SUPERVISORS V. DURANT, 76 U. S. 415 (1869)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Supervisors v. Durant, 76 U.S. 9 Wall. 415 415 (1869)

Supervisors v. Durant

76 U.S. (9 Wall.) 415


1. Mandamus from a federal court to officers of a county in a state, to levy a tax to pay interest on bonds issued by the county on which a relator has obtained judgment, and has no means of obtaining satisfaction but by the levy of a tax, cannot be in any way controlled by an injunction from a state court to those officers against a levy. Riggs v. Johnson County, 6 Wall. 166, affirmed.

2. It makes no difference whether the relator have been made a defendant to the proceeding in the state court for an injunction or not, nor whether the injunction have issued before or after his suit in the federal court was begun.

In 1853, 1854, and 1858, the County Judge of Washington County, Iowa, submitted to the voters of that county propositions to subscribe certain sums, and issue bonds accordingly, to aid the making of certain railroads, and a majority of the voters voted in favor of the propositions. The vote required the levy by the county officers of yearly taxes to pay the interest. The bonds were issued, and several of them passed into the hands of one Durant. In April, 1860, certain taxpayers of the county filed a bill against the board of supervisors of the county; Durant, with other holders of the bonds, afterwards appearing and opposing, to enjoin the supervisors (the proper officers to lay taxes) from laying any taxes to pay either principal or interest of these bonds; the ground of the injunction being that the bonds were illegal and void, and that the county officers had no authority to levy and collect taxes to pay either the principal or interest of them. And the board of supervisors were enjoined accordingly. The interest being now unpaid, Durant sued the county in the Circuit Court of the United States for Iowa to compel payment of it. The county set up, by way of plea, the injunction in the state court against it, and the plea being overruled, and the case being fully heard on a case stated, judgment was given in the federal court against the county. Execution having issued without satisfaction, an alternative writ of mandamus to levy a tax was asked for

Page 76 U. S. 416

and obtained by Durant against the county. By way of showing cause against a peremptory writ, the county here again pleaded the injunction from the state court. The plaintiff demurred, assigning as one cause among others that this Court, having jurisdiction to render the judgment, had jurisdiction to enforce it, and that no state court could prevent it. The demurrer being sustained, the county brought the case here.

Page 76 U. S. 417

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