Duties Of Clerks

At each regular session of any court of the United States, the clerk presents to the court an account of all moneys remaining therein or subject to its order, stating in detail in what causes they are deposited, and in what causes payments have been made.

In the absence or disability of the judges the clerks administer oaths to all persons who identify papers in admiralty causes.

The Attorney-General exercises general supervisory powers over the accounts of clerks and other officers of United States courts.

Judges of district courts, in cases of absence or sickness, hold terms of court for each other, with the same powers and effects as if held in their own district.

United States Circuit Courts

The judicial districts of the United States are divided into nine circuits. The Chief Justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are allotted among these circuits by an order of that court. For each circuit there is also appointed a circuit judge, who has the same power and jurisdiction as the justice of the Supreme Court allotted to the circuit.

Circuit courts are usually held in each judicial district of the United States, (see District Courts), and are presided over by the circuit justice of the United States Supreme Court, or by the circuit judge, or by the district judge of the district sitting alone, or by any two of said judges sitting together.

It is the duty of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and of each justice of that court, to attend at least one term of the circuit court in each district of the circuit to which he is allotted during every period of two years. Cases may be heard and tried by each of the judges holding a circuit court sitting apart, by direction of the presiding justice or judge, who designates the business to be done by each.

Circuit courts may be held at the same time in the different districts of the same circuit. Special terms are arranged in certain circuits of the United States. The law also regulates the circum-stances under which district judges may sit in circuits, in cases of error or appeal from their own decisions; when suits may be transferred from one circuit to another; when causes may be certified back to the courts from which they came, and under what circumstances circuit justices may hold courts of other circuits at the request of another circuit justice, or when no justice has been allotted to a circuit, after a vacancy occurs.

The circuit judge of each circuit, except in cases otherwise provided for by law, appoints a clerk for each circuit court. The court also, at the request of the circuit clerks, appoints deputy clerks, and both clerks and deputies are governed by the regulations concerning district clerks and their deputies.

District Attorneys

In nearly every district where United States circuit and district courts are established throughout the nation, the President appoints a person learned in the law to act as attorney for the United States in such district, who holds his position for four years, and is sworn to the faithful execution of his office.

It is the duty of each district attorney to prosecute, in his district, all delinquents for crimes and offenses cognizable under the authority of the United States, and all civil actions in which the United States are concerned, and, unless otherwise instructed by the Secretary of the Treasury. to appear in behalf of the defendants, in all suits or proceedings pending in his district against collectors or other officers of the revenue, for any act done by them or for the recovery of money exacted by or paid to such officers, and by them paid into the Treasury. On instituting any suit for the recovery of any fine, penalty or forfeiture, he is required to imme-diately transmit a statement of the case to the Solicitor of the Treasury. Also, immediately after the close of every term of the circuit and district courts for his district, he forwards to the Solicitor of the Treasury (except in certain cases, as provided by law) a full and particular statement, accompanied by the certificates of the clerks of the respective courts, of all causes pending in said courts, and of all causes decided therein during the term in which the United States are party.

Marshals And Their Duties

A marshal is appointed in nearly every district, by the President, and holds hie office for four years.

It is the duty of the marshal of each district to attend the district and circuit courts when in session, and to execute throughout the district all lawful precepts directed to him and issued under the authority of the United States; and he has power to command all necessary assistance in the execution of his duty.

The marshals and their deputies have, in each State, the same powers as sheriffs and their deputies, in executing the laws of the United States.

If a marshal dies, his deputies continue to perform their official duties, and are held responsible for their acts under the bond of the deceased marshal, the same as if he were still alive.

Marshals and their deputies whose term of office expires, or who are removed, have legal power to execute all processes remaining in their hands.

Within a month before the commencement of each term of the circuit and district courts in his district, every marshal is required to make returns to the Solicitor of the Treasury of the proceedings had upon all writs of execution or other processes in his hands for the collection of moneys adjudged and decreed to the United States, respectively, by such courts. And every marshal to whom any execution upon a judgment in any suit for moneys due on account of the Post-Offiee Department has been directed, is required to make returns to the sixth auditor, whenever he directs, of the proceedings which have taken place upon such process of execution.

When Vacancies Occur