Marengo County v. Matkin

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Citation32 So. 669,134 Ala. 275
Decision Date28 June 1902

Appeal from chancery court, Marengo county; Thos. H. Smith Chancellor.

Suit by T. D. Matkin and others against Marengo county and Samuel P Powell and others, as commissioners of Marengo county, to enjoin the defendants from changing the site of the county court house. From a decree for complainants, defendants appeal. Affirmed.

The purpose of the bill was to enjoin the removal of the court house of the county of Marengo from its present location in the town of Linden to another location in said town, for the delivery up and cancellation of a contract made by the county for the erection of a new court house on a new location, and for the delivery up and cancellation of county warrants alleged to have been issued for the purpose of erecting said new court house. A preliminary injunction was issued by the judge of the circuit court. The averments, as disclosed by the bill, necessary to an understanding of the decision on the present appeal, are sufficiently shown in the opinion. The defendants answered the bill, and also demurred to it upon the following grounds: (1) That it did not appear that the court house was to be removed beyond the corporate limits of Linden; (2) that it appeared the new location was within said corporate limits; (3) that the same was a valid exercise of the powers of the court of county commissioners of Marengo county; (4) that the chancery court, under the facts set out in the bill, was without jurisdiction; (5) that it did not appear that the commissioners' court exceeded its legal authority in the premises. The defendants also moved to dissolve the temporary injunction upon the denials of the answer and for the want of equity in the bill.

Mallory & Mallory, Canterbury & Gilder, R. H. Clarke, J. M. Miller W. A. Collier, and Elmore & Harrison, for appellants.

Wm. H Tayloe and Wm. Cunninghame, for appellees.


Under an act of the general assembly passed in 1820 lands described as the "southwest quarter of section 32, in township 16, of range 3 east, in Marengo county," were fixed by the commissioners as the county seat, and were platted as a town called "Linden." On a lot reserved for that purpose a court house was built, which remained the seat of justice until December 4, 1868, when, by an act of the general assembly, the county seat was removed to Demopolis, and the court-house lot at Linden was sold. At its session in 1869-70 the legislature passed an act, which, with an amendment at the same session, provided for a vote of the people to permanently locate the county seat, but no effective action was had thereunder. The foregoing has no important bearing on the case under consideration, but what follows has more pertinence. On March 1, 1870, an act of the general assembly incorporated for the first time the town of Linden, and enlarged its limits so as to include with the quarter section originally platted adjacent lands in township 16. While the corporate limits so stood, and on February 8, 1871, an act of the general assembly was approved and went into effect, whereby it was provided, among other things, "that the court house of Marengo county be, and the same is hereby, removed from Demopolis to Linden, in said county, and that the same be permanently located at Linden, in said county," and providing further for the removal thither within 60 days of the records and furniture belonging to the county offices; and thereafter the courthouse site in Linden was repurchased by the county, and has ever since been used as such site. On February 9, 1871, another act was approved and went into effect, amending the incorporating act so as to add to Linden certain territory theretofore adjoining it and situated in township 15. The county commissioners having lately resolved to build a new court house on the territory last added to Linden, the complainant taxpayers filed this bill to enjoin that action.

It has been declared as a general principle that, "when a city or town is selected as the ...

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11 cases
  • Ralls v. Parrish
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • 29 Mayo 1912
    ......        "This is a contest over the removal of the county seat of Crosby county from the town of Emma to the town of Crosbyton.         "Prior to the ...525, 22 Pac. 820, 10 L. R. A. 790, 16 Am. St. Rep. 224; Marrengo County v. Matkin, 134 Ala. 275, 32 South. 669; and, as to the location of Emma being within the five-mile radius, we ......
  • Dennis v. Prather
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 27 Enero 1925
    ...... Appeal. from Circuit Court, Russell County; J.S. Williams, Judge. . . Bill in. equity by John Prather and others against T.H. ... location and removal of county seats. Marengo County v. Matkin, 134 Ala. 275, 288, 32 So. 669. The Constitution. of 1901, § 41, declares:. . ......
  • Jefferson County v. City of Birmingham
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 28 Enero 1928
    ...... time Birmingham was made the county seat. In Rogers v. Wells, 216 Ala. 514, 113 So. 524, following Marengo. County v. Matkin, 134 Ala. 275, 32 So. 669, this court. held the county seat was limited to the corporate limits at. the time it was so located, ......
  • Board of Revenue of Jefferson County v. Huey
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 13 Enero 1916
    ...155, 164, 165, 34 So. 171; Bank of Lafayette v. McNaron, supra. In the earlier appeal of the Matkin-Marengo County controversy (134 Ala. 275, 280, 32 So. 669, 670), Sharpe, writing for the court, said of the presently pertinent provision of section 41 of the Constitution inhibiting the remo......
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