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Statement of the Case.

WINONA AND ST. PETER RAILROAD COMPANY

v. PLAINVIEW.

SAME V. ELGIN.

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA.

Nos. 171, 172. Argued January 27, 28, 1892. – Decided February 29, 1892.

In this case, which was a writ of error to the Supreme Court of a State,

it was contended that that court did not give to a judgment of a Circuit Court of the United States such faith and credit as it was entitled to under the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that it disregarded the provision of the Constitution of the United States that no State shall pass any law impairing the obligation of a contract. Held, that the first contention was incorrect; that the question as to the impairment of the obligation of a contract was raised for the first time in this court, and was not accurate in fact; and that the writ of error must be dismissed.

By an act of the legislature of the State of Minnesota, approved March 5, 1877, (General Laws of Minnesota of 1877, c. 106,) it was enacted, by sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 thereof, as is printed in the margin.'

1 Sec. 4. Whenever any such railroad company, specified in the first section of this act, shall desire aid in the construction of its railroad from any county, town, city or village specified in said first section, it shall make and deliver to the county auditor of such county, the town clerk of such town or the clerk of such incorporated city or village, as the case may be, a definite proposition in writing, signed by the president and secretary of said railroad company, and sealed with its seal, which proposition shall contain a statement of the amount of bonds desired, the time when payable, and whether payable before maturity at the option of such municipality, the rate of interest which they shall bear, and such proposition shall contain a statement specifying when said bonds are to be delivered with reference to the time of the entire or partial construction of said railroad, and may contain a statement that such bonds may be deposited in escrow prior to the delivery to the railroad company; and such proposition shall contain a statement that the said railroad company will, in consideration of said bonds, at the election of such municipality, issue to the municipality from

Statement of the Case.

Purporting to proceed under sections 4 and 7 of that act, the Plainview Railroad Company, a Minnesota corporation, on the

which it is to receive the same, such number of the shares of its capital stock as will at par value of such stock correspond with the principal sum of such bonds. In case such bonds are proposed to be deposited in escrow as aforesaid, the proposition shall also state that the certiticate of the stock to be exchanged therefor shall be placed with the same depository at the same time, and in that case the proposition shall set forth the full name and residence of the trustee or trustees, who shall be the custodian of the stock of said company and of the bonds of such city, village, town or county; the auditor or clerk with whom any such proposition shall be filed shall immediately endorse thereon the date of its receipt by bim, and transcribe the same into the record book of the county, town, city or village, as the case may be, of which he is such clerk.

Sec. 5. The mode of arriving at such mutual agreement as is hereinbefore specified, shall be as follows:

First — Upon receiving such proposition, the county auditor of such county, the town clerk of such town, or the clerk of such incorporated city or village, as the case may be, shall immediately publish a notice of an election to be held by the legal voters of such county, town incorporated city or village, at the usual place or places of holding elections therein, and at such time as such clerk may designate, not less than ten (10) days or more than twenty (20) days from the date of such notices, which notice shall contain a substantial statement of the proposition made by said railroad company for the issue of the bonds of such municipality, and shall notify the legal voters thereof to deposit a ballot upon which shall be written or printed the words, “ for the railroad proposition,” or the words, “ against the railroad proposition.” And such notice shall be posted in three (3) public places in each election precinct in the district in which aid is desired, at least seven (7) days bef the day of such election, and shall also be published at least twice before such election in one newspaper in such city, village or town, if any is published therein, and if the aid is asked of a county, in one newspaper in each village and city in such county in which a newspaper is published, and if there is no newspaper published in such city, village, town or county, then such notice shall be so published in a newspaper published at the nearest place thereto in which one is published.

Fourth - If a majority of the legal voters who shall vote upon the question at any election to be held in any such county, town, city or village, in pursuance of the provisions of this act, shall, as indicated by the official returns of any such election, vote“ for the railroad proposition,” then such mutual agreement for the issue of bonds by such municipality and of stock by such railroad company, as provided in this act, shall be deemed and considered to have been arrived at and perfected, and thereupon such bonds

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Statement of the Case.

31st of January, 1878, delivered to the town clerk of the town of Plainview a proposition in writing, signed by the president

and stock shall be issued and delivered by the proper officer in conformity with the true intent of such proposition and with the provisions of this act.

And provided further, That the board of county commissioners of any such county, or the board of supervisors of any such town, or the common council of any such village or city, may, in case it shall deem it for the interest of such county, town, village or city, to do so, waive the issuance by such railroad company of any such stock to such county, town, village or city.

SEC. 6. No bonds shall be delivered to the company under such proposition until the road, branch or extension thereof for the construction of which the aid has been granted shall have been completed ready for the passage of cars continuously from one terminus through or to the district granting the aid or to the nearest point in its line to such district, or from such terminus to such point as the company in its proposition shall have proposed to construct said road where the line of the road shall not lie through the district.

*

SEC. 7. Another mode of arriving at such mutual agreement shall be as follows:

First Within three (3) months after the filing of any such proposition as is specified in the fourth (4th) section of this act with any county auditor, tdwn clerk or clerk of any city or village, as the case may be, the said railroad company shall cause notice to be given as prescribed in the fifth (5th) section of this act, in three (3) public places in each election precinct in the district in which aid is desired, stating that after a day named in said notice, which shall be at least five (5) days after its date, a petition to the proper authorities of such county, town, city or village will be presented to the resident taxpayers of such county, town, city or village for their sig. natures, asking such authorities to agree to such proposition, and such petition shall be appended to a substantial copy of such proposition.

Second - If, within four months after the filing of such proposition with any such county auditor, town clerk, or clerk of any city or village, as the case may be, the said railroad company shall deliver to such clerk a suhstantial copy or copies of such proposition, so filed, with such petition to the proper authorities of such county, town, city or village, asking such authorities to agree to such proposition appended thereto, bearing the sig. natures of a majority of the persons residing in such county, town, city or village, who were assessed for taxes upon real or personal estate, in such county, town, city or village, as the case may be, as shown by the last assessment roll of the district of which aid is desired, which signatures shall be verified by the affidavit of some person witnessing such signatures; then Statement of the Case.

and secretary of the company, containing the statements and specifications required by section 4 of the act, and stating that the amount of the bonds of the town desired by the company was $50,000. The town clerk endorsed on the proposition the date of filing, and transcribed the proposition in his records on March 30, 1878. On the 31st of January, 1878, the company posted in three public places in the town a notice that, after February 6, 1878, a petition to the supervisors of the town, appended to a copy of said proposition, would be presented to the resident taxpayers of the town, asking the supervisors to agree to the proposition. The notice and the proposition were published in a newspaper printed and published in the town.

On the 30th of March, 1878, within three months after the filing of the proposition with the town clerk, the company delivered to him four petitions, in the form required by section 7 of the act, addressed to the town board of supervisors, stating that the petitioners, being residents of the town and assessed for taxes upon real or personal estate therein, as shown by its last assessment roll, asked the supervisors, as the proper authorities of the town, to agree to the proposition of the company to which the petition was appended. The petitions bore the signatures of a majority of the persons residing in the town who were assessed for taxes on real or personal estate therein, as shown by its then latest assessment roll, and the signatures were verified by the affidavits of the persons witnessing such signatures; but the petitions were not signed by a majority of the electors or legal voters of the town. Those petitions were the only ones ever made asking the authorities of the town to agree to the proposition of the company, and they and section 7 of the act constituted the only authority had or claimed for the issue of the bonds hereinafter mentioned. No election was held in the town to author

such mutual agreement for the issue of bonds by such municipality and of stock by such railroad company shall be deemed and considered to have been arrived at and perfected, and thereupon such bonds and stock shall be issued and delivered in conformity with the true intent and meaning of such proposition, and with the provisions of this act.

Statement of the Case.

ize its supervisors to agree to the proposition or to the issue of any such bonds.

On the 30th of March, 1878, the board of supervisors of the town adopted and placed on file in the office of the town clerk resolutions which recited the proposition of the company, the posting of the notices and the presenting of the petitions, with signatures and affidavits, from which it appeared that a majority of the resident taxpayers of the town, assessed for taxes upon real or personal estate therein, as shown by its last assessment roll, had signed the petitions, and that the construction of the railroad by the company, as set forth in its proposition, would promote the general prosperity and welfare of the taxpayers of the town. The resolutions were, that the proposition of the company was accepted, so far as related to the issue of bonds; that bonds of the town to the amount of $50,000, with interest coupons attached and payable as requested in the proposition, be issued to the company as soon as it should have its railroad completed, with the cars running thereon ; and that the issue of stock to the town by the company, in consideration of the bonds, was waived.

The company constructed its railroad, had the cars running thereon, and performed what was stated in the proposition, except that it never issued to the town any stock of the company.

Before any bonds of the town were issued to the company, one George W. Harrington, a resident citizen and taxpayer of the town, brought a suit in the District Court for Wabasha County, in which county the town is situated, against the town and its officers and the railroad company, setting forth the proceedings on which the bonds were to be issued; that they were illegal; and that it was intended to issue the bonds; and praying that the town and its officers, particularly the chairman of the board of supervisors and the town clerk, might be enjoined from issuing, and the railroad company from accepting or receiving, any such bonds. The town answered the complaint, and in January, 1879, the case was tried by the District Court, which, on February 6, 1879, gave judgment for the defendants and dismissed the suit.

Har

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