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U.S. Supreme Court

Badger v. United States ex Rel. Bolles, 93 U.S. 599 (1876)

Badger v. United States ex Rel. Bolles

93 U.S. 599


A supervisor, town clerk, or justice of the peace, although his resignation is tendered to and accepted by the proper authority, continues in office, and is not relieved from his duties and responsibilities as a member of the board of auditors under the township organization laws of the State of Illinois until his successor is appointed, or chosen and qualified.

On the seventh day of January, 1875, the relators filed in the Circuit Court for the Northern District of Illinois their petition for a writ of mandamus against the plaintiffs in error, alleging that, on May 7, 1874, they recovered, in said court, two judgments at law against the Town of Amboy, a municipal corporation under the township organization laws of the State of Illinois; that the supervisor, town clerk, and justices of the peace of the town constituted a board of auditors, not less than three being a quorum, whose duty it was to convene on the Tuesday preceding the second Tuesday of September, and on the Tuesday preceding the first Tuesday in April, in each year, to examine and audit town accounts that on the 29th of August, 1874, said board of auditors consisted of Chester Badger, the supervisor, Charles E. Ives, the town clerk, Lee Cronkrite, Oliver F. Warrener, Simon Badger, and William B. Andrus, justices of the peace of said town; that the relators on that day presented to said board a sworn statement that the judgments were just and unpaid, and should be audited and allowed; they also at the same time delivered to, and filed with, the clerk of the said town, a certified copy of said judgments, which the board neglected and refused to audit, and has refused ever since; that Chester Badger, Ives, Warrener, and Andrus pretended to

Page 93 U. S. 600

resign their offices, and would not discharge the duties thereof, but that no other person had been elected or appointed to succeed them; that the other two justices, Simon Badger and Cronkrite, to defeat the collection of said judgments, refused to act as such auditors, or meet and associate with the collector and assessor of said town to constitute a board of auditors, nor would they by appointment fill said alleged vacancies; that the acts of the parties aforesaid were to hinder and delay the collection of the judgments; that by reason of their said acts, relators have been unable to obtain the necessary levy and collection of taxes to pay said judgments, and that no provision has been made for the payment thereof by the said town. Relators pray for summons to award a mandamus against said parties, to compel them to audit said judgments.

The respondents filed their answer on the 2d of February, 1875. They admit that on the 29th of August, 1874, Chester Badger, supervisor, and Warrener and Andrus, justices of the peace, resigned their respective offices and that on the 31st of the same month, Ives, town clerk, also resigned. That, pursuant to the provisions of sec. 4, art. 10, of the township organization act of Illinois, Revised Laws 1874, p. 1079, said resignations were made to and accepted by Cronkrite and Simon Badger, justices of the town, who forthwith gave notice to the town clerk of the resignation of Chester Badger, Andrus, and Warrener, and said clerk made a minute thereof upon the records of said town before he resigned his office. That the resignation of Ives, the town clerk, was likewise duly accepted, on the said thirty-first day of August, by said justices, and notice thereof entered upon the town records. Respondents insist that their resignations were tendered and accepted in good faith, and that thereby they ceased to be town officers. They admit that no successors have been elected or appointed, and that the remaining two justices of the peace will not act as town auditors, or associate with the collector and assessor of said town, nor have they filled said vacancies by appointment.

The relators demurred to the answer; which demurrer being sustained, and the respondents electing to stand by their answer, the court gave judgment in favor of the relators, and ordered a

Page 93 U. S. 601

peremptory mandamus to issue as prayed for in their petition. The respondents thereupon sued out this writ.

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