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

Document Transcript

State of Illinois v. Greene, A. Lytle, and J. Lytle on
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 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.

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Introduction to City of Nauvoo v. Easton.  

  2. 2

    Docket Entry, 2–ca. 3 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 1 Mar. 1841, 13.  

  3. 3

    Docket Entry, 1 Apr. 1844 [City of Nauvoo v. C. L. Higbee–B]; Complaint, 1 Apr. 1844 [City of Nauvoo v. C. L. Higbee–B]; JS, Journal, 1 Apr. 1844. Willard Richards mistakenly identified the defendant in JS’s journal as Francis M. Higbee rather than Chauncey L. Higbee.  

  4. 4

    Warrant, 1 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus].  

  5. 5

    Warrant, 1 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]; Petition, 2 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]. For more on habeas corpus, see “Nauvoo Municipal Court and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.”  

  6. 6

    Habeas Corpus, 2 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]; Summons, 2 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]; Subpoena, 3 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus].  

  7. 7

    Docket Entry, 2–ca. 3 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]; Complaint, 1 Apr. 1844 [City of Nauvoo v. C. L. Higbee–B]; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 1 Mar. and 13 Nov. 1841, 13, 31.  

  8. 8

    Docket Entry, 2–ca. 3 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]; JS, Journal, 3 Apr. 1844. The municipal court’s ruling alluded to language in a habeas corpus ordinance passed by the Nauvoo City Council on 8 August 1842 which stated that “if upon investigation it shall be proven before the Municipal Court, that the Writ or Process has been issued, either through private pique, malicious intent, religious or other persecution, falsehood, or misrepresentation,” then the warrant would be “quashed” and the prisoner discharged. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 8 Aug. 1842, 98–99.)  

  9. 9

    Docket Entry, 2–ca. 3 Apr. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]; Execution, 7 May 1844 [State of Illinois v. Greene et al. on Habeas Corpus]. Although an execution was issued in May 1844, city marshal Greene died without serving it and the seventy-day limit on the execution expired. In February 1845, as one of the last official acts of the city officers after the Nauvoo charter had been repealed in January 1845, the mayor tallied up outstanding fees owed by the city—apparently including the unpaid costs from this case—and authorized payment out of the city treasury. (An Act Concerning Justices of the Peace and Constables [3 Feb. 1827], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois [1839], p. 408, sec. 27; Daniel Spencer, Order of City Treasury, to William Clayton, 10 Feb. 1845, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

    The Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois: Containing All the Laws . . . Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835; and at Their Second Session, Commencing December 7, 1835, and Ending January 18, 1836; and Those Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at Their Session Commencing December 5, 1836, and Ending March 6, 1837; and at Their Special Session, Commencing July 10, and Ending July 22, 1837. . . . Compiled by Jonathan Young Scammon. Chicago: Stephen F. Gale, 1839.

    Nauvoo, IL, Records, 1841–1845. CHL.