Norris v. Crocker
54 U.S. 429

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Norris v. Crocker, 54 U.S. 13 How. 429 429 (1851)

Norris v. Crocker

54 U.S. (13 How.) 429

Syllabus

The fourth section of the Act of Congress approved 12 February, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, entitled "An act respecting fugitives escaping from justice and persons escaping from the service of their masters" is repealed, so far as relates to the penalty, by the Act of Congress approved September 18, 1850, 9 Stat. 462, entitled "An act to amend and supplementary to the above act."

Therefore, where an action for the recovery of the penalty prescribed in the act of 1793 was pending at the time of the repeal, such repeal is a bar to the action.

The following certificate explains the question:

"UNITED STATES OF AMERICA"

"District of Indiana"

"At a circuit court of the United States begun and holden at Indianapolis, for the District of Indiana, on Monday, the nineteenth day of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one and continued from day to day until Friday, the thirtieth day of May, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. "

Page 54 U. S. 430

"JOHN NORRIS"

"v."

"EDWIN B. CROCKER AND ELISHA EGBERT"

"Present, honorable John McLean and the honorable Elisha M. Huntington, judges."

"This is an action of debt brought to recover the penalty of five hundred dollars upon the fourth section of the Act of Congress approved February 12, 1793, entitled 'An act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters,' declaration in the usual form, and demurrer and joinder thereto."

"The case coming on to be argued on demurrer, it occurred as a question whether the aforesaid section of the aforesaid Act of February 12, 1793, is repealed, so far as relates to the penalty given by said section, by the Act of Congress of September 18, 1850, entitled 'An act to amend and supplementary to the act entitled 'An act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters,'' approved February 12, 1793, and whether, if repealed, the same can affect this action, which was pending before the passage of the last-named act, on which questions the opinions of the judges were opposed."

"Whereupon, on motion of the plaintiff by his counsel that the points on which the disagreements hath happened may during the term be stated under the direction of the judges and certified under the seal of the court to the Supreme Court to be finally decided."

"It is ordered that the foregoing statement of the pleadings and the following questions involved, which are made under the direction of the judges, be certified according to the request of the plaintiff by his counsel, and the law in that case made and provided, to-wit: "

"I. Is the fourth section of the Act of Congress approved 12 February, A.D. 1793, entitled "An act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters," repealed, so far as relates to the penalty, by the Act of Congress, approved September 18th, 1850, entitled "An act to amend, and supplementary to the act entitled An act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters,'" approved February 12, 1793."

"II. Whether, if the fourth section of the last-named Act of February 12, 1793, is repealed so far as relates to the penalty by the act to amend and supplementary to the same, that repeal will in law bar the present action that was pending at the time of the repeal. "

Page 54 U. S. 438

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