Beavers v. Haubert
198 U.S. 77 (1905)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Beavers v. Haubert, 198 U.S. 77 (1905)

Beavers v. Haubert

No. 355

Argued February 25, 1905

Decided April 17, 1905

198 U.S. 77

Syllabus

The rule that, where jurisdiction has attached to a person or thing, it is exclusive in effect until it has wrought its function is primarily a right of the court or sovereignty itself. The sovereignty where jurisdiction first attaches may yield it, and the implied custody of a defendant by his sureties cannot prevent it, although the bail may be exonerated by the removal. Where the court consents, the government may elect not to proceed on indictments in the court having possession of the defendant and may remove him to another district for trial under indictments there pending. Whether such election exists without the consent of the court, not decided.

The constitutional right of a defendant to a speedy trial and by a jury of the district where the offense was committed relates to the time, and not to the place, of trial, and cannot be invoked by a defendant, indicted in more than one district to prevent his removal from the district in which he happens to be to the other in which the government properly elects to try him.

In removal proceedings, the degree of proof is not that necessary upon the trial, and where defendant makes a statement and under the law of the state claims exemption from, and refuses to submit to, cross-examination, the deficiencies of his statement may be urged against him, and, unless the testimony removes all reasonable ground of the presumptions raised by the indictment, this Court will consider the commissioner's finding of probable cause was justified.

The District of Columbia is a district of the United States within the meaning of § 1014, Rev.Stat., authorizing the removal of accused persons from one district to another. Benson v. Henkel, ante, p. 198 U. S. 1.

These cases were submitted together. No. 354 is an appeal from an order and judgment of the District Court of the Eastern District of New York, in habeas corpus, remanding to

Page 198 U. S. 78

the custody of appellee. No 355 is an appeal from an order of the United States circuit court for the same district dismissing a writ of habeas corpus arising out of the same proceedings as No. 354. The same questions of law are presented, and we need not further distinguish the cases.

The arrest from which appellant prayed to be discharged was made upon a commitment and warrant in proceedings to remove him to the District of Columbia, to be tried upon an indictment there found against him. He attacks the commitment and warrant as not being due process of law in that the commissioner who issued them had no jurisdiction to entertain proceedings against him, or to require bail, or in default thereof to commit him to await the order of the district judge, because indictments were pending against him in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of New York. The contention is that, while the indictments were so pending, he could not be removed to another jurisdiction.

The facts are as follows: on the sixteenth of July, 1903, two indictments were found against appellant in the Eastern District of New York, charging him with violations of sections 1781 and 1782 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, and on the twenty-fifth of July, 1903, another indictment was found against him in the same district for the violation of section 1781.

On the third of September, 1903, a bench warrant was issued on the indictments and proceedings instituted against him on the indictment of July 25, 1903. A warrant of removal was issued by the district judge of the Southern District of New York, and subsequently an order was entered by the circuit court directing appellant to surrender himself to the United States marshal for said district, and in pursuance thereof the appellant did so, and entered into a recognizance before one of the district judges for said district in the penal sum of $10,000 for his appearance in the Circuit Court for the Eastern District at the next regular term.

On the first of June, 1904, he appeared in said court, in pursuance of the notice from the United States district attorney,

Page 198 U. S. 79

for the purpose of pleading to the indictments. On the seventh of June, a continuance having been granted, he moved to quash the indictment on affidavits and other papers properly served on the district attorney. On the eighth, he appeared before the circuit court, "prepared to move upon and plead to the said indictments." Thereupon, the district attorney refused to proceed further with the indictments, but stated his intention to institute proceedings for the removal of appellant to the District of Columbia, under the indictments found against him there. The court thereupon continued the proceedings until the thirteenth of June, 1904, from time to time thereafter, until the date of the petition herein, and enlarged him from day to day upon his recognizance, which is still in full force. On the eighth of June, 1904, he was arrested upon the warrant now in question. The indictments have not been quashed or nolle prossed, and the appellant is ready to plead thereto if the motions submitted in respect thereto be overruled.

The petitioner alleges that the only evidence adduced by the government was a certified copy of the indictment, which, it is alleged, constituted no proof, but was incompetent and inadmissible because it failed to state facts sufficient to constitute a crime, and because it appeared from the testimony of the witnesses on whose testimony it was found and who were called before the commissioner that there was no probable cause to believe he was guilty of any offense against the United States, and whatever strength the indictment possessed was rebutted by such evidence.

Page 198 U. S. 84

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