In re Town of Afton, Case Number: 6710

CourtSupreme Court of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtRIDDLE, J.
Citation144 P. 184,1914 OK 537,43 Okla. 720
PartiesIn re TOWN OF AFTON.
Docket NumberCase Number: 6710
Decision Date10 November 1914

1914 OK 537
144 P. 184
43 Okla. 720

In re TOWN OF AFTON.

Case Number: 6710

Supreme Court of Oklahoma

Decided: November 10, 1914


Syllabus

¶0 1. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS--Funding of Indebtedness--Validity of Statute. Section 1, c. 117, Sess. Laws 1910, is in conflict with section 26, art. 10, of the Constitution, and is void.

2. SAME--Creation of Indebtedness--Validity. The officials of the town of Afton issued warrants to take up an indebtedness in an amount approximating $ 8,000, created in excess of the revenue and income provided for the payment of current expenses of said town for the years in which said warrants were issued. Held, that said indebtedness was created in violation of section 26, art. 10, of the Constitution, and the same is a nullity and constitutes no liability against such municipality.

3. SAME--Debts Illegally Created--Power to Validate. Said warrants, having been issued in violation of section 26, art. 10, Const., are a nullity, and the court is powerless to validate same.

4. SAME--Illegal Warrants--Power to Validate--Ratification. The warrants issued as evidence of said indebtedness, being utterly void for want of power to create said indebtedness, were not subject to ratification, and could not be made valid by a vote of three-fifths of the legal voters of said municipality, nor by a decree of the court, since the power to authorize originally is a condition precedent to the power to ratify subsequently.

5. SAME--Limitation on Powers--Notice. One who deals with a municipality does so with notice of the limitations on it or its agents'''''''' powers. All are presumed to know the law, and those who contract with a municipality or furnish it supplies do so with such knowledge; and, if they go beyond the limitations imposed, they do so at their peril.

6. SAME--Creation of Excessive Indebtedness--Validity. It is plain that the intention of section 26, art. 10, of the Constitution, is to require municipalities to carry on their corporate operations upon a cash basis. The revenues and income provided for each year must pay the expenditures of such year; and any debt or contract sought to be created in excess of such revenues and income provided creates no liability against such municipality, unless it be authorized by a vote of three-fifths of the legal voters before or at the time of creating same, and comes within the limitations therein expressed. Application of the Town of Afton, Ottawa County, to determine existence, character, and amount of its outstanding indebtedness, and to issue bonds to fund the same. From an adverse judgment, the Town brings error. Affirmed.

Chas. A. Loomis, for plaintiff in error.

RIDDLE, J.

¶1 This proceeding in error is prosecuted from a judgment of the district court of Ottawa county, refusing to approve certain alleged indebtedness and warrants issued as evidence thereof, created by the town of Afton, and in refusing to validate said outstanding warrants by decree of said court. On the 19th day of January, 1914, the town of Afton, through its officers, filed its amended petition in the district court, wherein it is alleged in substance that on said date said town had an outstanding indebtedness aggregating $ 7,950.60, evidenced by certain warrants issued in excess of the annual revenue and income of said town in payment of services and material furnished said town; that said town received the benefit of same; that the amount paid for such services and material was fair and reasonable; that said indebtedness was ratified and approved by said town at an election held for that purpose on the 15th day of April, 1913, under and by virtue of section 26, art. 10, of the Constitution, and an act of the Legislature, approved March 28, 1910, entitled "An act providing for the validation of certain outstanding warrants in incorporated towns and cities, etc."; that said town has no funds with which to pay said outstanding warrants; that by an ordinance, passed by the president and board of trustees of said town on the 21st day of April, 1913, the negotiable coupons of said town, in an amount aggregating $ 8,000, were authorized and directed to be issued upon the approval by the court and a judgment validating said indebtedness. Ordinance No. 19, referred to in said petition, authorized the calling of a special election, and states that the purpose of same is to issue bonds in the sum of $ 8,000, to pay the indebtedness of said town, which was evidenced by warrants issued in excess of the annual revenue and income provided. An itemized statement of said warrants appears in the record, running from March, 1910, which shows that they were issued to pay the current expenses of said town for the years 1910 and 1911. A copy of the official ballot, as disclosed by the record, shows that the purpose of said bond issue was to pay an indebtedness evidenced by warrants issued in excess of the annual revenue and income provided by the proper authorities for paying the running expenses of said town. Ordinance No. 120 of said town, providing for the issuance of said negotiable coupon bonds, also shows that the purpose is to pay an indebtedness of said town, evidenced by said warrants issued in excess of the income and revenues provided. Upon a hearing of said matter by the court, the relief prayed was denied, upon the ground and for the reason that said indebtedness was created in excess of the revenue and income of said town, and the warrants issued as evidence...

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26 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Tharel v. Bd. of Com'Rs of Creek Cnty., Case Number: 29511
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 19 Noviembre 1940
    ...created by the acts of such agent or officers in excess of their statutory or constitutional powers.' 15 C. J. 541; In re Town of Afton, 43 Okla. 720, 144 P. 184." ¶27 It follows that the defendants have not brought themselves under any exception to the rule first above stated as to the eff......
  • Southern Corrections Sys. v. Union City Pub. Sch., 97,890.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 26 Noviembre 2002
    ...285, ¶¶ 4-5, 289 P. 258 [Judgment pursuant to claim which was contracted in violation of debt limitation is void.]; In re Town of Afton, 1914 OK 537, ¶¶ 3-5, 144 P. 184 [Warrants issued as evidence of indebtedness could not be ratified by voters, nor by decree of the 11. K & K Food Services......
  • Boardman Co. v. Bd. of Com'Rs of Ellis Cnty., Case Number: 17979
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 22 Enero 1929
    ...the same effect are the following cases: Huddleston v. Board of Commissioners of Noble Co., 8 Okla. 614, 58 P. 749; In re Town of Afton, 43 Okla. 720, 144 P. 184; Haskins & Sells v. Oklahoma City, 36 Okla. 57, 126 P. 204; Vincennes Bridge Co. v. Board of County Commissioners of Atoka County......
  • Dowler v. State ex rel. Prunty, Case Number: 22617
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 2 Febrero 1937
    ...issuance of the warrants here, still the defendants' position on this point could not be sustained, as is pointed out in Re Town of Afton, 43 Okla. 720, 144 P. 184, and Haskins & Sells v. Oklahoma City, supra. Acts of public officials in direct violation of the provisions of the law limitin......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • State ex rel. Tharel v. Bd. of Com'Rs of Creek Cnty., Case Number: 29511
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 19 Noviembre 1940
    ...created by the acts of such agent or officers in excess of their statutory or constitutional powers.' 15 C. J. 541; In re Town of Afton, 43 Okla. 720, 144 P. 184." ¶27 It follows that the defendants have not brought themselves under any exception to the rule first above stated as to the eff......
  • Southern Corrections Sys. v. Union City Pub. Sch., 97,890.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 26 Noviembre 2002
    ...285, ¶¶ 4-5, 289 P. 258 [Judgment pursuant to claim which was contracted in violation of debt limitation is void.]; In re Town of Afton, 1914 OK 537, ¶¶ 3-5, 144 P. 184 [Warrants issued as evidence of indebtedness could not be ratified by voters, nor by decree of the 11. K & K Food Services......
  • Boardman Co. v. Bd. of Com'Rs of Ellis Cnty., Case Number: 17979
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 22 Enero 1929
    ...the same effect are the following cases: Huddleston v. Board of Commissioners of Noble Co., 8 Okla. 614, 58 P. 749; In re Town of Afton, 43 Okla. 720, 144 P. 184; Haskins & Sells v. Oklahoma City, 36 Okla. 57, 126 P. 204; Vincennes Bridge Co. v. Board of County Commissioners of Atoka County......
  • Dowler v. State ex rel. Prunty, Case Number: 22617
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • 2 Febrero 1937
    ...issuance of the warrants here, still the defendants' position on this point could not be sustained, as is pointed out in Re Town of Afton, 43 Okla. 720, 144 P. 184, and Haskins & Sells v. Oklahoma City, supra. Acts of public officials in direct violation of the provisions of the law limitin......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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