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U.S. Supreme Court

Ohio v. Akron Metropolitan Part District, 281 U.S. 74 (1930)

Ohio ex rel. Bryant v. Akron Metropolitan Part District

Nos. 237 and 238

Argued February 27, 28, 1930

Decided March 12, 1930

281 U.S. 74


1. An Ohio statute empowers the probate judge of any county, upon petition and after notice and hearing, to establish a park district if he finds the proceedings regular and that the district will be conducive to the general welfare, and thereupon to appoint a board of park commissioners of the district. It empowers the board, so appointed, to acquire lands within the district for the conservation of its natural resources, and, to that end, to create parks, parkways

Page 281 U. S. 75

and other reservations and develop, improve, and protect the same in such manner as they may deem conducive to the general welfare; to lay assessments upon specially benefited lands in proportion to, and not exceeding, the special benefits conferred by the development or improvement; to levy limited taxes upon all taxable property within the district, and to adopt regulations for the preservation of good order within and adjacent to such parks and reservations and of property and natural life therein, violation of which regulations shall constitute a misdemeanor. It further provides for annexing additional territory to a district through probate court proceedings in the county embracing the additional territory, and for the levying of additional taxes for the use of a district when authorized by the electors of the district at an election to which the question is submitted by the board. The board is empowered to issue bonds in anticipation of the collection of such levy for the purpose of acquiring and improving lands. Held that no substantial federal question is presented by a contention that the statute, in delegating legislative power to the probate court and the nonelective commissioners, violates the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 281 U. S. 79.

2. Section 2 of Article IV of the Ohio Constitution, providing that

"no law shall be held unconstitutional and void by the Supreme Court without a concurrence of at least all but one of the judges, except in the affirmance of a judgment of the court of appeals declaring a law unconstitutional and void"

held not violative of the due process or equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 281 U. S. 79.

3. It is well settled that questions arising under the guaranty to every state of a republican form of government (Const. Art. IV, § 4,) are political -- for Congress, and not for the courts. P. 281 U. S. 79.

4. The right of appeal is not essential to due process, provided that due process has already been accorded in the tribunal of first instance. P. 281 U. S. 80.

5. The equal protection clause is not violated by diversity in the jurisdiction of the several courts of a state as to subject matter or finality of decision if all persons within the territorial limits of the respective jurisdictions of the state courts have an equal right in like cases under like circumstances to resort to them for redress. P. 281 U. S. 81.

120 Oh.St. 464 affirmed.

Appeals from judgments of the Supreme Court of Ohio, affirming, as a result of a divided court and a provision

Page 281 U. S. 76

of the state constitution (Art. IV, 2,) judgments of the court of appeals sustaining the Ohio Park District Act in two suits brought by taxpayers to restrain its enforcement. The appeals were also directed to orders of the court below overruling motions to vacate its judgments of affirmance and to enter judgments of reversal.

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