Brown v. District of Columbia,
127 U.S. 579 (1888)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Brown v. District of Columbia, 127 U.S. 579 (1888)

Brown v. District of Columbia

No. 224

Submitted April 13, l888

Decided May 14, 1888

127 U.S. 579



A proposition to pave streets in a municipality, made in writing by a contractor to the head of a board consisting of several members which by law was charged with the care and paving of the streets, although considered and agreed to by the head of the board and although by his directions the secretary of the board wrote under it that it was "accepted by order of the board" and affixed his signature as secretary thereto, is not a "contract in writing signed by the parties making the same" if the action of the secretary was made without official acceptance of the proposition by the board and without authority from them to write it.

On the facts in this case, the Court holds: (1) that the alleged contract with the Board of Public Works was not a valid contract; (2) that it was never ratified by the board; (3) that it was never ratified by Congress; (4) that the portion of the plaintiff's claim which was for work performed was rejected by the Board of Audit, and that the Court of Claims was therefore without jurisdiction to entertain it.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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