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Livingston v. Jefferson

United States Circuit Court for the District of Virginia
15 F.Cas. 660 No. 8411 (1811)


Facts

As president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson (defendant), a citizen of the State of Virginia, broke and entered into Edward Livingston’s (plaintiff) dwelling-house in the City of New Orleans. Jefferson took various tools from the dwelling-house, and used them to dig, raise, and carry away the soil of a parcel of Livingston’s land for his own use. As a result, the parcel of land was destroyed. Livingston brought this action against Jefferson for trespass in the United States Circuit Court for the District of Virginia. Jefferson challenged the jurisdiction of the court because the dwelling-house and parcel of land that he allegedly trespassed were not within the Virginia district. Livingston maintained that the court had jurisdiction because Jefferson was a citizen of the State of Virginia.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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