This is a petition for a writ of mandamus to direct the judges and clerk of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts to allow the petitioner access to depositions and exhibits on file in a certain case but now sealed by order of the court. The facts alleged shortly stated are as follows. The case referred to was an action by the Government against the Dwight Manufacturing Company for penalties under the Immigration Act of February 20, 1907, c. 1134. On June 22, 1914, it was compromised by the payment of $50,000 and the action was discontinued. In pursuance of a previous agreement with the Secretary of Commerce and Labor the petitioner was paid $25,000 for services rendered in the suit. He now is sued by one Pachinakis for forty-five per cent. of that sum upon an allegation of title to the amount. It is alleged that the testimony of Pachinakis in one of the depositions will show that he swore that he had `no interest or right in or expectation to those monies,' that Pachinakis was the principal violator of the law and that his present claim is an attempt to profit by his own wrong and against public policy. The petitioner also is sued by an employe of Henry C. Quinby, the attorney in both suits, upon an assigned claim of William H. Garland for $3,750, in respect of services of Garland in the former action, Garland having been a salaried Assistant United States Attorney until January, 1914, and thereafter until the end of the action special
When the former action was compromised, Judge Dodge, the respondent, made an order, "both parties consenting, that all depositions herein be sealed by the clerk and retained in the files of his office, subject to the right of either party to inspect the same, and that all exhibits be impounded with the clerk, subject to the same right of either party to inspect them." After the first presentation of the claim of Pachinakis, the petitioner's counsel made a motion in the former action for leave to inspect the above-mentioned depositions. The United States assented, although Garland, when referred to as the Assistant Attorney last in charge of the matter, advised against it. The former defendant opposed the motion and it was denied, seemingly and as was understood by the petitioner's counsel, on the ground that the petitioner was not a party to the cause. Subsequently the United States District Attorney made a motion that the order be vacated or modified so as to allow the depositions to be used, and after a denial renewed the motion with a fuller statement of grounds, suggesting a misapprehension at the former hearing. This motion also was denied and exceptions were taken that have not yet been heard by the Circuit Court of Appeals.
It appears from what we have said that there are documents present within the jurisdiction that furnish evidence material to the petitioner's case. The general principle is that he has a right to have them produced.
The only other question is whether there is any technical difficulty in the way of this court ordering what in its opinion justice requires and what otherwise the petitioner may not be able to obtain. The previous proceedings do not stand in his way. The rejection of his motion on the narrow ground that it was made in the former action and that he was not a party to it did not require to be followed up, and that of the Government, although in his interest by reason of his being particularly concerned in a general act of justice being done, does not confine him to a proceedings in which he is not master of the cause.