Ex Parte Reggel
114 U.S. 642 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ex Parte Reggel, 114 U.S. 642 (1885)

Ex Parte Reggel

Submitted April 15, 1885

Decided May 4, 1885

114 U.S. 642

Syllabus

The statute requiring the surrender of a fugitive from justice found in one of the territories to the state in which he stands charged with treason, felony, or other crime embraces every offense known to the laws of the demanding state, including misdemeanors.

Page 114 U. S. 643

Each state has the right to prescribe the forms of pleading and process to be observed in its courts in both civil and criminal cases, subject only to those provisions of the national Constitution designed for the protection of life, liberty and property in all the states of the Union; consequently, in a case involving the surrender, under the act of Congress, of a fugitive from justice, it may not be objected that the indictment is not framed according to the technical rules of criminal pleading if it conforms substantially to the laws of the demanding state.

Upon the executive of the state or territory in which the accused is found rests the responsibility of determining whether he is a fugitive from the justice of the demanding state. But the act of Congress does not direct his surrender unless it is made to appear that he is in fact a fugitive from justice.

If the determination of that fact, upon proof before the executive of the state where the alleged fugitive is found, is subject to judicial review upon habeas corpus, the accused, being in custody under his warrant, which recites the requisition of the demanding state, accompanied by an authentic indictment, charging him substantially as required by its laws with a specific crime committed within its jurisdiction, should not be discharged because, in the judgment of the court, the proof showing that he was a fugitive from justice may not be as full as might properly have been required.

This is an appeal from the judgment upon habeas corpus of the Third Judicial District court of Utah remanding the appellant to the custody of the marshal of the United States, by whom he had been arrested. The arrest was made under the authority of a warrant of the Governor of Utah, which recited that it had been represented by the Governor of Pennsylvania that Louis Reggel stood charged in that commonwealth with the crime of obtaining goods by false pretenses from Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman; that he had fled from the justice of that commonwealth, and had taken refuge in the Territory of Utah. It then proceeded:

"And whereas said representation and demand are accompanied by an indictment found against said Reggel by the grand inquest of the said State of Pennsylvania inquiring for the City and County of Philadelphia, in and before the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the said City and County of Philadelphia, March sessions, 1882, whereby said Louis Reggel is charged with the said crime, and an affidavit taken before a notary public of said state showing said Reggel's flight from

Page 114 U. S. 644

said state to and refuge in said territory, and also the statute laws of said state defining and making said acts of said Reggel a crime, and which said indictment, affidavit, and laws are certified by said Governor of Pennsylvania to be duly authenticated: you are therefore required to arrest the said Louis Reggel,"

etc.

The evidence laid before the Governor of Utah was entirely documentary, and embraced the following papers:

1. The requisition, in the customary form, of the Governor of Pennsylvania, requesting the apprehension of Reggel, and his delivery to the agent of Pennsylvania, and to which was annexed a copy of the indictment and other papers, certified by him to be authentic.

2. A duly certified copy of the indictment referred to in the foregoing requisition, as follows:

"

I

n the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the"

"City and County of Philadelphis. March Sessions, 1882."

"CITY AND COUNTY OF PHILADELPHIA, ss.:"

"The grand inquest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, inquiring for the City and County of Philadelphia, upon their respective oaths and affirmations, do present Louis Reggel, late of said county, on the thirteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-one at the county aforesaid, and within the jurisdiction of this Court, unlawfully and willfully devising and intending to cheat and defraud Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman of their goods, moneys, chattels, and property, unlawfully, did falsely and designedly pretend to the said Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman that he, the said Louis Reggel, was then and there the owner in his own right of a large stock of goods in his business as a merchant of Salt Lake City, in the Territory of Utah, of the value of thirty-five thousand dollars, and that he did not then and there owe to any person a single dollar on account of said goods and merchandise, or for money borrowed, and also then and there unlawfully did falsely and designedly pretend to the said Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman that he was then and there the owner in his own right of a certain

Page 114 U. S. 645

lot of ground, containing thereon a store building, wherein he carried on his business at Salt Lake City, in the Territory of Utah, and that he was also then and there the owner in his own right of a certain other lot of ground, containing thereon a certain dwelling house, wherein he then and there resided at Salt Lake City, in the Territory of Utah, and he, the said Louis Reggel, then and there unlawfully and falsely pretended to said Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman that said two houses and two lots were then and there together of the value of forty thousand dollars, and that said two lots and their improvements were then and there free from all encumbrance; whereas in truth and in fact the said Louis Reggel was not then and there the owner in his own right of goods and merchandise in his business of the value of thirty-five thousand dollars at Salt Lake City, in the Territory of Utah, all paid for, and free of debt for money borrowed, the said Louis Reggel being then and there in the possession of and owner of a stock of goods and merchandise in his business at Salt Lake City, in the Territory of Utah, of the value of only about six thousand dollars, instead of the value of thirty-five thousand dollars, as then and there unlawfully, falsely, and designedly pretended by him, the said Louis Reggel, and the said Louis Reggel was then and there indebted in the sum of $3,500 to the banking house of McCormick & Co. at Salt Lake City, in the Territory of Utah, for money drawn from said banking house, and whereas in truth and in fact the said Louis Reggel was not then and there the owner in his own right of a certain lot of ground, containing thereon a store building, wherein he then and there carried on his business at Salt Lake City, in the Territory of Utah, and a certain other lot of ground, containing thereon a dwelling house wherein he then and there resided at Salt Lake City aforesaid, together of the value of forty thousand dollars, clear of all encumbrances; that the said two lots of ground and the improvements and appurtenances thereunto belonging, were, by the said Louis Reggel, on the fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty, by deed, duly recorded in the office for the recording of deeds for Salt Lake county, in the Territory of

Page 114 U. S. 646

Utah, granted, sold, conveyed, and confirmed unto Robert Harkness and L. R. Jones, of said Salt Lake City, in the Territory of Utah, and the title to the said two lots of ground and improvements and appurtenances thereunto belonging, was at the time of the making of said unlawful, false, and fraudulent pretenses by the said Louis Reggel at the county aforesaid, in the said Robert Harkness and the said L. R. Jones, and not in the said Louis Reggel, and the said Louis Reggel then and there well knew the said pretenses to be unlawful, fraudulent, and false. Whereupon the said Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman, believing the said false representations and pretenses then and there made by the said Louis Reggel, sold and delivered to the said Louis Reggel, on a credit of four months [here follows a description and statement of the value of said goods, chattels, and property alleged to have been obtained under false pretenses], which said goods and chattels and property the said Louis Reggel did then and there unlawfully obtain from the said Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman with intent to cheat and defraud the said Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman to the great damage of the said Daniel Myers and Charles Goodman, contrary to the form of the act of the General Assembly in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

"GEORGE S. GRAHAM"

"District Attorney"

3. Duly certified copies of certain provisions of the penal laws of Pennsylvania, as follows:

"Every indictment shall be deemed and adjudged sufficient and good in law which charges the crime substantially in the language of the act of the assembly prohibiting the crime and prescribing the punishment, if any such there be, or, if at common law, so plainly that the nature of the offense charged may be easily understood by the jury. Every objection to any indictment for any formal defect apparent on the face thereof shall be taken by demurrer or on motion to quash such indictment

Page 114 U. S. 647

before the jury shall be sworn, and not afterwards, and every court before whom any such objection shall be taken for any formal defect may, if it be thought necessary, cause the indictment to be forthwith amended in such particular by the clerk or other officer of the court, and thereupon the trial shall proceed as if no such defect appeared."

1 Brightly's Purdon's Dig. 347, 348; Act March 31, 1860.

"If any person shall, by any false pretense, obtain the signature of any person to any written instrument, or shall obtain from any other person any other chattel, money, or valuable security, with intent to cheat and defraud any person of the same, every such offender shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, and undergo an imprisonment not exceeding three years, provided always that if upon the trial of any person indicted for such misdemeanor it shall be proved that he obtained the property in question in such manner as to amount in law to larceny, he shall not by reason thereof be entitled to be acquitted of such misdemeanor, and no person tried for such misdemeanor shall be liable to be afterwards prosecuted for larceny upon the same facts."

Ibid., 347, 348; Act of March 31, 1860.

4. An affidavit by Frederick Gentner, as follows:

"COMMONWEALTH OF PENNA. V. LOUIS REGGEL"

"Frederick Gentner, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says: the grand jury of the March sessions of the City and County of Philadelphia found a true bill of indictment against Louis Reggel, charging him with the crime of false pretenses, and that the said Louis Reggel is a fugitive from justice, and now in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory."

"FREDERICK GENTNER"

"Sworn to and subscribed to this 10th day of April, A.D. 1882."

"Seal of Court Quarter Sessions ALLISON HENNESEY"

"County Philadelphia Per Clerk"

"Endorsed: @Commonwealth v. Louis Reggel"

Page 114 U. S. 648

The foregoing constituted the evidence submitted to the Governor of Utah, on which his warrant for the arrest of appellant was granted.

From the order denying the application of the petitioner to be discharged and remanding him to the custody of the marshal, an appeal was allowed and perfected -- the petitioner, pending the appeal, being placed under bond to surrender himself in execution of the judgment, if it should be affirmed, modified, or dismissed, and obey all orders made herein by this Court.

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