Londoner v. Denver - 210 U.S. 373 (1908)
U.S. Supreme Court
Londoner v. Denver, 210 U.S. 373 (1908)
Londoner v. Denver
Argued March 6, 9, 1908
Decided June 1, 1908
210 U.S. 373
The legislature of a state may authorize municipal improvements without any petition of landowners to be assessed therefor, and proceedings of a municipality in accordance with charter provisions and without hearings authorizing an improvement do not deny due process of law to landowners who are afforded a hearing upon the assessment itself.
The decision of a state court that a city council properly determined that the board of public works had acted within its jurisdiction under the city charter does not involve a federal question reviewable by this Court.
Where the state court has construed a state statute so as to bring it into harmony with the federal and state constitutions, nothing in the Fourteenth Amendment gives this Court power to review the decision on the ground that the state court exercised legislative power in construing the statute in that manner, and thereby violated that Amendment.
There are few constitutional restrictions on the power of the states to assess, apportion, and collect taxes, and in the enforcement of such restrictions, this Court has regard to substance, and not form, but where the legislature commits the determination of the tax to a subordinate body, due process of law requires that the taxpayer he afforded a hearing of which he must have notice, and this requirement is not satisfied by the mere right to file objections, and where, as in Colorado, the taxpayer has no right to object to an assessment in court, due process of law a guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment require that he have the opportunity to support his objections by argument and proof at some time and place.
The denial of due process of law by municipal authorities while acting as a board of equalization amounts to a denial by the state.
33 Colo. 104 reversed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.