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UNITED STATES v. WINSTON.

decided: May 9, 1898.

UNITED STATES
v.
WINSTON.



ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.

Author: Brewer

[ 170 U.S. Page 523]

 MR. JUSTICE BREWER delivered the opinion of the court.

Is a District Attorney entitled to extra compensation for services rendered under the direction of the Attorney General in the conduct of a government case in the Court of Appeals? Section 767, Revised Statutes, provides that --

"There shall be appointed in each district, except in the middle district of Alabama and the northern district of Georgia and the western district of South Carolina, a person learned in the law to act as attorney of the United States in such district." . . .

Section 771 is --

"It shall be the duty of every district attorney to prosecute in his district all delinquents for crimes and offences cognizable under the authority of the United States, and all civil actions in which the United States are concerned, and, unless otherwise instructed by the Secretary of the Treasury, to appear in behalf of the defendants in all suits or proceedings pending in his district against collectors or other officers of the revenue for any act done by them, or for the recovery of any money exacted by or paid to such officers and by them paid into the Treasury."

[ 170 U.S. Page 524]

     These two sections define the place, character and extent of his duties. He is the District Attorney of the United States in the district. So far as locality is concerned, the boundaries of the district are the limits of duty. Within these boundaries he is to discharge all his official duties. Beyond them he is not called to go. Sections 773, 774 and 775 prescribe some details in respect to the duties enjoined by section 771, but do not add to their sccpe.

The suit in the Court of Appeals in which the plaintiff rendered services was not one then pending in his district. The sessions of that court were held in San Francisco, in the Northern District of California. But, wherever held, the Court of Appeals is not a court in or for any district. The act creating that court (26 Stat. 826, c. 517) does not create a court in or for a district, but one in and for each circuit. The relations of that court to a district are similar to those of this court. The Supreme Court is not a court in or of or for a district, but in and of and for the United States as a whole. The fact that this case was originally pending in the Circuit or District Court of the District of Washington does not make the Court of Appeals a court of that district when engaged in hearing the case on appeal. The case when it reached the Court of Appeals passed out of the courts of the district, just as fully as if appealed to this court. In other words, when a case is transferred to the court of Appeals or to this court it passes beyond the limits within which a district attorney has jurisdiction and exercises his powers.

When a case in which the Government is interested comes to this court from any lower court it falls by the terms of the statute within the special care of the Attorney General. Section 359, Rev. Stat., provides:

"Except when the Attorney General in particular cases otherwise directs, the Attorney General and Solicitor General shall conduct and argue suits and writs of error and appeals in the Supreme Court and suits in the Court of Claims in which the United States is interested, and the Attorney General may, whenever he deems it for the interest of the United States, either in person conduct and argue any case in any

[ 170 U.S. Page 525]

     court of the United States in which the United States is interested, or may direct the Solicitor General or any officer ...


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