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Opinion of the Court.





Submitted December 12th, 1883.- Decided January 7th, 1884.

Error-ExceptionsEvidence-Practice. When it appears that an exception to the rejection of evidence was taken after

the trial was over, and at the time when the bill of exceptions was tendered for signature, it does not constitute a proper subject for assignment of error.

Petitions on distillers' bonds to recover taxes and penalties of the distillers and their sureties.

Mr. Assistant Attorney-General Maury for the United States.

Mr. J. D. Rouse and Mr. William Grant for defendants in error.

Mr. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE delivered the opinion of the court.

The judgment in each of these cases was rendered after a trial by jury on the 17th of March, 1880, during the November term, 1879, although it was not signed until May 20th, 1880. On the 19th of May, 1880, which was at the April term of that year, the district judge who presided at the trial signed a bill

States offered in evidence a document which was annexed and purported to be a copy of an assessment made by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue for May, 1875, to the introduction of which the defendants objected, and that the objection was sustained. The bill of exceptions then proceeds as follows:

“ To which ruling of the court plaintiff excepts, and tenders this his bill of exceptions, which is accordingly signed this 19th day of May, 1880.”

Opinion of the Court.

The rule is well established and of long standing that an exception to be of any avail must be taken at the trial. It may be reduced to form and signed afterwards, but the fact that it was seasonably taken must appear affirmatively in the record by a bill of exceptions duly allowed or otherwise. Phelps v. Mayer, 15 How. 160; United States v. Breitling, 20 How. 252; French v. Edwards, 13 Wall. 506 ; Stanton v. Embrey, 93 U. S. 548; Hunnicutt v. Peyton, 102 U. S. 333. This clearly is not such a case. There is nothing whatever to indicate that any exception was taken to the rejection of the evidence complained of until the next term after the trial was over and the judgment rendered, though not signed. Even the liberal extension of the rule granted in Simpson v. Dall, 3 Wall. 460, is not enough to reach this defect. The language here implies an exception only at the time of tendering the bill of excep tions to be signed, which was not only long after the trial, but at a subsequent term of the court.

It follows that the errors assigned are not such as we can consider, and

The judgments are affirmed.




Submitted December 20th, 1883.– Decided January 7th, 1884.

AppealJurisdiction. When a judgment below is for an amount sufficient to give jurisdiction above,

but it appears affirmatively on the record that after deducting from it an amount not in contest below, there remains less than the jurisdictional sum, this court has no jurisdiction.

Mr. W. B. Williams for the plaintiff in error.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE delivered the opinion of the court.
The judgment in this case is for $7,275.16, but it appears

Statement of Facts

affirmatively on the face of the record that of this amount $2,669.03 was not disputed below. The defence related alone to the difference between these two amounts, which is less than $5,000. The dispute here is only in reference to the amount contested below. Such being the case, we have no jurisdiction. The cases of Gray v. Blanchard, 97 U. S. 564 ; Tintsman v. National Bank, 100 U. S. 6; and Hilton v. Dickinson, 108 U. S. 165, are conclusive to this effect.





Argued and submitted December 20th, 1883.- Decided January 7th, 1884.

Municipal Bonds-Holder for Value. 1. When a municipal corporation subscribes to the capital stock of a railroad

company, and issues its bonds in payment therefor, the bonds must comply with the requisitions which the law makes necessary in respect of registration and certificate before they are issued ; and innocent holders for value are charged with the duty of knowing these laws, and of in

quiring whether they have been complied with. 2. A statute requiring a State auditor to register municipal bonds and to cer

tify that all the conditions of law have been complied with in their issue

calls for the exercise of no judicial functions on his part. 3. The rulings in Anthony v. County of Jasper, 101 U. S. 693, involving the

same issue of bonds, adhered to. The additional facts shown in this case present no legal aspects to distinguish it from that case.

Suit to recover on coupons on bonds issued by a county in payment of subscription to stock of a railroad company by a township within the county. The facts were in all respects the same as those in Anthony v. County of Jasper, 101 U. S. 693, except that here it was expressly found that the subscription of the township which was voted had actually been made by the County Court and accepted by the railroad company be fore the act providing for the registration of bonds was approved, while there the acceptance of the subscription before

Opinion of the Court.

the approval of the act did not appear unless by implication. The vote of the township was taken on the 5th of March, 1872; the order of the County Court for the subscription entered on the 28th of March, and on the same day the subscription was actually made and accepted. The registration act was ap proved March 30th.

Mr. James S. Bottsford for plaintiff in error, argued.

Mr. E. J. Montague for the defendant in error, submitted on his brief.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE Waite delivered the opinion of the court. Upon the additional fact found in this case it is insisted :

1. That if the registration act was applicable to the bonds now in question, it impaired the obligation of the contract of subscription, and is therefore, so far as such application is concerned, in contravention of art. I., sec. 10, clause 1, of the Constitution of the United States; and,

2. That it was retrospective in its operation, and therefore in contravention of art. I., sec. 28, of the Constitution of Missouri, which is:

“That no ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts, or retrospective in its operation, can be passed."

It is also insisted that the 4th section of the act is in contravention of the Constitution of Missouri, because it delegates the exercise of judicial power to an executive officer of the State.

The first two objections may be considered together, and to our minds they are disposed of by the paragraph in the opinion in Anthony v. County of Jasper, which is as follows (p. 699):

“It matters not that when the bonds were voted the registration law was not in force. Before they were issued it had gone into effect. It did not change in any way the contract with the railroad company. The company was just as much entitled to its bonds when it complied with the conditions under which they were voted after the law, as it could have been before. All the legislature attempted to do was to provide what should be a

Opinion of the Court.

good bond when issued. There was nothing changed but the form of the execution.”

That is clearly the true construction of the 4th section of the act. The contract of subscription undoubtedly gave the company the right to valid negotiable bonds executed in due form of law. The section simply provides that before any bond thereafter issued shall be deemed to have been completely exe cuted, it must have upon it the requisite certificate of the Auditor of State. When so certified, if otherwise in proper form, it may be issued as a duly executed negotiable public security. The provision that the certificate of the auditor “shall be prima facie evidence only of the facts therein stated” does not of itself open the bonds to attack in the hands of a bona fide holder. Before this law a bond, in due form issued under a power conferred by the legislature, could not be impeached in the hands of a bona fide holder for fraud or irregularities in the execution of the power by those charged with that duty. The law does not interfere with this; it simply says that the certificate which the auditor is to give shall not prevent such an impeachment, that is to say, shall not operate as an estoppel. The certificate, so far from casting suspicion on the bond, gives additional credit, for it shows that an officer of the State specially charged with the duty has examined and certified officially “that all the conditions of the law have been complied with," "and also that the conditions of the contract under which they (the bonds) were ordered to be issued have also been complied with.” Such a bond certainly can have no less credit in the market than it would have without the official certificate.

Neither, in our opinion, does the fact that one more officer must examine and certify the bond before it can be issued place such an additional burden on the parties to the subscription as to impair the obligation of their contract. It is in reality no more than providing that two officers shall sign a municipal bond instead of one before the body politic shall be bound by an instrument to be put on the market and sold as commercial paper. We cannot believe, if when the subscription was made, a bond, if signed by the presiding justice of the

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