Bissell v. City of Jeffersonville,
65 U.S. 287 (1860)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bissell v. City of Jeffersonville, 65 U.S. 24 How. 287 287 (1860)

Bissell v. City of Jeffersonville

65 U.S. (24 How.) 287


The Common Council of the City of Jeffersonville, in Indiana, had authority to subscribe for stock in a railroad company and to issue bonds for such subscription upon the petition of three-fourths of the legal voters of the city. The statutes of the state examined by which such authority was conferred.

Under one of these acts, the common council determined that three-fourths had

Page 65 U. S. 288

so petitioned, and under a subsequent act, authorizing them to revise the subject, they again came to the same conclusion, and issued the bonds.

Jurisdiction of the subject matter on the part of the common council was made to depend upon the fact whether the petitioners whose names were appended constituted three-fourths of the legal voters of the city, and the common council were made by the laws the tribunal to decide that question.

When sued upon the bonds by innocent holders for value, it was too late to introduce parol testimony to show that the petitioners did not constitute three-fourths of the legal voters of the city.

Duly certified copies of the proceedings of the common council were exhibited to the plaintiffs at the time they received the bonds, and upon the bonds themselves it was recited that three-fourths of the legal voters had petitioned for the subscription. The railroad company and their assigns had a right, therefore, to conclude that they imported absolute verity.

The facts of the case are fully stated in the opinion of the Court.

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