Sears v. Eastburn - 51 U.S. 187 (1850)
U.S. Supreme Court
Sears v. Eastburn, 51 U.S. 10 How. 187 187 (1850)
Sears v. Eastburn
1 U.S. (10 How.) 187
The Act of Congress passed in May, 1828, 4 Stat. 278, directs that the forms and modes of proceeding in the courts of the United States in suits at common law in the states admitted into the Union since 1789 shall be the same with those of the highest court of original jurisdiction in the state.
Therefore, where the State of Alabama passed an act to abolish fictitious proceedings in ejectments and to substitute in their place the action of trespass for the purpose of trying the title to lands and recovering their possession, the circuit court of the United States should have conformed, in its mode of proceeding, to the law of the state.
And the judgment of the circuit court, dismissing an action of trespass so brought upon the ground that the law of the state was not in force in the circuit court was erroneous.
In August, 1845, Sherburne Sears brought an action of trespass quare clausum fregit in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of Alabama. The short note, expressive of the cause of action, filed at the time of issuing the writ declared it to be "as well to try titles as to recover damages," &c., and the declaration described a particular lot in the City of Mobile, where the trespass was alleged to have been committed.
In April, 1846, the counsel for the defendant moved the court to dismiss the suit because the statute of Alabama entitled "An act to abolish fictitious proceedings in ejectment, and for other purposes therein mentioned," approved December 17, 1821, under which the suit was brought, did not extend to the circuit court, and the court, being of that opinion, dismissed the suit.
The plaintiff sued out a writ of error, and brought the case up to this Court.