i NEW-YORK, debt; and it lies with the defendant to impeach the juftice v _r- y-m_' thereof, or to fliew them to have been irregularly or unduly ^FftS "^ granted. „ T- Such being the received conftruction of the injunction,

Daniel Aicken. ° . , that full faith and credit was to be given to the judical proSinclair y. ceedings of other dates. It remains to fee, whether the cafe In Doiig. s- »s altered under the exifting conftitution of the United ptridix'pa1!^^" States. That conftitution, by authorifing congrefs, to preGaibreadi °f d ^cr'De not oruY £^e manner in which the acts, records and Neville, proceedings of other dates fhall be proved, but their effect evidently didinguifhcd between giving full faith and credit, and the giving effect to the records of another date, and until congrefs fhall have declared by law what that effect fliall be, the records of different dates, are left precifely in the Ctuation they were in under the articles of confederation. J.awsvol.i. 115 '^le a& ot congrefs of 26th May 1790, is entitled "an "act to prefcribe the mode in which the public 3ct.«, records, •'and judicial proceedings in each date, fliall be aurJienti"cated, fo as to take effect in every other ftate." After preferring the mode of authentication, it declares that the recordsand judicial proceedings,foauthenticated,fhallhave fiub faith and credit given to them in every court within the United States, as they have by law or ufage in the courts of the ftate from whence they are taken. This act leaves the quedion as to the effect of fuch records precifely where it found it. The articles of confederation, in the fird inftance, and the conftitution in the fecond, had already declared that fuch records and proceedings, were to receive fullfaith and credit, and this act, without precribing the effect, defines, or rather qualifies the faith and credit they are to receive. Inftead oifull faith and credit, they are to receive fuch faith anJ credit. We are bound to give the judgment faith and credit, and this faith and credit was confidered by the ftate courts, while fitting under the government of the articles of confederation, as requiring full affent to the proceedings contained in the record, as matters of evidence and fact, but not as ablblutcly barring the door againft any examination of the regularity of the proceedings, and the juftice of the judgment.




I ought here to notice the cafe of Armftrong v. Executors N^,'Y^,RK' of Carfon, as leaning againft the conclusions I have drawn. ^^^-~v-^./ It was an action of debt, brought in the circuit court of the HltCjhft<£j1k, an United States for Pennfylvania diftrict, on a judgment ob- . ,^ickcn tained in the ftate of New-Jerfey.

The queftion was, whether the plea of nil debet was good, » Dallas 303. and the court was of opinion, the plea being bad in NewJerfey, was bad there alfo, for that whatever doubts there might be on the words of the conjlitution, the a£t of congrefs effectually removed them, by declaring in direct terms, that the record lhould have the fame effect in that court, as in the court from which it was taken. But the reafon given for this opinion, if the report of the cafe be correct, is clearly founded in miftake.

The act of congrefs does not declare the record fhall have the fame effect, but only the fame faith and credit, and there is a manifeft and efTential difference between the one mode of expre/fion and the other. If, therefore, as the court intimated, there were doubts on the words of the conftitution, thole doubts, fo far from being removed, are rather increafed by the law. The language of the conftitution is, at leaft, as cogent and comprehenfive, if not more fo, than the language of the law.

It is pretty evident, that the conftitution meant nothing more by full faith and credit, than what refpected the evidence of fuch proceedings; for the words are applied to public acts, as well as to judicial matters, nor ought the aft >f congrefs to be carried further than the words will warrant. When we reflect in what manner judgments ma,y, in ome inftances, be obtained, as in the cafes cited by the atachment of a handkerchief or blanket, it is more favorable to tiie harmony of the union, and to public juftice, that the udgments of the feveral ftates fhouldbe put on the footing jf foreign judgments, than that they {horrid be held abfolutely binding and conclufive, or as much fo, as they may be by the laws of the ftate which authoriled the proceeding; and f we may queftion the binding force of the proceeding or judgment in one cafe, we may in another; for, the aft of congrefs has no exceptions, and mint receive an uniform



NEW-YORK, conftruftion. If a debtor be difcharged from irrprifonment, \ j-' * —', / or from his debts by the infolvent aft of fome other ftate; HitCF^°hk and or 'f their courts be authorifed to grant a ftay of fuits for a v. time, are we bound by thefe acts; foT they all are, or may be, judicial preceedings. There are no confiderations of national policythatcouldinduceustofuppofethe aft of congrefs went die whole iength of clofing the inveftigation of thejudgment. It would be going further than ever was done in any civilized country, even with refpeft to its own dominions. • Walker v. Between England and Scotland, England and Wales,* or Doug. i. Sin- England and its colonial eftablifhments, the union is as intiei'tc'd hi the* cr mate an(* as interefting, as between the feveral dates; and brrath*TdNe-" yettne judgment, in Scotland,-)- or Wales, or Jamaica, for invihno G. 3. ftance, are held to be foreign judgments. So the court of appendix pa. 5. feffions in Scotland confider judgments rendered in England quliy vol- a. as foreign judgments ; that they have no intrinfic authority 3*i. 377- extra territorium ; and that in aftions upon them, they are to be prefumed juft till the contrary be proved; and if tbey are fhewn to be unjuft or irregular, the fuit upon them will not be fuftained.

The judgments of other ftates have been treated in this

court, in the light of foreign judgment's, by admitting the

plea of nil debet, to be the proper plea, inftead of the plea of

nul tiel record. The court had intimated doubts on the

1I„ Coute v. queftion in prior cafes ;% but in the cafe of Poft and another

Pendleton, A- v- Nerdy, in January term laft, they decided, that mil tieJ re

pnl term 1 y99i v'

& Cobbet ads. cord was a bad plea, and it follows pretty conclufirerf, rhnt

Ruft, January .f . , \T , VI l>

lemibL » a judgment of another ftate is not to be treated ffl the pleadings as a record, it cannot have the fame obligator; force. So in the cafe of Phelps v. Bryant, adminijlratar, decided at the laft term, we refilled to fuftain an aftton on a decree of the fuperior court of Connecticut, founded pa the fervice of a fummons within this ftate. An act legiflature had rendered all judgments and decrees fo» on fuch fervice, void, as far as refpcfted our own gorernment. But if the decree in that cafe was of condufive rffeft under the conftitution and laws of the union, the plei to the merits of that decree, as refulting from the in commencement of die fuit, would have been bad, not ftanding our itatute.


The refult of my opinion is, that the judgment in que ftionNEW-YORK, is to be considered in the light of a foreign judgment, and _--~ —,_/ only prima facie evidence of the demand. HitcU.-.ock and

Receptum efl optima ratione in executione fententia; ali- v

,. , r , • • r , ■ Daniel Aickcn.

bi lata:, iervari jus loci in quo fit executio, non ubi res ,

judicata eft.—Huber. vol. c2. page 5iO.

Lewis C. J. The queftion between thefe parties is both important and difficult; and my opinion upon it, has been formed with diffidence and deliberation. Were the whole pafe or both parties before us for confideration, it would be eafy to determine on their refpective merits. But we, are called to decide an abftract propofition. Whether, under the article of the constitution, and the act of the general government, referred to, the judgments of courts of another ftate, fhall be fo conclufive here, as to exclude all further examination of their merits ? Had this article gone no further" than that of the confederation on the fame fubject, I fhould .have doubted the correctnefs of the principles of decifion in Phelps againft Holker, as applicable to it; and fhould have underftood full faith and credit in the fame fenfe, that implicit faith is applied in Weftminfter Hall, to the records of a court of record -, which is, that they are not to be controverted. But the latter part of the fection precludes fuch underftanding, and qualifies the fenfe, in which ■he former is to be accepted. For, where is the ufe of congTefs prefcribing, by general laws, the effect of fuch judgJ^ents, or of the proof of them, which is the fame thing, f fhould that be the gramatical conftruction,) if by full faith and credit, abfolute verity is intended. »

The next queftion is, does the act of congrefs prefcribe the effect of fuch judgments. In terms it certainly does not. On the contrary, it limits and reftrains the generality of the crft period of the article under confideration, by declaring hat fuch judgments, when authenticated in the manner pre- , bribed, fhall be entitled to the fame faith and credit in every cvurt within the United States, as they have by law or t/fage in" f*ke courts ofthejlatefrom whence they are or shall be taken. But admitting the act of congrefs to be an execution of the powc^r velted in that body by the conftitution, it will not, in rny


NEW-YORK, conception, have the effect of rendering fuch judgments conclufive here. It will become neceffary to examine their effed in the ftate in which they are pronounced, and we know that fome of them, which are founded on attachments ifluing in neigbouring ftates, againil abfent debtors, are not conctofive in thofe ftates. And it certainly never could be intended to give fuch judgments greater effecl: here, than they would have there. We have had inftances alfo, of procefs ifluing from a- court of a neighbouring ftate being ferved here,"in violation of a pofitive law of our own ftate, which we are bound, by fuch law, to confider as illegal and void.

By pronouncing them conclufive, we fhould alfo preclude all inquiry into fraud, which certainly would vitiate them in every ftate poffeffmg a regularly organized fyftem of jnrifprudence.

I cannot, therefore believe, that a juft conftructicm of the conftitution and law of the United States will warrant the conclufion, that fuch judgments are in no cafe re-examinable in an action founded on them in another ftate; and, therefore, as we are called upon to pronounce on this queftion in the abftrad, my opinion is, that the verdicl be fet afide.

Jackson ex Dem', Edmund Prior, Abraham Knap and Eli Knap, against Haley Brown.

Tho & the THIS was an application for cofts for not proceeding to *ft of God be trial. The plaintiff relied on the prevalence of the yellow

thecaufeof .' ..-,.. ...

aot proceeding fever, which, alter noticing for the circuit, prevented him tag"o notice, from obtaining a paper neceffary on the trial. pofhbuuyof"" Per curiam. It does not appear any countermand was proceeding be ever given, though there was time for doing fo, between time for a the period when the impoflibility of procuring the docuwhich the 'ment was difcovered, and the day fixed for the circuit. It i> FcdU to gTve, true>tne a& °f Geo" is» to work injury to no one ; but when, Ik mult pay as }ieTe> the impoflibility induced by that act, could haw been communicated to die defendant in fcafon, to have prevented his attendance on the circuit, and this, was omittei!, the fault was with the plaintiff, and he muft pay cofts.

praaiceon Thomas Kirby against Salmon Cogswell,

certificate u. YV was ruled in tliis caufe, that, after a certificate of prc

ftay proceed- * * ■


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