Cerecedo v. United States,
239 U.S. 1 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cerecedo v. United States, 239 U.S. 1 (1915)

Cerecedo v. United States

No. 285

Argued October 13, 1915

Decided October 25, 1915

239 U.S. 1




Postponing consideration of a motion to dismiss until the hearing of the case on the merits is not a decision that the court has power to review the judgment.

The rule in cases coming from the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico is that the existence of constitutional questions must appear in a bill of exceptions.

Even though this Court may have an extraordinary discretion in extreme cases to supply the absence of a bill of exceptions, there is no ground in this case for the exercise of such discretion.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of this Court to review judgments of the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico, are stated in the opinion.

Page 239 U. S. 2

Memorandum opinion by MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WHITE, by direction of the Court.

The plaintiffs in error prosecute this writ under the assumption that the court below denied rights asserted

Page 239 U. S. 3

by them under the Constitution by refusing, as prayed, to return papers taken from them under a search warrant, and in permitting the papers over objection to be offered in evidence. There is no bill of exceptions in the record, and nothing which enables us to lawfully ascertain the existence of the constitutional questions relied upon. Clune v. United States, 159 U. S. 590; Metropolitan R. Co. v. District of Columbia, 195 U. S. 322; Porto Rico v. Emmanuel, 235 U. S. 251, 235 U. S. 255.

There is nothing therefore before us unless there be merit in contentions to the contrary which are pressed and which we briefly dispose of. First: on the face of things, it is obvious that the postponing at the last term of the consideration of a motion to dismiss was not a decision of the question of power to review. Second: even indulging, for the sake of the argument only, in the assumption of the correctness of the proposition urged that an extraordinary discretion might exist in some extreme case to supply the entire absence of a bill of exceptions, we see no ground whatever for the premise that this is a case of that character.

Dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

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