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fide holder for value, to show that the true date of the bonds was different from that named in them, or that the town clerk, who was in office at the date of the bonds, in fact signed the bonds after he went out of office: Weyauwega v. Ayling (1879), 99 U. S. 112.
County bonds issued in Missouri by a de facto county court, and sealed with the seal of the Court, and signed by the de facto president, cannot be impeached in the hands of an innocent holder, by showing that the acting president was not de jure one of the justices of the Court: Ralls Co. v. Douglass (1882), 105 U. S. 728.
Defects and Irregularities that affect the rights of bona fide holders. Want of power.
Where, by authority of an Act of the Illinois Assembly providing that it shall be lawful for the agent of any corporate body "to subscribe to the capital stock of a railroad company," a County Supervisor subscribed for stock and issued certain bonds to a railroad company, as agent of the town, held, that the bonds were invalid, though in the hands of an innocent holder, for want of authority on the part of the municipal corporation to issue: Township of East Oakland v. Skinner (1877), 94 U. S. 255.
Where the charter of a Missouri railroad company authorized the taxable inhabitants of a "strip of country" to vote a tax in aid of the railroad company, and required the county court to levy and collect such tax, if voted, this gave no authority to the county to issue bonds, and bonds so issued are void though in the hands of a bona fide holder: Ogden v. County of Daviess (1881), 102 U. S. 634.
The City of Holly Springs subscribed for stock of a railroad company, and issued its bonds subsequent to a special election and a general ratification by the Legislature of previous subscriptions to stock; though not in violation of the Constitution, yet neither the election nor subscription was authorized by any Act of the Legislature, held, that the bonds were void in the hands of a bona fide holder for want of power to issue, and indefiniteness of ratifying Act: Hayes v. Holly Springs (1885), 114 U. S.
Not estopped by recitals.
The Legislative journals of the State of Illinois did not contain the requisite evidence of the passage of the law under which the bonds of the town of South Ottawa were issued, held, that in the action to recover the amount due on the bonds, the town was not estopped to deny the existence of the law under which its bonds purport to have been issued. The fact that the holder was a bona fide purchaser does not affect their validity: South Ottawa v. Perkins (1876), 94 U. S. 260; Buchanan v. Litchfield (1880), 102 Id. 278.
Excess of constitutional limitation of indebtedness.
In the case of Buchanan v. Litchfield (supra), it was held, that, where the City of Litchfield issued its bonds to an amount in excess of the constitutional limitation of municipal indebtedness, in the absence of recitals in the bonds, representing on the part of the constituted authorities, that the constitutional requirements were met, the bonds were void though in the hands of a bona fide holder.
The case of Dixon v. Field (1884), 111 U. S. 83, goes a step further. It held that bonds in the hands of bona fide holders are void, when issued to an amount in excess of the constitutional limitation of indebtedness, even though the recitals in the bonds are that they are conformable to law. In this case is cited Buchanan v. Litchfield (supra), and Northern National Bank v. Porter (1884), 110 U. S. 608. The point is made that the municipality will be estopped to deny the validity of bonds issued by it, only when the officers are authorized to ascertain and determine the existence of the facts upon which the recitals as to their validity are based: (Contra) Dallas Co. v. McKenzie (1884), 110 U. S. 686.
When a county court issued the bonds of a county to an amount in excess of the amount fixed by the commissioners, and approved by the majority vote of the electors of the county, the bonds, to the extent of the excess, are invalid in the hands of an innocent holder, though the bonds contained a recital that they were issued according to law and the ordinance of the Court: County of Daviess v. Dickinson (1886), 117 U. S. 657.
Bonds in the hands of a bona fide holder, issued by authority of an Act of the Legislature of West Virginia, authorizing the City of Parkersburg to loan the bonds to persons engaged in manufacturing, are void, by reason of the unconstitutionality of the Act: City of Parkersburg v. Brown et al. (1883), 106 U. S. 487.
A curative statute enacted by a Legislature having no constitutional authority to grant the new power,
except on a two-thirds vote of the city, will not make good the bonds of the city in the hands of a bona fide holder, if such vote has not been obtained: Katzenberger v. City of Aberdeen (1887), 121 U. S. 172.
Defects in Execution.
When the law provides that a statute authorizing the issue of municipal bonds should not take effect until after its publication in a certain paper, and further that no bonds be issued under its authority until the question of their issue had been decided by popular vote upon thirty days notice, a bond which upon its face refers to the act, and shows that the notice of election was given before the act went into effect, is void, even in the hands of an innocent purchaser. McClure v. Oxford Twp. (1877), 94 U. S. 429.
When an act of the General Assembly of Missouri, passed March 30th 1872, provided that any bonds thereafter issued should be registered with the State Auditor, held, that bonds actually issued in October, 1872, but antedated as of March 28th 1872, and not registered with the State Auditor, were invalid in the hands of an innocent holder: Anthony v. County of Jasper (1880), IOI U. S. 693.
Where an examination of the records would have shown that the bonds were not issued on the day recited as their date, and that the person who signed them was not the Mayor at the time they were signed, the facts that the records would show that the person signing them was Mayor on the day of their date, and that the statutes and ordinances referred to in the bonds authorized their issue, and that the
indorsements showed they had been registered, will not aid the purchaser, as even bona fide holders of municipal bonds, must take the risk of the official character of those
Cole v. City
who executed them:
MUNICIPAL BONDS have also been the subject of leading articles and annotations in THE AMERICAN Law REGISTER, wherein the subject has been more generally treated, viz:—
RAILROAD AID BONDS in the Supreme Court of the United States, by James F. Mister, of Kansas City, Missouri; a leading article discussing the decisions of the Supreme Court of Missouri and their misconception by the Supreme Court of the United States: vol. 17, page 209.
CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTORY POWERS IN BOND CASES IN THE Supreme COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, by the same author; a leading article continuing the same subject, and discussing the doctrine of the Supreme Court of the United States as unwarranted and subversive of the law of powers applicable to cases of special agency, and as an unwarrantable application of the law of estoppel: vol. 17, page 609.
THE AUTHORITY AND STEPS TOWARDS THE ISSUANCE OF MUNICIPAL BONDS, by Adelbert Hamilton, of Chicago; an annotation to the case of Rouede v. The Mayor of Jersey City (1884), in the U. S. Circ. Ct., N. Dist. N. J., which was a case of a bona fide holder of such a bond: vol. 23, page 306.
ON MUNICIPAL SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THE STOCK OF RAILROAD COMPANIES; a leading article discussing, in 1853, the opinion of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in the case of Sharpless et al. v. The Mayor (1852), 21 Pa. 147; S. C. 2 AMERICAN LAW REGISTER (O. S.) 27, 85, where the right of a municipality to subscribe for railroad bonds was sus、. tained: vol. 2, (O. S.) page 1.
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
QUIMBY v. BOSTON & M. R. CO.
A railroad company is not liable for an injury sustained through the negligence of its servants, by a person who is traveling on a free pass containing an exemption from liability by injury from accident.
If such pass contemplates the placing upon it of the signature of the aser, this provision is designed to secure complete evidence of the user's assent to its terms, and if he is allowed to travel without signing the pass, the user cannot be allowed to deny his assent to the company's exemption. Such exemption is not contrary to public policy and the contract is valid.
Report from the Superior Court of Essex County.
An action of tort by Asahel Quimby against the Boston & Maine Railroad, for personal injuries sustained in a collision upon its railroad.
H. P. Moulton, for plaintiff.
S. Lincoln, for defendant.
DEVENS, J., January 1, 1890. When the plaintiff received his injury, he was traveling upon a free pass given him at his own solicitation, and as a pure gratuity, upon which was expressed his agreement that, in consideration thereof, he assumed all risk of accident which might happen to him while traveling on, or getting off, the trains, of the defendant railroad corporation, on which the ticket might be honored for passage. The ticket bore on its face the words, "provided he signs the agreement on the back hereof." In fact, the agreement was not signed by the plaintiff, he not having been required to do so by the conductor who honored it as good for the passage, and who twice punched it. The fact that the plaintiff had not signed, and was not required to sign, we do not regard as important. Having accepted the pass, he must have done so on the conditions fully expressed therein, whether he actually read them or not: Squire v. Railroad Co. (1867), 98 Mass. 239; Hill v Railway Co. (1887), 144 Id. 284; Railroad Co. v. Chipman (1888), 146 Id. 107. The object of the provision as to signing is to furnish complete evidence that the person to whom the pass is issued assents thereto : but one who actually avails himself of such a ticket, and of the privileges it confers, to secure a passage, cannot be allowed to
deny that he made the agreement expressed therein, because he did not, and was not required to sign it: Railway Co. v. McGown (1886), 65 Tex. 643; Railroad Co. v. Read (1865), 37 Ill. 484; Wells v. Railway Co. (1862), 24 N. Y. 181; Perkins v. Railway Co. (1862), Id. 196.
If this is held to be so, the case presents the singly inquiry whether such a contract is invalid, which has not heretofore been settled in this State, and upon which there has been great contrariety of opinion in different courts. If the common carrier accepts a person as a passenger, no such contract having been made, such passenger may maintain an action for negligence in transporting him, even if he be carried gratuitously. Having admitted him to the rights of a passenger, the carrier is not permitted to deny that he owes to him the duty which, as carrying on a public employment, he owes to those who have paid him for the service: Files v. Railroad Co. (1889), 149 Mass. 204; Todd v. Railroad Co. (1861), 3 Allen (Mass.) 18; Com. v. Railroad Co. (1871), 108 Mass. 7; Littlejohn v. Railroad Co. (1889), 148 Id. 478; Railroad Co. v. Derby (1852), 14 How. (55 U. S.) 468; The New World v. King (1853), 16 Id. (57 U. S.) 469. But the question whether the carrier may, as the condition upon which he grants to the passenger a gratuitous passage, lawfully make an agreement with him by which the passenger must bear the risks of transportation, obviously differs from this.
In a large number of cases the English decisions, as well as those of New York, have held that where a drover was permitted to accompany animals upon what was called a “free pass," issued upon the condition that the user should bear all risks of transportation, he could not maintain an action for an injury received by the negligence of the carrier's servants. A similar rule would without doubt be applied where a servant, from the peculiar character of goods, as delicate machinery, was permitted to accompany them, and in other cases of that nature. That passes of this character are "free passes," properly so called, has been denied in other cases, as the carriage of the drover is a part of the contract for the carriage of the animals. The cases on this point were carefully examined and criticised by Mr. Justice BRADLEY in Railroad Co. v. Lock