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Opinion of the Court.
but has never been considered by either House. The principle that, for injuries to or destruction of private property in necessary military operations during the civil war, the government is not responsible is thus considered established. Compensation has been made in several such cases, it is true; but it has generally been, as stated by the President in his veto message, “a matter of bounty rather than of strict legal right.”
In what we have said as to the exemption of government from liability for private property injured or destroyed during war, by the operations of armies in the field, or by measures necessary for their safety and efficiency, we do not mean to include claims where property of loyal citizens is taken for the service of our armies, such as vessels, steamboats, and the like, for the transport of troops and munitions of war; or buildings to be used as storehouses and places of deposit of war material, or to house soldiers or take care of the sick, or claims for sup plies seized and appropriated. In such cases, it has been the practice of the government to make compensation for the property taken. Its obligation to do so is supposed to rest upon the general principle of justice that compensation should be made where private property is taken for public use, although the seizure and appropriation of private property under such circumstances by the military authorities may not be within the terms of the constitutional clause. Mitchell v. Harmony, 13 How. 115, 134; United States v. Russell, 13 Wall. 623.
While the government cannot be charged for injuries to, or destruction of, private property caused by military operations of armies in the field, or measures taken for their safety and efficiency, the converse of the doctrine is equally true, that private parties cannot be charged for works constructed on their lands by the government to further the operations of its armies. Military necessity will justify the destruction of property, but will not compel private parties to erect on their own lands works needed by the government, or to pay for such works when erected by the government. The cost of building and repairing roads and bridges to facilitate the movements of troops, or the transportation of supplies and munitions of war, must, therefore, be borne by the government.
Opinion of the Court.
It is true that in some instances the works thus constructed may, afterwards, be used by the owner; a house built for a barrack, or for the storage of supplies, or for a temporary fortification, might be converted to some purposes afterwards by the owner of the land, but that circumstance would impose no liability upon him. Whenever a structure is permanently affixed to real property belonging to an individual, without his consent or request, he cannot be held responsible because of its subsequent use. It becomes his by being annexed to the soil; and he is not obliged to remove it to escape liability. He is not deemed to have accepted it so as to incur an obliga tion to pay for it, merely because he has not chosen to tear it down, but has seen fit to use it. Zottman v. San Francisco, 20 Cal. 96, 107. Where structures are placed on the property of another, or repairs are made to them, he is supposed to have the right to determine the manner, form, and time in which the structures shall be built, or the repairs be made, and the materials to be used; but upon none of these matters was the company consulted in the case before us. The government regarded the interests only of the army; the needs or wishes of the company were not considered. No liability, therefore, could be fastened upon it for work thus done.
We do not find any adjudged cases on this particular point; whether the government can claim compensation for structures erected on land of private parties, or annexed to their property, not by their request, but as a matter of military necessity, to enable its armies to prosecute their movements with greater efficiency; and we are unable to recall an instance where such a claim has been advanced.
It follows from these views, that the government can make no charge against the railroad company for the four bridges constructed by it from military necessity. The court will leave the parties where the war and the military operations of the government left them.
The judgment of the Court of Claims must, therefore, be
reversed, and judgment be entered for the full amount claimed by the railroad company for its services; and it is so ordered.
Counsel for Appellant.
United States v. Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company. Same counsel as in the last case. Mr. Justice Field delivered the opinion of the court. It is agreed by counsel of the parties that this case involves the same question as that decided in United States' v. Pacific Railroad, and, therefore, on the authority of that decision, the judgment below is
QUINCY v. STEEL.
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS.
Submitted January 4, 1887.- - Decided January 31, 1887.
The city of Quincy, Illinois, in 1877 contracted with an Illinois corporation to supply it with gas for four years. Disputes arose, payments were in arrear, and in May, 1881, the city notified the company that it would be no longer bound by the contract. A, a citizen of Alabama, on the 13th August, 1885, filed a bill in equity in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of Illinois, setting forth that the company had a claim against the city recoverable at law, that he had at different times tried to induce the directors to enforce it, that he was, and for more than four years had been, a stockholder in the company, that he had not succeeded in inducing the directors to institute suit, that his last request was made August 1, 1885, that the claims were about to be barred by the statute of limitations, and he asked for a mandamus to compel the payment of the company's debt. The respondent demurred. This court sustains the demurrer, on the ground that the real contest being between two Illinois corporations, the proper remedy was an action at law by one of those corporations against the other upon the contract, and that A has not, by the averments in his bill, brought himself within the directions prescribed by Equity Rule 94, 104 U. S. ix-x, respecting suits brought by stockholders in a corporation against the corporation and other parties, founded on rights which might be properly asserted by the corporation.
THIS was a bill in equity. Respondent demurred. Decree for complainant, from which respondent appealed. The case is stated in the opinion of the court.
Mr. George A. Anderson, Mr. Joseph N. Carter, Mr. William H. Govert, and Mr. L. H. Berger for appellants.
Opinion of the Court.
Mr. William McFadon for appellee.
MR. JUSTICE MILLER delivered the opinion of the court.
This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of Illinois.
James W. Steel, the complainant in the Circuit Court, is a citizen of Alabama, and he brings his bill against the city of Quincy, a municipal corporation of the State of Illinois, and the Quincy Gas Light and Coke Company, also a corporation of that state. He sets out a contract between the city of Quincy and the gas company, dated February 14, 1877, the only parts of which in this connection of any importance being that the gas company was to furnish a certain number of lighted lamps for the streets of said city, for which the city agreed to pay a fixed price per annum. This contract was to continue for five years. The city failed to pay the full amount due for gas in any one year, but paid a part of the bill on each year as long as the gas company continued to furnish the gas. On May 11, 1881, the city passed an ordinance declaring that it no longer recognized as binding the agreement between it and the gas company, under which the gas had been furnished, and notifying the company of that fact. The company, however, continued to furnish gas until November, 1883.
Instead of a suit by the gas company against the city of Quincy, in an action at law to enforce the rights of the company by a judgment, and by an appropriate writ of mandamus if the city did not pay the judgment, the present suit is brought by Mr. Steel in his own name, on the ground that he is a stockholder in the gas company; and, as the allegations on this branch of the subject, on which he relies as his authority to maintain this suit, are important, they are given here verbatim from the bill.
He says "that your orator is advised and believes, and so states the fact to be, that the said company has a just and valid claim against said city of Quincy, and one recoverable in the courts by some suit or suits in the name of said company; that your orator has at different times endeavored to
Opinion of the Court.
induce the board of directors of said company to institute a suit or suits to recover the said claim against said city; that your orator now is, and for more than four years last past has been, a stockholder in said company; that he now has, and during the entire period last aforesaid has had, seventy-five shares of the capital stock of said company; that said lastnamed endeavors have been made while your orator was said stockholder; that so far, and up to now, your orator has not succeeded in persuading said directors to institute as aforesaid; that your orator, on August 1, 1885, caused to be addressed to said board a communication in writing, directing and requiring said board to resolve to at once institute suit against said city of Quincy, in the name of said company, in such court or courts as were proper, for the recovery of said claim; that said board of directors laid said communication upon the table, as your orator is informed and believes, and therefore so states, and refused to agree to comply with the request therein contained; that whatever claim said company has by reason of the matters and things above alleged will be barred in considerable part before a meeting of the stockholders of said company will occur; that a part of said claim either has been or is about to be barred by the statute of limitations; that further delay in bringing suit will result in a part of said claim being barred by the statute of limitations; and that this suit is brought in good faith, and for the collection of, and to compel the collection of, what your orator believes to be a meritorious claim."
The decree of the court below was rendered on a demurrer to the bill filed by the city of Quincy, which, being overruled, the city refused to plead further, and decree was thereupon rendered against it. This decree, made on the 1st day of March, 1886, among other things, "orders, adjudges, and decrees that said The Quincy Gas Light and Coke Company have and recover of said defendant city of Quincy the sum of $36,116.21." It then makes provision for the enforcement of this decree by certain orders concerning future annual appropriations to be made by the city for payment out of its annual tax levy.