Forsyth v. United States - 50 U.S. 571 (1850)
U.S. Supreme Court
Forsyth v. United States, 50 U.S. 9 How. 571 571 (1850)
Forsyth v. United States
50 U.S. (9 How.) 571
The Judiciary Act of 1789 made no prevision for the revision, by this Court, of judgments of the circuit or district courts in criminal cases, and the Act of 1802, 2 Stat. 156, only embraced cases in which the opinions of the judges were opposed in criminal cases. There is therefore no general law giving appellate jurisdiction to this Court in such cases.
But the Act of Congress passed on 22 February, 1847 Sess.Laws, 1847, chap. 17, providing that certain cases might be brought up from the territorial courts of Florida to this Court, included all cases, whether of civil or criminal jurisdiction.
Under this act, this Court can revise a judgment of the Superior Court of the District of West Florida in a criminal case, which originated in October, 1845, and was transferred to the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of Florida.
Proceeding, therefore, to revise the judgment, this Court decides that the jurisdiction of the territorial courts, of which the superior court was one, ceased on the erection of the territory into a state, on 3 March, 1845. The proceedings before the court in which the indictment was found were, consequently, coram non judice, and void.
The facts in this case are sufficiently set forth in the opinion of the Court.