17 A. 339 (Pa. 1889), 14, Schuylkill County v. Boyer

Docket Nº:14
Citation:17 A. 339, 125 Pa. 226
Opinion Judge:JUSTICE McCOLLUM
Party Name:COUNTY OF SCHUYLKILL v. J. M. BOYER
Attorney:Mr. J. W. Ryon (with him Mr. J. F. Minogue), for the plaintiff in error: Mr. Geo. J. Wadlinger (with him Mr. Jacob C. Kline and Mr. Chas. N. Brumm), for the defendant in error:
Judge Panel:Before PAXSON, C.J., GREEN, CLARK, WILLIAMS and McCOLLUM, JJ.
Case Date:April 08, 1889
Court:Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Page 339

17 A. 339 (Pa. 1889)

125 Pa. 226

COUNTY OF SCHUYLKILL

v.

J. M. BOYER

No. 14

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

April 8, 1889

Argued: February 20, 1889

ERROR TO THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF SCHUYLKILL COUNTY.

No. 14 July Term 1888, S.Ct.

On July 24, 1887, J. Monroe Boyer brought assumpsit against the county of Schuylkill, declaring for the recovery of fees as sheriff of the county from the first Monday of January, 1883, until the first Monday of January, 1886, his entire term of office. Issue.

At the trial on November 30, 1887, it was shown that for his official services, chargeable to the county during his term, the plaintiff had settled annually with the county commissioners, according to the sheriff's fee-bill under the act of June 12, 1878, P.L. 187, which act on April 12, 1886, in Morrison v. Bachert, 112 Pa. 322, was declared unconstitutional. He then brought this suit to recover the difference in amount in the fees allowed by said act and those allowed by the act of April 2, 1868, P.L. 3.

The services being proved and the other testimony in the cause received, the court, GREEN, J., charged the jury:

[Gentlemen of the jury, we have already said we think under all the evidence in this case that the plaintiff is entitled to a verdict. It appears that this was a mutual mistake that arose by reason of the passage of a law in 1878 fixing the fees of the sheriff in certain cases, and making it less than it was under a previous fee-bill.] For instance, under the act of 1878 the sheriff's fees in each criminal case was fixed at one dollar. Under the act of 1868 it had been $1.25. For summoning jurors to the court under the bill of 1868 it was fixed at thirty cents, and under the act of 1878 it was reduced to twenty-five cents; also with regard to commitments and capias there was a slight reduction in each one of these cases under the act of 1878.

When the sheriff presented his bills to the county commissioners for these different criminal cases and others, his bill was presented based upon the act of 1878, which was therefore less than it would have been if it had been made out under the act of 1868, and the county commissioners paid these bills according to the act of 1878; but after the sheriff went out of office, upon a case taken to the Supreme Court of this state, that court declared the law of 1878 unconstitutional, null and void, and the effect of that was to declare the act of 1868 still in force. Therefore the sheriff made out his bill under a wrong impression as to the law; and, instead of making out his bills in criminal cases for one dollar he should have made them out for $1.25, and so with regard to the other cases; and this suit was brought here for the purpose of recovering from the county the difference in the bill that he made out and the bill he should have made out under the act of 1868. That difference, according to the testimony in this case, undisputed, would amount to $659.40. There were some eight cases in which no fees at all had been paid and which it is admitted on the part of...

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