U.S. Supreme Court
In the Matter of Metzger, 46 U.S. 5 How. 176 176 (1847)
In the Matter of Metzger
46 U.S. (5 How.) 176
The treaty with France made in 1843 provides for the mutual surrender of fugitives from justice, in certain cases.
Where a district judge, at his chambers, decided that there was sufficient cause for the surrender of a person claimed by the French government and committed him to custody to await the order of the President of the United States, this Court has no jurisdiction to issue a habeas corpus for the purpose of reviewing that decision.
Mr. Coxe moved for a habeas corpus, according to the following petition, which he read, and also the decision of the judge below.
"To the Honorable, the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States:"
"The petition of Nicholas Lucien Metzger respectfully sheweth:"
"That he is restrained from his liberty, and is now a prisoner in jail, and under the custody of the Marshal of the Southern District for the State of New York, and that he has been committed to such jail and custody, and is now confined and detained therein, under and by virtue of a warrant and order of the Hon. Samuel R. Betts, district judge for the Southern District of New York, as an alleged fugitive from justice, pursuant to the provisions of the convention signed between the United States and the French government, on 9 November, 1843."
"That annexed hereto is a copy of the order, under and by virtue of which your petitioner has been apprehended and committed, and is now detained in custody."
"Wherefore your petitioner prays that a writ of habeas corpus may issue from this Honorable Court, to be directed to the Marshal of the Southern District of the State of New York, or to such other persons as may hold or detain your petitioner under and by virtue of said order, commanding him or them to have the body of your petitioner before this Honorable Court, at such time as in said writ may be specified, for the purpose of inquiring into the cause of commitment of your petitioner, and to do and abide such order as this Honorable Court may make in the premises."
"And your petitioner will ever pray &c."
"Sworn to before me this 20 January, 1847."
"GEORGE W. MORTON"
"United States commissioner for the Southern"
"District of New York"
"In the Matter of Nicholas Lucien Metzger:"
"This case having been heard before me on requisition through the diplomatic agents of the French government that the said Metzger be apprehended and committed for the purpose of being delivered up as a fugitive from justice pursuant to the provisions of the convention signed between the United States and the French government on 9 November, 1843, "
"And exceptions having been taken by the counsel of the said Metzger in his behalf to the competency of a judge of the United States to take cognizance of the subject matter, and to the sufficiency of the evidence to justify any judicial action under the treaty, "
"And these exceptional objections being fully argued before me by Messrs. Blunt and Hoffman, of counsel for Metzger, and by Messrs. Tillon and Cutting in support of the requisition, and by Mr. Butler, United States Attorney, on the part of the United States (in respect to the jurisdiction of the judge, and the period the treaty went into operation), "
"I find and adjudge that a judge of the United States has competent authority, under the laws of the United States now in force, to take cognizance of this case, and to order the apprehension and commitment of the accused, pursuant to the provisions of the said treaty."
"I further adjudge that the said treaty took effect and went into operation on and from the day of the signature thereof."
"I further adjudge that the laws of France are to determine the constituents of the crime of forgery, or 'du faux,' of which Metzger is accused, and that the facts in evidence adequately prove the commission of that crime by him in France, since the date of the treaty."
"I further find and adjudge, that Metzger is, within the meaning and description of the treaty, a person accused, 'individual accused,' of the crime of forgery, or 'du faux,' named in the treaty, and therefore subject to apprehension and commitment under our laws, pursuant to the provisions of the treaty."
"And I find and adjudge, that the evidence produced against the said Metzger is sufficient in law to justify his apprehension and commitment on the charge of forgery, had the crime been committed within the United States."
"Wherefore I order that the said Nicholas Lucien Metzger be apprehended and committed, pursuant to the provisions of the said treaty, to abide the order of the President of the United States in the premises. "
"Given under my hand and seal at the City of New York, this nineteenth day of January, one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven."
"[Signed] SAMUEL R. BETTS"
"Judge of the United States for the Southern"
"District of New York"