THIS was a motion for a mandamus to be directed to the judges of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Minnesota, commanding them to vacate and set aside an order of the court, passed at January term, 1856, whereby the said Secombe was removed from his office as an attorney and counsellor of that court. The subject was brought before this court by the following petition and documents in support of it:
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wherefore, your petitioner prays that this honorable court will allow and cause to be issued the United States writ of mandamus to the judges of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Minnesota aforesaid, commanding them to vacate, set aside, and disregard, the said order of court by them made and entered, that thereby speedy justice may be done to your petitioner in this behalf; and thus will your petitioner, as in duty bound, ever pray.
To the Hon. the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States:
The petition of David A. Secombe respectfully showeth:
That he resides in the city of St. Anthony, in the Territory of Minnesota; that on the ninth day of July, 1852, he was July admitted and sworn to practice as an attorney and counseller at law and solicitor in chancery of the said Supreme Court of the Territory of Minnesota, and was thereby entitled also to practice as such in the various District Courts of said Territory, as will appear by the certificate of the clerk of the said Supreme Court, hereunto annexed and made part of this petition; that from the said time up to the 5th day of February, 1856, he was a practising attorney and counsellor as aforesaid in the said courts, and solely thereby obtained the means of support for himself and his family; that on the said 5th day of February, an order of the said Supreme Court was made, and entered of record, to remove him from his said office of attorney and counsellor, and to forbid and prohibit him from practising as such attorney and counsellor in any of the said courts, an exemplification of which said order, with the certificate of the clerk of the said court accompanying the same, is hereunto annexed, and made part of this petition; that, previously to the making and entry of said order, no notice or information whatever was given to or had by him, that any accusation whatever had been made or entertained, or any proceedings had or were about to be made, entertained, or had, against or in relation to him, in the said premises; that he was not present in court at the time of the making and entry of said order, not did he have any knowledge whatever of the same until several days thereafter, and then only by rumor; that there existed no good cause whatever, as your petitioner believes, for the making of the said order; that he has no knowledge or information, or means of obtaining either, save by rumor, of the alleged cause of the making of the said order; that in consequence of the making and entry of the said order, he has been and now is hindered and prevented from practising as such attorney and counsellor in any of the said courts, and thereby has lost the said means of providing for the support of himself and his family; that he believes that the said order of court is not only in fact entirely without cause, but also in law wholly null and void; and that in the said premises 'he has been deprived of his liberty and property without due process of law.'
Dated May 30, 1856DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
County of Washington, ss:
Then comes before me, personally, David A. Secombe, the above and foregoing named petitioner, and being by me duly sworn, deposes and says, that the statements made in the above and foregoing petition, by him subscribed, are true of his own knowledge, except to those matters therein stated on his information or belief; and as to those matters, that he believes them to be true.
Ordered, That Isaac Van Etten, Theodore Parker, De Witt C. Cooley, David A. Secombe, William H. Welch, Charles L. Willis, Lucas R. Stannard, Edward L. Hall, Warren Bristol, and William H. Wood, be sworn and admitted to practice as attorneys and counsellors at law and solicitors in chancery of this court.
I, George W. Prescott, clerk of the Supreme Court above named, certify that the above is a true copy of an order of said court, entered of record upon the 'minutes of court' for and upon the 9th day of July, A. D. 1852, being the 4th day of the general term of said court for said year.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Supreme Court, at St. Paul aforesaid, this 7th day of May, A. D. 1856.