Richard D. Kimball Co. v. City of Medford

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtBefore WILKINS; SPALDING
Citation166 N.E.2d 708,340 Mass. 727
Decision Date28 April 1960

Page 708

166 N.E.2d 708
340 Mass. 727
Carroll H. TIFFANY
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex.
Argued March 11, 1960.
Decided April 28, 1960.

Richard W. Bishop, Medford, for plaintiffs.

Mark E. Gallagher, Jr., City Sol., Boston (Daniel F. Riley, Asst. City Sol., Medford, with him), for defendant.


Page 709

SPALDING, Justice.

These are two actions of contract, which were heard together on agreed facts. In one, the plaintiff Tiffany, an architect, seeks to recover for services rendered to the school committee (committee) of the city of Medford (city); in the other, the plaintiff Richard D. Kimball Co. (Kimball) seeks to recover for engineering services rendered to the committee.

The city has one of the standard forms of charter (Plan E) contained in G.L. c. 43. See §§ 1-45, 93. In November, [340 Mass. 728] 1954, the committee voted to add $3,000 to its 1955 budget to engage a consulting architect 'for the purpose of drawing up specifications, providing plans and making recommendations * * * on major repairs and renovations to existing school property.' This amount was appropriated and Tiffany was selected by the committee as its consultant. By a letter from the superintendent of schools dated May 10, 1955, Tiffany was notified that he had been 'appointed consultant architect.'

In June, 1955, the committee voted that Tiffany be authorized 'to secure professional plumbing and electrical advice in connection with the repairs to the Lincoln Elementary School and that $1,000 be made available for this purpose from the account 'maintenance of school plant." By a letter from the superintendent, Tiffany was notified of this vote and he hired Kimball to assist him. In doing so, he furnished Kimball with a copy of the superintendent's letter which contained a copy of the committee's vote.

Tiffany performed services 'on the Lincoln School project,' and on November 21, 1955, he submitted a bill for $1,500 covering a period from May to November, no part of which has ever been paid.

Kimball inspected the Lincoln School and 'drafted plans and specifications for the * * * electrical and plumbing work.' This work was performed at Tiffany's request. Kimball submitted a bill to the committee for $1,000 which has never been paid.

Other than the above mentioned letters there was no contract 'in writing' between either Tiffany or Kimball and the city. And none of these documents bore the written approval of the city manager. See G.L. c. 43, § 29.

The judge ordered judgment for Tiffany in the sum of $1,500, and judgment for Kimball in the sum of $1,000. To these orders the city excepted. The city also excepted to the denial of certain of its requests for rulings, but these need not concern us. Where, as here, cases have been submitted on agreed facts amounting to a case stated, requests have no standing; it is the duty of the judge to order the [340 Mass. 729] correct judgment on the agreed facts. Howland v. Stowe, 290 Mass. 142, 146, 194 N.E. 888; Commonwealth v. Alleged Gaming Apparatus & Implements & Money, 335 Mass. 223, 225, 139 N.E.2d 715.

Despite the terms of the committee's vote which authorized the services of an architect in connection with 'major repairs and renovations to existing school property,' we assume in the plaintiffs' favor that the services for which recovery is sought related to repairs, as distinct from alterations, on school property. 1 General Laws c. 43, § 33, which is part of the city's sharter (see G.L. c. 43, § 45), provides that 'Except as otherwise provided in this chapter * * * the school committee, in addition to the powers and duties conferred and imposed by law on school committees, * * * may make all repairs, the expenditures for which are made from the regular appropriation for the school department, [and]

Page 710

shall have control of all school buildings and grounds connected therewith.' Another provision of the city's charter (G.L. c. 43, § 29) reads, 'All contracts made by any department, board or commission where the amount involved is one thousand dollars or more shall be in writing, and no such contract shall be deemed to have been made or executed until the approval of the * * * city...

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  • International Salt Co., LLC v. City of Boston, Civil Action No. 05-10921-RGS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • 18 Abril 2008
    ...seeking recovery bears the burden of proving strict compliance with these limitations. Richard D. Kimball Co. v. City of Medford 340 Mass. 727, 729, 166 N.E.2d 708 (1960); Dos Santos v. City of Peabody, 327 Mass. 519, 520-521, 99 N.E.2d 852 (1951). Strict adherence to bidding procedures is ......
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    ...fulfilled. 7 Central Tow Co. v. Boston, --- Mass. ---, --- a, 357 N.E.2d 310 (1976). As we stated in Richard D. Kimball Co. v. Medford, 340 Mass. 727, 729, 166 N.E.2d 708, 710 (1960): "It is familiar law that one dealing with a city or town cannot recover if statutory requirements such as a......
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    • 12 Abril 1982
    ...are fulfilled. See Urban Transp., Inc. v. Mayor of Boston, 373 Mass. 693, 696, 369 N.E.2d 1135 (1977); Richard D. Kimball Co. v. Medford, 340 Mass. 727, 729, 166 N.E.2d 708 In addition to the necessity for an underlying authority for a municipality to contract, any contract made on behalf o......
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