Harter v. Kernochan - 103 U.S. 562 (1880)
U.S. Supreme Court
Harter v. Kernochan, 103 U.S. 562 (1880)
Harter v. Kernochan
103 U.S. 562
1. A township in Illinois and a taxpayer thereof, on behalf of himself and other resident taxpayers, filed their bill in a court of that state against certain state, county, and township officers and the "unknown owners and holders" of certain township bonds, each payable in the sum of $1,000. The bill prayed for an injunction to restrain the levy and collection of a tax to pay the principal of the bonds or any interest thereon. A., a citizen of another state, was the owner of all of them. Held that he was entitled, under the Act of March 3, 1875, c. 137, 18 Stat., pt. 3, p. 470, to remove the suit to the circuit court of the United States.
2. A decree was rendered by the state court against A. by default, although he was not summoned nor served with a copy of the bill or any notice of the pendency of the suit. On his application within the prescribed period, the decree was set aside, and he thereupon filed his petition to remove the cause. Held that it was filed in due time.
3. Neither the act of the Legislature of Illinois entitled "An Act to incorporate the Illinois Southeastern Railway Company," approved Feb. 26, 1867, authorizing townships to make donations to that company, nor the amendatory act of Feb. 24, 1869, authorizing the issue of township bonds for the amount so donated is in conflict with the constitution of the state.
4. The bonds of the Township of Harter dated April 1, 1880, signed by the supervisor and countersigned by the clerk of the township, reciting that they are issued in pursuance of the authority conferred by those acts and an election of the legal voters of the township held on the tenth day of November, 1868, under their provisions, are valid obligations of the township, although the donation was voted to the Illinois Southeastern Railway Company, and they were delivered to a corporation formed, pursuant to law, by the consolidation of that company with another.
5. As the records of the township show that the bonds were directed to be issued and delivered to the new company, the township is, as against a bona fide holder of them for value, estopped from denying their validity.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.