the merits under § 1979 in this instance is another aspect of the question whether it states a case within the jurisdiction of the court under § 629, cl. 16. Taken either way, the question is whether this is a suit authorized by law,—that is, by § 1979, or the Constitution, or both.

The plaintiff's position, stated in a few words, is that the action of the governor, sanctioned to the extent that it was by the decision of the supreme court, was the action of the state and therefore...

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115 practice notes
  • Byrd v. Sexton, No. 16056.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 28 March 1960
    ...Co., 176 U.S. 68, 20 S.Ct. 272, 44 L.Ed. 374 (suit to enjoin collection of taxes claimed to rest on patent rights); Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 29 S.Ct. 235, 53 L.Ed. 410 (damage action against a Governor and others for imprisonment during alleged insurrection); Douglas v. City of Jeanne......
  • Duncan v. Kahanamoku Whit v. Steer, Nos. 14
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 25 February 1946
    ...are to be tried by regular courts. Cf. Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81, 63 S.Ct. 1375, 87 L.Ed. 1774. 10 Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 29 S.Ct. 235, 53 L.Ed. 410; Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2, 125, 126, 18 L.Ed. 281; Luther v. Borden, 7 How. 1, 45, 46, 12 L.Ed. 581; see Sterling ......
  • Engblom v. Carey, No. 79 Civ. 4785 (RWS).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 2 September 1981
    ...U.S. 214, 65 S.Ct. 193, 89 L.Ed. 194 (1944); Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 53 S.Ct. 190, 77 L.Ed. 375 (1932); Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 29 S.Ct. 235, 53 L.Ed. 410 (1909). Cf. Warden, Maryland Penitentiary v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 87 S.Ct. 1642, 18 L.Ed.2d 782 (1967); Joint Anti......
  • Clemmer v. Hartford Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 24 January 1977
    ...in each case depends upon the circumstances varying with the subject matter and the necessities of the situation. (Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 84, 29 S.Ct. 235, 53 L.Ed. 410 .) Accordingly, the same circumstances may in one setting constitute a deprivation of due process while in another......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
114 cases
  • Byrd v. Sexton, No. 16056.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 28 March 1960
    ...Co., 176 U.S. 68, 20 S.Ct. 272, 44 L.Ed. 374 (suit to enjoin collection of taxes claimed to rest on patent rights); Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 29 S.Ct. 235, 53 L.Ed. 410 (damage action against a Governor and others for imprisonment during alleged insurrection); Douglas v. City of Jeanne......
  • Duncan v. Kahanamoku Whit v. Steer, Nos. 14
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 25 February 1946
    ...are to be tried by regular courts. Cf. Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81, 63 S.Ct. 1375, 87 L.Ed. 1774. 10 Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 29 S.Ct. 235, 53 L.Ed. 410; Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2, 125, 126, 18 L.Ed. 281; Luther v. Borden, 7 How. 1, 45, 46, 12 L.Ed. 581; see Sterling ......
  • Engblom v. Carey, No. 79 Civ. 4785 (RWS).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 2 September 1981
    ...U.S. 214, 65 S.Ct. 193, 89 L.Ed. 194 (1944); Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 53 S.Ct. 190, 77 L.Ed. 375 (1932); Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 29 S.Ct. 235, 53 L.Ed. 410 (1909). Cf. Warden, Maryland Penitentiary v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 87 S.Ct. 1642, 18 L.Ed.2d 782 (1967); Joint Anti......
  • Clemmer v. Hartford Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 24 January 1977
    ...in each case depends upon the circumstances varying with the subject matter and the necessities of the situation. (Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 84, 29 S.Ct. 235, 53 L.Ed. 410 .) Accordingly, the same circumstances may in one setting constitute a deprivation of due process while in another......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • Qualified and Absolute Immunity at Common Law.
    • United States
    • Stanford Law Review Vol. 73 Nbr. 6, June 2021
    • 1 June 2021
    ...a governor's imprisonment of an individual when the governor "had declared a county to be in a state of insurrection." Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 82 (1909). In dicta, Moyer said that "[s]o long as such arrests are made in good faith and in the honest belief that they are needed in order......
  • Who Has the Body? The Paths to Habeas Corpus Reform
    • United States
    • Prison Journal, The Nbr. 84-3, September 2004
    • 1 September 2004
    ...the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act and the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Duke Law Journal, 47, 1-86. Twining v. New Jersey, 212 U.S. 78 Tyler v. Cain, 121 S. Ct. 2478 (2001). U.S. Department of Justice. (1988, May 27). Office of legal policy. Report to the attorney general on......

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