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CIVIL GOVERNMENT IN ALASKA-1900
[FIFTY-SIXTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION) An Act making further provision for a civil government for Alaska, and for
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of Imerica in ('ongress assembleil,
Sec. 1. That the territory ceded to the United States by Russia by the treaty of March thirtieth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and known as Alaska, shall constitute a civil and judicial district, the government of which shall be organized and administered as hereinafter provided. The temporary seat of government of said district is hereby established at Juneau: Provided, That the seat of government shall remain at Sitka until suitable grounds and buildings thereon shall be obtained by purchase or otherwise at Juneau.
Sec. 2. There shall be appointed for the district a governor, who shall reside therein during his term of office and be charged with the interests of the United States Government within the district. To the end aforesaid he shall have authority to see that the laws enacted for the district are enforced and to require the faithful discharge of their duties by the officials appointed to administer the same. He may also grant reprieves for offenses committed against the laws of the district or of the United States until the decision of the President thereon shall be made known. He shall be ex officio commander in chief of the militia of the district, and shall have power to call out the same when necessary to the due execution of the laws and to preserve the peace, and to cause all able-bodied citizens of the United States in the district to enroll and serve as such when the public exigency demands; and he shall perform generally in and over said district such acts as pertain to the office of governor of a Territory, so far as the same may be made or become applicable thereto.
He shall, subject to the direction and approval of the Secretary of the Interior, advertise for and receive bids and, in behalf of the United States, contract from year to year with the responsible asylum or sanitarium west of the main range of the Rocky Mountains submitting the lowest bid for the care and custody of persons legally adjudged insane in said district of Alaska; the cost of advertising for bids, executing the contract, and caring for the insane to be paid, until otherwise provided by law, by the Secretary of the Treasury, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, on accounts and vouchers duly approved by the governor and the Secretary of the Interior.
The governor shall from time to time inquire into the operations of any person, company, association, or corporation authorized by the United States, by contract or otherwise, to kill seal or other fur-bearing animals in the district, and any and all violations by such person, company, association, or corporation of the agreement with the United States under which the operations are being conducted, and shall annually report to Congress the result of such inquiries.
He shall make an annual report, on the first day of October in each year, to the President of the United States, of his official acts and doings, and of the condition of the district, with reference to its resources, industries, population, and the administration of the civil government thereof. And the President of the United States shall have power to review and to confirm or annul any reprieves granted or other acts done by him.
The governor may appoint and commission one or more notaries public for the district, and appointments of notaries public heretofore made by him are hereby legalized, and all acts performed by them by virtue of their notarial commissions shall be for all purposes as valid as though the governor had at the time full and complete legal authority to appoint and commission them.
Sec. 3. The surveyor-general of the district shall be ex officio secretary thereof, and as such shall be custodian of the district seal, which shall be provided by the Attorney-General. The surveyor-general, as ex officio secretary of the district, shall perform the official duties required by law to be performed by the secretary of a Territory of the United States, in so far as applicable to said district, and such other duties as may be required by law.
Sec. 4. There is hereby established a district court for the district, which shall be a court of general jurisdiction in civil, criminal, equity, and admiralty causes; and three district judges shall be appointed for the district, who shall, during their terms of office, reside in the divisions of the district to which they may be respectively assigned by the President.
The court shall consist of three divisions. The judge designated to preside over division numbered one shall, during his term of office, reside at Juneau, and shall hold at least four terms of court in the district each year, two at Juneau and two at Skagway, and the judge shall, as near January first as practicable, designate the time of holding the terms during the current year.
The judge designated to preside over division numbered two shall reside at Saint Michaels during his term of office, and shall hold at least one term of court each year at Saint Michaels, in the district, beginning the third Monday in June.
The judge designated to preside over division numbered three shall reside at Eagle City during his term of office, and shall hold at least one term of court each year at Eagle City, in the district, beginning on the first Monday in July: Provided, The Attorney-General may for cause change the place of residence of the judge of either division of the court.
Each of the judges is authorized and directed to hold such special terms of court as may be necessary for the public welfare or for the dispatch of the business of the court, at such times and places in the district as they or any of them, respectively, may deem expedient or as the Attorney-General may direct; and each shall have authority to employ interpreters and to make allowances for the necessary expenses of his court, and to employ an official court stenographer under the same terms and conditions as are, or may be, provided for district courts of the United States. At least thirty days' notice shall be given by the judge or the clerk of the time and place of holding special terms of the court.
Sec. 5. The jurisdiction of each division of the court shall extend over the district of Alaska, but the court in which the action is pending may, on motion, change the place of trial in any action, civil or criminal, from one place to another place in the same division or to a designated place in another division in either of the following cases :
First. When there is reason to believe that an impartial trial can not be had therein;
Second. When the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change;
Third. When from any cause the judge is disqualified from acting; but in such event, if the judge of another division will appear and try the action, no change of place of trial must be made;
Fourth. By the court, on its own motion, when, considering available means of travel, it appears that the defendant will be put to unnecessary expense and inconvenience if summoned to defend in the place or division in which the action has been commenced; and when it appears to the satisfaction of the court, or judge thereof, that an action has been commenced in a place or division remote from the residence of the defendant for the purpose of causing unnecessary expense or inconvenience, the place of trial shall be changed at the cost of the plaintiff, and such costs shall not be recovered from the defendant.
In any criminal prosecution the court shall change the place of trial where it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant will not be prejudiced thereby and that the United States will be put to unnecessary expense in such criminal prosecution if the transfer is not made.
Sec. 6. The respective judges of the court shall appoint, and at pleasure remove, clerks and commissioners in and for the district, who shall have the jurisdiction conferred by law in any part thereof, but who shall, during their terms of office, each reside at the place in the district designated in the respective orders of appointment.
The commissioners shall be ex officio justices of the peace, recorders, and probate judges, and shall perform all the duties and exercise all the powers, civil and criminal, imposed or conferred on the United States commissioners by the general laws of the United States and the special laws applicable to the district.
They shall also have power to grant writs of habeas corpus for the purpose of inquiring into the cause of restraint of liberty, which writs shall be made returnable before a district judge, and like proceedings shall be had thereon as if the same had been granted by the judge under the general laws of the United States in such cases. The commissioners shall also have the powers of notaries public, and shall keep a memorandum of all deeds and other instruments of writing acknowledged before them and relating to the title to or transfer of property within the district, which memorandum shall be subject to public inspection. And all records of instruments of writing hitherto made by any United States commissioner in the district of Alaska are hereby declared to be public records of such district and shall have the same force and effect as if recorded in conformity with the provisions of this Act.
The commissioners shall also keep a record of all fines and forfeitures received by them, and shall pay over the same quarterly to the clerk of the division of the district court in which they were appointed.
Sec. 7. Three clerks shall be appointed for the court, one of whom shall be assigned to each division thereof, and during his term of office reside at the place designated for the residence of the judge of such division. Each clerk shall, in his division of the district, perform the duties required or authorized by law to be performed by clerks of United States courts in other districts, and such other duties as may be prescribed by the laws of the United States relating to the district of Alaska. He shall preserve copies of all laws applicable to the district and shall preserve all records and record all proceedings and official acts of his division of the court. He shall also receive all moneys collected from licenses, fines, forfeitures, or in any other case, except from violations of the customs laws, and shall apply the same to the incidental expenses of the proper division of the district court and the allowance thereof as directed by the judge, and shall account for the same in detail and for any balances on account thereof quarterly to and under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury. He shall be ex officio recorder of instruments, as hereinafter provided, and also register of wills for the district, and shall establish secure offices where terms of his division of the court are held for the safekeeping of his official records.
SEC. 8. Three district attorneys shall be appointed for the district, to be assigned to the divisions thereof, who shall reside during their respective terms of office at the place designated as the residence of the judge of the division of the court to which each of the district attorneys shall be assigned. They shall each perform the duties required to be performed by United States district attorneys in other districts, and such other duties as may be required by law.
Each district attorney may, subject to the approval of the AttorneyGeneral, appoint and at pleasure remove one or more assistant district attorneys, who shall receive such compensation as the Attorney-General may fix, to be paid as other assistant United States district attorneys are paid. In case of the death or disability of a district attorney the judge may appoint a suitable person to fill the office until his successor is appointed and qualified or until the disability is removed.
Sec. 9. A marshal shall be appointed for each division of the district, and each marshal shall have authority and be required to appoint, subject to the approval of the Attorney-General, such deputy marshals as he may deem necessary for the efficient execution of the law and the orders of the court and of the commissioners appointed as herein provided.
That when in the opinion of the Attorney-General the public interest requires it, he may, on the recommendation of the marshal, which recommendation shall state the facts as distinguished from conclusions, showing necessity for the same, allow the marshals to employ necessary office deputies and clerical assistance, upon salaries to be fixed by the Attorney-General, from time to time, and paid as other officers of the court are paid. When any of such office deputies is engaged in the service or attempted service of any writ, process, subpæna, or other order of the court, or when necessarily absent from the place of his regular employment upon official business, he shall be allowed his actual traveling expenses only, and his necessary and actual expenses for lodging and subsistence, not to exceed four dollars per day, and the necessary actual expenses in transporting prisoners, including necessary guard hire; and he shall make and render accounts thereof as provided for.
Each marshal shall have the general authority and powers and be subject to the obligations of United States marshals in the States and Territories. He shall be the executive officer of the court, and charged with the execution of all processes thereof and with the transportation and custody of prisoners and insane persons, and he shall be ex officio keeper of the jails and penitentiaries of the division of the district to which he may be assigned, and shall be responsible on his official bond for the acts of all deputy marshals appointed by him. In case of the death of a marshal the district judge shall appoint a suitable person to fill the vacancy until his successor is appointed and qualified. The persons so appointed shall give such bonds as the court may require.
The marshal shall deliver persons duly adjudged insane in the district to the authorities of such asylum or sanitarium as the governor, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, may designate, and for the service of process in connection with and the guarding and transportation of the insane he shall be compensated as in the case of prisoners.
The deputy marshals shall be ex officio constables and executive officers of the commissioners herein provided for, and shall have the powers and discharge the duties of United States deputy marshals, and also those of constables, under the laws of the United States applicable to said district.
Sec. 10. The governor, surveyor-general, attorneys, judges, and the marshals provided for in this Act shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall hold their respective offices for the term of four years or until their successors are appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President for cause.
The officers so appointed shall severally be entitled to receive annual compensation as follows:
The governor, the sum of five thousand dollars; the surveyor-general and ex officio secretary of the district, as full compensation, four thousand dollars; the judges, each the sum of five thousand dollars; each marshal, the sum of four thousand dollars; the clerks, each the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars; the district attorneys, each three thousand dollars, the salaries payable from the Treasury of the United States, as like officers are paid in other districts.
Each clerk shall collect all money arising from the fees of his office or on any other account authorized by law to be paid to or collected by him, and shall report the same and the disposition thereof in detail, under oath, quarterly, or more frequently if required, to the court, the Attorney-General, and the Secretary of the Treasury, and all public money received by him and his deputies for fees or on any other account shall be paid out by the clerk on the order of the court, duly made and signed by the judge, and any balance remaining in his hands after all payments ordered by the court shall have been made