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ARKANSAS V. SCHLIERHOLZ, 179 U. S. 598 (1900)

U.S. Supreme Court

Arkansas v. Schlierholz, 179 U.S. 598 (1900)

Arkansas v. Schlierholz

No. 122

Argued and submitted December 6, 1900

Decided December 21, 1900

179 U.S. 598


The authority of this Court to review the action of the court below in this case must be found in one of three classes of cases, in which, by section 5 of the Judiciary Act of March 3, 1891, an appeal or writ of error may be taken from a District or Circuit Court direct to this Court. The classes of cases alluded to are as follows: 1. cases in which the jurisdiction of the court is in issue, in which class of cases the question of jurisdiction alone is to be certified from the court below for decision; 2. cases involving the construction or application of the Constitution of the United States; and, 3. cases in which the constitutionality of any law of the United States, or the validity or construction of any treaty made under its authority, is drawn in question. The Court is of opinion that the case at bar is not embraced within either of those classes of cases.

Two indictments were found by the grand jury of Independence County, Arkansas, against Schlierholz, appellee herein, for alleged violations of statutes of Arkansas. One indictment charged the taking possession unlawfully of certain timber; the other, the unlawful marking of timber. Upon such indictments, Schlierholz was taken into custody by the appellant John A. Hinkle, as Sheriff of Independence County. Thereupon Schlierholz presented a petition in habeas corpus to the judge of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Arkansas. In said petition, it was alleged in substance that the acts complained of in the indictments referred to were done by Schlierholz in the performance of his duty as a special agent of the General Land Office under the Department of the Interior of the United States. A writ of habeas corpus was allowed, and it was ordered to be served not only on Hinkle, the sheriff, but on the Prosecuting Attorney of the State of Arkansas for the Third Judicial Circuit. Issue was joined by a return filed by said prosecuting attorney. On motion, the case was transferred to the District Court of the United States for the

Page 179 U. S. 599

Northern Division of the Eastern District of Arkansas. Hearing having been had, the court found that Schlierholz, in the doing of the things complained of in the indictments, acted in the performance of his duty as a special agent of the General Land Office of the United States, and in strict conformity with the rules and regulations of the Secretary of the Interior, and that his arrest and detention were illegal and void. It was adjudged that the petitioner "be discharged from the custody of the sheriff under the writ in the petition and response set out and go hence without day." Thereupon the court allowed an appeal to this Court, and in the order doing so the following recitals are found:

"And at the request of the said State of Arkansas and John A. Hinkle, as sheriff, the following questions, among others involved herein, are certified to the said Supreme Court of the United States:"

"1. Whether this court has jurisdiction in the premises to discharge the petitioner, Charles A.M. Schlierholz, from the custody of John A. Hinkle, Sheriff of Independence County, Arkansas, for the matters and things and under the circumstances set out in the record in this cause."

"2. Whether the proper order of this Court under the facts should have been to remand said petitioner to the custody of the said Sheriff of Independence County, Arkansas, to be dealt with by the Independence Circuit Court of the state, or to discharge him from said custody."

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