United States v. Ta-wan-ga-ca

United States v. Ta-Wan-Ga-Ca, Hempst. 304 (D. Ark. 1836)
by the U.S. District Court for the District of Arkansas

In United States v. Ta-Wan-Ga-Ca, Hempst. 304, 28 F. Cas. 18 (D. Ark. 1836) (No. 16,435), the U.S. District Court for the District of Arkansas (Benjamin Johnson, J.) dismissed an indictment for murder against Ta-Wan-Ga-Ca, of the Osage Nation, for want of jurisdiction.

United States District Court for the District of Arkansas

Hempst. 304


Court Documents
Opinion of the Court

  1. Congress specifically defined the boundaries of the State of Arkansas, and by giving the district court thereof such powers only as were conferred on the district court of Kentucky by the judicial act of 1789, necessarily ex­cluded jurisdiction beyond the boundaries of the State of Arkansas; and, therefore, a crime committed in the Indian country west of Arkansas, is not triable in the district court.
  2. A person indicted for murder in the late superior court, and not tried, can­ not be committed nor tried in the district court on that charge, the latter not being the successor of the former, and the business of the superior court not having been continued over to the district court by act of congress.
  3. The courts of the United States are of limited, though not inferior jurisdic­tion, and cannot exercise any jurisdiction which is not expressly or by necessary implication conferred by law.

November, 1836.—Indictment for murder, in the District Court, before Hon. Benjamin Johnson, district judge.

Chester Ashley, district attorney pro tem., for United States.

William Cummins and Samuel S. Hall, for the prisoner.

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).

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