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this court. The reason for this course is apparent. It is an exceedingly delicate jurisdiction given to the Federal courts by which a person under an indictment in a state court and subject to its laws may, by the decision of a single judge of the Federal court, upon a writ of habeas corpus, be taken out of the custody of the officers of the State and finally discharged therefrom, and thus a trial by the state courts of an indictment found under the laws of a State be finally prevented. Cases have occurred of so exceptional a nature that this course has been pursued. Such are the cases In re Loney, 134 U. S. 372, and In re Neagle, 135 U. S. 1, but the reasons for the interference of the Federal court in each of those cases were extraordinary, and presented what this court regarded as such exceptional facts as to justify the interference of the Federal tribunal. Unless this case be of such an exceptional nature, we ought not to encourage the interference of the Federal court below with the regular course of justice in the state court."
The rule thus declared is well settled and, in our judgment, it was properly applied in this case. Crowley was a citizen of Pennsylvania, not in the service of the United States, and was killed in or near a street of the city of Pittsburgh, and not on property belonging to the United States or over which the United States had jurisdiction.
*The homicide occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of the Gourt of Oyer and Terminer, which, as Judge Acheson observed, was the only civil court which could have jurisdiction to try petitioners for the alleged unlawful killing, and the indictment presented a case cognizable by that court.
The general jurisdiction in time of peace of the civil courts of a State over persons in the military service of the United States, who are accused of a capital crime or of any offense against the person of a citizen, committed within the State, is, of course, not denied.
But it is contended on behalf of the Government that the state court was absolutely without jurisdiction to try- petitioners for the killing of Crowley, because the homicide was com
mitted by them “while in the lawful performance of a duty and obligation imposed upon them by the Constitution and laws of the United States.". The argument is that Crowley had been guilty of the crime of larceny and could have been indicted and prosecuted on the charge of felony in the District Court of the United States under section 5439 of the Revised Statutes, or under section 5391, the United States having jurisdiction over the Allegheny Arsenal property and the Pennsylvania laws making what Crowley is alleged to have done a felony. Hence that it was the duty of petitioners to arrest Crowley and to surrender him to the Federal authorities for prosecution. And it is insisted that the fact is “established that Crowley met his death while attempting to escape arrest." But there was a conflict of evidence as to whether Crowley had or had not surrendered, and it is conceded that if he had, it could not reasonably be claimed that the fatal shot was fired in the performance of a duty imposed by the Federal law, and the state court had jurisdiction.
The Circuit Court was not called on to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. That was for the state court if it had jurisdiction, and this the state court had, even though it was petitioners' duty to pursue and arrest Crowley (assuming that he had stolen pieces of copper), if the question of Crowley being a fleeing felon was open to dispute on the evidence; that is, if that were the gist of the case, it was for the state court to pass upon it, and its doing so could not be collaterally attacked. The assertion that Crowley was resisting arrest and in flight when shot was matter of defense, and Ex parte Crouch, 112 U.S. 178, is in point.
We have repeatedly held that the acts of Congress in relation to habeas corpus do not imperatively require the Circuit Courts to wrest petitioners from the custody of state officers in advance of trial in the state courts, and that those courts may decline to discharge in the proper exercise of discretion. We think that discretion was properly exercised in this case.
Final order affirmed.
ALBRIGHT v. TERRITORY OF NEW MEXICO ex rel.
APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF THE TERRITORY OF NEW
No. 229. Submitted November 27, 1905.—Decided January 2, 1906.
The renewal in this court of a motion to dismiss the appeal which was consid
ered and denied by the Supreme Court of the Territory amounts to no more than an assignment of error to the action of that court in this regard, to be
passed on or disposed of as such, if this court otherwise has jurisdiction. In the proceedings in quo warranto in this case the alleged usurpation of the
office is the matter in dispute, and the liability to fine on judgment of ouster or the effect of the judgment in a subsequent action to recover the emoluments of the office does not make that matter measurable by some sum or value in money, and an appeal to this court will not lie from the Supreme Court of a Territory under either section of the act of March 3, 1885, c. 355.
The facts are stated in the opinion.
Mr. William B. Childers for appellant.
Mr. Neill B. Field for appellee.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER delivered the opinion of the court.
This was a proceeding in quo warranto brought in the District Court of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, July 20, 1903, by the Territory on the relation of Jesus M. Sandoval against George F. Albright, it being.alleged that Sandoval was duly elected to the office of assessor of Bernalillo County for the term of two years from the first day of January, 1903; that he duly qualified and entered on the discharge of the duties of the office; and that he had never resigned, vacated or abandoned the office, and ever since his election and qualification had continued to discharge the duties thereof. It was further alleged that on
March 23, 1903, respondent Albright, without authority of law, unlawfully usurped the office and took possession of the assessor's room in the court house and of the books, papers and other insignia of office, claiming office by virtue of a pretended appointment by the board of county commissioners of Bernalillo County, madle under the authority of an act of the legislative assembly of the Territory of New Mexico, entitled "An act to create the county of Sandoval," approved March 10, 1903, as amended by an act entitled “An act to amend section 3 of an act entitled 'An act to create the county of Sandoval,'”' approved March 12, 1903.
Judgment was rendered by the District Court in favor of Albright, August 3, 1903, and carried to the Supreme Court of the Territory, which reversed the judgment and remanded the cause with directions to the court below to reinstate it and proceed in accordance with the views expressed in its opinion. 78 Pac. Rep. 204. The mandate was filed below October 19, 1904, and on the nineteenth of November the District Court entered judgment“ that the respondent, George F. Albright, has unlawfully usurped, and does unlawfully usurp, the office of assessor of the county of Bernalillo and Territory of New Mexico, from the relator, Jesus Maria Sandoval, the lawful incumbent of the said office; that the said respondent, George F. Albright, do henceforth cease and desist from in any manner intermeddling with, or attempting to perform the cluties, or exercise the functions of the office of assessor of the county of Bernalillo aforesaid, and that he forthwith deliver up to the relator the records, books, papers and furniture and all other things appertaining to the office of assessor of the county of Bernalillo and Territory of New Mexico as the lawful custodian thereof," and for costs:
The case was again carried to the Supreme Court and heard upon a motion to dismiss, and on the merits, and February 24, 1904, the court denied the motion to dismiss, modified the judgment of the District Court by striking out the words "and that he forth with deliver up to the relator the records, books, papers, furniture and all other things appertaining to the office of as
sessor of the county of Bernalillo and Territory of New Mexico, as the lawful custodian thereof," and affirmed the judgment as so modified. 79 Pac. Rep. 719. On the same day an appeal was allowed to this court, a supersedeas bond given, which was approved March 9, 1905, and the record was filed here April 17. The case comes before us on a motion to dismiss.
The ground assigned for the motion is the expiration of the term of the office of assessor of the county of Bernalillo and the consequent lack of power to grant appellant any effectual relief. But the same motion has already been considered and denied by the Supreme Court of the Territory, and its renewal here amounts to no more than an assignment of error to the action of that court in this regard, to be passed on and disposed of as such, if otherwise we have jurisdiction of the case. have not, the appeal must be dismissed even though for reasons not put forward in support of the motion. The opinion of the Supreme Court fully discussed the authorities on the subject of the right to have a review of the judgment on appeal after the expiration of the term of office involved in the proceeding in quo warranto. The court refused to dismiss the writ, holding that the statute, 9 Anne, c. 20, $ 5, providing that in addition to judgment of ouster, fine and costs may be imposed, was a part of the common law of the Territory, and also that the judgment might affect the rights of the parties in another litigation in relation to the emoluments of the office.
The appeal to this court was taken under the statute of March 3, 1885, 23 Stat. 443, c. 355; Shute v, Keyser, 149 U. S. 649. Both sections of that act apply to cases where there is a matter in dispute measurable by some sum or value in money, although the amount is not restricted under the second section. Washington & Georgetown Railroad Company v. District of Columbia, 146 U. S. 227; Farnsworth v. Montana, 129 U. S. 104. In proceedings in quo warranto, such as those in this case, the alleged usurpation is the matter in dispute and the liability to a fine on judgment of ouster does not make that matter measurable by some sum or value in money. As in criminal cases,