Wise v. Withers
7 U.S. 331

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wise v. Withers, 7 U.S. 3 Cranch 331 331 (1806)

Wise v. Withers

7 U.S. (3 Cranch) 331

Syllabus

A justice of the peace in the District of Columbia is an officer of the government of the United States, and is exempt from militia duty.

The court martial has not exclusive jurisdiction of that question, and its sentence is not conclusive.

Trespass lies against a collector of militia fines who distrains for a fine imposed by a court martial upon a person not liable to be enrolled in the militia, the court martial having no jurisdiction in such cases.

Page 7 U. S. 332

Error to the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia in an action of trespass vi et armis for entering the plaintiff's house and taking away his goods. The defendant justified as collector of militia fines. The plaintiff replied that at the time when, &c., he was one of the United States justices of the peace for the County of Alexandria. This replication, upon a general demurrer, was, by a majority of the court below, adjudged bad, whereupon the plaintiff sued out a writ of error, and the questions made on the argument were,

1. Whether a justice of the peace for the County of Alexandria was liable to do militia duty, and

2. Whether an action of trespass will lie against the officer who makes distress for a fine assessed upon a justice of the peace by a court martial.

Page 7 U. S. 335

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