Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 3 Div. 129

CourtAlabama Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtKNIGHT, Justice.
Citation232 Ala. 47,166 So. 689
Decision Date19 March 1936
Docket Number3 Div. 129
PartiesDORMINEY v. CITY OF MONTGOMERY.

166 So. 689

232 Ala. 47

DORMINEY
v.
CITY OF MONTGOMERY.

3 Div. 129

Supreme Court of Alabama

March 19, 1936


Appeal from Circuit Court, Montgomery County; Leon McCord, Judge.

Action for damages by Mrs. J.T. Dorminey against the City of Montgomery. From a judgment of nonsuit, plaintiff appeals.

Affirmed. [166 So. 690]

R.S. Hill, Jr., and Hill, Hill, Whiting, Thomas & Rives, all of Montgomery, for appellant.

Jas. S. Parrish and Jno. L. Goodwyn, both of Montgomery, for appellee.

KNIGHT, Justice.

The court below sustained the demurrer of the city of Montgomery to plaintiff's amended complaint, and the plaintiff, on account of this adverse ruling of the court, suffered a nonsuit, with an appeal on the record.

The demurrer filed by the defendant to the amended complaint takes the point that the installing and maintenance of traffic signal lights by the city was the exercise of a governmental function, under its police power, with the view of regulating traffic at the points where the signals were installed, and to conserve the safety of the public making use of said streets at such points. That being the exercise of a governmental function, it was not liable in the action to the plaintiff for or on account of the negligence charged to the city, its servants, or agents, officers, or employees, with respect to the alleged defect in the signal apparatus or signal light system.

We have consistently held that a municipality is under the legal duty to keep its streets and sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition for the use of the public, and for the negligent failure to perform this duty it is liable in tort to a person thereby injured. This duty to keep its streets and sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition we have held to be a corporate, rather than a public, duty; that its officers [166 So. 691.] or agents, while engaged in the performance of this duty, were engaged in a ministerial, rather than a governmental, function. City of Bessemer v. Barnett, 212 Ala. 202, 102 So. 23; City of Bessemer v. Whaley, 187 Ala. 525, 65 So. 542; City of Birmingham v. Muller, 197 Ala. 554, 73 So. 30; Densmore v. City of Birmingham, 223 Ala. 210, 135 So. 320; City of Anniston v. Hillman, 220 Ala. 505, 126 So. 169; City of Selma v. Perkins, 68 Ala. 145, 148.

We have also held that persons on streets of a municipality may assume that the ways are free from unlawful obstructions or dangerous defects, so long as ordinary care on their part does...

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25 practice notes
  • City of Birmingham v. Young, 6 Div. 250.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • May 10, 1945
    ...on the whole would lead a reasonably prudent man to observe in respect to conditions immediately ahead. Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 232 Ala. 47(2), 166 So. 689; City of Birmingham v. Carle, 191 Ala. 539, 68 So. 22, L.R.A.1915F, 797. 'This duty requires a person driving an automobile und......
  • City of Decatur v. Robinson, 8 Div. 431.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • June 24, 1948
    ...Like authority may be found in general provisions of sections 455, 489 and 750, Title 37, Code 1940. In Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 232 Ala. 47, 166 So. 689, the holding was that the installation of traffic lights by the city was a governmental function for the negligent exercise of whi......
  • Johnston v. City of East Moline, Gen. No. 10330.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 7, 1949
    ...N.Y.S. 198; Affirmed 273 N.Y. 547, 7 N.E.2d 685;Auslander v. City of St. Louis, 332 Mo. 145, 56 S.W.2d 778;Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 232 Ala. 47, 166 So. 689;Martin v. Winchester, 278 Ky. 200, 128 S.W.2d 543. We have examined a number of these cases and while they are persuasive they ......
  • City of Montgomery v. Quinn, 3 Div. 416.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 19, 1944
    ...A.L.R. 89; Id., 216 Ala. 661, 114 So. 55; City of Anniston v. Hillman, 220 Ala. 505, 126 So. 169. And in Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 232 Ala. 47, 166 So. 689, it was held that the traffic signals were operated as a governmental function, directing traffic, and no liability as affecting ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • City of Birmingham v. Young, 6 Div. 250.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • May 10, 1945
    ...on the whole would lead a reasonably prudent man to observe in respect to conditions immediately ahead. Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 232 Ala. 47(2), 166 So. 689; City of Birmingham v. Carle, 191 Ala. 539, 68 So. 22, L.R.A.1915F, 797. 'This duty requires a person driving an automobile und......
  • City of Decatur v. Robinson, 8 Div. 431.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • June 24, 1948
    ...Like authority may be found in general provisions of sections 455, 489 and 750, Title 37, Code 1940. In Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 232 Ala. 47, 166 So. 689, the holding was that the installation of traffic lights by the city was a governmental function for the negligent exercise of whi......
  • Johnston v. City of East Moline, Gen. No. 10330.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 7, 1949
    ...N.Y.S. 198; Affirmed 273 N.Y. 547, 7 N.E.2d 685;Auslander v. City of St. Louis, 332 Mo. 145, 56 S.W.2d 778;Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 232 Ala. 47, 166 So. 689;Martin v. Winchester, 278 Ky. 200, 128 S.W.2d 543. We have examined a number of these cases and while they are persuasive they ......
  • City of Montgomery v. Quinn, 3 Div. 416.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 19, 1944
    ...A.L.R. 89; Id., 216 Ala. 661, 114 So. 55; City of Anniston v. Hillman, 220 Ala. 505, 126 So. 169. And in Dorminey v. City of Montgomery, 232 Ala. 47, 166 So. 689, it was held that the traffic signals were operated as a governmental function, directing traffic, and no liability as affecting ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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