Dred Scott v. Sanford – 60 U.S. 393

Case Name: Dred Scott v. Sanford
Plaintiff: Dred Scott
Defendant: Sanford
Citation: 60 U.S. 393; 15 L. Ed. 691; 1856

Issue: Whether the plaintiff was a citizen and could bring a claim against the defendant for assault.Key Facts: The plaintiff was a slave who was taken out of the slave state of Missouri to Illinois and Minnesota, both free states. When the plaintiff returned to Missouri he was sold to Sanford and brought suit against the defendant for assault. Scott claimed that he was a Missouri citizen and a free man and Sanford claimed that neither Illinois nor the Missouri Compromise could deprive him of his property interest in Scott.

Procedural History: The district court found that the defendant was not liable for assault. The trial court held that the plaintiff was a slave and was merely property and the defendant was able to treat his property as he wished.

Holding: The Supreme Court held that the plaintiff was not a citizen and could not bring an action in court.

Judgment: The Supreme Court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.