Calder v. Bull - 3 U.S. 386 (1798)
U.S. Supreme Court
Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. 3 Dall. 386 386 (1798)
Calder v. Bull
3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 386
A resolution or law of the State of Connecticut setting aside a decree of a court and granting a new trial to be had before the same court is not void under the Constitution as an ex post facto law.
The Legislature of Connecticut, on the second Thursday of May, 1795, passed a resolution or law which set aside a decree of the Court of Probate for Hartford County made 21 March, 1793, disapproving a£ the will of N.M. and refusing to record the will. The act of the legislature authorized a new hearing of the case before the court of probate, and an appeal to the superior court. Afterwards the will of N.M. was confirmed by the court of probate and by the Superior Court at Hartford;, and on an appeal to the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut the judgment of the superior court was confirmed. More than eighteen months had elapsed from the first decree of the court of probate, during which the right of appeal had been lost, and there was no law of Connecticut, before the passing of the special act of the legislature, by which a new hearing of the case could have been obtained. Held that the act of May, 1795, was not an ex post facto law prohibited by the Constitution of the United States.