Neu v. Town of Bourbon

Decision Date26 November 1901
Docket Number19,577
Citation62 N.E. 7,157 Ind. 476
PartiesNeu et al. v. Town of Bourbon et al
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

From Marshall Circuit Court; A. C. Capron, Judge.

Suit by Charles H. Neu and others to enjoin the town of Bourbon from carrying out a plan to purchase or construct a system of water-works and electric light plant. From a judgment for defendants, plaintiffs appeal.


C. P Drummond, for appellants.


Jordan, C. J.

Appellants as resident taxpayers of the incorporated town of Bourbon sought to enjoin the town, together with its board of trustees, from carrying out a certain scheme or plan whereby it was to construct or purchase a system of water-works and an electric light plant for said town, and thereby incur an indebtedness in excess of two per cent. of its taxables, all as asserted, in violation of appellants' rights as guaranteed by article 13 of the State Constitution, which prohibits municipal corporations from becoming indebted in excess of two per cent., etc.

The complaint is in four paragraphs, and, in the main, proceeds upon the theory that the proposed scheme which defendants had undertaken would result in creating an indebtedness against the town in violation of the prohibition of said article of the Constitution. The fourth paragraph, under the facts therein alleged, is to the effect that the water-works sought to be purchased by appellee were incomplete and defective, and by accepting the same the town would exceed its powers, and would perpetrate a fraud upon its taxpayers. The court, upon the trial, made a special finding of facts and stated conclusions of law thereon. By the first conclusion the court held adversely to appellants on the first three paragraphs of their complaint, and against appellees on the fourth paragraph. The only error presented and relied upon for reversal is based on the first conclusion of law.

Appellants have filed a voluminous brief wherein they argue and contend that, under the facts as disclosed by the special finding, the scheme entered into by the board of trustees of said town and the Bourbon Water and Light Company is in contravention of said article 13 of the Constitution and thereby their rights guaranteed thereunder are impaired.

This cause was submitted on March 15, 1901, and on May 14th following appellants filed their brief. Appellees, under the rules of this court, were allowed ninety days after the...

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