McArthur, &C., v. Nelson, &C.

Decision Date17 March 1883
Citation81 Ky. 67
CourtKentucky Court of Appeals
PartiesMcArthur, &c., v. Nelson, &c.

By certain legislative enactments existing prior to April, 1882, the city of Newport, in Campbell county, was compelled to pay the expenses of the county courts held in that city, and also the salaries of the county judge and county attorney, the county seat being located at Alexandria. By an act approved on the 17th of April, 1882, a district styled the court-house district was created, with a view of imposing a tax upon the people within the prescribed boundary sufficient to construct a new court-house within the city of Newport on the site where the present court-house is located. The constitutionality of the act is assailed upon various grounds:

First. That the title of the act is misleading.

Second. That the commissioners appointed to execute the provisions of the act have no other tenure of office than to hold at the pleasure of the judge appointing them.

Third. That if any of the provisions of the act are constitutional, those that are unconstitutional being essential to its proper enforcement, the whole law must be held to be invalid.

The act is entitled "An act to authorize the construction and maintenance of a court-house in Newport, in Campbell county."

The first section of the act authorizes the judge of the circuit court to appoint three commissioners, residents of the district, who shall hold their office at the will and pleasure of the judge. It is made the duty of the commissioners to have the court-house constructed at a cost not exceeding $50,000, and, to enable them to raise this money, they are authorized to issue bonds, with coupons attached, bearing interest at five per cent., payable semi-annually; and, to redeem the bonds and pay the interest, they are further empowered to levy an annual tax on the real and personal property in the district, not exceeding twelve cents on the $100, &c.

By the fourteenth section of the act the entire question is submitted to a vote of the people, with two columns in the poll-books, one headed "for the court-house tax," and the other "against the court-house tax," and the result of this vote determined the right of the judge to appoint the commissioners, as well as the right of the latter to proceed in the construction of the building as contemplated by the act.

The election was held in accordance with the law, and a majority favored the construction of the court-house, and we perceive no valid reason for holding the act to be in violation of the constitution. The voters within the particular boundary had every opportunity to express their views for and against the measure, and certainly none of the provisions of the act to which we have alluded are foreign to the title, but, on the contrary, have a direct reference to it.

The creation of the district in which the vote was to be taken and the tax imposed forms a part of the subject-matter, and that the power to appoint commissioners, when not selected by the legislature, should be vested in some tribunal of the county, was necessary to accomplish the purpose in view is manifest. The object to be accomplished was the building of a court-house, and all the various sections of the act having a direct connection with the subject-matter expressed in the title must be regarded as necessary to carry into execution the legislative intent. That the city of Newport had, prior to the passage of the act in question, constituted the district in which taxes were imposed for court-house purposes, did not prevent the legislature from enlarging the district, and requiring those to contribute who, in the opinion of the legislature, were as much interested in having such a public building as the citizens of Newport. While...

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7 cases
  • Craig v. O'Rear
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • 15 mai 1923
    ... ...          Action ... by John J. Craig and others against E. C. O'Rear and ... others. Judgment for defendants, sustaining the validity of ... the act in ... it may provide, and we have no doubt of the correctness of ... this view. McArthur v. Nelson, 81 Ky. 67; David ... v. Portland Water Committee, 14 Or. 98, 12 P. 174; ... State ... ...
  • Fox v. Bd. Louisville and Jeff. Co. Children's Home
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court — District of Kentucky
    • 8 mars 1932
    ... ... McArthur v. Nelson, 81 Ky. 67, 4 Ky. Law Rep. 754. The Legislature has large authority in determining the ... v. Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455; Cox v. Commissioners of Pitt ... County, 146 N.C. 584, 60 S.E. 516, 16 L.R.A. [N.S.] 253); or require the county to contribute to the support of ... ...
  • Fox v. Board for Louisville & Jefferson County Children's Home
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • 8 mars 1932
    ... ... imposing the levy of a tax for purely municipal purposes ... McArthur v. Nelson, 81 Ky. 67, 4 Ky. Law Rep. 754 ... The Legislature has large authority in determining ... Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455; ... Cox v. Commissioners of Pitt County, 146 N.C. 584, ... 60 S.E. 516, 16 L.R.A. [ N. S.] 253); or require the county ... to contribute to the ... ...
  • Commonwealth v. Hatfield Coal Co.
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • 19 décembre 1919
    ... ... Legislature in March, 1916 (Laws 1916, c. 17), and the ... demurrer was sustained upon the ground that the act was ... unconstitutional ... 68; Rogers v ... Jacob, 88 Ky. 502, 11 S.W. 513, 11 Ky. Law Rep. 45; ... McArthur v. Nelson, 81 Ky. 67; Gayle v. Owen ... County Court, 83 Ky. 61; Allen v. Louisiana, ... 103 ... ...
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