ORLEANS V. PLATT, 99 U. S. 676 (1878)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Orleans v. Platt, 99 U.S. 676 (1878)

Orleans v. Platt

99 U.S. 676


1. Where, upon the undisputed facts of the case, the plaintiff is entitled to recover, it is not error for the court to instruct the jury to find for him.

2. Where the testimony is all one way, a party is not entitled to instructions which assume that it is otherwise.

3. Where, pursuant to the authority vested in him by chapter 907 of the laws of New York, passed May 18, 1869, and the several laws amendatory thereof, the county judge renders judgment declaring that the conditions have been performed whereon a town in the county can lawfully subscribe for shares of the capital stock of a railroad company in that state, and issue its bonds to pay therefor, held that the judgment, until reversed by a higher court, is conclusive.

Page 99 U. S. 677

4. In May, 1871, certain parties claiming to be a majority of the taxpayers, and to own the greater part of the taxable property of a town in New York, petitioned the proper county judge for an order that its bonds, to the amount of $80,000, should be issued to enable it to subscribe and pay for that amount of the capital stock of A., a railroad company. After hearing, he, July 1, 1871, ordered the bonds to be issued, and, pursuant to the statute, appointed three commissioners to execute and deliver them. Application was thereupon made by sundry taxpayers to the supreme court for a writ of certiorari, which was allowed Sept. 30, 1871, and served upon him. The proper return was made. June 27, 1872, the supreme court affirmed the judgment. In July following, the case was taken to the Court of Appeals, where, solely upon the ground that he had refused the application of taxpayers to withdraw their signatures from the petitions, which, had it been granted, would have reduced the numbers and the taxable property represented below the statutory requirement, the previous judgment was, in February, 1873, reversed, with directions to dismiss the proceeding. April 3, 1872, the commissioners subscribed for eight hundred shares of the stock of A., and on the next day issued and delivered in payment one hundred and sixty of the bonds of the town of $500 each, and thereupon received from A. scrip for the stock, which the town still holds. On the face of each bond was a certificate that it had been duly registered in the clerk's office of the county. A., Feb. 26, 1872, and May 31, 1873, entered into contracts with another railroad company, and at the latter date delivered as collateral security for the fulfillment of both contracts all the bonds to B., with authority to him to sell them and pay over the proceeds to the latter company. Feb. 4, 1874, the plaintiff purchased some of the bonds in good faith for a valuable consideration. He subsequently brought suit against the town to recover the amount due on the coupons. Held that the plaintiff is entitled to recover.

6. County of Warren v. Marcy, 97 U. S. 96, cited and approved.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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