Introduction to State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus

Document Transcript

State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 4 April 1843
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 5 April 1843
 
Historical Introduction
On 5 April 1843, JS presided over a hearing in the , Illinois, municipal court for Jonathan and Lewis Hoopes, who had been charged with . The charges grew out of a conflict between the Hoopeses and Elizabeth Ann Driggs on 1 April. After the conflict, Driggs swore out an affidavit before alderman and Nauvoo justice of the peace , claiming that the father and son had “Seriously frighten[ed]” her “in a riotous and Tumultuous Manner” by bringing a horse into her home, thus “forcibly” removing her from the premises. Wells issued an arrest warrant to Constable on 3 April, and Parker arrested the two men the next day on a charge of riot.
On 4 April 1843, Jonathan and Lewis Hoopes petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of . In their petition, the men made three arguments challenging their arrest: first, that their actions did not amount to as defined by law; second, that the warrant was “insufficient in Law” to keep them in custody; and third, that the “Warrant was obtained through private pigue [pique], malicious intent, falshood, and misrepesentation.” The specific rationales for their first two arguments are unclear. However, the third argument was almost a direct quotation from a Nauvoo ordinance governing habeas corpus, which authorized the municipal court to investigate the circumstances behind the issuance of the arrest warrant. In response to their petition, , the clerk of the municipal court, issued a writ of habeas corpus and notified the members of the court to assemble the next morning to hear the case.
The municipal court assembled on 5 April with JS presiding as chief justice. , who as a justice of the peace had issued the warrant, sat as an associate justice in the proceedings. After hearing five of the eight witnesses, including Driggs, the court—going beyond what was understood at common law to be permissible in cases—ruled that the Hoopeses were “acquitted of the charges” and ordered “that they be released & dis[c]harged” from custody. The court also ordered that Driggs’s husband, Samuel, pay the costs of the hearing. Subsequent efforts by the court to collect the costs 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

    Warrant, 3 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus].  

  2. 2

    Petition, 4 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus]. For more on habeas corpus, see “Nauvoo Municipal Court and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.”  

  3. 3

    Petition, 4 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus].  

  4. 4

    The second claim may have been a reference to how Elizabeth Ann Driggs, a domestic dependent, had filed the complaint before Wells in her own name, rather than allowing her husband, Samuel, to do so on her behalf. Typically, justices of the peace approached injuries against dependents as breaches of the peace, meaning society as a whole, rather than allowing the injured dependent to pursue a specific criminal charge. (Edwards, People and Their Peace, 106.)  

    Edwards, Laura F. The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-revolutionary South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

  5. 5

    According to the ordinance, if the court found that the warrant or process had been obtained “through private pique, malicious intent, religious or other persecution, falsehood, or misrepresentation” the petitioner was to be “released & discharged.” (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 8 Aug. 1842, 98–99.)  

  6. 6

    Habeas Corpus, 4 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus]; Docket Entry, 4–ca. 26 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus].  

  7. 7

    Docket Entry, 4–ca. 26 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus].  

  8. 8

    In habeas corpus proceedings, courts had the authority to remand prisoners, set their bail, or discharge them from custody but not to determine guilt or innocence. (Tucker, Blackstone’s Commentaries, 1:291–292; Kent, Commentaries on American Law, 2:25; “Nauvoo Municipal Court and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.”)  

    Tucker, St. George. Blackstone's Commentaries: With Notes of Reference, to the Constitution and Laws, of the Federal Government of the United States; and of the Commonwealth of Virginia. 5 vols. Philadelphia: William Young Birch and Abraham Small, 1803.

    Kent, James. Commentaries on American Law. Vol. 2. New York: O. Halsted, 1827.

  9. 9

    Docket Entry, 4–ca. 26 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus].  

  10. 10

    Docket Entry, 4–ca. 26 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. J. Hoopes and L. Hoopes on Habeas Corpus]. In February 1845, as one of the last official acts of the city officers after the Nauvoo charter had been repealed the prior month, 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. (Daniel Spencer, Order of City Treasury, to William Clayton, 10 Feb. 1845, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

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