, :..:!, ,
SIEGEL V. CITY OF NEW ORLEANS.
(Oircuit Oourt, E. D. LouiB'1.ana. December 25, 1890.)
MUNJCIl'AL CORPORATIONS-LUBILITY:fOR DEBTS.
'Act La. 1877,CE.xtra Sess.) No. 80, p. 47, provided that no municipal corporation shoul(i appropriate or expend any money in any year in excess of the actual revenue fOJ;theyear;that the revenue for year should.he devoted to the expenditures fdr1.hat'year; and that any surplUS mil2'ht be used topsy the indebtedness of former years. Act La. 1886, No. 109, p. 205, provided that the council of the city of New Or, leans.should each year reserve 20 per (lent. of the revenue for that year forthe purpose:Of pUblio improvement. lleld,that a creditor of said city could not compel the council to pay him out of said reserve fund for debts contracted after 1877, since suc.h re.serve fund did not constitute a surplus, nor did the former act apply to debts contracted after its passage. ,
At Law· .ft. R.
and H. L. wza1"UB, for plaintiff. F.· B.hea, fordelimdant. Before PARDEE, Circuit Judge, and BILUNGS, District Judge.
PER CuRIAM. The following the court finds as the facts in this case: The judgments of the relator against amount in the aggregat8to$ , , and are founded on indebtedness arising in the years 1879,1880, 1881, and 1882. The evidtmce establishes that for the year 1 888. as well as the year 1889, the common council of the city of New Orleans appropriated, out 01 the 20 per cent. reserved for pUblic improvements by Act No. 20, p.35,§ 66, of the Acts of 1882 and 1886, No. 109,1";:205, § 1; for the payment of debts not in the budget of those years, and not contrncted in those years, an amount greater than the aggregate ofrelator's judgments; and that of the said 20 per cent. reserved by the statute for public improvements there is now, for those years, more in the treasUl'Y of the respondent than would be sufficient to pay theentire'.aItlOunt of relator's judgments.· The statutes necessary to be considered are the first three sections of Act No. 30, p. 47, Acts 1877, (Extra Sees.;) section 1, Act No. 38, p. 58, Acts 1879, and Act No. 109, p. 205, Acts 1886. No. 30, Act 1877: "Spction'l.That no police jury of any parish, nor any municipalCoi-P0l'ation in this state. shall make any apprOI't'iation of mone)' for any year which appropriation separately, or togetlwr with any other appropriatIOn or,appl'opl'iation,; ot' the sallle year, ue illex;cess of the actual of.saidparlsh UI' municipal corporation for that year. :Spc.2. That no;'(?,oHcejury ot any parish, nor lDullicipalcorporalion in this state, shall approve any .claim or make allY expenditure which shall separately, or together with othpr claims approve,) or expend,turps made, be In excess of the actiuilrev6uues of that year. Spc. 3. That the of the sevt'fal parishelt lind muniCipal corpQrlJ.!ipns of thisSh;tttl ol'each.yeat' shall be devoted to t!16t;xrenditu,.r,esj ot'thatyear; I,rovided, thatl\IIY surplullof revenues may APplied to, tl,l,El p,\\yuwnt oUhe of formerypars.". ' , No; 38.'At t 181\:): . "Section 1. That it shall 1.\ethe duty of the board of administrators or'Cl>mmon ctiuh'ciI of the cityof.'Npw Or]pans, on 01' aboilt the second Tuesday of Decemher, li:l79, and upon the sec'ond Tuesday of December of each and every year tlltlreafter. or thereabout, to ,propose, a detailed
tJ5ITED STATES fl. CITY· OF
.statement exhibiting the amount of revenues for toe ensuing year. expected to be d!!rivedby the said city from taxes and licenses, and. with sucJjestimate of receirts as aforesaid" it shall be the duty of the aforesaid board of lltdmiflistra. tors or common council to propose a detailed statement or estimate, exhibiting the several items of liability and expendil1lue on the part of said city for the year aforesaid, including the requisite amount for contingent expenses during that time. Such estimate of liabiliUes and expenditures shall not, however, in the aggregate amount thereof, exceed four-fifths of the estimated amounts of revenues or rectJipts therein above provided for." No·. 109, Acts 18tl6: "'fhat section .66 of Act No. 20, approved 23, 1882, entitled ·An aet to incorporate the city of New Orleans, provide for the KovernlJlent and administration of the affairs thereof, and to repealall ac.ts inconsistent and in conflict with its provisions,' be amended and re-enacted 80 as to read as follows: 'fhe council shall not, underany pretekt wlilltever. appropriate any fqnCls for ,the government of the corporatiQnto the full e.xtent of the revenues, but shall reserve twenty per cent. of said revenues, which reserve, and all sums, rights, interests, and credits received from miscellaneous or contingent sources, shall be appropriatpd by the council for the purpose of permanent public improvement, as herein provided for." The claim ofthe relator,is when properly defined, there is shown to be a surplus for the years 1888 and 1889, and that, under the act of1877, since the the oity to him were contracted while' thl1t act was in force, he has a right to that surplus. As to the existence of a surplus for years 1888 and 1889, that which is claitned"to be a BnrphiB'is aD uI;lexpended but appropriated amount of the 20 per cent. But! the legislature has dedicated this to the purpose of perml!-nentpnblic ',improvements. This dedication is conclusive upon the relator's claim, unless,theactof 1877 has given him a right to a surplus; which the act :of 1886cou1dnot qualify. '.. ,,; This brings us to the question whether the act of 1877 gave any future creditor any fixed right to any surplus. That act'was passed under these circumstances: The legislature had been endeavoring by ·everylegislative mandate to prevent the city of" New Orleans from increai!ling·its floating debt. Up to the date of that statute their efforts had been in vain. Then it was enacted that no appropriation should be n1l1.cle and no claim approved by any municipal corporation during any year in cess Qf the actual revenues of that year;, that the revenues ,ofeach'yoor should be devoted to the expenditures of that year; and, since .a' large floating debt for former years already a provision 'Willi added that any surplus of revenues might be applied to the payment of the indebtedness of former years. In our opinion the "former yeaTS" mean years former to 1877, for any outstanding indebtedness for any year after 1877 had been rendered impossible, if the statute which cOlltains' this provision as to power to appropriate was obeyed. There could, be no surplus unless there remained some amount not appropriated. Sectiou 3, Act 1877, was not meant to guaranty that there would: be! any such amount, nor to limit the discretion of the appropriating power ':to provide for all necessary expenditures either on the part ofthe legislatnre or on the part of the common council. It simply provided 'thaJtif,'aftet tpediscretion,oftfie appropriating· power. had been exercised,
. J'}l:DERAL REPORTJl}R,
mained a surplus, it might be used in paying indebtedness of former years. The amended charter of 1886 expressly dedicated 20 per cent. of the proceeds of the taxes, even before they were levied, to the highly meritorious purpose of perlllanent improvements. This dedication, in our opinion, was in violation of no right of the relator, and it is not a surplus, but a legally appropriated sum, which the relator asks should be applied to the payment of his judgments. Our opinion, therefore, is that there is no surplus shown,but that the amount remaining unexpendedis dC3stined by the legislature to the purpose of permanent public improvements, and cannot be diverted from that purpose either by the city or its creditors; and that there was no intention on the part of the legislature to guaranty or pledge to any of its creditors any surplus; certainly not to the creditors whose debts arose after 1877. .
STATES '11. WOODWARD.
(Df.Btrlct Court. E. D. South. CaroZ1.na. January 6, 1891.)
.. . A postmaster carried the man to a station in a bag, and, while waiting for the train, laid it on a truck,and walked down the track to see some brioks unioaded from a oar. On his return he met defendant, the owner of the bricks, who be!!'an quarreling with him as to the manner pf unloading them, and finally struck him. By-standers separated them; and the IIlailwas dUly delivered to the train on its ar· rival, Held thatl before defendant could be oonvicted of obstruoting the mails. the jury' must believe that he knew his acts would have that elfect, and intended that they should.
Information for Obstructing the Mail.
MdJ. Woodward and W·. Q. Davia, for defendant.
SWONTON,J. The defendant was on trial for knowingly and willfully obstructing or retarding the passage of the mail. The evidence for the prosecution was to this effect: The postmaster at Monticello, S. C., who is alsoraiiroad and at that point, had carried the mailbag to the station to meet a train. He was about 10 minutes ahead of tfltin time. He placed the mail-bag on a truck, and went about 100 feet dQWn the track,. to see some bricks unloading from a car. On his return to.wardsthe bag he met the delimdant, the owner of the bricks, who began quarreling with him about the manner of unloading them. During the, quarrel defendant struck the postmaster. By-standers interfered, and they were separated. The train coming up shortly afterwards, the D:).ailW8S duly and safely delivered. The defenr1ant, having taken the stand, told his side of the quarrel. Being asked by the district attorney iCpedid not see the mail-bag, and did he not know that the postmaster on his official business, .and that he was obstructed in it, he answer.etl ,tha.-t he did not know or think anything of the mail. Thejury