17 D.C. 570 (D.C.D.C. 1888), 9,189, Washington & G. R. Co. v. District of Columbia

Docket Nº:In Equity. 9,189.
Citation:17 D.C. 570
Opinion Judge:MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BINGHAM:
Party Name:THE WASHINGTON AND GEORGETOWN RAILROAD COMPANY v. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL.
Attorney:MR. ENOCH TOTTEN, for plaintiff. MR. A. G. RIDDLE, for defendant.
Case Date:October 22, 1888
Court:Supreme Court of District of Columbia
 
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Page 570

17 D.C. 570 (D.C.D.C. 1888)

THE WASHINGTON AND GEORGETOWN RAILROAD COMPANY

v.

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL.

In Equity. No. 9,189.

Supreme Court, District of Columbia.

October 22, 1888

This Court has no jurisdiction to restrain by injunction the prosecution of a criminal information to recover a penalty.

APPEAL from a decree dismissing a bill in equity, filed to obtain an injunction against the prosecution of a criminal information to recover a penalty.

THE FACTS are stated in the opinion.

MR. ENOCH TOTTEN, for plaintiff.

MR. A. G. RIDDLE, for defendant.

OPINION

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BINGHAM:

This is a bill in equity in which the complainant shows that it is an incorporated company for the purpose of constructing, maintaining and operating a street railway in the District of Columbia; that this railway has been constructed and is being operated by the complainant. It shows that at the time of the granting of the charter there were certain provisions in the charter itself as to taxation of the property of the company, and avers that in 1871 the Legislative Assembly of the District of Columbia passed an act by which this company and all others in the District were to obtain a license, and were to pay for each car six dollars.

By the fourth section of this act the Legislative Assembly provided for a fine or penalty of not more than fifty dollars upon each car for every railroad company failing to pay said license fee.

It is averred that in 1887 the Commissioners of the District presented to the Police Court an information, alleging a violation of the provisions of this act on the part of the plaintiff. On trial the plaintiff was found guilty. That an appeal was taken to the Criminal Court and was there dismissed, for the reason, as is averred in the bill, that the Court found the Legislative Assembly was without the power to enact such a law. That afterwards, in April, 1882, another information with like charges and allegations was filed in the Police Court; that there the plaintiff was found guilty and an appeal taken to the Criminal Court, and in that Court the attorney for the District dismissed or withdrew the prosecution.

It is then alleged that in 1884, a short time previous to the filing of the bill in this case, the municipal authorities caused two informations to be presented to the Police Court, each...

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