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he had not demurred to the relief so sought." Even if it had not been formally pleaded, the matter is one which this court of its own motion would consider and determine. As said in Wright v. Ellison, 1 Wall. 16, 22, 17 L. ed. 555, 557:
shares were simply an interest in the very | claims the same benefit of the objection as if property held by the corporation, and the assessment of all the property of the corporation covered everything represented by the certificate." [142 Cal. 282, 64 L. R. A. 920, 100 Am. St. Rep. 135, 75 Pac. 835.] There is neither allegation nor evidence that there was any overvaluation of the plaintiff's shares of stock. The complaint is that there was a discrimination by reason of the failure to deduct from the value of the shares the entire value of the bank's tangible property, because "used and employed by it in the conduct and carrying on its business as a national banking association." And yet, in the face of the plain words of the Constitution and statutes, the clear language of the supreme court of California, and the absence of allegation or proof of actual discrimination, this court, by its opinion, strikes down the whole system of California for the taxation of shares of national banks.
But beyond and aside from the matters which I have considered, and conceding, for the purposes of the following suggestion, that the law of California providing for the taxation of shares of stock in national banks is invalid, still I insist that the decree of the court of appeals ought to be affirmed. This is an equitable suit brought in the United States court, where the distinction between law and equity is constantly enforced. Upon the theory of the opinion, the tax upon the shares of stock in the plaintiff bank was illegal. The statute of California imposing that tax was void. Now, there are two propositions which have entered into the jurisprudence of this court so thoroughly that they may be regarded as settled law: First, that equity will not interfere where there is a plain, adequate, and complete remedy at law; and, second, that injunction will not issue to restrain the collection of a tax simply on the ground of its illegality. The first is not only the rule of the court of chancery in England, but it is the command of the Federal statute. Section 723, Rev. Stat. [U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 583], reads: "Suits in equity shall not be sustained in either of the courts of the United States in any case where a plain, adequate, and complete remedy may be had at law."
This defense was pleaded by the defendant in his answer, the sixteenth paragraph of which reads as follows:
"And respondent further submits to this honorable court that complainant has a full, complete, speedy, and adequate remedy at law against respondent for all causes of action, or causes of actions, stated or attempted to be stated in complainant's bill of complaint on file in this action; and he here
"But this is a suit in equity. The rules of equity are as fixed as those of law, and this court can no more depart from the former than the latter. Unless the complainant has shown a right to relief in equity, however clear his rights at law, he can have no redress in this proceeding. In such cases the adverse party has a constitutional right to a trial by jury. The objection is one which, though not raised by the pleadings nor suggested by counsel, this court is bound to recognize and enforce."
It is unnecessary to cite the many cases in this court in which this rule has been recognized, the latest being Scottish Union & Nat. Ins. Co. v. Bowland, the opinion in which has just been filed though reference may be made to the discussion by Mr. Justice Field in Whitehead v. Shattuck, 138 U. S. 146, 34 L. ed. 873, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 276, and in Scott v. Neely, 140 U. S. 106, 35 L ed. 358, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 712, and by Mr. Justice Brown in Wehrman v. Conklin, 155 U. S. 314, 39 L. ed. 167, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 120. Now, in California there is a perfectly adequate legal remedy for cases of this nature. Section 3819 of the Political Code provides that "the owner of any property, . who may claim that the assessment is void in whole or in part, may pay the same to the tax collector under protest, which protest shall be in writing, and shall specify whether the whole assessment is claimed to be void, or, if a part only, what portion, and in either case the grounds upon which such claim is founded; and when so paid under protest the payment shall in no case be regarded as voluntary payment, and such owner may at any time within six months after such payment bring an action against the county in the superior court, to Such a remedy has, in a case of the taxation recover back the tax so paid under protest." of national bank shares, been held by this to exclude the interposition of a court of court adequate and complete, and sufficient equity. In Dows v. Chicago, 11 Wall. 108, 20 L. ed. 65, which was a bill filed by the owner of shares of the capital stock of the Union National Bank of Chicago, to restrain the collection of a tax levied by that city upon his shares, we said (p. 112, L. ed. p. 67):
"The equitable powers of the court can only be invoked by the presentation of a case of equitable cognizance. There can be no such case, at least in the Federal courts,
"The collection of taxes assessed under the authority of a state is not to be restrained by writ of injunction from a court of the United States, unless it clearly appears, not only that the tax is illegal, but that the owner of the property taxed has no adequate remedy by the ordinary processes of law, and that there are special circumstances bringing the case under some recognized head of equity jurisdiction."
where there is a plain and adequate remedy | L. ed. 354, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 90, in which the at law. And, except where the special cir- rule is thus stated (p. 37, L. ed. p. 356, Sup. cumstances which we have mentioned exist, Ct. Rep. p. 92): the party of whom an illegal tax is collected has ordinarily ample remedy, either by action against the officer making the collection or the body to whom the tax is paid. Here such remedy existed. If the tax was illegal, the plaintiff protesting against its enforcement might have had his action, after it was paid, against the officer or the city to recover back the money, or he might have prosecuted either for his damages. No irreparable injury would have followed to him from its collection. Nor would he have been compelled to resort to a multiplicity of suits to determine his rights. His entire claim might have been embraced in a single action."
And this case was reaffirmed by the unanimous opinion of this court in the late case of Pittsburgh, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Board of Public Works, 172 U. S. 32, 43 L. ed. 354, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 90, in which the quotation I have just made is also quoted. The second proposition to which I have referred has also been often decided. Out of the many decisions I refer to only two or three. Dows v. Chicago, 11 Wall. 108, 20 L. ed. 65, in which is this language (p. 109, L. ed. p. 66):
"Assuming the tax to be illegal and void, we do not think any ground is presented by the bill justifying the interposition of a court of equity to enjoin its collection. The illegality of the tax and the threatened sale of the shares for its payment constitute of themselves alone no ground for such interposition. There must be some special circumstances attending a threatened injury of this kind, distinguishing it from a common trespass, and bringing the case under some recognized head of equity jurisdiction before the preventive remedy of injunction can be invoked."
State Railroad Tax Cases (Taylor v. Secor), 92 U. S. 575, 23 L. ed. 663, in which is this (p. 614, L. ed. 673):
"We do not propose to lay down in these cases any absolute limitation of the powers of a court of equity in restraining the collection of illegal taxes; but we may say that, in addition to illegality, hardship, or irregularity, the case must be brought within some of the recognized foundations of equitable jurisdiction, and that mere errors or excess in valuation, or hardship or injustice of the law, or any grievance which can be remedied by a suit at law, either before or after payment of taxes, will not justify a court of equity to interpose by injunction to stay collection of a tax."
And in Pittsburgh, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Board of Public Works, 172 U. S. 32, 43
But it may be said that in the following cases this court has laid down an apparently different rule in respect to the taxation of national bank shares. New York v. Weaver, 100 U. S. 539, 25 L. ed. 705; Pelton v. Commercial Nat. Bank, 101 U. S. 143, 25 L. ed. 901; Cummings v. Merchants' Nat. Bank, 101 U. S. 153, 25 L. ed. 903; Hill v. National Albany Exch. Bank, 105 U. S. 319, 26 L. ed. 1052; Evansville Nat. Bank v. Britton, 105 U. S. 322, 26 L. ed. 1053; Lander v. Mercantile Nat. Bank, 186 U. S. 458, 46 L. ed. 1247, 22 Sup. Ct. Rep. 908. The first was a writ of error to the court of appeals of the state of New York, and, the mode of attack upon the law having been recognized by that court as proper, the question was not discussed here. In Cummings v. Merchants' Nat. Bank, Pelton v. Commercial Nat. Bank being decided on its authority, the right to an injunction was asserted. The case came from the circuit court of the United States for the northern district of Ohio, in which district the bank was located. was located. In delivering the opinion of the court Mr. Justice Miller said on page 157:
"But the statute of the state expressly declares that suits may be brought to enjoin the illegal levy of taxes and assessments or the collection of them. Section 5848 of the Revised Statutes of Ohio, 1880, vol. 53, Laws of Ohio, 178, §§ 1, 2. And though we have repeatedly decided in this court that the statute of a state cannot control the mode of procedure in equity cases in Federal courts, nor deprive them of their separate equity jurisdiction, we have also held that, where a statute of a state created a new right or provided a new remedy, the Federal courts will enforce that right, either on the common-law or equity side of its docket, as the nature of the new right or new remedy requires. Van Norden v. Morton, 99 U. S. 378, 25 L. ed. 453. Here there can be no doubt that the remedy by injunction against an illegal tax, expressly granted by the statute, is to be enforced, and can only be appropriately enforced on the equity side of the court.
"The statute also answers another objec
tion made to the relief sought in this suit, | any species of property, a court of equity namely, that equity will not enjoin the collection of a tax except under some of the well-known heads of equity jurisdiction, among which is not a mere overvaluation, or the illegality of the tax, or in any case where there is an adequate remedy at law. The statute of Ohio expressly provides for an injunction against the collection of a tax illegally assessed, as well as for an action to recover back such tax when paid, showing clearly an intention to authorize both remedies in such cases.
will give appropriate relief; and also where, though the law itself is unobjectionable, the officers who are appointed to make assessments combine together and establish a rule or principle of valuation, the necessary result of which is to tax one species of property higher than others, and higher than the average rate, the court will also give relief. But the bill before us alleges no such agreement or common action of assessors, and no general rule or discriminating rate adopted by a single assessor, but relies on the numerous instances of partial and unequal valuations which establish no rule on the subject."
This ruling was somewhat like the action of the court in Stanley v. Schwalby, 162 U. S. 255, 40 L. ed. 960, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 754. That was a case coming from a state court. Ordinarily when the judgment is reversed the order is to remand the case for further proceedings not inconsistent with our opinion, but, in view of action theretofore taken by the state court in the case, we felt constrained to direct the very judgment which should be entered.
"Independently of this statute, however, we are of opinion that when a rule or system of valuation is adopted by those whose duty it is to make the assessment, which is designed to operate unequally and to violate a fundamental principle of the Constitution, and when this rule is applied, not solely to one individual, but to a large class of individuals or corporations, that equity may properly interfere to restrain the operation of this unconstitutional exercise of power." Two reasons are here stated to justify the exception to the ordinary rule in respect to injunctive relief. First, a state statute, and, second, a design on the part of the state authorities to discriminate. There is no stat- ed. 1247, 22 Sup. Ct. Rep. 908, a decree disIn Lander v. Mercantile Nat. Bank, 46 L. ute of California making such special provi- missing the bill filed by the bank was afsion in reference to injunctions, and that missing the bill filed by the bank was afreason for a departure from the general rule firmed. It is true in the opinion the merits of the bill were discussed, and nothing said may be put one side. The other implies an intent on the part of the legislature or asabout the right to maintain a suit in equity. sessing officials to discriminate. It does not Evidently the matter passed without considmean simply that there has resulted a dis-eration, and not unnaturally so, as the bill crimination, but that one was intended. It on its merits was dismissed. is well known that in the early days of the national banking law there was a strong prejudice against it in different portions of the Union, and adverse legislation in the way of burdensome taxation was not uncommon, and it was because of that fact that the court permitted the exercise of the strong powers of equity. That I am right in this, and that there has never been an intent to apply a different rule to a national bank from that which has been in force in respect to other property, is made clear by the language of Mr. Justice Miller in a subsequent case, German Nat. Bank v. Kimball, 103 U. S. 732, 735, 26 L. ed. 469, 470. Delivering the opinion of the court, he says: "An apparent exception to the universal- its benefit which is denied to all other propity of the rule is admitted in People v. erty. So, were I wrong in my construction Weaver, 100 U. S. 539, 25 L. ed. 705; Pel- of the state staute, beyond any peradventure ton v. Commercial Nat. Bank, 101 U. S. 143, the decree of the circuit court of appeals 25 L. ed. 901, and Cummings v. Merchants' ought to be affirmed and the bank remitted Nat. Bank, 101 U. S. 153, 25 L. ed. 903. It to its legal remedy. is held in these cases that when the inequality of valuation is the result of a statute of the state designed to discriminate injuriously against any class of persons or
In the case before us, whatever may be the effect of the statute in creating or opening the door to discrimination, no one can read it and say that there was an intent on the part of the legislature of California to discriminate injuriously against national banks. The statute is positive in its language that national bank shares shall be taxed and assessed as is other property, and there was beyond doubt an attempt on the part of the California legislature to cast only an equal burden of taxation on such shares. Of course, there ought not to be imputed to this court an intention to favor national bank property in the matter of taxation, and to lay down a rule for
I am authorized to say that the CHIEF JUSTICE, Mr. Justice Brown, and Mr. Justice Peckham concur in this dissent.
1. Equitable jurisdiction to reform a contract for street improvements in the District of
Columbia, in order to determine the amount due under such contract to the claimant, was conferred on the court of claims by the District of Columbia claims act of June 16, 1880, giving the court of claims original legal and equitable jurisdiction of claims arising out of contracts for public work in the District.
2. Compensation for work done outside of the original contract may be awarded by the court of claims under the District of Columbia claims act of June 16, 1880, giving it original equitable and legal jurisdiction of all claims for work done by the order and direction of the commissioners of the District, and accepted by them for the use, purposes, or
benefit of the District.
On April 22, 1902, an appeal was taken by the District from the judgment of March 31, 1902, to this court. This appeal was dismissed for want of jurisdiction. District of Columbia v. Barnes, 187 U. S. 638, 47 L. ed. 344, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 846.
Under the act of March 3, 1903 (32 Stat. at L. 1070, chap. 1006), this appeal from the judgment of March 31, 1902, was taken by the District, bringing the case in review
before this court.
Mr. Robert A. Howard and Assistant Attorney General Pradt for appellant. Mr. John C. Fay for appellee.
Mr. Justice Day delivered the opinion of the court:
We deem it unnecessary, in the view taken of this case, to set forth the voluminous findings of fact made upon the trial in the court of claims. So much of the findings will be commented on as is necessary to a determination of the legal questions involved, which are within a narrow compass. Nor do we find it necessary to consider the alleged discrepancies between the judgment of
Argued January 23, 1995. Decided Febru- the court of claims, when the judgment was ary 27, 1905.
Statement by Mr. Justice Day:
The action now appealed was brought under the act of June 16, 1880, known as the District of Columbia claims act. 21 Stat. at L. 284, chap. 243. The original petition was filed August 4, 1880. At subsequent stages of the case amended petitions were filed. On October 1, 1887, the court of claims decided the case in favor of the District of Columbia, giving judgment against the claimant for the sum of $11,074.11. 22 Ct. Cl. 366. On November 18, 1887, the claimant filed a motion for a new trial, which was submitted on March 28, 1895, and allowed on April 1, 1895. The case was then referred, as provided in the act, and upon report and hearing judgment was rendered on November 11, 1895, against the District for the claimant in the sum of $31,754.57; being rendered for Barnes in the sum of $22,350.54, and for Ritchie, assignee, in the sum of $9,404.03, both sums due and payable as of January 1, 1876. On April 20, 1896, the defendant filed its motion for a new trial, which was granted on May 18, 1896. On March 31, 1902, the court rendered a judgment in favor of the claimant, and his assignee, in the sum of $23,694.47, due and payable as of March 1, 1876. 37 Ct. Cl. 342. 25 S. C.-26.
in favor of the District (22 Ct. Cl. 366), and the findings and conclusions when the judgment was rendered which is now appealed to this court. 37 Ct. Cl. 342.
This court does not sit to review findings. of fact made in the court of claims. They are regarded as conclusive here, and our jurisdiction is limited to a determination of such questions of law as are properly brought to our attention upon the record. United States v. Smith, 94 U. S. 214-218,. 24 L. ed. 115.
The orignal action was brought in part on two contracts, which were in writing, duly executed by the claimant and in behalf of the District of Columbia, and known as Nos.. 264 and 413, and were for certain street improvements in the city of Washington.. These contracts were entered into on April 29 and July 23, 1872, respectively, under authority of the act of February 21, 1871. 16. Stat. at L. 427, chap. 62. Certain verbal agreements are also set up as having been entered into between the claimant and the commissioners of the District.
The court of claims, under the proofs, heard the parties upon the question as to the right to reform the two written contracts. It refused to reform contract No. 413, and decreed in favor of the District in the sum $13,039.79 for over payments made upon that contract. The court did reform contract No. 264, finding that, by mistake in the drafting of the contract, "the rate of 40 cents for grading old gravel streets to a depth of 2 feet" was omitted therefrom by
mutual mistake of the parties, and that the | ferred upon the same tribunal the power to written contract was executed without ob- grant the necessary legal and equitable reserving the omission. Upon the contract as lief. One who has the right to money rereformed, the claimant was permitted to re- lief upon a contract mistakenly omitted to cover for work done. Much of the discus- be reduced to writing, in accordance with sion in the oral argument and the brief of the true agreement of the parties, has a the learned counsel for the government is claim of equitable cognizance, for the condirected to the authority of the court of tract must be reformed to meet the intention claims to reform a written contract in the of the parties, and, when corrected, may be exercise of the jurisdiction of a court of adjudged a valid claim. equity for that purpose, and much discussion was had as to the various acts conferring jurisdiction upon that court. But we think a construction of the act under cover of which this suit was prosecuted is all that is necessary to determine the question. The act of June 16, 1880, as appears by its title, was intended to confer on the court of claims jurisdiction to hear and determine all outstanding claims against the District of Columbia. For that purpose it was recited in the 1st section of the act that the jurisdiction of the court should extend to, and it | should have original legal and equitable jurisdiction of claims arising out of, the contracts made by the board of public works and extensions made thereof by the commissioners of the District of Columbia, and also of the claims arising out of the contracts made by the commissioners since the act of June 20, 1874 [18 Stat. at L. 116, chap. 337], and broadly for all claims for work done by order or direction of the commissioners, and accepted by them for the use, purposes, or benefit of the District of Columbia, and prior to the 14th day of March, 1876.
The language used is of the most comprehensive character, and confers, for the purposes stated, original legal and equitable jurisdiction.
For the purpose of adjudicating such claims, this statute gives to the court equitable jurisdiction in order that it may determine what the District ought to pay to the claimant. Although unable to grant a decree for specific performance, or exercise the peculiar powers of a court of equity, the court of claims may determine the money relief to which the claimant is entitled, whether arising out of an equitable or legal demand. This principle was recognized in United States v. Jones, 131 U. S. 1-18, 33 L. ed. 90-92, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 669. The court of claims in other cases has exercised the equitable jurisdiction conferred in the act of June 16, 1880 (Cullinane v. District of Columbia, 18 Ct. Cl. 577, 594), and like jurisdiction to reform contracts under the act of March 3, 1887, 24 Stat. at L. 505, chap. 359, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 752; South Boston Iron Co. v. United States, 34 Ct. Cl. 174.
We think that the court had jurisdiction to reform the contract upon the facts found.
It is objected that the court of claims awarded relief for certain "stiff clay" excavated under claimant's contract. The findings show that this work was not specifically covered by the original agreement, and that the work was accepted by the commissioners, and the District received the benefit thereof; It is true that the purpose of the various and the court finds that the excavation of acts conferring jurisdiction upon the court the stiff clay was done under a verbal agreeof claims has been held to be to permit the ment with the commissioners after the peradjudication of money demands against the formance of the original contract, and that United States, and it may be that under the claimant was entitled to the rate estabthis act, as under others, there was no in-lished therefor, as paid to other contractors tention to confer equity jurisdiction beyond that which is required to enable a court to determine whether money relief should be granted. The intent of the act was to enable parties to submit the justice of their claims against the United States to adjudication in a competent court. For that purpose the act conferred in terms, equitable as well as legal jurisdiction.
for like work.
The act of June 16, 1880, permits a recovery for work done by order and direction of the commissioners, and accepted by them for the benefit of the District. While it has been held that this would not authorize a recovery for work done under the original contract, at higher prices than had been agreed upon, yet, where there was a revival of the contract for distinct work, there might be a recovery at higher rates, which entered into the terms of renewal as understood by the parties, notwithstanding the pre-existing contract. Campbell v. District of Columbia, 18 Ct. Cl. 193.
The province of the court of claims is to pass upon the justice of the claim, and adjudge accordingly. And it is obviously intended that, when necessary to adjudicate claims against the District, the court shall be unhampered in the exercise of jurisdiction, and as in many courts of this country The act of 1874 gave limited power to the having a civil code, there has been con-commissioners, and in the act of February