Irwin v. Wright,
258 U.S. 219 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Irwin v. Wright, 258 U.S. 219 (1922)

Irwin v. Wright

No. 110

Submitted January 24, 1922

Decided March 20, 1922

258 U.S. 219


1. A suit to enjoin a public officer from enforcing a statute is personal and, in the absence of statutory provision for continuing it against his successor, abates upon his death. P. 258 U. S. 222.

2. The Act of February 8, 1899, c. 121, 30 Stat. 822, does not authorize such revivor against state officers, nor does § 461 of the Arizona Civil Code. P. 258 U. S. 222.

3. A suit against the members of a continuing public Board, such as a Board of county Supervisors in Arizona, does not abate when members retire, and their successors may be substituted. P. 258 U. S. 224.

4. Injunctive relief against collection of taxes unlawfully assessed on lands in Arizona and against future assessments may be obtained in a suit against the Board of Supervisors of the county in view of their functions under the Arizona law. P. 258 U. S. 226.

5. Lands entered within a reclamation project are not subject to state taxation before the equitable title has passed to the entryman, and that title does not pass until the conditions of reclamation and payment of water charges due at time of final proof, imposed by the amended Reclamation Act, have been fulfilled in addition to the requirements of the Homestead Act. P. 258 U. S. 226.

6. The Act of June 23, 1910, which permits entrymen within reclamation projects who have proved full compliance with the Homestead Law to assign in whole or in part to other persons, subject to the requirements of the Reclamation Act, was designed to enable entrymen, whose entries were cut down to smaller farm units prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior, to dispose of their surplus to others who would pursue the requirements of the Reclamation Act, and did not operate to subject such entries to state taxation. P. 258 U. S. 231.

7. With respect to taxation, mining claims differ from other claims to public lands in that the mining interest, with the right to appropriate the mineral, arises from discovery and location, and is independent of patent. P. 258 U. S. 231.

Page 258 U. S. 220

8. Reclamation entries are not taxable by the state as "equities" before the size of farm units has been fixed, or before the final certificates have been issued to the entrymen by the government. P. 258 U. S. 232.


Appeal from a decree of the district court dismissing a bill filed by the appellant, on behalf of himself and others in like situation, to enjoin the assessment and collection of state taxes on lands within a federal reclamation project.

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