Missouri ex Rel. Quincy, Missouri & Pac. R. Co. v. Harris - 144 U.S. 210 (1892)
U.S. Supreme Court
Missouri ex Rel. Quincy, Missouri & Pac. R. Co. v. Harris, 144 U.S. 210 (1892)
Missouri ex Rel. Quincy, Missouri and Pacific Railroad Company v. Harris
Argued March 29, 1892
Decided April 4, 1892
144 U.S. 210
No federal question is involved when the supreme court of a state decides that a municipal corporation within the state had not power, under the Constitution and laws of the state, to make the contract sued on.
Mandamus to compel the performance of an alleged subscription by Sullivan County, Missouri, to stock of a railroad company. The defense was that no valid subscription had been made under the Constitution and laws of Missouri. The supreme court of the state, in rendering the judgment to which this writ of error was sued out, said, in its opinion:
"The power of the county court to subscribe to the stock of a railroad company was made by the constitution of 1865 and Gen.Stat., 1865, p. 338, § 17, to depend upon the fact that two-thirds of the qualified voters of the county at a regular or special election held therein should assent thereto. . . . Taking in this case the admission that the registration books offered in evidence contained the names of 1,940 persons as qualified to vote in said county at said election, it is evident that two-thirds of the qualified voters of the County of Sullivan did not assent to said subscription, as only 1,049 of said voters voted in favor of the subscription. Besides this, while there was evidence tending to show that the railroad company had complied with the conditions of the subscription, there was also evidence to show that it had not complied, and the trial court might on this ground have well denied the relief asked. The judgment, for the reasons given, is hereby affirmed. "