UTTER V. FRANKLIN, 172 U. S. 416 (1899)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Utter v. Franklin, 172 U.S. 416 (1899)

Utter v. Franklin

No. 94

Argued and submitted December 12, 1898

Decided January 3, 1899

172 U.S. 416


It was within the power of Congress to validate the bonds in question in this proceeding, issued by the authorities of the Territory of Arizona, to promote the construction of a railroad.

This was a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the defendants, who were, respectively, governor, auditor, and secretary of the territory, acting as loan commissioners, to issue certain bonds in exchange for bonds issued by the County of Pima in aid of the Arizona Narrow-Gauge Railroad Company.

The petition set forth that plaintiffs were the bona fide holders for value of certain seven percent bonds and coupons issued in July, 1883, in compliance with an act of the territory "to promote the construction of a certain railroad," approved February 21, 1883, aggregating, including principal and interest thereon, the sum of $289,964.50. There was a further allegation in the petition that it was the duty of the defendants to provide for the redeeming of such indebtedness, and to issue refunding bonds therefor; that plaintiffs had made demands for the same, which defendants had refused.

Defendants demurred to the petition, and for answer thereto averred that the bonds now held by the plaintiffs

Page 172 U. S. 417

had been declared, both by the supreme court of the territory and by this Court, to be void, and therefore the petition of the relators should be dismissed.

The petition being denied by the Supreme Court of Arizona, the relators appealed to this Court. No opinion was filed in the supreme court of the territory.

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