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Introduction to State of Illinois v. Colton on Habeas Corpus

State of Illinois v. Colton on Habeas Corpus
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 10 April 1844
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 13 April 1844
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 25 May 1844
 
Historical Introduction
On 13 April 1844, JS presided over a hearing in the , Illinois, municipal court for Andrew Colton. Three days earlier, Colton and A. D. Rhodes had testified against Andrew J. Higbee in a trial before , Illinois, justice of the peace . Following the trial, Higbee filed a complaint before Foster charging Colton and Rhodes with . Foster initiated proceedings against the two men, but Colton requested a change of venue. Accordingly, Foster transferred the case to , another Hancock County justice of the peace who was also Andrew Higbee’s uncle. Colton motioned for a dismissal of the charge, but Higbee denied the motion, and Colton was “forced into trial.” Colton then asked for another change of venue. Presumably because Colton had already submitted a motion to the court, Higbee denied his request and proceeded with a preliminary hearing. Higbee held that there was probable cause to believe that Colton had committed perjury and ordered him to enter into a $200 , binding him to appear at the next session of the Hancock County Circuit Court for trial. When Colton refused to pay bail, Higbee issued a mittimus ordering him to be committed to the county jail at , Illinois.
On 12 April 1844, while in the custody of Constable , Colton petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of . In the petition, Colton claimed that he did not know “by what authority” he was being “deprived of his Liberty,” that had been biased, and that the proceedings were “instituted through malice private pique & corruption & a desire to injure his reputation & not for the purpose of promoting the Ends of Justice.” Colton also requested that the municipal court investigate his innocence.
, clerk of the municipal court, issued a writ of and subpoenaed witnesses to appear at a hearing before the court the next day. The court assembled on 13 April with JS presiding. A question was evidently raised concerning the municipal court’s authority to review detentions in “cases arising under the [state] statutes” on habeas corpus. JS asked the lawyers present for their opinion on the issue, and city attorney replied that the court had jurisdiction. After hearing testimony from , who recounted how he had transferred the case to , who in turn denied Colton a second change of venue, the court discharged Colton from arrest for unclear reasons. The docket entry, recorded by Richards, suggests that the court discharged Colton due to Higbee’s refusal to grant a change of venue. However, JS’s journal, also kept by Richards, indicates that Colton “was discharged on the insuffici[e]ncy of the papers.” Because Andrew J. Higbee was the original complainant, the municipal court ordered him to pay the costs of the hearing, which amounted to $15.03¾. The court’s efforts to collect the costs from Higbee were unsuccessful.
In May 1844, Colton’s case came before the Circuit Court, suggesting that the circuit court was either unaware of or ignored the proceedings before the municipal court. Based on entries in the circuit court docket book, it appears that Colton may have eventually signed a to appear at the next session of the court despite his earlier refusal. However, when his case came up, the grand jury did not indict Colton and instead ordered that he be discharged from the recognizance.
 
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. Colton on Habeas Corpus
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 10 April 1844
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 13 April 1844
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 25 May 1844
 
Historical Introduction
On 13 April 1844, JS presided over a hearing in the , Illinois, municipal court for Andrew Colton. Three days earlier, Colton and A. D. Rhodes had testified against Andrew J. Higbee in a trial before , Illinois, justice of the peace . Following the trial, Higbee filed a complaint before Foster charging Colton and Rhodes with . Foster initiated proceedings against the two men, but Colton requested a change of venue. Accordingly, Foster transferred the case to , another Hancock County justice of the peace who was also Andrew Higbee’s uncle. Colton motioned for a dismissal of the charge, but Higbee denied the motion, and Colton was “forced into trial.” Colton then asked for another change of venue. Presumably because Colton had already submitted a motion to the court, Higbee denied his request and proceeded with a preliminary hearing. Higbee held that there was probable cause to believe that Colton had committed perjury and ordered him to enter into a $200 , binding him to appear at the next session of the Hancock County Circuit Court for trial. When Colton refused to pay bail, Higbee issued a mittimus ordering him to be committed to the county jail at , Illinois.
On 12 April 1844, while in the custody of Constable , Colton petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of . In the petition, Colton claimed that he did not know “by what authority” he was being “deprived of his Liberty,” that had been biased, and that the proceedings were “instituted through malice private pique & corruption & a desire to injure his reputation & not for the purpose of promoting the Ends of Justice.” Colton also requested that the municipal court investigate his innocence.
, clerk of the municipal court, issued a writ of and subpoenaed witnesses to appear at a hearing before the court the next day. The court assembled on 13 April with JS presiding. A question was evidently raised concerning the municipal court’s authority to review detentions in “cases arising under the [state] statutes” on habeas corpus. JS asked the lawyers present for their opinion on the issue, and city attorney replied that the court had jurisdiction. After hearing testimony from , who recounted how he had transferred the case to , who in turn denied Colton a second change of venue, the court discharged Colton from arrest for unclear reasons. The docket entry, recorded by Richards, suggests that the court discharged Colton due to Higbee’s refusal to grant a change of venue. However, JS’s journal, also kept by Richards, indicates that Colton “was discharged on the insuffici[e]ncy of the papers.” Because Andrew J. Higbee was the original complainant, the municipal court ordered him to pay the costs of the hearing, which amounted to $15.03¾. The court’s efforts to collect the costs from Higbee were unsuccessful.
In May 1844, Colton’s case came before the Circuit Court, suggesting that the circuit court was either unaware of or ignored the proceedings before the municipal court. Based on entries in the circuit court docket book, it appears that Colton may have eventually signed a to appear at the next session of the court despite his earlier refusal. However, when his case came up, the grand jury did not indict Colton and instead ordered that he be discharged from the recognizance.
 
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)
      10 April 1844

      Andrew J. Higbee, Complaint, before Robert D. Foster, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 10 Apr. 1844. Not extant.
      • Ca. 11 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Robert D. Foster; signature presumably of Andrew J. Higbee; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster.
      10 April 1844

      Robert D. Foster, Warrant, to Hancock Co. Sheriffs, Coroners, and Constables, for Andrew Colton and A. D. Rhodes, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 10 Apr. 1844. Not extant.
      • Ca. 11 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Robert D. Foster; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster with signature of Joel Miles; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster.
 
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court
  • 1844 (3)
    • April (3)
      10 April 1844

      Andrew J. Higbee, Complaint, Copy, before Robert D. Foster, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 11 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Robert D. Foster; signature presumably of Andrew J. Higbee; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster.
      10 April 1844

      Robert D. Foster, Warrant, Copy, to Hancock Co. Sheriffs, Coroners, and Constables, for Andrew Colton and A. D. Rhodes, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 11 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Robert D. Foster; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster with signature of Joel Miles; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster.
      11 April 1844

      Isaac Higbee, Mittimus, to Hancock Co. Jailer, for Andrew Colton, Hancock Co., IL

 
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court
  • 1844 (9)
    • April (8)
      10 April 1844

      Andrew J. Higbee, Complaint, Copy, before Robert D. Foster, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 11 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Robert D. Foster; signature presumably of Andrew J. Higbee; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster.
      10 April 1844

      Robert D. Foster, Warrant, Copy, to Hancock Co. Sheriffs, Coroners, and Constables, for Andrew Colton and A. D. Rhodes, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 11 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Robert D. Foster; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster with signature of Joel Miles; notation in handwriting of Robert D. Foster.
      11 April 1844

      Isaac Higbee, Mittimus, Copy, to Hancock Co. Jailer, for Andrew Colton, Hancock Co., IL

      12 April 1844

      Andrew Colton, Petition, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, to Nauvoo Municipal Court

      • 12 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; signature of Andrew Colton.
      12 April 1844

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

      • 12 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; notation in handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington; docket and notations in handwriting of Willard Richards.
      • Ca. 12 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington; docket and notation in handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington.
      12 April 1844

      Willard Richards, Subpoena, for Andrew J. Higbee and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 12 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; signature of Willard Richards; docket and notation in handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington.
      12–ca. 13 April 1844

      Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 12–ca. 13 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 94; handwriting of Willard Richards; notation in handwriting of Willard Richards; notation in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.
      13 April 1844

      Minutes, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 13 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; docket and notation in handwriting of William W. Phelps.
    • June (1)
      4 June 1844

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

      • 4 June 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 Willard Richards; notation in handwriting of Jonathan C. Wright.
  • 1845 (1)
 
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court
  • 1844 (1)
    • May (1)
      25 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Discharge, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 25 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [135], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.