Wayman v. Southard
23 U.S. 1 (1825)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. 10 Wheat. 1 1 (1825)

Wayman v. Southard

23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1

Syllabus

Congress has, by the Constitution, exclusive authority to regulate the proceedings in the courts of the United States, and the states have no authority to control those proceedings except so far as the state process acts are adopted by Congress or by the courts of the United States under the authority of Congress.

The proceedings on executions and other process in the courts of the United States in suits at common law are to be the same in each state respectively as were used in the supreme court of the state in September, 1789, subject to such alterations and additions as the said courts of the United States may make or as the Supreme Court of the United States shall prescribe by rule to the other courts.

A state law regulating executions enacted subsequent to September, 1789, is not applicable to executions issuing on judgments rendered by the courts of the United States unless expressly adopted by the regulations and rules of those courts.

The thirty-fourth section of the Judiciary Act of 1789, c. 20, which provides "that the laws of the several states, except . . . shall be regarded as rules of decision in trials at common law in the courts of the United States, in cases where they apply," does not apply to the process and practice of the courts. It is a mere legislative recognition of the principles of universal jurisprudence as to the operation of the lex loci.

The statutes of Kentucky concerning executions, which require the plaintiff to endorse on the execution that bank notes of the Bank of Kentucky or notes of the Bank of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, will be received in payment, and, on his refusal, authorize the defendant to give a replevin bond for the debt, payable in two years, are not applicable to executions issuing on judgments rendered by the courts of the United States.

The case of Palmer v. Allen, 7 Cranch 550, 2 Cond. 607, reviewed and reconciled with the present decision.

Page 23 U. S. 2

This cause was certified from the Circuit Court for the District of Kentucky upon a certificate of a division of opinion between the judges of that court on several motions which occurred on a motion made by the plaintiffs to quash the marshal's return on an execution issued on a judgment obtained in that court and also to quash the replevin bond taken on the said execution for the following causes:

"1. Because the marshal, in taking the replevin bond and making said return, has proceeded under the statutes of Kentucky in relation to executions, which statutes are not applicable to executions issuing on judgments in this court, but the marshal is to proceed with such executions according to the rules of the common law, as modified by acts of Congress and the rules of this court and of the Supreme Court of the United States."

"2. That if the statutes of Kentucky in relation to executions are binding on this court, viz., the statute which requires the plaintiff to endorse on the execution that bank notes of the Bank of Kentucky or notes of the Bank of the Commonwealth

Page 23 U. S. 3

of Kentucky will be received in payment or that the defendant may replevy the debt for two years, are in violation of the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Kentucky and void."

"3. That all the statutes of Kentucky which authorize a defendant to give a replevin bond in satisfaction of a judgment or execution are unconstitutional and void."

"4. Because there is no law obligatory on the said marshal which authorized or justified him in taking the said replevin bond or in making the said return on the said execution."

The court below being divided in opinion on the points stated in the motion, at the request of the plaintiffs the same were ordered to be certified to this Court.

Page 23 U. S. 20

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