LEWIS V. PIMA COUNTY, 155 U. S. 54 (1894)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lewis v. Pima County, 155 U.S. 54 (1894)

Lewis v. Pima County

No. 550

Submitted October 17, 1894

Decided October 29, 1894

155 U.S. 54


The Act of the legislature of Arizona of February 21, 1883, authorizing Pima County in that territory to issue its bonds in aid of the construction of a railway, is a violation of the restrictions imposed upon territorial legislatures by Rev.Stat. § 1889, as amended by the Act of June 8, 1878, c. 168, and the bonds issued under the authority assumed to be conferred by that statute created no obligation against the county which a court of law can enforce.

This was an action originally begun in the District Court of the first Judicial District of Arizona upon 2,250 coupons

Page 155 U. S. 55

attached to 150 bonds, issued by the defendant county July 1, 1883, and payable to the Arizona Narrow Gauge Railroad Company or bearer. The railroad in question was organized under a general act of the territorial legislature for the incorporation of railroads, passed in 1879, which gave them power to make all contracts, acquire real and personal property, to sue and be sued, to borrow money necessary for the construction of the road, to issue bonds and notes therefor, and to receive donations or voluntary grants of real and personal property to that end. The bonds in question were issued by the board of supervisors of the defendant county under an Act of the Legislature of Arizona of February 21, 1883, entitled "An act to promote the construction of a certain railroad," and were part of a series of 200 bonds issued in pursuance of said act, and exchanged for a like number of bonds of the railroad company of like amounts, bearing like interest, and running like times as the bonds in suit.

Defendant demurred to the complaint both generally and specially, and upon argument the demurrer was sustained and judgment entered in favor of defendant.

Plaintiff appealed to the supreme court of the territory, by which the judgment of the district court was affirmed. He thereupon sued out this writ of error.

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