United States v. Knight's Administrator,
66 U.S. 488 (1861)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Knight's Administrator, 66 U.S. 1 Black 488 488 (1861)

United States v. Knight's Administrator

66 U.S. (1 Black) 488


1. After a cause has been argued and decided, the Court will not hear a motion to change the decree based on affidavits taken to show facts which do not appear in the record.

2. This Court will not suffer its judgment upon an appeal to be influenced in any respect by new testimony offered here, even in a case which is within its general chancery powers, much less where it is exercising merely the special jurisdiction conferred by Congress in respect to California land claims.

3. The necessity for this rule and the legal principles on which it is founded discussed by THE CHIEF JUSTICE..

4. The Court does not doubt its power to open a judgment rendered at the present term and continue or rehear the cause if, upon the record, one of the judges who concurred in the decision supposes it to be erroneous.

This cause a California land claim brought here on appeal by the United States from the decree of the district court was reached on the docket at the present term, was called in its regular order, and was argued by counsel on both sides; the opinion of the Court upon it was delivered, and a decree pronounced, that the decree of the district court be reversed and the cause remanded, with directions to dismiss the petition of the claimant. See ante, <|66 U.S. 227|>227.

At a subsequent day of the term, Mr. Reverdy Johnson for the claimant, moved the court so far to modify its order entered therein, as to remand the cause to the court below for

Page 66 U. S. 489

further evidence and proceedings, and offered in support of the motion sundry affidavits to show by this new testimony that the Court had fallen into error in some conclusions of fact stated in the opinion, and also that some of the testimony was not within the knowledge or power of the appellee when the case was heard in the district court, but has been discovered since.

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