Judicial Proceedings Pending on Admission of New States

Judicial Proceedings Pending on Admission of New States

Whenever a territory is admitted into the Union, the cases pending in the territorial court which are of exclusive federal cognizance are transferred to the federal court having jurisdiction over the area; cases not cognizable in the federal courts are transferred to the tribunals of the new State, and those over which federal and state courts have concurrent jurisdiction may be transferred either to the state or federal courts by the party possessing the option under existing law.281 Where Congress neglected to make provision for disposition of certain pending cases in an enabling act for the admission of a State to the Union, a subsequent act supplying the omission was held valid.282 After a case, begun in a United States court of a territory, is transferred to a state court under the operation of the enabling act and the state constitution, the appellate procedure is governed by the state statutes and procedures.283

281 Baker v. Morton, 79 U.S. (12 Wall.) 150, 153 (1871).

282 Freeborn v. Smith, 69 U.S. (2 Wall.) 160 (1865).

283 John v. Paullin, 231 U.S. 583 (1913).

The new State, without the express or implied assent of Congress, cannot enact that the records of the former territorial court of appeals should become records of its own courts or provide by law for proceedings based thereon.284

284 Hunt v. Palao, 45 U.S. (4 How.) 589 (1846). Cf. Benner v. Porter, 50 U.S. (9 How.) 235, 246 (1850).

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Last modified: June 9, 2014