LEITENSDORFER V. WEBB, 61 U. S. 176 (1857)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Leitensdorfer v. Webb, 61 U.S. 20 How. 176 176 (1857)

Leitensdorfer v. Webb

61 U.S. (20 How.) 176


When New Mexico was conquered by the United States, it was only the allegiance of the people that was changed; their relation to each other, and their rights of property, remained undisturbed.

The executive authority of the United States properly established a provisional government, which ordained laws and instituted a judicial system, all of which continued in force after the termination of the war and until modified by the direct legislation of Congress or by the territorial government established by its authority.

A suit brought in a court established by the provisional government was properly transferred to a court created by the act of Congress establishing the Territory of New Mexico, the jurisdiction of which was fixed by a territorial statute.

The laws of the provisional government authorized an attachment against the property of a debtor in cases in which a party claiming to be a creditor, upon a petition and affidavit, charged that his debtor had fraudulently disposed of his property so as to hinder, delay, or defraud his creditors. By the same law, an issue was directed to be tried upon the petition and affidavit of the plaintiff, upon which issue, if the finding sustained the petition and affidavit, the plaintiff was authorized to proceed to the proof of his debt; if the finding was against the charge in the petition, the attachment was to be dismissed. These proceedings with reference to the attachment are in their nature proceedings in abatement, and are not final as to the rights of the parties, and therefore cannot be reviewed upon writ of error in this Court.

The facts of the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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