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U.S. Supreme Court

District of Columbia v. Thompson, 281 U.S. 25 (1930)

District of Columbia v. Thompson

No. 44

Argued December 4, 1929

Decided February 24, 1930

281 U.S. 25


Pursuant to an Act of Congress, the Commissioners of the District of Columbia condemned a strip of land for the extension of a street, and levied and collected a special assessment of benefits for the contemplated improvements. Fourteen years elapsed during which time the District neither made the extension nor took any steps towards that end. It showed no obstacle which had prevented the extension; it had built a sidewalk and curb across the strip which constituted an obstruction to vehicular traffic, and it made no claim in its pleading and proof that it desired or intended to make such extension at any future time. Upon review of a judgment for the plaintiff in an action to recover the sum of $200 thus assessed as benefits and paid to the District, held:

1. That the District had abandoned the purpose for which the special assessment was levied and collected. P. 281 U. S. 32.

2. That the District was properly required to return to the plaintiff, as for failure of consideration, the amount of the assessment paid. P. 281 U. S. 31.

3. That the action was one within the jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of the District of Columbia, as a claim for debt arising out of an implied contract. P. 281 U. S. 33.

4. That plaintiff's right of action was not barred by limitation of three years, since the claim accrued not at the time when the assessment was confirmed or was paid, but rather at the time of the abandonment of the project. P. 281 U. S. 34.

30 F.2d 476 affirmed.

Certiorari, 279 U.S. 829, to review a decision of the court of appeals of the District of Columbia affirming a judgment of the Municipal Court in an action against the District to recover the amount of a special assessment of benefits for contemplated improvements which were subsequently abandoned.

Page 519 U. S. 28

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