John Goodrich v. City of Detroit, No. 123

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBrown
Citation46 L.Ed. 627,22 S.Ct. 397,184 U.S. 432
Docket NumberNo. 123
Decision Date03 March 1902
PartiesJOHN C. GOODRICH et al., Plffs. in Err. , v. CITY OF DETROIT

184 U.S. 432
22 S.Ct. 397
46 L.Ed. 627
JOHN C. GOODRICH et al., Plffs. in Err.,

v.

CITY OF DETROIT.

No. 123.
Argued January 20, 1902.
Decided March 3, 1902.

Page 433

This was a bill in equity filed in the circuit court for the county of Wayne by Goodrich and another against the city of Detroit and its treasurer, to enjoin the defendants from enforcing the collection of certain taxes assessed upon several parcels of property owned by the plaintiffs, for benefits derived from the opening of Milwaukee avenue, upon the ground, amongst others, that such assessment was in violation of the 14th Amendment, and deprived plaintiffs of their property without due process of law.

These proceedings were taken under the authority of certain sections of the Compiled Laws of 1897, printed in the margin.

Page 434

The proceedings in the case were substantially as follows: On November 14, 1893, a resolution was passed by the common council providing for the opening and extending of Milwaukee avenue, and on January 6, 1894, a petition by the city was filed in the recorder's court, together with a map or plan of the private property proposed to be taken, certified as correct by the city engineer. The owners and persons interested in the real estate proposed to be taken were duly summoned, a jury impaneled, a hearing had, and a verdict rendered condemning certain lands, and fixing the total amount of damages at $15,214.75. This verdict was confirmed by the court.

Thereafter, and on August 7, 1894, a resolution was adopted by the common council, which was rescinded on November 20, and on January 22, 1895, another was adopted of which the following is a copy:

'Resolved, that the said common council of the city of Detroit do hereby fix and determine that the following district and portion of said city of Detroit, to wit: (Here follows list of descriptions, many of which are different from those in first assessment district) is benefited by the opening of Milwaukee avenue, from Chene street to the easterly city limits, where not already opened. And further resolved, that there be assessed and levied upon the several pieces and parcels of real estate included in the above descriptions, the amount of $15,214.75, in proportion, as near as may be, to the advantage which each

Page 435

lot or parcel is deemed to acquire by this improvement. And further resolved, that the board of assessors of the city of Detroit be, and they are hereby, directed to proceed forthwith to make an assessment roll in conformity with the requirements of the charter of the city of Detroit relating to special assessments for collecting the expense of public improvements when a street is graded, comprising the property hereinbefore described, upon which they shall assess and levy the amount of $15,214.75, each lot or parcel to be assessed a ratable proportion, as near as may be of said amount, in accordance to the amount of benefit derived by such improvements.'

On March 12, 1895, the assessors reported an assessment roll for defraying the expenses of opening the avenue, which was affirmed by the common council April 4, 1895. The property of plaintiffs was included in the assessment district, which was fixed and determined by the common council.

Defendants filed an answer, which was a little more than a demurrer to the bill, and upon hearing upon pleadings and proofs the bill was dismissed, an appeal taken to the supreme court, by which the decree of the circuit court was affirmed. 123 Mich. 559, 82 N. W. 255.

Mr. E. F. Bacon for plaintiffs in error.

Mr. T. E. Tarsney for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Brown delivered the opinion of the court:

This case raises the question whether certain proceedings taken under the Compiled Laws of Michigan for the assessment of benefits upon neighboring lots derived from the opening of Milwaukee avenue, in the city of Detroit, deprived the owners of such lots of their property without due process of law.

These proceedings began with a resolution of the common council declaring the necessity of opening the street. Thereupon the city petitioned the recorder's court for a jury to determine the necessity of such improvements and of taking

Page 436

private property (a map or plan of which was annexed to the petition), and 'to ascertain and determine the just compensation to be made for such private property proposed to be taken,' and for the issue of a summons to all persons mentioned in the petition as being interested in the property proposed to be taken. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the necessity of opening the avenue, of taking private property therefor, and fixed the compensation at the aggregate sum of $15,214.75.

Thereupon the common council passed another resolution fixing the district benefited by the opening, and declaring that there should be assessed upon the real estate included in such district the sum of $15,214.75, 'in proportion, as near as may be, to the advantage which each lot or parcel is deemed to acquire by this improvement.' The resolution further required the board of assessors to make an assessment roll to that amount, assessing upon each lot 'a ratable proportion, as near as may be, of said amount in accordance to the amount of benefit derived by such improvements.' Thereupon the matter was referred to the board of assessors, who reported the amount assessed against each lot. The bill averred that none of the plaintiffs' land thus assessed abutted upon those parts of the street opened by these proceedings, but that they had already dedicated to the city all that portion of Milwaukee avenue lying in front of their lands, without cost or expense to the city.

Plaintiffs made a large number of objections to the validity of such assessment, none of which require to be noticed, except so far as they are pertinent to the provision of the 14th Amendment, concerning due process of law.

1. The first of these objections is that while the statute provides for a notice to the parties whose land is to be taken for the street, no provision is made for giving notice to the owners of the land liable to be assessed for the improvement. Section 3394 provides for the filing of a petition by the city attorney for the condemnation of land, and that the petition, among other things, shall contain 'a description of the property to be taken, . . . also the names of the owners and others interested in the property, so far as can be ascertained, including those in

Page 437

possession of the premises.' Section 3395 provides that, 'upon receiving such petition, it shall be the duty of the clerk of said court to issue a summons against the respondents named in such petition,' that is, all interested in...

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37 practice notes
  • State ex Inf. Attorney-General v. Curtis, No. 28264.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 17, 1928
    ...owner of property must have an opportunity to be heard, both on the question of the taking and the question of value. Goodrich v. Detroit, 184 U.S. 432; St. Louis Co. v. Kansas City, 241 U.S. 419; Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 113; State ex rel. v. Billings, 55 Minn. 467; Railroad v. Fair......
  • Bannon v. Town Court Nursing Ctr., No. 78-1318
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 23, 1980
    ...see Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 443, 80 S.Ct. 1502, 1515, 4 L.Ed.2d 1307 (1960); or "remote and indeterminate,"Goodrich v. Detroit, 184 U.S. 432, 437, 22 S.Ct. 397, 398, 46 L.Ed. 627 (1902).4 To be sure, decertification-induced transfers are designed to benefit patients. See ante, at 78......
  • Scott v. Scott
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 25, 1947
    ...396, 72 L.Ed. 703; Londoner v. City & County of Denver, 210 U.S. 373, 378, 28 S.Ct. 708, 52 L.Ed. 1103; Goodrich v. [City of] Detroit, 184 U.S. 432, 437, 22 S.Ct. 397, 46 L.Ed. 627), or in proceedings for collection afterwards, (Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 4 S.Ct. 6......
  • Neb. Mid-State Reclamation Dist. v. Hall Cnty., No. 32702.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • February 24, 1950
    ...v. Risty, 276 U.S. 567, 48 S.Ct. 396, 72 L.Ed. 703;Londoner v. Denver, 210 U.S. 373, 378, 28 S.Ct. 708, 52 L.Ed. 1103;Goodrich v. Detroit, 184 U.S. 432, 437, 22 S.Ct. 397, 46 L.Ed. 627), or in proceedings for collection afterwards. (Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 4 S.C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • Scott v. Scott
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 25, 1947
    ...396, 72 L.Ed. 703; Londoner v. City & County of Denver, 210 U.S. 373, 378, 28 S.Ct. 708, 52 L.Ed. 1103; Goodrich v. [City of] Detroit, 184 U.S. 432, 437, 22 S.Ct. 397, 46 L.Ed. 627), or in proceedings for collection afterwards, (Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 4 S.C......
  • Bannon v. Town Court Nursing Ctr., No. 78-1318
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 23, 1980
    ...v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 443, 80 S.Ct. 1502, 1515, 4 L.Ed.2d 1307 (1960); or "remote and indeterminate,"Goodrich v. Detroit, 184 U.S. 432, 437, 22 S.Ct. 397, 398, 46 L.Ed. 627 (1902).4 To be sure, decertification-induced transfers are designed to benefit patients. See ante, at 787......
  • Nebraska Mid-State Reclamation Dist. v. Hall County, MID-STATE
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • February 24, 1950
    ...Risty, 276 U.S. 567, 48 S.Ct. 396, 72 L.Ed. 703; Londoner v. Denver, 210 U.S. 373, 378, 28 S.Ct. 708, 52 L.Ed. 1103; Goodrich v. Detroit, 184 U.S. 432, 437, 22 S.Ct. 397, 46 L.Ed. 627), or in proceedings for collection afterwards. (Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 4 S.Ct......
  • Neb. Mid-State Reclamation Dist. v. Hall Cnty., No. 32702.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • February 24, 1950
    ...v. Risty, 276 U.S. 567, 48 S.Ct. 396, 72 L.Ed. 703;Londoner v. Denver, 210 U.S. 373, 378, 28 S.Ct. 708, 52 L.Ed. 1103;Goodrich v. Detroit, 184 U.S. 432, 437, 22 S.Ct. 397, 46 L.Ed. 627), or in proceedings for collection afterwards. (Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 4 S.C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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