City of Chicago v. Taylor

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHARLAN
Citation125 U.S. 161,31 L.Ed. 638,8 S.Ct. 820
Decision Date19 March 1888
PartiesCITY OF CHICAGO v. TAYLOR et al

125 U.S. 161
8 S.Ct. 820
31 L.Ed. 638
CITY OF CHICAGO
v.
TAYLOR et al.
March 19, 1888.

Page 162

Frederick S. Winston, Jr., for plaintiff in error.

G. A. Follansbee, for defendants in error.

Mr. Justice HARLAN, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the court.

Page 163

Before noticing the assignments of error, it will be well to ascertain what principles have been announced by this court, or by the supreme court of Illinois, in respect to the liability of municipal or other corporations in that state for damages resulting to owners of private property from the alteration or improvement, under legislative authority, of streets and other public highways. By the constitution of Illinois, adopted in 1848, it was provided that no man's property shall 'be taken or applied to public use without just compensation being made to him.' Article 13, § 11. While this constitution was in force, Chicago commenced, and substantially completed, a tunnel under Chicago river, along the line of LaSalle street, in that city. It was sued for damages by the Northern Transportation Company, owning a line of steamers running between Ogdensburg, New York, and Chicago, and also a lot in the latter city, with dock and wharfage privileges; the principal injury of which it complained being that during the proe cution of the work by the city it was deprived of access to its premises, both on the

Page 164

side of the river and on that of the street. This court, in Transportation Co. v. Chicago, 99 U. S. 635, 641, held that in making the improvement of which the plaintiff complained the city was the agent of the state, performing a public duty imposed by the legislature; and that 'persons appointed or authorized by law to make or improve a highway are not responsible for consequential damages, if they act within their jurisdiction, and with care and skill, is a doctrien almost universally accepted, alike in England and in this county;' citing numerous cases, among others, Smith v. Corporation of Washington, 20 How. 135. 'The decisions to which we have referred,' the court continued, 'were made in view of magna charta, and the restriction to be found in the constitution of every state that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation being made; but acts done in the proper exercise of governmental powers, and not directly encroaching upon private property, though their consequences may impair its use, are universally held not to be a taking within the meaning of the constitutional provision. They do not entitle the owner os such property to compensation from the state or its agents, or give him any right of action.' This view, the court further said, was not in conflict with the doctrine announced in Pumpelly v. Green Bay Co., 13 Wall. 166, which was a case of the permanent flooding of private property, a physical invasion of the real estate of the private owner, a practical ouster of his possession. In City of Chicago v. Rumsey, 87 Ill. 348, 363, the supreme court of Illinois, upon a full review of previous decisions, and especially referring to Moses v. Railroad Co., 21 Ill. 516; Roberts v. Chicago, 26 Ill. 249; Murphy v. Chicago, 29 Ill. 279; Stone v. Railroad Co., 68 Ill. 394; Stetson v. Railroad Co., 75 Ill. 74; and Railroad Co. v. McGinnis, 79 Ill. 269,—held it to have been the settled law of that state, up to the time of the adoption of the constitution of 1870, that there could be 'no recovery by an adjacent property holder, on streets the fee whereof is in the city,

Page 165

for the merely consequential damages resulting from the character of the improvements made in the streets, provided such improvement has the sanction of the legislature.'

But the present case arose under, and must be determined with reference to, the constitution of Illinois adopted in 1870, in which the prohibition against the appropriation or private property for public use, without compensation, is declared in different words from those employed in the constitution of 1848. The provision in the existing constitution is that 'private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation.' An important inquiry in the present case is as to the meaning of the word 'damaged' in this clause. The earliest case in Illinois in which this question was first directly made and considered, is Rigney v. City of Chicago, 102 Ill. 64, 74, 80. That was an action to recover damages sustained by the plaintiff by reason of the construction by Chicago of a viaduct or bridge along Halstead street and across Kinzie street, in that city, some 220 feet west of his premises, fronting on the latter street. There was no claim that the plaintiff's possession was disturbed, or that any direct physical injury was done to his premises by the structure in question. But the complaint was that his communication with Halstead street, by way of Kinsey street, had been cut off, whereby he was deprived of a public right enjoyed by him in connection with his premises, and an injury inflicted upon him in excess of that sustained by the public. For that special injury, in excess of the injury done to others, he brought suit. The trial court peremptorily instructed the jury to find for the city, holding, in effect, that, the fee of the...

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129 practice notes
  • Parker v. State Highway Commission, 31771
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 27, 1935
    ...of section 17 of the Constitution. 10 R. C. L., pages 164 and 172, sec. 150; City of Chicago v. Taylor, 125 U.S. 166, 31 L.Ed. 640, 8 S.Ct. 820; Tishomingo Co. v. McConville, 139 Miss. 589, 104 So. 452; Vicksburg v. Herman, 72 Miss. 211, 16 So. 434; Jackson v. Williams, 92 Miss. 301, 46 So.......
  • City of Rawlins v. Jungquist
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • March 21, 1908
    ...(Art. 1, Sec. 33; Pumpelly v. Canal Co., 13 Wall., 166; 2 Abb. Mun. Corp., 1837; R. R. Co. v. Ayres, 106 Ill. 511; Chicago v. Taylor, 125 U.S. 161; Mayor, &c., v. Herman, 16 So. 434; St. Louis v. Lang, 33 S.W. 54; Ogden v. Phila., 22 A. 694; O'Brien v. Phila., 24 A. 1047.) There seems to be......
  • Long v. City of Charlotte, No. 132A81
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • July 13, 1982
    ...word "damaged" as well as the word "taken" was to abolish the old test of direct physical injury to the property. See Chicago v. Taylor, 125 U.S. 161, 8 S.Ct. 820, 31 L.Ed. 638 6 N.C.Const. art. I, § 19 provides in pertinent part, "No person shall be ... in any manner deprived of his ... pr......
  • Raleigh v. Mecklenburg Mfg. Co, (No. 434.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 25, 1915
    ...Co. v. McLean, 158 N. C. 498, 74 S. E. 461; Brown v. Power Co., 140 N. C. 333, 52 S. E. 954, 3 L. R. A. (N. S.) 912; Chicago v. Taylor, 125 U. S. 161, 8 Sup. Ct. 820, 31 L. Ed. 638; Railroad Co. v. Hall, 78 Tex. 169, 14 S. W. 259, 9 L. R. A. 298, 22 Am. St. Rep. 42; Telegraph Co. v. Darst, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
129 cases
  • Parker v. State Highway Commission, 31771
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 27, 1935
    ...of section 17 of the Constitution. 10 R. C. L., pages 164 and 172, sec. 150; City of Chicago v. Taylor, 125 U.S. 166, 31 L.Ed. 640, 8 S.Ct. 820; Tishomingo Co. v. McConville, 139 Miss. 589, 104 So. 452; Vicksburg v. Herman, 72 Miss. 211, 16 So. 434; Jackson v. Williams, 92 Miss. 301, 46 So.......
  • City of Rawlins v. Jungquist
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • March 21, 1908
    ...(Art. 1, Sec. 33; Pumpelly v. Canal Co., 13 Wall., 166; 2 Abb. Mun. Corp., 1837; R. R. Co. v. Ayres, 106 Ill. 511; Chicago v. Taylor, 125 U.S. 161; Mayor, &c., v. Herman, 16 So. 434; St. Louis v. Lang, 33 S.W. 54; Ogden v. Phila., 22 A. 694; O'Brien v. Phila., 24 A. 1047.) There seems to be......
  • Long v. City of Charlotte, No. 132A81
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • July 13, 1982
    ...word "damaged" as well as the word "taken" was to abolish the old test of direct physical injury to the property. See Chicago v. Taylor, 125 U.S. 161, 8 S.Ct. 820, 31 L.Ed. 638 6 N.C.Const. art. I, § 19 provides in pertinent part, "No person shall be ... in any manner deprived of his ... pr......
  • Raleigh v. Mecklenburg Mfg. Co, (No. 434.)
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 25, 1915
    ...Co. v. McLean, 158 N. C. 498, 74 S. E. 461; Brown v. Power Co., 140 N. C. 333, 52 S. E. 954, 3 L. R. A. (N. S.) 912; Chicago v. Taylor, 125 U. S. 161, 8 Sup. Ct. 820, 31 L. Ed. 638; Railroad Co. v. Hall, 78 Tex. 169, 14 S. W. 259, 9 L. R. A. 298, 22 Am. St. Rep. 42; Telegraph Co. v. Darst, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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