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Hackler, or "that any law on that subject, the decree of sale. Plaintiffs in error, rehad been enacted." That the clerk of the court was allowed $1 for each of the deeds made in pursuance of the sale, and allowed the fees set out in the decree, and all said sums were taxed as costs and paid out of the proceeds of sale. That plaintiff in error made the tenders to Hunter and Hackler, respectively, as stated in "their answer and motion filed herein on the 25th day of September, 1899, and in the manner and at the time stated and that the said C. W. Hunter and A. Hackler, respectively, refused to receive such tenders, and severally refused to state the amounts that they claimed they were entitled to receive in order to redeem the said tracts of land respectively."
It was also agreed that the record of the suit, including all orders, returns of officers, minutes of proceedings, etc., should be read in evidence, subject only to objections for irrelevancy and incompetency.
The decree of the court, after reciting the submission of the case and upon what submitted, concluded as follows: "The court orders that all the relief as prayed for in the said answer, motion, petition, and original complaint of the said A. B. Ballard and Josephine W. Ballard be and the same is hereby denied and refused, and that the said answer, motion, petition, and original complaint be and the same is hereby dismissed." The supreme court of the state affirmed the decree.
The errors assigned are that the supreme court erred in not decreeing that (1) The lands of plaintiffs in error were not properly described in the complaint. (2) and (3) In not decreeing that the sale was unlawfully made, for the reason that the lands of plaintiffs in error were sold as a whole and for taxes on the whole west one half of section 32, when plaintiffs in error did not own or claim the N. 2 of the N. W. 14 of that section. (4) The decree was void because the lands were sold for sums not legally chargeable thereon. (5) That the acts of 1893 and 1895 required a notice to be given to the owners of the lands proceeded against in the suit they provided for, and no such notice was given, and the sales were therefore unauthorized and void. (6) The notice provided for by the act, assuming notice was given, was insufficient. It was not such a notice of the pendency of the suit as the act or the general law required to be given to the owners of lands resident in the state of Arkansas and Crittenden county, where the lands were located, and to persons owning lands there similarly circumstanced and subject to the same taxation, or persons having tenants on such lands. All such persons were entitled by said act and had personal service for at least twenty days before the rendition of
spectively citizens of Georgia and Florida, were allowed and given constructive service, if any were given, only by publication in a newspaper, published in Crittenden county, and only weekly for four weeks, the first notice being, and required to be, only four weeks before the rendition of the decree. Plaintiffs in error had no personal or other notice of the suit, and did not appear therein. They were denied thereby the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States and of Arkansas, and denied the equal protection of the laws within the state of Arkansas, and deprived of their property without due process of law, in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and the decree of sale and sales thereunder are void. (8) In not decreeing that the sales of the land of the plaintiffs in error were void and passed no title, because in the suit the laws of the state were violated in that (a) the complaint was deficient; (b) that there was no sufficient affidavit made and filed to support a warning order or order for notice to plaintiffs in error; (c) there was no sufficient proof of publication of warning order or notice filed or produced in court when decree of sale was made; (d) the decree of sale did not state, and the record did not show, the facts essential to the validity of the decree of sale as against plaintiff's in error or other lands. Thereby the plaintiffs in error, in violation of the Constitution of the United States, have been denied the benefit of such laws in this suit. (9) The decree of sale was rendered in violation of the laws of Arkansas requiring proof of evidence to support the allegations of the plaintiff as against plaintiffs in error, persons before the court only by a constructive service of process. And the decree was pronounced as based on an alleged order or decree pro confesso entered in the suit, not authorized by law, and so was rendered without due process of law, in violation of the Constitution of the United States.
Messrs. William M. Randolph, George Randolph, and Wassell Randolph for plaintiffs in error.
Mr. L. P. Berry for defendants in error.
Mr. Justice McKenna, after stating the case as above, delivered the opinion of the court:
The assignments of error present the contention that plaintiffs in error have been deprived of their property without due process of law. One of them urges, in addition, the clauses of the 14th Amendment, which prohibit a state from making or enforcing any law which will abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United
In Davidson v. New Orleans, 96 U. S. 97, 24 L. ed. 616, a proposition was laid down which has since been quoted many times. The court said, at pages 104 and 105, L. ed. on pages 619 and 620: "That whenever, by the laws of a state or by state authority, a tax, assessment, servitude, or other burden is imposed upon property for the public use, whether it be for the whole state or of some more limited portion of the com
of confirming or contesting the charge thus imposed, in the ordinary courts of justice, with such notice to the person or such proceeding in regard to the property as is appropriate to the nature of the case, the judgment in such proceedings cannot be said to deprive the owner of his property without due process of law, however obnoxious it may be to other objections." And Mr. Justice Bradley, in a concurring opinion, said, on pages 107 and 108, L. ed. on pages 620 and 621, "that, in judging what is 'due process of law,' respect must be had to the
States, and from depriving any person with- | 160 U. S. 389, 40 L. ed. 467, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep.. in her jurisdiction of the equal protection 344. of the laws. Plaintiffs in error invoke those provisions against the statutes of Arkansas, because of the different manner and time of service of summons of the suit authorized by said statutes to enforce the payment of the levee taxes. It is contended that, by requiring personal service of summons upon resident owners or occupants of lands for at least twenty days before the rendition of the decree of sale, and providing for constructive service by publication upon nonres-munity, and those laws provide for a modeident owners of only four weeks, a discrimination is made between owners of lands, and that nonresident owners are thereby denied the rights secured to them by the Constitution of the United States. We have no doubt of the power of the state to so discriminate, nor do we think extended discussion is necessary. Personal service upon nonresidents is not always within the state's power. Its process is limited by its boundaries. Constructive service is at times a necessary resource. The land stands accountable to the demands of the state, and the owners are charged with the laws affect-cause and object of the taking, whether uning it and the manner by which those de- der the taxing power, the power of eminent mands may be enforced. Huling v. Kaw domain, or the power of assessment for local Valley R. & Improv. Co. 130 U. S. 559, 32 L. improvements, or none of these; and, if ed. 1045, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 603. This account- found to be suitable or admissible in the ability of the land and the knowledge the special case, it will be adjudged to be 'due owners must be presumed to have had of the process of law;' but if found to be arbilaws affecting it is an answer to the conten- trary, oppressive, and unjust, it may be detion of the insufficiency of the service. Cer-clared to be not 'due process of law.' Such tainly it was not so insufficient that it can be said that a difference in the time allowed for such service was not the equivalent of that allowed to resident owners. Mixed with the contention is a charge that the notice to nonresidents did not comply with the act of 1893 or the general law of the state, but this is decided against plaintiffs in error by the supreme court of the state, and we accept its ruling.
an examination may be made without interfering with that large discretion which every legislative power has of making wide modifications in the forms of procedure in each case, according as the laws, habits, customs, and preferences of the people of the particular state may require." See also Marchant v. Pennsylvania R. Co. 153 U. S. 380, 38 L. ed. 751, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 894, and Holden v. Hardy, 169 U. S. 366, 42 L. ed. 780, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 383.
In Castillo v. McConnico, 168 U. S. 674, 42
In passing upon the other contentions of plaintiffs in error we are brought to the consideration of what is due process of law. L. ed. 622, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 229, prior deciA precise definition has never been attempt-plied to a law assessing taxes. The case insions defining due process of law were aped. It does not always mean proceedings involved the validity of a title derived from a court. Den ex dem. Murray v. Hoboken Land tax sale made to enforce delinquent state & Improv. Co. 18 How. 272, 15 L. ed. 372; taxes. The title thus acquired was assailed McMillen v. Anderson, 95 U. S. 37, 24 L. ed. on the ground that the assessment upon 335. Its fundamental requirement is an op- which is was based was void because the portunity for a hearing and defense, but no property was not assessed in the name of itsfixed procedure is demanded. The process owner. The state law made the deed given or proceedings may be adapted to the na- in pursuance of the sale prima facie eviture of the case. Dent v. West Virginia, 129 dence of the fact that the property was U. S. 114, 32 L. ed. 623, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 231; subject to taxation and the fact that the Lent v. Tillson, 140 U. S. 316, 35 L. ed. 419, taxes had not been paid, and conclusive evi11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 825; Hagar v. Reclamation dence that the property had been assessed, Dist. No. 108, 111 U. S. 701, 28 L. ed. 569, the taxes levied, and the property advertised 4 Sup. Ct. Rep. 663; Iowa R. C. Co. v. Iowa, according to law; also that the property was.
This point was made in the complaint attacking the decree and sale, but was not passed on by the supreme court. Presum
adjudicated and sold, as stated in the deed, [ it appears that the lands assessed and those and all the prerequisites of the law were decreed to be sold in section 32, T. 4 N., R. complied with, from the assessment up to 7 E., were the W. 1⁄2 and S. E. 14, 480 acres, and including the execution and registry of W. 1⁄2 of N. E. 4, 80 acres. Plaintiffs in erthe deed. The state court sustained the ror, however, allege that they owned only sale. This court, in passing upon the con- the S. W. 4 and the S. % of the N. W. tention that the assessment and sale consti- 14, and contend that the two tracts owned tuted a taking of property without due proc- by them made up 240 acres, and the two ess of law, went behind the presumptions tracts sold by the commissioner and concreated by the deed, considered the alleged veyed to Hunter, embracing such 240 acres, defects in the assessment and the advertise- made 480 acres. Thus, is is urged, the lands ment, and decided that a notice of thirty plaintiffs in error owned were sold to pay days by publication was due process of law. the levee taxes on land they did not own, The court also decided that, although the and their lands were thereby taken without statutes under which the assessment was due process of law. made provided for the placing of the name of the owner on the assessment roll, where such name was known, they also provided that the property assessed should be de-ably the court regarded the point as precludscribed in the assessment roll; and, therefore, that the notice required by the statute was not addressed to each person assessed, but to all persons having property subject to taxation. It was held that the statute afforded both constructive and actual notice. "It cannot be doubted," it was said at page 681, L. ed. at page 625, Sup. Ct. Rep. at page 232, “that, in the exercise of its taxing power, the state of Louisiana could have directed that the property subject to its taxing authority should be assessed without any reference whatever to the name of the owner; that is to say, by any such description and method as would have been legally adequate to convey either actual or constructive notice to the owner. As said in Witherspoon v. Duncan, 4 Wall. 217, 18 L. ed. 342: 'It is not the province of this court to interfere with the policy of the revenue laws of the state, nor with the interpretation given to them by their courts. Arkansas has the right to determine the manner of levying and collecting taxes, and can declare that the particular tract of land shall be chargeable with the taxes, no matter who is the owner or in whose name it is assessed and advertised, and that an erroneous assessment does not vitiate a sale for taxes."" See also Turpin v. Lemon, 187 U. S. 51, 47 L. ed. 70, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 20, and Leigh v. Green, 193 U. S. 79, 48 L. ed. 623, 24 Sup. Ct. Rep.
In view of these principles let us examine the contentions of the plaintiffs in error.
First. They charge that there is an incorrect description of the lands owned by plaintiffs in error in the original complaint and decree, in that they did not own all the lands described or sold. In the original transcript of the record there were apparently discrepancies between the lands assessed and those described in the decree. These discrepancies have been corrected by the return to a certiorari granted for that purpose, and
ed by the original decree, and not a ground upon which the decree could be attacked, and this is our view. What lands were properly assessed to Ballard and what lands he owned were facts to be alleged in the original suit and established by the proof there introduced or by admission through the default of the owners of the lands. If there was error it cannot be a ground of setting aside the decree if the court had acquired jurisdiction to render the decree. Error or irregularities in the suit do not take from it or its decree the attribute of due process. Central Land Co. v. Laidley, 159 U. S. 103, 40 L. ed. 91, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 80; Iowa C. R. Co. v. Iowa, supra. It is only this aspect of the suit and decree with which we are concerned. No defense, therefore, which could have been made or rights which could have been taken care of in the suit can now be set up to impugn its decree.
The statutes of the state under which the taxes were levied virtually make the land a party to the suit to collect the taxes. It is from the lands alone, and not from their owner, that the taxes are to be satisfied, and each acre bears its part. The burden or taxation could have been easily and definitely assigned by the court. Mistakes in ascribing the ownership of the lands did not increase the taxation, or cast that which should have been paid by one tract of land upon another tract. In Doyle v. Martin, 55 Ark. 37, 17 S. W. 346, it was held that it is no valid objection to a tax proceeding against land owned by one person that it was described, not separately, but as a portion of a larger tract owned by a different person. See also Minneapolis R. Terminal Co. v. Minnesota Debenture Co. 81 Minn. 66, 83 N. W. 485.
Second. The fourth error assigned is that the lands were sold for sums not legally chargeable thereon. The illegal charges alleged are fees to the commissioner for fur
and the discussion answers as well for the other assignments of error without specially enumerating them. The ultimate ground of all of them is that the proceedings were conducted without the notice to plaintiffs in error required by the demands of due process of law. In discussing the contention of plaintiffs in error, that they had been denied the equal protection of the laws by the different manner of service upon resident and nonresident owners of land, and the diferent times for appearance after service, we declared that it was competent for the state to make the distinction, and that the notice and time were adequate to give the plaintiffs in error the equal protection of the laws. They were also adequate to afford due process of law. And we will pass to the consid
nishing the printer with a list of lands sold, fees to the commissioner for reporting the sale, and to the printer for publishing notice of sale. The comment we have made above applies to this assignment of error. The act under which the suit was brought provided that notice to those interested in the delinquent lands proceeded against should specify, among other things, that a final judgment would be entered, "directing the sale of lands for the purpose of collecting said delinquent levee taxes, together with the payment of interest, penalty, and costs allowed by law." It was for the court to determine, therefore, what costs were allowed by law, and an erroneous judgment of what the law allowed did not deprive the defendants in the suit of their property without due process of law. The supreme eration of the other objections. The most court, in passing on this objection, said: "A decree of a court of competent jurisdiction is not subject to a collateral attack because lands were sold thereunder for illegal penalties and costs. Kelley v. Laconia Levee District, 74 Ark. 202, 85 S. W. 249, 87 S. W. 638; Johnson v. Hunter, 127 Fed. 219." [74 Ark. 181, 85 S. W. 251.] And this decision is an answer to the other decisions of Arkansas cited by plaintiffs in error, to the effect that a sale for taxes, in excess of the amount due, or embracing costs not legally due, is void. And the case at bar is also distinguishable from the cases cited from this court.‡
Third. The fifth assignment of error is based on the contention that the supreme court of the state erred in not deciding that plaintiffs in error were not given the notice required by the statutes of the state. This assignment of error is elaborately argued by counsel, but the distinction is not clearly made between the construction of the statutes and their effect as construed. What the statute required was for the supreme court to determine; whether, as determined, it constituted due process, is for us to decide. The case at bar does not come within Huntington v. Attrill, 146 U. S. 657, 36 L. ed. 1123, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 224, or Scott v. McNeal, 154 U. S. 34, 38 L. ed. 896, 14 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1108, or the cases where the statute of a state was assailed as impairing the obligation of a contract. We come, then, to what was done in the suit which decreed the sale,
French v. Edwards, 13 Wall. 514, 20 L. ed. 704; Den ex dem. Walker v. Turner, 9 Wheat. 541, 6 L. ed. 155; Moore v. Brown, 11 How. 411, 13 L. ed. 751; Woods v. Freeman, 1 Wall. 398, 17 L. ed. 543; McClung v.
Ross, 5 Wheat. 116, 3 L. ed. 46; Thatcher v.
Powell, 6 Wheat. 119, 5 L. ed. 221; Gage v.
| important are the following: That there was no sufficient affidavit made and filed to support a warning order or order for notice to plaintiffs in error, and there was no proof of such order or notice filed or produced in court when the decree was rendered. Replying to these objections, the supreme court said:
"3. The act provides that notice by publication shall be given to the defendants in suits instituted for the collections of levee taxes, who are nonresidents of the county where the suits are brought. The plaintiff in the complaint in the proceedings attacked in this suit stated who of the defendants therein were nonresidents of the county in which the proceedings were pending; and such complaint was sworn to. This was sufficient to authorize notice, by publication, without a separate affidavit to the same effect. It was held in Sannoner v. Jacobson, 47 Ark. 31, 14 S. W. 458, that an affidavit and complaint may be included in one instrument of writing, if it contains all the essentials of both. The complaint in the proceedings attacked contained the essentials of the affidavit and is sufficient to answer the same purpose. Johnson v. Hunter, supra.
"4. The act under which the aforesaid proceedings were instituted does not require a warning order to be entered on record, or on the complaint; and, if it had, the proceedings could not be attacked collaterally, unless such entry was made jurisdictional, as it was in Gregory v. Bartlett, 55 Ark. 30, 17 S. W. 344, and it was not in this case. Clay v. Bilby, 72 Ark. 101, 78 S. W. 749."
The court held, therefore, that, under the laws of the state, an "affidavit and complaint may be included in one instrument of writing, if it contains all the essentials of both." And it was held that the complaint in the proceedings attacked did contain those essentials. If we could dispute with the
supreme court at all upon the requirements | been levied, or knowledge of the law under of the laws of the state it would have to which the taxes had been levied.
Our attention is directed to the case of Johnson v. Hunter, decided by the circuit court of appeals for the eighth circuit, 147 Fed. 133, to establish that the verified complaint in the suit to collect the levee taxes was not sufficient to sustain the service by publication. The appellants in that case were complainants in the circuit court in a suit to quiet their title against sales under decrees made in suits prosecuted by the St. Francis levee district,-suits identical with that with which the case at bar is concerned. The court held that an affidavit, "adapted to the terms of the levee act," and placed on record in the suit, was a prerequisite to the issuance and publication of the prescribed warning order, and was strictly jurisdictional. A number of cases were cited. Considering the terms of the levee act, the court quoted the following provisions of § 11 as
be on a clearer showing of error than is made in the case at bar. The statute provides that all or any part of the delinquent lands for a county may be included in the suit instituted in such county, and there may be included in the suit known and unknown owners; "and notice of the pendency of such suit shall be given as against nonresident owners of the county and unknown owners, respectively," by publication weekly. The time of publication is specified. The complaint showed that Ballard was the owner of the lands and that he was a nonresident of the county. It was said, however, that Josephine Ballard was not made a defendant in the suit, though the records of the county showed that she was an owner thereof. But the statute provided against such an omission. It provided that the proceedings and judgment should be in the nature of proceedings in rem, and that it should be imma-amended February 15, 1893: "And provided terial that the ownership of the lands might be incorrectly alleged in the proceedings. We see no want of due process in that requirement, or what was done under it. It is manifest that any criticism of either is answered by the cases we have cited. The proceedings were appropriate to the nature of the case.
further, actual service of summons shall be
upon whom a summons can be served. If the land is so occupied the act plairly calls for such service. Banks v. St. Francis Levee District, 66 Ark. 490, 51 S. W. 830." The court assented to the view that a complaint, properly verified, containing what was required to be set forth, would be a sufficient affidavit to sustain service by publication, but observed, that "of the three concurring conditions, without the existence of which that mode of service was not permissible, the complaints alleged the existence of one, and were altogether silent in respect of the other two; that is, they stated that Johnson [the defendant] was a nonresident of the county, but did not state that he was not present. therein or that there was not an occupant upon the lands."
It should be kept in mind that the laws of a state come under the prohibition of the 14th Amendment only when they infringe fundamental rights. A law must be framed and judged of in consideration of the practical affairs of man. The law cannot give per-cupied by a tenant or other representative sonal notice of its provisions or proceedings to everyone. It charges everyone with knowledge of its provisions; of its proceedings it must, at times, adopt some form of indirect notice, and indirect notice is usually efficient notice when the proceedings affect real estate. Of what concerns or may concern their real estate men usually keep informed, and on that probability the law may frame its proceedings; indeed, must frame them, and assume the care of property to be universal, if it would give efficiency to many of its exercises. This was pointed out in Huling v. Kaw Valley R. & Improv. Co. 130 U. S. 559, 32 L. ed. 1045, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 603, where it was declared to be the "duty of the owner of real estate, who is a nonresident, to take measures that in some way he shall be represented when his property is called into requisition; and, if he fails to get notice by the ordinary publications which have been usually required in such cases, it is his misfortune, and he must abide the consequences." It makes no difference, therefore, that plaintiffs in error did not have personal notice of the suit to collect the taxes on their lands or that taxes had
Referring to the case of Memphis Land & Timber Co. v. St. Francis Levee District, 70Ark. 409, 68 S. W. 242, and the decision of the supreme court of the state in the case at bar, it was said: "In one the question actually considered was whether or not any affidavit for publication was necessary, rather than what it should contain, and in the other it was whether or not a verified