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Cecil Quaintance: Habeas Corpus proceedings (1918-1919)


Posted By: Don Wherry (email)
Date: 1/12/2014 at 17:13:33

Disclaimer: You may assume neither Marilyn Holmes nor Don Wherry has any known relationship with any of the families here involved. Please review the IAGenWeb Project's Poweshiek County website before e-mailing either.

QUAINTANCE v. LAMB, Sheriff, et al. (No. 32825)
(Supreme Court of Iowa, Jan. 20, 1919)


A preliminary information, accusing Cecil Quaintance, 16 years of age, of having committed the crime of murder, was filed June 20, 1918, with a justice of the peace of Poweshiek county, F. D. Light, who issued a warrant for his arrest. Thereupon he was arrested and brought before the justice for a preliminary hearing and waived it. The justice ordered that he be held without bail to answer any indictment which might be returned by the grand jury against him, and also that E. D. Lamb, sheriff of said county, detain him in jail to await the action of the grand jury. Two days later, the sheriff removed the accused from the jail in Poweshiek county to that of Mahaska county, where he was detained without authority, other than recited, until August 24, 1918, when said sheriff returned him to the Poweshiek county jail and he was there detained until ordered by the then chief justice to be delivered to the superintendent of the hospital for the insane at Mt. Pleasant, pending hearing and determination of this action.

August 23,1918, the father of the accused, Burt Quaintance, a citizen of Poweshiek county, filed in the office of the district court of Iowa in and for Mahaska county an information charging the accused with being insane, and reciting that he was confined in the jail of Mahaska county, charged with the crime of murder, but neither convicted nor indicted. The commissioners of insanity thereupon issued their warrant, ordering him to be brought before them for trial, and he was arrested and taken before that body, and, upon trial as to whether insane, he was by said commissioners adjudged insane and a fit subject for detention and treatment at the state hospital for insane at Mt. Pleasant, and an order issued for his commitment to such institution for detention and treatment. This order was placed in the hands of E. D. Lamb, sheriff, for service. Instead of obeying said order, he removed the accused from the jail of Mahaska county to that of Poweshiek county, where he detained him. Shortly afterwards, the accused by his next friend filed a petition, praying for an injunction, in which the facts heretofore recited were alleged and the alleged purpose of the judge and county attorney to put him on trial and a stay of proceedings was prayed, and that the accused be conveyed to the hospital for insane for detention and treatment pursuant to the order of commissioners of insanity. On hearing, the petition was dismissed.

On September 10th, following, the court caused the accused to be brought into court for arraignment, to which he, through his attorney, objected on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to proceed with the trial, for the accused was legally in the custody of the superintendent of the hospital for insane at Mt. Pleasant; that he was not subject to the jurisdiction of the court for trial. This objection was overruled, and defendant was arraigned and entered a plea of "not guilty."

At the November term following, and on the second day thereof, November 19,1918, over objections heretofore mentioned, the court set the cause down for trial to begin November 25, 1918, at 1:30 o'clock p. m., directed that the trial proceed to judgement unless otherwise ordered. In the meantime, November 22d, the accused applied to this court for a writ of habeas corpus, and a writ was issued by the then chief justice returnable to the court with the time fixed for hearing and submission."

[There follows another nearly page-and-a-half of legal gobble-de-gook to this entry, of scant genealogical interest; Cecil Quaintance appears eventually to have been remanded to the "hospital for insane" at Mt. Pleasant.]

- pp. 398-400, The Northwestern Reporter, Volume 170

pp. 398-400, The Northwestern Reporter, Volume 170

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