Briscoe v. Rudolph - 221 U.S. 547 (1911)
U.S. Supreme Court
Briscoe v. Rudolph, 221 U.S. 547 (1911)
Briscoe v. Rudolph
Argued April 25, 1911
Decided May 29, 1911
221 U.S. 547
Sections 997 and 1012, Rev.Stat., and Rule 35 of this Court, require assignments of error and apply to appeals from courts of the District of Columbia. Realty Co. v. Rudolph, 217 U. S. 547. An assignment in the brief is not sufficient.
This Court, under Rule 21, can, and in this case, as the appeal was taken before the decision in Realty Co. v. Rudolph, will, notice a plain error of fact even if unassigned.
Whether a special assessment for benefits of a street opening is excessive is a question of fact. English v. Arizona, 214 U. S. 359.
Congress, under its wide legislative power over the District of Columbia, may create a special assessment district and charge a part or all of the cost of a public improvement upon the property therein according to the benefits received.
Where, as in this case, the court is possessed of statutory jurisdiction and all the essential facts appear to have existed, the judgment is no more subject to collateral impeachment than one entered in exercise of general jurisdiction.
Although the court could have, on motion of the dissatisfied owner, set the assessment in a special proceeding aside, and ordered a new trial, if the owner failed to take the proceedings provided by the statute, and the court had jurisdiction of the parties and subject matter, the judgment cannot be attacked collaterally in a suit to enjoin sale under the judgment of assessment.
The Act of February 10, 1899, 30 Stat. 834, c. 150, extending Rhode Island Avenue and authorizing assessments for benefits on property within the assessment district created by the act, is not unconstitutional as depriving owners within the district of their property without due process of law either because not providing sufficient notice or as arbitrarily assessing one-half the damages upon property within the designated district.
32 App.D.C. 167 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the validity of a street opening assessment in the District of Columbia, are stated in the opinion.