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Introduction to State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus

State of Illinois v. Greene, A. Lytle, and J. Lytle on Habeas Corpus
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 2 April 1844
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 3 April 1844
 
Historical Introduction
In early April 1844, JS presided over a hearing for , the marshal of , Illinois, and brothers and , who were Nauvoo policemen. This case grew out of a dispute between the three men and on 1 April 1844. On 30 March, a Black man known only as Chism was accused of robbing a store in Nauvoo and was whipped by a lynch mob. JS worked to prosecute some of the perpetrators. Meanwhile, Justice of the Peace also initiated legal proceedings, leading to confusion over jurisdiction. On 1 April, when Greene attempted to serve legal process from JS, he was accosted by Higbee, who allegedly used harsh language toward Constable , who was also present. Greene ordered Higbee not to use “impertinent language”; Higbee responded by verbally abusing the marshal. Greene then had the Lytle brothers arrest Higbee without legal process, apparently on the authority of a Nauvoo city ordinance that authorized city officers to make arrests without warrants. On 1 April, Nauvoo alderman convicted Higbee of using “indecent abusive & Threatening Language” toward Greene and Miles, fining him ten dollars for breaching a city ordinance.
Following his 1 April conviction, filed a complaint before , citing the lack of process and accusing and the two Lytle brothers of false imprisonment. On 2 April, Constable arrested the three men, but they immediately petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of . , clerk of the municipal court, issued the writ, summoned the members of the municipal court, and subpoenaed witnesses to appear at a hearing the next day. JS presided over the 3 April Nauvoo Municipal Court hearing on the habeas corpus writ. , the two Lytle brothers, and Greene testified concerning the circumstances of Higbee’s arrest, while Foster testified concerning Higbee’s complaint. The municipal court held that Greene and the Lytle brothers’ arrest of Higbee without process was valid under the clause in Nauvoo’s religious societies ordinance that allowed officers to arrest “violators of rule, law, and order, either with or without process.” Accordingly, the court ordered the three men to be discharged from arrest and ruled that Higbee was “a very disorderly person.” In addition, the court held that Higbee’s complaint had “originated in a malicious and vexatious suit” and ordered him to pay the costs of the habeas corpus hearing, which amounted to $19.86¼. The court’s efforts to collect the costs from Higbee were unsuccessful.
 
Calendar of Documents
This calendar lists all known documents created by or for the court, whether extant or not. It does not include versions of documents created for other purposes, though those versions may be listed in footnotes. In certain cases, especially in cases concerning unpaid debts, the originating document (promissory note, invoice, etc.) is listed here. Note that documents in the calendar are grouped with their originating court. Where a version of a document was subsequently filed with another court, that version is listed under both courts.
State of Illinois v. Greene, A. Lytle, and J. Lytle on Habeas Corpus
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 2 April 1844
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 3 April 1844
 
Historical Introduction
In early April 1844, JS presided over a hearing for , the marshal of , Illinois, and brothers and , who were Nauvoo policemen. This case grew out of a dispute between the three men and on 1 April 1844. On 30 March, a Black man known only as Chism was accused of robbing a store in Nauvoo and was whipped by a lynch mob. JS worked to prosecute some of the perpetrators. Meanwhile, Justice of the Peace also initiated legal proceedings, leading to confusion over jurisdiction. On 1 April, when Greene attempted to serve legal process from JS, he was accosted by Higbee, who allegedly used harsh language toward Constable , who was also present. Greene ordered Higbee not to use “impertinent language”; Higbee responded by verbally abusing the marshal. Greene then had the Lytle brothers arrest Higbee without legal process, apparently on the authority of a Nauvoo city ordinance that authorized city officers to make arrests without warrants. On 1 April, Nauvoo alderman convicted Higbee of using “indecent abusive & Threatening Language” toward Greene and Miles, fining him ten dollars for breaching a city ordinance.
Following his 1 April conviction, filed a complaint before , citing the lack of process and accusing and the two Lytle brothers of false imprisonment. On 2 April, Constable arrested the three men, but they immediately petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of . , clerk of the municipal court, issued the writ, summoned the members of the municipal court, and subpoenaed witnesses to appear at a hearing the next day. JS presided over the 3 April Nauvoo Municipal Court hearing on the habeas corpus writ. , the two Lytle brothers, and Greene testified concerning the circumstances of Higbee’s arrest, while Foster testified concerning Higbee’s complaint. The municipal court held that Greene and the Lytle brothers’ arrest of Higbee without process was valid under the clause in Nauvoo’s religious societies ordinance that allowed officers to arrest “violators of rule, law, and order, either with or without process.” Accordingly, the court ordered the three men to be discharged from arrest and ruled that Higbee was “a very disorderly person.” In addition, the court held that Higbee’s complaint had “originated in a malicious and vexatious suit” and ordered him to pay the costs of the habeas corpus hearing, which amounted to $19.86¼. The court’s efforts to collect the costs from Higbee were unsuccessful.
 
Calendar of Documents
This calendar lists all known documents created by or for the court, whether extant or not. It does not include versions of documents created for other purposes, though those versions may be listed in footnotes. In certain cases, especially in cases concerning unpaid debts, the originating document (promissory note, invoice, etc.) is listed here. Note that documents in the calendar are grouped with their originating court. Where a version of a document was subsequently filed with another court, that version is listed under both courts.
 
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court
  • 1844 (2)
    • April (2)
      1 April 1844

      Chauncey L. Higbee, Complaint, before Robert D. Foster, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      1 April 1844

      Robert D. Foster, Warrant, to Hancock Co. Sheriff, Coroner, or Constable, for John P. Greene and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 1 Apr. 1844. Not extant.
      • Ca. 2 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; docket and notation in handwriting of George Stiles.
 
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court
  • 1844 (7)
    • April (6)
      1 April 1844

      Robert D. Foster, Warrant, Copy, to Hancock Co. Sheriff, Coroner, or Constable, for John P. Greene and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 2 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; docket and notation in handwriting of George Stiles.
      2 April 1844

      John P. Greene and Others, Petition, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, to Nauvoo Municipal Court

      • 2 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; signatures of John P. Greene, Andrew Lytle, and John Lytle; certification in handwriting of Willard Richards; docket in handwriting of Willard Richards.
      2 April 1844

      Willard Richards, Habeas Corpus, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 2 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; docket and notations in handwriting of Willard Richards; notation in handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington.
      • 2 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; docket and notations in handwriting of George Stiles; notation in handwriting of Willard Richards; notations in handwriting of John D. Parker.
      2 April 1844

      Willard Richards, Summons, to Nauvoo City Marshal, for JS and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 2 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; docket in handwriting of Willard Richards; notations in handwriting of John P. Greene.
      2–ca. 3 April 1844

      Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 2–ca. 3 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 91–93; handwriting of Willard Richards; notation in handwriting of Willard Richards; notations in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.
      3 April 1844

      Willard Richards, Subpoena, for Chauncey L. Higbee and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 3 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; docket in handwriting of Willard Richards; notations in handwriting of John D. Parker.
    • May (1)
      7 May 1844

      Willard Richards, Execution, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 7 May 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; docket in handwriting of Willard Richards; endorsement in handwriting of John P. Greene; notation in handwriting of Jonathan C. Wright; notation in handwriting of Willard Richards.
  • 1845 (1)