Com'Th, Appellant, v. Phila., Etc., Turnpike Co.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtPaxson
Citation153 Pa. 47
Decision Date13 February 1893
PartiesCommonwealth ex rel. Attorney General, Appellant, <I>v.</I> Bala & Bryn Mawr Turnpike Co.
153 Pa. 47
Commonwealth ex rel. Attorney General, Appellant,
v.
Bala & Bryn Mawr Turnpike Co.
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
January 31, 1893.
February 13, 1893.

Argued Jan. 31, 1893.

Appeal, No. 114, Jan. T., 1893, by plaintiff, from judgment of C. P. Montgomery Co., June T., 1892, No. 126, for defendant on quo warranto.

Before PAXSON, C. J., GREEN, WILLIAMS, MITCHELL and DEAN, JJ.

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John G. Johnson, W. U. Hensel, attorney general, with him, for appellants.—Laches cannot be claimed against the commonwealth. If the appellee has illegally appropriated its highway for its purposes, she has a right to oust it from such occupancy. Whilst it may not be open to appellant to raise any question of irregularity in the proceedings of the court below, it is certainly open to it to object to an appropriation of its highways, under an order of court, if there was no jurisdiction in such court to make such appropriation. In point of fact there were no laches.

There was no jurisdiction in the court to authorize appellee to construct a branch, or to extend its turnpike beyond the points originally limited by the charter. Appellee had such power to appropriate public highways: Groff's Ap., 128 Pa. 621.

D. W. Sellers, James A. Logan with him, for appellee.—Under the act of 1879 courts of common pleas may authorize amendments to charters of turnpike companies so as to extend their route: Wilson's Ap., 140 Pa. 177; Bouvier, titles, Articles, Conditions and Amendments.

In the present case the amendment which stands for the charter expressly and definitely states and defines the route, so that the objections that are found to the charter considered in Groff's case cannot be made in the present case.

Although time does not run against the commonwealth and therefore mere delay will ordinarily work no prejudice to its

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rights, yet where, in addition to the delay, there are circumstances which usually estop individuals from asserting their rights, the commonwealth is equally estopped with individuals: Willmott v. Barber, L. R. 15 Ch. Div. 105; Attorney General v. Johnson, 2 Wilson Ch. Rep. 102; Attorney General v. Sheffield Gas Consumer's Co., 3 De G. M. & G. 304; Attorney General v. Del. & Bound Brook R. R., 27 N. J. Eq. 1.

The equitable defence of laches can be set up in this proceeding: Pollard v. Shaaffer, 1 Dallas, 211; Lehr v. Beaver, 8 W. & S. 106; Church v. Ruland, 64 Pa. 441; Le Fevre v. Le Fevre, 4 S. & R. 241; Com. v. Miltenberger, 7 Watts, 450.

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE PAXSON, February 13, 1893:


We need not discuss the effect of the amendment of the charter of the defendant company by the court of common pleas of Montgomery county, by which it was authorized to extend its road. That decree stands unreversed and unappealed from, and under it, and in entire good faith, the defendant has made the extension of its road of which the commonwealth through its attorney general now complains. Upon the faith of this decree the defendant has expended a large amount of money without any warning on the part of the commonwealth of any objection on her part. The defendant company was acting under color of authority, in pursuance of a decree...

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38 practice notes
  • Corvallis Sand & Gravel Co. v. State Land Bd.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • April 10, 1968
    ...some of which will be hereinafter referred to. The other authority was Commonwealth v. Philadelphia, Bala & Bryn Mawr Turnpike Co., 153 Pa. 47, 25 A. 1105. As appears from the cases cited in the footnotes in 30A C.J.S. Equity § 114, p. 34, the Pennsylvania decisions are in a decided min......
  • State of Iowa v. Carr, 2,936
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • October 20, 1911
    ...to its stockholders and creditors in reliance upon the acquiescence of the state. Commonwealth v. Bala & Bryn Mawr Turnpike Co., 153 Pa. 47, 25 A. 1105; [191 F. 267] State of Wisconsin v. Janesville Water Power Co., 92 Wis. 496, 66 N.W. 512, 515, 32 L.R.A. 391; State v. Lincoln Street R......
  • Aetna Ins. Co. v. Robertson, 22671
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 13, 1922
    ...109 Miss. 679; Pittsburg Rys. Co. v. Borough of Carrick (Pa.), 103 A. 106; In Re Bailey's Estate (Pa.), 88 A. 428; Com. v. Turnpike Co., 153 Pa. 47, 25 A. 1105; Commonwealth v. Turnpike Co. (Pa.), 25 A. 1105; State v. Livingston, 145 N.W. 91; State v. Des Moines, 96 Iowa, 543, 65 N.W. 818, ......
  • State ex rel. Jordan v. Mayor and Commissioners of City of Greenwood, 28339
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 31, 1930
    ...336; State v. College View, 88 Neb. 232, 129 N.W. 296; State v. McLean County, 11 N.D. 356, 92 N.W. 385; Commonwealth v. Bala Turnpike Co., 153 Pa. 47, 25 A. 1105; People v. Alturas County, 6 Idaho 418, 55 P. 1067, 44 L.R.A. 122; State v. Mansfield, 99 Mo.App. 146, 72 S.W. 471, and State v.......
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47 cases
  • State of Iowa v. Carr, 2,936
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • October 20, 1911
    ...relations to its stockholders and creditors in reliance upon the acquiescence of the state. Commonwealth v. Bala & Bryn Mawr Turnpike Co., 153 Pa. 47, 25 A. 1105; [191 F. 267] State of Wisconsin v. Janesville Water Power Co., 92 Wis. 496, 66 N.W. 512, 515, 32 L.R.A. 391; State v. Lincoln St......
  • State ex rel. Jordan v. Mayor and Commissioners of City of Greenwood, 28339
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • March 31, 1930
    ...336; State v. College View, 88 Neb. 232, 129 N.W. 296; State v. McLean County, 11 N.D. 356, 92 N.W. 385; Commonwealth v. Bala Turnpike Co., 153 Pa. 47, 25 A. 1105; People v. Alturas County, 6 Idaho 418, 55 P. 1067, 44 L.R.A. 122; State v. Mansfield, 99 Mo.App. 146, 72 S.W. 471, and State v.......
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Mo. Utilities Co., No. 34073.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 8, 1936
    ...Co., 32 L.R.A. 391, 92 Wis. 496; State ex rel. v. Lincoln St. Ry. Co., 80 Neb. 333; Commonwealth ex rel. Attorney General v. Bala T.P. Co., 153 Pa. 47; High on Extraordinary Remedies, sec. 621; State ex rel. Sikeston v. Pub. Serv. Comm., 82 S.W. (2d) 105. (7) The expenditures of moneys in g......
  • State ex Inf. Shartel v. Mo. Utilities Co., No. 31441.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 5, 1932
    ...32 L.R.A. 391, 92 Wis. 496; State ex rel. v. Lincoln Street Ry. Co., 80 Neb. 333; Commonwealth ex rel. Atty.-Genl. v. Bala etc., T.P. Co., 153 Pa. 47; High on Extraordinary Remedies, sec. 621. The expenditure of money in good faith and the exercise of rights under a franchise are recognized......
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