Ex parte Madrazzo

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Ex parte Madrazzo
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Decided February 28, 1833
Full case name Ex parte Juan Madrazzo
Citations 32 U.S. 627 (more)
8 L. Ed. 808; 1833 U.S. LEXIS 366
Prior history Original
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Marshall

Ex parte Madrazzo, 32 U.S. 627 (1833), was a United States Supreme Court case involving the suit of Juan Madrazo, a citizen of the Kingdom of Spain, against the state of Georgia.


This was Juan Madrazo's second encounter with the United States court system. Madrazo’s ship Isabelita was originally captured by a ship flying under the flag of Amelia, a colony in revolt from the Kingdom of Spain that had received no international recognition and was mainly run by Americans.

A court in the said country deemed the capture of the Isabelita and her cargo of slaves legal booty and sold them to William Bowen. Bowen later transported the slaves to the Creek nation where they were captured in the state of Georgia. After their capture Governor John Clark of Georgia ordered some of them to be sold while the others remained in his possession. After a round of suits in the district court of Georgia, Madrazo filed a suit in the circuit court on appeal. It was argued whether the district court had jurisdiction of the case. The circuit court ruled that it had jurisdiction and restored the slaves to Madrazo. Georgia appealed to the Supreme Court on the basis that the case was not a case of admiralty, but instead a case against the state, giving Madrazo no grounds for a case because of the 11th Amendment. Marshall wrote in his opinion of Governor of Georgia v. Madrazo, 26 US (1 Pet.) 110 (1828), that Madrazo’s claim against the Governor of Georgia was against a state because the Governor was acting in his official office of Governor and he did not have basis because of the 11th Amendment which forbids cases of law or equity against a state. He did leave a loophole that the 11th Amendment of the Constitution leaves out cases of admiralty for sovereign immunity of states and that they are of original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.


The case was dismissed, the court found that the property was not in the jurisdiction of a court of admiralty or in the possession of a private person, the governor not being a private person, but in possession of the state of Georgia and therefore Madrazo’s case was a suit of law or equity and could not stand.

See also

External links