21 Ill. 53 (Ill. 1858), Bank of Republic v. County of Hamilton

Citation:21 Ill. 53
Opinion Judge:CATON, C. J.
Party Name:THE BANK OF THE REPUBLIC, Plaintiff in Error, v. THE COUNTY OF HAMILTON, Defendant in Error
Attorney:H. T. STEELE, for Plaintiff in Error. N. L. FREEMAN, for Defendant in Error.
Court:Supreme Court of Illinois

Page 53

21 Ill. 53 (Ill. 1858)

THE BANK OF THE REPUBLIC, Plaintiff in Error,


THE COUNTY OF HAMILTON, Defendant in Error

Supreme Court of Illinois, Mount Vernon

November, 1858

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THIS cause was brought into the Circuit Court of Hamilton county by appeal from the County Court, from a hearing had in the County Court on application, by the Bank of the Republic, for a reduction of the assessment of the property of the said bank, as made by the assessor of Hamilton county for the year 1857, the County Court having refused to reduce said assessment.

In the Circuit Court the cause on appeal was heard before BEECHER, Judge, at the May term, 1858, of the Hamilton Circuit Court, without a jury, and the judgment of the County Court was affirmed.

On the trial in the Circuit Court, it appeared in evidence, from the assessment lists of Hamilton county, that the valuation of the personal property of said bank for the year 1857, was four hundred and forty-two thousand dollars, which valuation was entered in said lists in the column headed "Bonds, Stocks;" there was not any noting on the said lists, of the words, "by assessor," in any way connected with the bank.

That the assessor of Hamilton county called upon the agent of the bank, (the president, etc., being absent,) in June, 1857, for a statement of the property of the bank for taxation, when it was agreed that such statement should be furnished by the first of September. That the assessor did not leave with the agent of the bank any blank to be filled. That said agent, in August, 1857, mailed through the post office to said assessor a statement of the property of said bank, signed by the president thereof, which stated the capital stock of said bank paid in, at fifty thousand dollars.

That it appeared from the testimony of Charles H. Rockwell, the president of said bank, that the amount of capital stock thereof paid in at that time was fifty thousand dollars; that there was not any surplus profits, reserved funds, personal property, or real estate belonging to said bank, beyond said fifty thousand dollars; that said bank then had bonds and stocks deposited with the auditor, as a basis of issue for the circulating notes of said bank, to the amount of four hundred and six thousand dollars, and that the amount of circulating notes of said bank was four hundred and three thousand dollars; that the balance due upon the purchase of said bonds, when procured, was paid in the notes issued by said bank; that said bonds deposited draw interest; that said bank had, on the 1st April, 1857, thirteen thousand dollars in specie on hand. That after the passage of the act of 1857, amendatory of the general banking law, the auditor demanded proof of said bank that fifty thousand dollars of actual cash capital had been paid in, or secured to be paid in, to said bank. That there is no other or further cash capital paid in, or secured to be paid in, to said bank, than said fifty thousand dollars.

The Circuit Court fixed the valuation of the bank at four hundred and nineteen thousand dollars.

Thereupon the counsel on the part of said bank, and the counsel for the defendant (Hamilton county,) had the case certified to this court, upon the following agreement signed by them:

"We do hereby agree, in the case of The Bank of the Republic versus The People of Hamilton County, that the following questions and points of law arising in the said cause may be submitted to the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, for final judgment and determination; and that no further action be taken or further proceedings had in the said cause, until the opinion of the said Supreme Court shall be first had thereon.

"1st. Whether the said assessment of plaintiff's property for the year 1857 was not invalid, for the reason that the assessor did not comply with the provisions of the statutes of the State of Illinois, in not leaving the notice and blank required by law for the listing of property, and in not making any note or memorandum of the date and name as required in such cases, and not noting the words, 'by assessor,' in the assessment lists, against the name of the plaintiff.

"2nd. Whether there was any such neglect or refusal on the part of the plaintiff to list property, as the law contemplates, in order to authorize the assessor to value the property independently of the owner.

"3rd. Whether said assessor was not bound to accept the statement of the property as listed by the president of said bank, on being notified that it was ready for him at the clerk's office, before closing his assessment list, and before entering therein any valuation of said property.

"4th. Whether said statement of the order was sufficient authority for said assessor to enter the valuation of the property of said bank, without further information or inquiry.

"5th. Whether the assessor had any legal authority to assess bank property at all.

"6th. Whether the provision of the law is not compulsory, requiring a reduction of the assessment to the valuation fixed by the person required to list, when verified by the oath of such person, on applying for such reducation.

"7th. Whether the bonds or stocks deposited with the State auditor, as the basis of issue of said bank, are taxable as personal property of said bank.

"8th. Whether said stocks so deposited, are the measure of the capital stock of said bank, and liable to taxation according to their market value.

"9th. Whether the act of 1857, emendatory of the general banking law, makes the bona fide cash capital of said bank actually paid in, or secured to be paid in, the basis of taxation for said bank.

"10th. Whether the term 'capital stock paid in,' as employed in the sixth section of said amendatory act, is to be construed as synonymous with the term 'bona fide cash capital actually paid in,' as it occurs in the eighth...

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