103 Mass. 138 (Mass. 1869), Attorney Gen. v. City of Salem

Citation:103 Mass. 138
Opinion Judge:Morton, J.
Party Name:Attorney General v. City of Salem
Attorney:S. Bartlett, (J. A. Gillis with him,) for the defendants. J. W. Perry, (W. C. Endicott with him,) for the Attorney General.
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 138

103 Mass. 138 (Mass. 1869)

Attorney General

v.

City of Salem

Supreme Court of Massachusetts, Essex

November, 1869

Demurrer sustained.

S. Bartlett, (J. A. Gillis with him,) for the defendants.

J. W. Perry, (W. C. Endicott with him,) for the Attorney General.

OPINION

Morton, J.

This is an information in the nature of a quo warranto. The defendants have demurred; and the only question before the court is, whether upon the facts stated in the information it can be sustained.

Under the St. of 1864, c. 268, "for supplying the city of Salem with pure water," the said city has constructed works for supplying the inhabitants with water at an expense of a million dollars or more, and has issued scrip or bonds to that amount. The thirteenth section of said act provides that "the city council shall establish such price or rents to be paid for the use of the water, as to provide annually, if practicable, from the net income and receipts therefor, for the payment of the interest, and not less than one per cent. of the principal of the 'city of Salem water loan,' and shall determine the manner of collecting the same. The net surplus income and receipts, after deducting all expenses and charges of distribution, shall be set apart as a sinking fund, and applied solely to the principal and interest of said loan until the same is fully paid and discharged."

The information alleges, in substance, that the city, disregarding these provisions of law, has established merely nominal rates and rents to be paid for water, with the fraudulent intent and purpose to distribute water free to all its inhabitants and to all its business men and corporations, and to tax the property and polls of the inhabitants to pay said interest upon the water

Page 139

loan and the expenses of operating the works and the said one per cent. upon the principal of said loan. The prayer of the information is, that the city may be made to answer to the Commonwealth by what warrant it claims to do the acts and to exercise the rights and powers aforesaid; and that said city and its officers may be enjoined from supplying water at nominal rates, and from making contracts to that effect, and from taxing its inhabitants to pay said interest and the expenses of operating the works and the one per cent. towards the capital of the water loan.

An information in the nature of quo...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP