Judicial Proceedings Pending on Admission of New States

Whenever a territory is admitted into the Union, the cases pending in the territorial court that 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.

288 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.289 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.290

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.291

Footnotes

288
Baker v. Morton, 79 U.S. (12 Wall.) 150, 153 (1871). [Back to text]
289
Freeborn v. Smith, 69 U.S. (2 Wall.) 160 (1865). [Back to text]
290
John v. Paullin, 231 U.S. 583 (1913). [Back to text]
291
Hunt v. Palao, 45 U.S. (4 How.) 589 (1846). Cf. Benner v. Porter, 50 U.S. (9 How.) 235, 246 (1850). [Back to text]