10 D.C. 258 (D.C.D.C. 1879), 15,521, Bartlett v. The District of Columbia

Docket NºAT LAW.— 15,521.
Citation10 D.C. 258
Party NameLESTER A. BARTLETT AND JOSEPH WILLIAMS, TRADING UNDER THE NAME OF BARTLETT & WILLIAMS, TO THE USE OF LESTER A. BARTLETT, v. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
AttorneyI. G. Kimball and J. M. Wilson , for plaintiffs. William Birney , for the District of Columbia.
CourtSupreme Court of District of Columbia

Page 258

10 D.C. 258 (D.C.D.C. 1879)

LESTER A. BARTLETT AND JOSEPH WILLIAMS, TRADING UNDER THE NAME OF BARTLETT & WILLIAMS, TO THE USE OF LESTER A. BARTLETT,

v.

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

AT LAW.— No. 15,521.

Supreme Court, District of Columbia.

September Term, 1879

In declaring upon contracts with the Board of Public Works, it is not necessary to aver that such contracts were in writing, and that a sum of money had been previously appropriated by law for the work embraced in the contracts. These are matters which come more properly by way of defense from the other side.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE.

There are two special counts in the declaration. The first set forth that on June 27, 1872, plaintiffs entered into a contract with the Board of Public Works of the District of Columbia to grade Maryland avenue, between Third and Seventh streets southwest, in the city of Washington; said work to be done in accordance with specifications annexed to said contract ; and said board agreed to pay the plaintiffs for doing said work thirty cents a cubic yard for such grading, & c. And it is then averred that the board agreed that they would perform all the stipulations of said contract, and would pay the plaintiffs in lawful money the amount which might be found from time to time due plaintiffs according to contract; that the amount found due to plaintiffs under said contract was $44,690.82, of which amount $18,463.43 are still due and unpaid. Plaintiffs further aver the faithful performance by them of the contract.

Second count . Plaintiffs sue defendant for that: January 7, 1874, plaintiffs entered into a contract with the Board of Public Works in and for the District of Columbia to grade North Capitol street, between L street north and New York avenue, Washington, D. C., said grading to be done in accordance with specifications annexed to said contract; and the said Board of Public Works for said District agreed to pay plaintiffs for doing the said work thirty cents for each cubic yard of grading, & c.; and said board did further agree with plaintiffs to perform all the stipulations of said contract, and to pay plaintiffs the amount which may be found due them according to contract. The amount found due plaintiffs under this contract was $28,464.68, of which amount $9,678 are still due and unpaid.

Plaintiffs aver that, in all respects, they have faithfully performed their part of said contract, and are entitled to receive said balance.

The common counts are added, with particulars of demand.

The defendant, the District of Columbia, demurs to the special counts because they contain no averment that said board made either of said contracts in writing, signed by the parties, or after a sum of money had been appropriated by law for said improvements. The thirty-seventh section of the organic act provides, among other things, that—

" All contracts made by the said Board of Public Works shall be in writing, and shall be signed by the parties making...

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