STEVENS V. FULLER, 136 U. S. 468 (1890)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Stevens v. Fuller, 136 U.S. 468 (1890)

Stevens v. Fuller

No. 1817

Submitted May 5, 1890

Decided May 19, 1890

136 U.S. 468


On a body execution issued against a debtor on a judgment in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Massachusetts, his arrest was authorized on the ground that he had property not exempt which he did not intend to apply to pay the judgment claim. Notice having been given to the creditor that the debtor desired to take the oath for the relief of poor debtors, his examination was begun before a United States commissioner. Pending this, charges of fraud were filed against him in having fraudulently disposed of property with a design to secure the same to his own use and to defraud his creditors. His examination as a poor debtor was suspended, and a hearing was had on the charges of fraud. After the testimony thereon was closed, the commissioner refused to resume the poor debtor examination, and then sustained the charges of fraud and sentenced the debtor to be imprisoned for six months. His examination as a poor debtor was not read to him and corrected, and he did not sign or swear to it, and the commissioner refused to administer to him the oath for the relief of poor debtors. He was then taken into custody under the execution and lodged in jail. On a hearing on a writ of habeas corpus, the circuit court discharged such writ and remanded him to the custody of the marshal. On an appeal to this Court, held that the order must be affirmed.

As the commissioner had jurisdiction of the subject matter and of the person of the debtor, any errors or irregularities in the proceedings could not be reviewed by the circuit court on habeas corpus, or by this Court on the appeal.

Habeas corpus. The case is stated in the opinion.


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