Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1
An Act to Vest More Effectually in the State Courts and in the District Courts of the United States Jurisdiction in the Cases Therein Mentioned3 Stat. 244 1815
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the respective state or county courts within or next adjoining a collection district established by any act of Congress now in being, or hereafter to be passed for the collection of any direct tax or internal duties of the United States, shall be, and are hereby authorized to take cognisance of all complaints, suits and prosecutions for taxes, duties, fines, penalties and forfeitures arising and payable under any of the acts passed or to be passed as aforesaid, or where bonds are given under the said acts; and the district attorneys of the United States are hereby authorized and directed to appoint by warrant an attorney as their substitute or deputy in all cases where necessary to sue or prosecute for the United States, in any of the said state or county courts within the sphere of whose jurisdiction the said district attorneys do not themselves reside or practise; and the said substitute or deputy shall be sworn or affirmed to the faithful execution of his duty.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the jurisdiction conferred by the foregoing section shall be considered as attaching in the cases therein specified without regard to the amount or sum in controversy, and that it shall be concurrent with the jurisdiction of the district courts of the United States; but may nevertheless be exercised in cases where the fine, penalty, or forfeiture may have been incurred, or the cause of action or complaint have arisen, at a less as well as a greater distance than fifty miles from the nearest place by law established for the holding of a district court of the United States. But in all suits or prosecutions instituted by or on behalf of the United States in any state or county court, the process, proceedings, judgment and execution therein shall not be delayed, suspended or in any way barred or defeated by reason of any law of any state authorizing or directing a stay or suspension of process, proceedings, judgment or execution: Provided, That final decrees and judgments in civil actions, passed or rendered in any state court by virtue hereof, may be re-examined in the circuit court of the United States, in the same manner and under the same limitations as are prescribed by the twenty-second section of the act to establish the judicial courts of the United States, passed the twenty-fourth of September, seventeen hundred and eighty-nine.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the state or county courts aforesaid, and the principal or presiding judge of any such court, shall be, and are hereby authorized to exercise all and every power in cases cognisable before them by virtue of this act for the purpose of obtaining a mitigation, or remission of any fine, penalty, or forfeiture, which may be exercised by the judges of the district courts of the United States in cases brought before them by virtue of the law of the United States, passed on the third of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, entitled "An act to provide for mitigating or remitting the forfeitures, penalties and disabilities accruing in certain cases therein mentioned," and in the exercise of the authority by this section given to the said state or county courts, or the principal or presiding judge as aforesaid, they shall be governed in every respect by the provisions of the law last mentioned, with this difference only, that instead of notifying the district attorneys of the United States, the said courts, or the presiding judges aforesaid, shall, before exercising said authorities, cause reasonable notice to be given to the substitute or deputy, who may have been appointed to sue or prosecute for the United States, as aforesaid, that he may have an opportunity of showing cause against the mitigation or remission of such fine, penalty or forfeiture.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the district court of the United States shall have cognisance concurrent with the courts and magistrates of the several states, and the circuit courts of the United States, of all suits at common [Volume 4, Page 301] law, where the United States, or any officer thereof, under the authority of any act of Congress, shall sue, although the debt, claim, or other matter in dispute, shall not amount to one hundred dollars.
Approved, March 3, 1815.
The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1, Document 61
The University of Chicago Press