Basset v. United States

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

76 U.S. 38

Basset  v.  United States

ERROR to the Circuit Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

The United States sued Basset and another on a recognizance of bail, to which they pleaded two pleas:1. That there was no record of any such recognizance in the court.

2. That there was no indictment, as recited in said recognizance, pending against their principal when the recognizance was entered into, because they say that he had pleaded guilty to the indictment, and judgment had passed against him, and he had been delivered to the jail of Erie County, and had entered upon the expiation of his sentence.

The United States took issue on both these pleas, and the case was submitted to the court without a jury.

1. In respect to the first plea, the production of the record of the case showed that the recognizance was taken, and remained among the rolls and records of the court; so that there seemed nothing in the plea.

2. As regarded the second, it appeared by the record that to the indictment which the prisoner was held to answer by the recognizance, he had at an earlier period of the same term pleaded guilty, and had been sentenced to imprisonment in the jail of Erie County for six months, and was sent to that prison. But a few days after, on motion of the district attorney, he was brought back on a writ of habeas corpus. When he was thus brought again into court, on motion of the district attorney, the former judgment was set aside, and the prisoner had leave to withdraw his plea of guilty formerly entered. It was after this was done that the recognizance on which this action was brought was given, conditioned for the appearance of the prisoner from day to day during the term; and on his failing to appear the second day his recognizance was declared to be forfeited. All of this took place during the same term of the court.

The court below decided that there was a record of the recognizance denied by the first plea, and that there was no such record of conviction and sentence as that set up in the second plea. On motion of defendants a new trial was granted, which was also by the court, and on this trial a statement of facts, agreed to and signed by counsel for both parties, was presented to the court, on which it rendered the same judgment that it had before. This statement of facts consisted of extracts from the records of the court, and it was upon the inspection of this record that the court decided the case.

The judgment was now brought here by Basset and the other obligors in the recognizance, and was submitted by them, without counsel, upon the record; and contra, upon a brief of Mr. Hoar, A. G., and Mr. Field, Assistant A. G.

Mr. Justice MILLER delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).