Embree v. Kansas City Liberty Boulevard Road District, No. 187

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtVan Devanter
Citation240 U.S. 242,60 L.Ed. 624,36 S.Ct. 317
Decision Date21 February 1916
Docket NumberNo. 187
PartiesW. S. EMBREE et al., Plffs. in Err., v. KANSAS CITY & LIBERTY BOULEVARD ROAD DISTRICT et al

240 U.S. 242
36 S.Ct. 317
60 L.Ed. 624
W. S. EMBREE et al., Plffs. in Err.,

v.

KANSAS CITY & LIBERTY BOULEVARD ROAD DISTRICT et al.

No. 187

Argued and Submitted January 18 and 19, 1916.

Decided February 21, 1916.

Page 243

Messrs. Harris L. Moore, W. A. Craven, Ernest Simrall, James S. Simrall, and John M. Cleary for plaintiffs in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 243-244 intentionally omitted]

Page 245

Messrs. William M. Williams and Claude Hardwicke for defendants in error.

Mr. Justice Van Devanter delivered the opinion of the court:

The is a suit to restrain the issue and sale of road district bonds and the levy and recordation of special taxes to pay them. A trial of the issues resulted in a judgment for the defendants, which at first was reversed and on a rehearing was affirmed. 257 Mo. 593, 166 S. W. 282. The plaintiffs prosecute this writ of error.

When the suit was begun the road district had been organized, a road had been selected for improvement, and preliminary steps had been taken for issuing the bonds and levying the special taxes,—all conformably to the local statute. Rev. Stat. (Mo.) 1909, chap. 102, art. 7; Mo. Laws 1911, 373. The district is about 7 miles in length and 3 in width, and is bounded on the greater part of one side by the Missouri river. The road selected for improvement extends through the district in the direction of its length. The cost of the improvement is to be met temporarily by the issue and sale of bonds, and ultimately by the levy and collection of special taxes upon all the lands in the district. The cost is to be apportioned by rating the lands—without the buildings thereon—at their full fair value where lying within 1 mile of the road, at 75 per cent of such value where lying between 1 and 2 miles from road, and at 50 per cent of such value where lying more than 2 miles therefrom (all seem to be within 2 miles here), and then charging each tract with a share of the entire cost corresponding to its proportion of the value of all the lands as so rated. The lands are appraised by the district commissioners and the cost of the improvement is apportioned by the county clerk.

Page 246

The plaintiffs own lands within the district and object to the issue of the bonds and to the levy of the special taxes, upon the ground that the scheme for subjecting the lands to the payment of the cost is repugnant to the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in that the landlord is not afforded any opportunity to be heard on the questions whether his lands will be benefited by the improvement, whether, if benefited, the benefits in the different zones will be in accord with the graduated ratings before indicated, and whether the appraisement of his lands for the purposes of the apportionment is fair.

The district was not established or defined by the legislature, but by an order of the county court, made under a general law. Whether there was need for the district, and, if so, what lands should be included and what excluded, was committed to the judgment and discretion of that court, subject to these qualifications: First, that the district should contain at least 640 acres of contiguous land and be wholly within the county; second, that the court's action should be invoked by a petition signed by the owners of a majority of the acres in the proposed district; and, third, that public notice—conceded to be adequate should be given, by the clerk of the court, of the presentation of the petition and the date when it would be considered, and that owners of land within the proposed district should be accorded an opportunity to appear, either collectively or separately, and oppose its formation. In this connection the statute says: 'the court shall hear such petition and remonstrance, and shall make such change in the boundaries of such proposed district as the public good may require and make necessary, and if after such changes are made it shall appear to the court that such petition is signed or in writing consented to by the owners of a majority of all the acres of land within the district as so changed, the court shall make a preliminary

Page 247

order establishing such public road district, and such order shall set out the boundaries of such district as established . . . but the boundaries of no district shall be so changed as to embrace any land not included in the notice made by the clerk unless the owner thereof shall in writing consent thereto, or shall appear at the hearing, and is notified in open court of such fact and given an opportunity to file or join in a...

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96 practice notes
  • Stark v. McLaughlin, 5111
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • November 5, 1927
    ...19 S.Ct. 187, 43 L.Ed. 443; Fallbrook Irr. Dist. v. Bradley, 164 U.S. 112, 17 S.Ct. 56, 41 L.Ed. 369; Embree v. Kansas City Road Dist., 240 U.S. 242, 36 S.Ct. 317, 60 L.Ed. 624; Oregon Short Line R. Co. v. Clark County Highway Dist., 17 F.2d 125; Kimama Highway Dist. v. Oregon Short Line Ry......
  • General Elec. Co. v. New York State Dept. of Labor, No. 692
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 28, 1991
    ...137, 33 S.Ct. 76, 57 L.Ed. 156 (1912) (setting of property line by adjacent owners); Embree v. Kansas City & Liberty Blvd. Road Dist., 240 U.S. 242, 36 S.Ct. 317, 60 L.Ed. 624 (1916) (determination of boundary for road district by petition of landowners); Browning v. Hooper, 269 U.S. 39......
  • Smith Bros. v. Williams
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 18, 1930
    ...my opinion, unconstitutional. Browning v. Hooper, 269 U.S. 396, 46 S.Ct. 141, 143, 70 L.Ed. 330; Embree v. K. C. & L. B. Road Dist., 240 U.S. 242, 36 S.Ct. 317, 60 L.Ed. 624; Pursley v. Ft. Myers, 87 Fla. 428, 100 So. 366; Burnett v. Greene, 97 Fla. 1007, 122 So. 570; Eubank v. Richmond......
  • McGautha v. California, No. 203.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 3, 1971
    ...the legislature might admittedly exercise itself. E. g., Eubank v. Richmond, 226 U. S. 137 (1912); Embree v. Kansas City Road District, 240 U. S. 242 (1916); Browning v. Hooper, 269 U. S. 396 (1926); Cline v. Frink Dairy Co., 274 U. S. 445, 457, 465 (1927); Miller v. Schoene, 276 U. S. 272 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
96 cases
  • Stark v. McLaughlin, 5111
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • November 5, 1927
    ...19 S.Ct. 187, 43 L.Ed. 443; Fallbrook Irr. Dist. v. Bradley, 164 U.S. 112, 17 S.Ct. 56, 41 L.Ed. 369; Embree v. Kansas City Road Dist., 240 U.S. 242, 36 S.Ct. 317, 60 L.Ed. 624; Oregon Short Line R. Co. v. Clark County Highway Dist., 17 F.2d 125; Kimama Highway Dist. v. Oregon Short Line Ry......
  • General Elec. Co. v. New York State Dept. of Labor, No. 692
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 28, 1991
    ...137, 33 S.Ct. 76, 57 L.Ed. 156 (1912) (setting of property line by adjacent owners); Embree v. Kansas City & Liberty Blvd. Road Dist., 240 U.S. 242, 36 S.Ct. 317, 60 L.Ed. 624 (1916) (determination of boundary for road district by petition of landowners); Browning v. Hooper, 269 U.S. 39......
  • Smith Bros. v. Williams
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 18, 1930
    ...my opinion, unconstitutional. Browning v. Hooper, 269 U.S. 396, 46 S.Ct. 141, 143, 70 L.Ed. 330; Embree v. K. C. & L. B. Road Dist., 240 U.S. 242, 36 S.Ct. 317, 60 L.Ed. 624; Pursley v. Ft. Myers, 87 Fla. 428, 100 So. 366; Burnett v. Greene, 97 Fla. 1007, 122 So. 570; Eubank v. Richmond......
  • McGautha v. California, No. 203.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 3, 1971
    ...the legislature might admittedly exercise itself. E. g., Eubank v. Richmond, 226 U. S. 137 (1912); Embree v. Kansas City Road District, 240 U. S. 242 (1916); Browning v. Hooper, 269 U. S. 396 (1926); Cline v. Frink Dairy Co., 274 U. S. 445, 457, 465 (1927); Miller v. Schoene, 276 U. S. 272 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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