Hartman v. Greenhow - 102 U.S. 672 (1880)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hartman v. Greenhow, 102 U.S. 672 (1880)
Hartman v. Greenhow
102 U.S. 672
1. The judgment in a proceeding for a mandamus is subject to review on the same conditions as that in any other action.
2. A final judgment or decree in any suit in the highest court of a state in which a decision in the suit could be had may, in the class of cases provided for in sec. 709, Rev. Stat., be reexamined here upon writ of error, although it was rendered upon an equal division of opinion among the judges. It is immaterial whether that court, in rendering it, was exercising original or appellate jurisdiction.
3. In the adjustment of her debt by the State of Virginia, her bonds, payable to order or bearer, with coupons annexed to them payable to bearer, were issued under the act of March 30, 1871, known as the "Funding Act," which declares that the coupons "shall be receivable at and after maturity for all taxes, debts, dues, and demands due the state," and that this shall be expressed on their face. Where, therefore, a creditor took, as in that act provided, such bonds for two-thirds of the amount of the old bonds he surrendered, and a certificate for the balance, a contract was consummated between the state and the holder of the bonds and the holder of the coupons from which, without their consent, she could not be released.
4. A subsequent enactment requiring the tax on the bonds issued under that act to be deducted from the coupons originally attached to them, when tendered in payment of taxes or other dues to the state, cannot be applied to coupons separated from the bonds and held by a different owner without impairing the contract. Such an owner is therefore entitled to a mandamus to compel the proper officer to receive for their full amount the coupons so tendered.