Capital Traction Co. v. Hof

In Capital Traction Co. v. Hof, 174 U.S. 1, 13 (1899), decided in 1899, the subject was much considered, and, following a careful review of the prior decisions, it was said by Mr. Justice Gray, who spoke for the court: "It must therefore be taken as established, by virtue of the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution, that either party to an action at law (as distinguished from suits in equity or in admiralty) in a court of the United States, where the value in controversy exceeds twenty dollars, has the right to a trial by jury; that, when a trial by jury has been had in an action at law, in a court either of the United States or of a State, the facts there tried and decided cannot be reexamined in any court of the United States, otherwise than according to the rules of the common law of England; that by the rules of that law, no other mode of reexamination is allowed than upon a new trial, either granted by the court in which the first trial was had or to which the record was returnable, or ordered by an appellate court for error in law; and therefore that, unless a new trial has been granted in one of those two ways, facts once tried by a jury cannot be tried anew, by a jury or otherwise, in any court of the United States."