Lawmen & Outlaws
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Justus Case


At the same time another case argued, before the Supreme Court of Kansas, was the habeas corpus case of Edward B. Justus. This case involved a point of considerable interest to lawyers, and for that reason I make note of it here. Justus was indicted for murder in Noble County. A change of venue was asked under a statue which made it mandatory upon the Judge to grant it upon proper showing. This showing was made, but the Judge refused to grant the change. However, the application for the change and the order made thereon, were not embodied in the record of the case in the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, by bill of exceptions, or case made, as is provided by statue. Under this state of facts, the Supreme Court of this Territory held that there was nothing before the court for their determination. The record was regular. This point was also argued in the case before the Supreme Court of Kansas, but the Court waived consideration of that point, and denied the writ upon the ground that a failure to grant a change of venue under circumstances of this kind, did not deprive the court of jurisdiction. It was an error probably which could be corrected by an appellate court, but was not an error which could be inquired into collaterally by proceedings in habeas corpus.
An important case to the Territory is now pending in the Supreme Court of the United States, it being the case of Thomas P. Queenan, appealed from the decision of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Oklahoma, affirming the District Court of Oklahoma county. This case will probably be argued in the Supreme Court of the United States in February, 1903.
A case of some importance was taken from the Supreme Court of the Territory on error to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, sitting in St. Louis. This was the case of Amos E. Pierce vs. The Territory. It was submitted on the 2nd day of June on printed briefs, and was recently decided; the decision being an affirmation of our Supreme Court.
The record of this office with reference to the result of litigation in which the territory ha been interested is a matter of considerable gratification to me. Of the great number of cases briefed and argued, all have resulted favorably to the Territory with the exception of one. The judgement in that case upon a re-hearing, was partially modified, which compelled its being remanded to the District Court.

Submitted by: Jennifer Ammons

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Updated: Sunday, 10-Apr-2016 22:41:07 EDT

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