YORDI v. NOLTE(1909)
[215 U.S. 227, 228] Pablo Yordi, being detained in custody by the United States marshal of the western district of Texas, obtained from the district court for that district a writ of habeas corpus to secure his release. He was charged in the republic of Mexico with the crime of 'fraud and forgery of documents,' and a warrant for his arrest was duly issued by the criminal judge of the city of Guadalajara. He avoided arrest in Mexico and fled to El Paso, Texas, where he was detained in prison, under an order of the United States commissioner, awaiting the issue by the proper authorities of an order for his extradition.
At the hearing on the habeas corpus, it was stipulated that the crimes in the complaint made before the United States commissioner were extraditable offenses under the existing treaty between the United States and Mexico; that at the time of the hearing before the commissioner the complaint in the case, made by A. V. Lomeli, consul of Mexico, was solely upon information and belief; that he had no actual or personal knowledge of the commission of any offense, but, at the time of making the complaint, the said Mexican consul had before him the record and depositions of the witnesses of the republic of Meixico in the proceedings before the criminal judge of Guadalajara.
There were three complaints made against Yordi. The first, made by the assistant United States attorney, was dismissed. The second and third were made by the Mexican consul.
Upon the hearing under the first complaint the record and evidence contained in the proceedings in Mexico were introduced in evidence before the commissioner, as they were also on the hearing on the second complaint. The commissioner found that there was probable cause to believe Yordi guilty of the offense of uttering a forged instrument in the state of Jalisco, United States of Mexico, on or about the 26th day of May, 1908, and that there was also probable cause to believe Yordi had committed the offense [215 U.S. 227, 229] of obtaining money by means of false device in the Mexican state mentioned. The commissioner therefore ordered Yordi to be held for extradition to the republic of Mexico on the charges alleged in the third and fourth counts of the complaint, and that he be committed to the county jail of El Paso county, Texas, to await the action of the proper authorities in the city of Washington, upon demand for his extradition to the Republic of Mexico.
The case was heard before Maxey, District Judge, who discharged the writ of habeas corpus, and required the marshal to hold the petitioner in custody until a warrant of extradition was duly issued. From this final order this appeal was taken. Judge Maxey's opinion is reported in 166 Fed. 921.
Mr. Walter Davis for appellant.
Assistant Attorney General Russell for appellee.
Statement by Mr. Chief Justice Fuller:
Mr. Chief Justice Fuller delivered the opinion of the court:
The contention of appellant's counsel is that, although the Mexican consul had possession of the record from Mexico and the depositions of the witnesses therein contained, which embodied the proceedings had before the judge at Guadalajara, Mexico, including the testimony of witnesses, which appeared to the judge amply sufficient to justify an order for the apprehension of the accused, nevertheless there was still necessary, in order for the commissioner to take jurisdiction to hear the application, that either the record from Mexico should be attached to the complaint, or that the complaint should disclose upon its face the sources of the consul's information. This record from Mexico was not only before the Mexican consul when he made the complaint against Yordi, now under consideration, but the commissioner was [215 U.S. 227, 230] thoroughly familiar with it, as it had been introduced in evidence before him upon the hearing of the first complaint.
Judge Maxey was of opinion that, as depositions from a foreign country were admissible in evidence upon the hearing before the commissioner, they were also to be admitted for the purpose of vesting jurisdiction in the commissioner to issue the warrant; and as, in this case, the depositions were in themselves sufficient to satisfy the commissioner that the prosecution against the accused was based upon real grounds, and not upon mere suspicion of guilt, it was not indispensable to the jurisdiction of the commissioner that the record and depositions from Mexico should be actually fastened to the complaint when they were in the custody and keeping of the consul, and the commissioner was already in possession of the information which they contained. We concur in these views.
The general doctrine in respect of extradition complaints is well stated by Judge Coxe in Ex parte Sternaman, 77 Fed. 596, 597, as follows:
It was argued that this court had held otherwise, particularly in Rice v. Ames, 180 U.S. 371 , 45 L. ed. 577, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 406, where Mr. Justice Brown, delivering the opinion, declared that several counts of the complaint were obviously insufficient, 'since the charges were made solely upon information and belief, and no attempt was made even to set forth the sources of information, or the grounds of affiant's belief.' But Mr. Justice Brown further said (pp. 375, 376):
The same learned judge said in Grin v. Shine, 187 U.S. 193 , 47 L. ed. 137, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 103:
We think the evidence produced at the hearing justified the detention of the accused and corrected any irregularity in the complaint. As this court said in Nishimura Ekiu v. United States, 142 U.S. 662 , 35 L. ed. 1150, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 336:
The District Judge was right, and his final order discharging the writ of habeas corpus is appirmed.