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powers delegated to them. To secure these, the right of eminent domain may be exercised by the condemnation of lands to their use. Governments more frequently effect these objects through the aid of corporations than by their immediate agents, and experience proves that this is the most wise and economical method. The grant to the corporation is in no essential particular different from the employment of commissioners or agents. Swan v. Williams, 2 Mich. 427; Balto. & Ohio R. R. Co. v. Van Ness, 4 Cranch C. C. 593; Ches. & 0. Canal Co. v. Key, 3 Cranch C. C. 599.

A statute providing for the condemnation of land for a private way, is valid. Ex parte Robert Barnard, 4 Cranch C. C. 294.

In the exercise of the power to establish post offices and post roads, Congress can not take private property without the consent of the owner, or a just compensation for the property. Dickey v. Turnpike Co. 7 Dana, 119.

Congress in improving the navigable waters of the United States can not divert the water from a natural channel without providing compensation for the riparian owner who is injured thereby. Avery v. Fox, 1 Abb. C. C. 246.

The power to appropriate land or other property within the States for its own use belongs to the Federal Government, for it is essential to its independent existence and perpetuity. Kohl v. United States, 91 U. S. 367.

No State can condemn property for the use of the United States. The power of the Federal Government is complete in itself. It can neither be enlarged nor diminished by a State, nor can any State prescribe the manner in which it must be exercised. The consent of a State can never be a condition precedent to its exercise. Kohl v. United States, 91 U.S. 367; Trombley 7. Humphrey, 23 Mich. 471; Darlington v. U.S. 33 Leg. Int. 409; contra, Gilmer v. Lime Point, 18 Cal. 229; Burt v. Merchants’ Ins. Co. 106 Mass. 356.



1. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

This amendment does not apply to the acts of the legislatures of the several States. Twitchell v. Comm. 7 Wall. 321 ; Ex parte Newell Smith, 10 Wend. 449; Murphy v. People, 2 Cow. 815; Jackson v. Wood, 2 Cow. 819; Campbell 7'. State, 11 Geo. 353; Guillote v. New Orleans, 12 La.

Ann. 432.

This provision applies only to the case of offenses committed within the limits of a State. U. S. v. Dawson, 15 How. 467.

The trial for a criminal offense must be in a district ascertained by law previous to the commission of the offense. An indictment found in a district created after the commission of the offense is void. U. S. v. Maxon, 5 Blatch. 360.

The framers of the Constitution meant to limit the right of trial by jury in the sixth amendment to those persons who are subject to indictment or presentment in the fifth. Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2.

All other persons except those who are connected with the army or the navy, citizens of States where the courts are open, if charged with crimes, are guaranteed the privilege of trial by jury, and can not be tried by a military commission. Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2.

A party can not be tried under the laws of one State for an act done in another State. People v. Merrill, 2 Parker Cr. Cas. 590.

A proceeding to annul the license of a pilot for neglect of duty is not a criminal proceeding. Low v. Commissioners, R. M. Charlt. 302.

The power to confiscate the property of public enemies is not affected by the restrictions imposed by this amendment. Miller v. U. S. 11 Wall. 268.

An indictment must set forth the offense with clearness and all necessary certainty, to apprise the accused of the crime with which he stands charged. U. S. v. Cruikshank, 1 Woods, 308; S. C. 92 U. S. 542.

If the defendant, for the purpose of obtaining a trial, admits that the absent witnesses will testify to the facts set forth in the affidavit produced on behalf of the United States, he thereby waives his right to be confronted with the witnesses. U. S. v. Sacramento, 2 Mont. 239.

ARTICLE VII. 1. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved ; and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


This provision does not apply to the legislation of the several States. Justices v. Murray, 9 Wall. 274; Foster v. Jackson, 57 Geo. 206; Edwards v. Elliott, 21 Wall. 532; Livingston v. Moore, 7 Pet. 469; Walker v. Sauvinet, 92 U. S. 90; Livingston v. Mayor, 8 Wend. 85; Colt v. Eves, 12 Conn. 243; Dawson v. Shaver, 1 Blackf. 204; Boring v. Williams, 17 Ala. 510; Lee v. Tillotson, 24 Wend. 337 ; Railroad Co. v. Heath, 9 Ind. 558; State v. Keyes, 8 Vt. 57; Huntington v. Bishop, 5 Vt. 186.

The State legislature, in regulating the rights of property, can not radically change the mode of proceeding prescribed for the Federal courts, or direct those courts in a trial at common law, to appoint commissioners for the decision of questions which a court of common law must submit to a jury. Bank v. Dudley, 2 Pet. 492 ; Green v. Biddle, 8 Wheat. 1.

The phrase "common law” found in this clause, is used in contradistinction to equity, and admiralty, and maritime jurisprudence. It is well known that in civil causes in courts of equity and admiralty juries do not intervene, and that courts of equity use the trial by jury only in extraordinary cases, to inform the conscience of the court. When, therefore, the amendment requires that the right of trial by jury shall be preserved in suits at common law, the natural conclusion is that this distinction was present to the minds of the framers of the amendment. By common law they meant not merely suits which the common law recognized among its old and settled proceedings, but suits in which legal rights were to be ascertained and determined, in contradistinction to those where equitable rights alone were recognized and equitable remedies administered, or where, as in the admiralty, a mixture of public law and of maritime law and equity was often found in the same suit. Probably there were few, if any States, in which some new legal remedies, differing from the old common-law forms, were not in use, but in which, however, the trial by jury intervened, and the general regulations in other respects were according to the course of the common law. In a just sense, the amendment may well be construed to embrace all suits which are not of equity and admiralty jurisdiction, whatever may be the peculiar form which they may assume, to settle legal rights. Parsons v. Bedford, 3 Pet. 433; Ins. Co. v. Comstock, 16 Wall. 258.

The only modes known to the common law to re-examine facts tried by a jury are the granting of a new trial by the court where the issue was tried, or to which the record was properly returnable, or the award of a venire facias de novo by the appellate court for some error of law which intervened in the proceedings. Parsons v. Bedford, 3 Pet. 433; U. S. v. Wonson, 1 Gallis. 5; Wetherbee v. Johnson, 14 Mass. 412; Patrie v. Murray, 43 Barb. 323.

This restriction is general, and applies to all the departments of the Government alike, especially to the legislative and judicial branches, so that neither Congress nor the courts can, by law or rules of practice, deny to a citizen the right thereby secured. Congress has no power, or by delegation of power to another body of its own creation, to deny this right to a citizen of a territory. Kleinschmidt v. Dunphy, 1 Mont. 118.

"Trial by jury” had, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, a fixed legal signification, and from time immemorial has meant a trial by a tribunal of twelve men, acting only upon a unanimous deterrnination. Unanimity of twelve jurors alone constitutes a legal verdict, and no statute can dispense with either attribute or essential of a verdict. Kleinschmidt v. Dunphy, i Mont. 118.

This provision does not apply to preliminary inquiries which do not involve a trial of the merits of the controversy. Ex parte Martin, 2 Paine, 348.

A trial by referees without the consent of the parties is not sanctioned by the Constitution. U. S. v. Rathbone, 2 Paine, 578.

This provision does not apply to the imposition of a fine for a failure to comply with inspection laws. Green v. Savannah, R. M. Charlt. 368.

A proceeding for a judgment on a forfeited recognizance, under special statutory provisions, is not a suit at common law. People v. Quigg, 59 N. Y. 83.

Any attempt to set up wager of law is utterly inconsistent with the right of trial by jury, so that the wager of law is now abolished. Childress v. Emory, 8 Wheat. 642.

A statute may provide that when a judgment is affirmed, a summary judgment may be entered against the surety on the appeal bond without a trial by jury. Hiriart v. Ballou, 9 Pet. 156.

A nonsuit can not be ordered in any case without the consent and acquiescence of the plaintiff. Elmore v. Grymes, i Pet. 469; D'Wolf v. Rabaud, 1 Pet. 476.

The right of trial by jury may be denied in a proceeding which is not a proceeding at common law, but a proceeding under statutory provisions and forms specially provided. Miller v. McQuerry, 5 McLean, 469: Ex parte Martin, 2 Paine, 348; Ableman v. Booth, 21 How. 506; S. C. 3 Wis. I, 145, 157

In a proceeding to assess damages, which is neither a suit at common law nor the trial of a right in a court of common-law jurisdiction, the damages may be assessed without the intervention of a jury. Bonaparte v. Camden & Am. R. R. Co. Bald. 205.

A statute which authorizes a judgment by default, unless the party on notice produces his books and papers, is valid. U. S. v. Distillery, 8 C.

L. N. 57.


A statute appointing commissioners to determine titles and making their award final, unless a suit is brought within a certain period, does not take away the right of trial by jury. Barker v. Jackson, 1 Paine, 559.

This provision does not apply to a proceeding to annul the license of a pilot for neglect of duty. Low v. Commissioners, R. M. Charlt. 302.

When there is a default in a proceeding under the confiscation laws, in a seizure on land, there is no fact to be ascertained, and no jury trial is necessary. Miller v. U. S. 11 Wall. 268.

This provision does not embrace the established exclusive jurisdiction of courts of equity, nor that which they have exercised as concurrent with courts of law, but is limited to rights and remedies peculiarly legal in their nature, and such as it is proper to assert in courts of law and by the appropriate modes and proceedings of courts of law. Shields v. Thomas, 18 How. 253: Kleinschmidt v. Dunphy, i Mont. 118; Ely v. M. & B. Manuf. Co. 4 Fish. 64; Motts v. Bennett, 2 Fish. 642.

The power to issue an injunction in chancery, in its legitimate use, does not impair, supersede or prevent a trial by jury, where it has ever existed. Woodworth v. Rogers, 3 W. & M. 135.

A court of equity can not be authorized to award damages or compensation for the breach of a contraet for the sale and delivery of personal property. Scott v. Billgerry, 40 Miss. 119.

This is not an inhibition upon the mode of trial of suits which are not exclusively suits at common law. It refers to suits at common law alone, and does not embrace suits in admiralty. It does not, therefore, prohibit suits in admiralty, although the courts of common law have a concurrent jurisdiction. Waring v. Clarke, 5 How. 441; U. S. v. Bright, Bright. 19; The Huntress, 2 Ware, 89; vide Bains v. The James Catherine, Bald. 544.

An information in rem to enforce a penalty for a violation of the laws of the United States, which occurs on navigable waters, in a case of admiralty jurisdiction, is not a suit at common law but an admiralty proceeding, where the trial is never by jury. U. S. v. La Vengeance, 3 Dall. 297; The

3 Margaret, 9 Wheat. 421 ; U. S. v. Irma, 12 I. R. R. 42; U. S. v. The Betsey, 4 Cranch, 443; Whelan v. U. S. 7 Cranch, 112; U. S. v. The Queen, 4 Ben. 237; Clark v. U. S. 2 Wash. 519.

If the seizure is made on land, the claimant in an information in rem, is entitled to a trial by jury. U. S. v. Fourteen Packages, Gilp. 235.

A proceeding in rem, under the internal revenue laws, is a suit at common law within the meaning of this article, and the party is entitled to a jury trial. U. S. v. Distillery, 8 C. L. N. 57.

In a proceeding in rem, to enforce a forfeiture for a violation of the internal revenue laws, the claimant is entitled to a jury trial. U. S. v. 130 Bbls. i Bond, 587.


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