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decided that a special act of the legislature, authorizing the county commissioners of Jefferson County to provide funds for the payment of certain outstanding warrants of said county, by issuing bonds, selling the same and using the proceeds in payment of warrants issued to contractors for the erection of a court-house and jail, was valid and effectual. The court said : " That Jefferson County is justly indebted to the relator for the amount of the warrants in question will not be controverted; and where such is the case, there is no doubt of the power of the legislature to require the county to issue its bonds for the amount of its indebtedness." In one aspect, this case goes beyond the argument; for it contemplated further action by the corporation in the issue of its bonds.
The second statute - that of Feb. 25, 1875 — is not subject to the objection to the former one just disposed of, for it is a general act“ to amend an act to incorporate cities of the second class and to define their powers, approved March 1, 1871, and to legalize certain taxes therein mentioned," and the terms of its second section embrace the case of the bonds in controversy in this suit. It expressly declares " that all bonds beretofore issued by any city of the second class in good faith for the erection of, or to procure the means for erecting, a high-school building within such city, or for heating or furnishing the same, whether issued under a general or special law providing therefor, or any bonds hereafter issued by such city in exchange for any such bonds, shall be legal and valid ; and any tax heretofore or hereafter levied to pay the interest or a portion of the principal of any such bonds, not exceeding five mills on the dollar valuation of the taxable property in the city in any one year, shall be legal and valid.”
Accordingly objections are made to its validity for want of conformity to other provisions of the Constitution of the State, the first of which, — that it conflicts with sect. 19, art. 2, which declares that “no bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title," — it is claimed, applies to both acts.
In regard to the special act of Feb. 18, 1873, however, it seems to us unnecessary to say more than that the title appears to be a full and apt description of the whole contents of the
act. The proceedings of the city council in reference to the construction of a high-school building, which it is the object of the act, as expressed in the title, to legalize, necessarily includes the issue of the bonds authorized by it for that purpose.
In White v. The City of Lincoln, 5 Neb. 505, 516, it was said that “the object of this constitutional provision is to prevent surreptitious legislation by incorporating into bills obnoxious provisions which have no connection with the general object of the bill, and of which the title gives no indication. It will be sufficient, however, if the law have but one general object, which is fairly expressed in the title of the bill.”
Accordingly it was held in that case, as it was also in City of Tecumseh v. Phillips, id. 305, that the third section of the act of Feb. 25, 1875, which ratified expenditures by cities of the second class of moneys illegally collected for licenses for the sale of intoxicating liquors, was void, because there was nothing in the title of the act to indicate the object contemplated by that section. “It is in nowise amendatory,” said the court, in City of Tecumseh v. Phillips, supra, “of the general incorporation law for cities of the second class, nor does it make any allusion to the legalization of any taxes whatever." And in the same case, speaking of the entire act, the court said: “ But we fail to discover wherein it is in any particular amendatory of the general act relating to cities of the second class.”
The act, therefore, may be considered as if its titlə were simply that of “ an act to legalize certain taxes therein mentioned."
The second section, which is the only one material in this controversy, does legalize taxes theretofore or thereafter levied to pay the interest on certain bonds; namely, such as having been theretofore issued by any city of the second class, in good faith for the erection of, or to procure the means for erecting, a high-school building within such city, or for heating or furnishing the same, whether issued under a general or special law providing therefor, &c., are thereby declared to be legal and valid.
It is impossible to say that legalizing the bonds, and the taxes levied to pay them, are two diverse subjects, when to
legalize the taxes necessarily makes the bonds valid; for nothing more strongly confirms an invalid bond than to make provision for its payment. We have no hesitation, thera fore, in upholding the second section of the act of Feb. 25, 1875, as a valid enactment, so far as the present objection is concerned.
As we do not consider it as an act to amend the general law incorporating cities of the second class, rejecting that portion of the title, it is not subject to the further objection, that it does not conform to the constitutional requirement that "no law shall be revived or amended, unless the new act contain the entire act revived and the sections amended.”
The remaining objection is not to its validity, but to its application to the present case. It is argued that the second section of the act relates only to bonds that have been issued “ under a general or special law providing therefor;” and that the bonds now in controversy were not so issued, and cannot, therefore, claim support from this provision.
If by this is meant, that no bonds are within the purview of this section, except such as have been lawfully issued, the conclusion results in an absurdity; for it supposes an act of the legislature passed to cure the invalidity of valid bonds.
If, on the other hand, the section is construed to mean that all bonds that have been issued in good faith, for the purposes mentioned, and under color of law, whether general or special, but without actual authority, shall be deemed to be legal and valid, the only rational and worthy effect is given to the enactment that can be deduced from its terms. We do not doubt that such was the purpose of the legislature, and that it is the meaning of the law.
In our opinion, the bonds in controversy are valid obligations of the city of Plattsmouth, under either of the two acts, of Feb. 18, 1873, and of Feb. 25, 1875, respectively; and the Circuit Court erred in its instructions to the jury to the contrary. For that error, the judgment is reversed and the cause remanded with instructions to grant a
MEMPHIS AND CHARLESTON RAILROAD COMPANY 0.
The Memphis and Charleston Railroad Coinpany is made by the statutes of Ala
bama an Alabama corporation; and, although previously incorporated in Tennessee also, cannot remove into the Circuit Court of the United States a suit brought against it in Alabama by a citizen of Alabama.
ERROR to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Alabama.
The case is stated in the opinion of the court.
Mr. William Y. C. Humes and Mr. Milton Humes for the plaintiff in error.
Mr. Enoch Totten, contra.
MR. JUSTICE GRAY delivered the opinion of the court.
This action was brought by the State of Alabama, for the use of Jackson County, in a court of that State, against a railroad corporation whose road passed through that State and county, to recover the amount of a county tax assessed upon its property. It was removed into the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Alabama, upon the petition of the corporation, alleging that it was a citizen of the State of Tennessee and the plaintiff was a citizen of A bama. Upon the motion of the plaintiff, and the introduction in evidence of the acts of the legislatures of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, relating to the defendant corporation, and of its organization under those acts, the Circuit Court, following its own decision in Copeland v. Memphis g Charleston Railroad Co., 3 Woods, 651, remanded the case to the State court, upon the ground that the defendant was a corporation chartered by the State of Alabama ; the defendant thereupon excepted and sued out this writ of error.
The question decided by the Circuit Court, and argued by the plaintiff in error, depends upon the provisions of the statutes of Alabama.
The first act of the legislature of Alabama upon the subject, passed on the 7th of January, 1850, is entitled " An Act to incorporate the Memphis and Charleston Railroad Com
pany," and has this preamble: “Whereas an act was passed by the State of Tennessee, bearing date the 2d day of February, 1846, and the same was amended by an act of the same State, dated Feb. 4tb, 1848, for the formation of a company, under the name and style of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad Company, for the purpose of establishing a communication by railroad between Memphis, Tennessee, and Charleston, South Carolina ; and whereas it is believed that the most eligible route for said road is through a portion of this State; and whereas it is also believed that great and lasting benefits will accrue to the inhabitants of this State from said improvement: Therefore"
It then proceeds, in the first section, to provide that "the said company shall have the right of way through the territory of this State to construct their road " between certain points named, " and said company shall have and enjoy all the rights, powers and privileges granted to them by the act of incorporation above mentioned, and shall be subject to all the liabilities and restrictions imposed by the same, together with the following requirements."
The second section provides that “in the event said road shall be located through Tuscumbia, it shall be the duty of the company to construct a branch to Florence; and in the event said road shall pass on the north side of the Tennessee River near Florence, it shall be the duty of said company to construct a branch to Tuscumbia: provided, that the subscription in the town or county applying for such branch shall be fully sufficient to pay the cost of the same.”
The third section provides that “the said company shall be authorized and required to open books for the subscription of stock in the capital of said corporation in the State of Alabama, so as to afford the citizens thereof an opportunity to take stock to the amount of fifteen hundred thousand dollars of the capital of said company: provided, that if said fifteen hundred thousand dollars be not subscribed in Alabama within ninety days after the books are opened, then it may be taken elsewhere."
The fourth section provides that “the said company shall, at the first meeting of the stockholders, designate a time when,