Barry v. Mercein - 46 U.S. 103 (1847)
U.S. Supreme Court
Barry v. Mercein, 46 U.S. 5 How. 103 103 (1847)
Barry v. Mercein
46 U.S. (5 How.) 103
This Court has no appellate power, in a case where the circuit court refused to grant a writ of habeas corpus, prayed for by a father to take his infant child out of the custody of its mother.
The judgments of a circuit court can be reviewed only where the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of two thousand dollars. It must have a known and certain value which can be proved and calculated in the ordinary mode of business transactions.
But a controversy between a father and mother, each claiming the right to the custody care, and society of their child, relates to a matter in dispute which is incapable of being reduced to any pecuniary standard of value.
The writ of error must be dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
The facts are sufficiently set forth in the opinion of the Court, to which the reader is referred.