238 A.2d 226 (Me. 1968), Jones v. Maine State Highway Commission

Citation238 A.2d 226
Opinion JudgeMARDEN,
Party NameJoseph S. JONES v. MAINE STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION et al.
AttorneyMalcolm R. Stevenson, Bangor, for appellant. Leon V. Walker, Asst. Atty. Gen., Augusta, for appellees.
Judge PanelBefore WILLIAMSON, C. J., and WEBBER, TAPLEY, MARDEN, DUFRESNE and WEATHERBEE, JJ.
Case DateFebruary 26, 1968
CourtSupreme Judicial Court of Maine

Page 226

238 A.2d 226 (Me. 1968)

Joseph S. JONES

v.

MAINE STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION et al.

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.

February 26, 1968

Page 227

Malcolm R. Stevenson, Bangor, for appellant.

Leon V. Walker, Asst. Atty. Gen., Augusta, for appellees.

Before WILLIAMSON, C. J., and WEBBER, TAPLEY, MARDEN, DUFRESNE and WEATHERBEE, JJ.

MARDEN, Justice.

On report, stemming from a petition for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. The proceeding is based upon the following facts:

By Chapter 198 of the Private and Special Laws of 1955 the construction of a toll bridge across Jonesport Reach was authorized. The State Highway Commission was charged with operation of the bridge, when constructed, until the bonds issued as provided by the Act for such construction should be retired and expenses connected therewith should be paid. The measure included terms for its submission to the people for ratification under the Referendum clause of the Constitution, was seasonably ratified and the bridge, subject to tolls, was constructed.

The Act of 1955 further provided that until the income from tolls paid for the use of the bridge was sufficient to pay the carrying charges of the bonds and operating expenses 'the general highway fund' should defray such expenses.

By Chapter 146 of the Private and Special Laws of 1967 the provision for the payment of tolls for use of the bridge was repealed. This measure had no provision for submission to the people in Referendum. The effect of this repeal is to cast the financial burden of bond interest and eventual retirement upon the general highway fund.

Plaintiff as 'a resident registered voter and taxpayer of South Portland * * * Maine,' alleging that he 'is concerned about and interested in his rights and certain legal relations affected' by removal of the tolls from the bridge, seeks a ruling of invalidity of the repealing Act, and requests injunction against its enforcement.

Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss contending that:

(1) The plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

(2) Because the plaintiff is not a proper party, and

(3) Because the Court lacked jurisdiction over the defendants, the action, in effect, being an action against the State of Maine, which has sovereign immunity.

Alternatively defendants filed answer admitting the factual allegations, but pleading that the repealing Act of 1967 'was a valid exercise of legislative power.'

Page 228

The single Justice of this Court to whom the petition was presented, all parties agreeing thereto, order the case reported.

By stipulation the following issues are presented:

'1. Whether the plaintiff is a proper party.

'2. Whether the complaint states a claim against defendants upon which relief can be granted.

'3. Whether the court lacks jurisdiction over the defendants, because this action is in effect an action against the State of Maine which has sovereign immunity.

'4. Whether Private & Special Law 1967, Chapter 146, which repealed the toll provisions contained in Private & Special Law 1955, Chapter 198 (which latter Act authorized the construction of the Jonesport Reach Bridge with funds derived from the sale of general obligation bonds, and provided for retirement of bonds...

To continue reading

Request your trial
23 practice notes
  • 270 A.2d 863 (Me. 1970), King Resources Co. v. Environmental Imp. Commission
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • November 19, 1970
    ...a declaration of rights, status or other legal relations thereunder.' This Court in Jones v. Maine State Highway Commission, 1968, Me., 238 A.2d 226, cited with approval the text in Borchard, Declaratory Judgments (1941) at page 21: 'It is sufficient if a dispute * * * as to legal rights is......
  • 402 A.2d 860 (Me. 1979), Buck v. Town of Yarmouth
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • June 21, 1979
    ...our Court has recognized the standing of a citizen to sue to enforce a political right, See Jones v. Maine State Highway Commission, Me., 238 A.2d 226, 229 (1968). There a South Portland voter, who could claim no financial damage, alleged the loss of his right to vote on the removal of toll......
  • 405 A.2d 153 (Me. 1979), Central Maine Power Co. v. Public Utilities Commission
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • August 6, 1979
    .... assert (ed) . . . against a defendant having an adverse interest in contesting it . . . . Jones v. Maine State Highway Commission, Me., 238 A.2d 226, 228-29 (1968). The increase in costs and time which may be prompted by widespread intervention require that the propriety of such grants be......
  • 585 P.2d 12 (Or.App. 1978), A7710, Gast v. State, By and Through Stevenson
    • United States
    • Oregon Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • October 2, 1978
    ...Bd. of Social Welfare, 248 Iowa 369, 81 N.W.2d 4 (1957); Bradshaw v. Ball, 487 S.W.2d 294 (Ky.1972); Jones v. Maine State Highway Comm'n., 238 A.2d 226 (Maine 1968); Sheridan v. Gardner, 347 Mass. 8, 196 N.E.2d 303 (1964); Merchants' Exchange v. Knott, 212 Mo. 616, 111 S.W. 565 (1908); O'Ne......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • 270 A.2d 863 (Me. 1970), King Resources Co. v. Environmental Imp. Commission
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • November 19, 1970
    ...a declaration of rights, status or other legal relations thereunder.' This Court in Jones v. Maine State Highway Commission, 1968, Me., 238 A.2d 226, cited with approval the text in Borchard, Declaratory Judgments (1941) at page 21: 'It is sufficient if a dispute * * * as to legal rights is......
  • 402 A.2d 860 (Me. 1979), Buck v. Town of Yarmouth
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • June 21, 1979
    ...our Court has recognized the standing of a citizen to sue to enforce a political right, See Jones v. Maine State Highway Commission, Me., 238 A.2d 226, 229 (1968). There a South Portland voter, who could claim no financial damage, alleged the loss of his right to vote on the removal of toll......
  • 405 A.2d 153 (Me. 1979), Central Maine Power Co. v. Public Utilities Commission
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
    • August 6, 1979
    .... assert (ed) . . . against a defendant having an adverse interest in contesting it . . . . Jones v. Maine State Highway Commission, Me., 238 A.2d 226, 228-29 (1968). The increase in costs and time which may be prompted by widespread intervention require that the propriety of such grants be......
  • 585 P.2d 12 (Or.App. 1978), A7710, Gast v. State, By and Through Stevenson
    • United States
    • Oregon Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • October 2, 1978
    ...Bd. of Social Welfare, 248 Iowa 369, 81 N.W.2d 4 (1957); Bradshaw v. Ball, 487 S.W.2d 294 (Ky.1972); Jones v. Maine State Highway Comm'n., 238 A.2d 226 (Maine 1968); Sheridan v. Gardner, 347 Mass. 8, 196 N.E.2d 303 (1964); Merchants' Exchange v. Knott, 212 Mo. 616, 111 S.W. 565 (1908); O'Ne......
  • Request a trial to view additional results