Seafeldt v. Port of Astoria

CourtSupreme Court of Oregon
Writing for the CourtRAND, J.
Citation141 Or. 418,16 P.2d 943
Decision Date13 December 1932
PartiesSEAFELDT v. PORT OF ASTORIA et al. [*]

16 P.2d 943

141 Or. 418

SEAFELDT
v.
PORT OF ASTORIA et al.
[*]

Supreme Court of Oregon

December 13, 1932


Department 1.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Clatsop County; H. K. Zimmerman, Judge.

Suit by Albert J. Seafeldt against the Port of Astoria and others. From an adverse decree, defendants appeal.

Reversed, and decree entered dismissing suit.

[141 Or. 419] G. C. Fulton, of Astoria (A. C. Fulton, of Astoria, on the brief), for appellants.

H. B. Beckett, of Portland (Wilbur, Beckett, Howell & Oppenheimer, of Portland, on the brief), for respondent.

RAND, J.

This suit was brought by a taxpayer to enjoin the port of Astoria and its officers [16 P.2d 944] from performing a contract which it had entered into with the Tacoma Dredging Company by which it had agreed to do certain dredging work on two bars in the Willamette river, which work that company had agreed to do for the United States of America. The case is here upon an appeal from a decree enjoining the defendants from performing such work.

It appears from the evidence that on December 16, 1931, the Tacoma Dredging Company entered into a contract with the federal government to dredge two bars in the channel of the Willamette river, and that said company then entered into a contract with the port of Astoria in and by the terms of which the port of Astoria agreed to furnish to the Tacoma Dredging Company for the doing of such work its dredge and the workmen employed thereon, and to receive in payment therefor $550 for each day of twenty-four hours' continuous operation, and, in addition thereto, an allowance of $300 for the towing of the dredge to and from the place of work.

[141 Or. 420] It is alleged in the complaint that the port had no power or authority to enter into the contract or to perform the same, and that performance thereof will result in loss and damage to the port.

It appears from the evidence that the place where the work is to be done is not within the limits of the port nor between its limits and the sea, but is one hundred miles or more from the situs of the port, and that to transport the dredge to the place of work will necessitate the towing of the dredge up the Columbia river to the mouth of the Willamette river, and from thence up said river to the place where the work is to be performed. Both of said streams between said points are navigable for the entire distance.

The port of Astoria is a municipal corporation. It was organized under and pursuant to the provisions of the general laws of this state, and possesses all the powers conferred by sections 65-701 to 65-1105, Oregon Code 1930, and such additional powers as are granted by sections 65-801, to 65-813, Oregon Code 1930.

It is well settled that all acts beyond the scope of the powers granted to a municipality are void, and that, in construing the extent of the powers of a municipality, any fair, reasonable, or substantial doubt as to the extent of the power is to be determined in favor of the public. City of Corvallis v. Carlile, 10 Or. 139, 45 Am. Rep. 134; Cole v. Seaside, 80 Or. 73, 156 P. 569; Chapman v. Hood River, 100 Or. 43, 196 P. 467, 470. But as said in Chapman v. Hood River, supra: "It is likewise a rule of construction that grants of power are not to be so construed as to defeat the intent of the Legislature or to withhold what is given either expressly or by necessary and fair implication."

[141 Or. 421] In City of Corvallis v. Carlile, supra, Mr. Chief Justice Lord quoted with approval from Minturn v. Larue, 23 How. 435, 16 L.Ed. 574, as follows: "It is a well settled rule of construction of grants by the legislature to corporations, whether public or private, that only such powers and rights can be exercised under them as are clearly comprehended within the words of the act, or derived therefrom by necessary implication, regard being had to the object of the grant. ***"

In Dillon on Municipal Corporations (5th Ed.) § 237, the author says: "It is a general and undisputed proposition of law that a municipal corporation possesses and can exercise the following powers, and no others: First, those granted in express words; second, those necessarily or fairly implied in or incident to the powers expressly granted; third, those essential to the accomplishment of the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
12 practice notes
  • Port of Umatilla v. Richmond
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • February 5, 1958
    ...should [212 Or. 609] not be construed to defeat the intent and 'manifest purpose of the legislature.' Seafeldt v. Port of Astoria, 141 Or. 418, 420, 16 P.2d 943; State ex rel. Olcott v. Hawk, supra, 105 Or. 319, 327, 208 P. 709, 209 P. 607; Chapman v. Hood River, 100 Or. 43, 52, 196 P. 467;......
  • Quackenbush v. City of Cheyenne, 2021
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 27, 1937
    ...of the property of the municipality, in the absence of illegality, fraud, or clear abuse of their authority." Seafeldt v. Astoria, (Or.) 16 P.2d 943; Haesloop v. City Council, 123 S.C. 272; 115 S.E. 596; 44 C. J. 1411. If the lots were in fact sold for less than their face value, that fact ......
  • Colwell v. City of Great Falls, No. 8500.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • March 23, 1945
    ...of Sanford, 66 Me. 585, 591;Blood v. Manchester Electric Light Co., 68 N.H. 340, 342, 39 A. 335. In Seafeldt v. Port of Astoria, 141 Or 418, 16 P.2d 943, 945, the court said: “The contract the performance of which is sought to be enjoined in this suit is not a contract to sell the dredge, b......
  • Seltenreich v. Town of Fairbanks, No. 6926.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Alaska
    • March 4, 1952
    ...172 U.S. 1, 19 S.Ct. 77, 43 L.Ed. 341; Linne v. Bredes, 43 Wash. 540, 86 P. 858, 6 L.R.A.,N.S., 707. In Seafeldt v. Port of Astoria, 141 Or. 418, 16 P.2d 943, it is stated as set forth in the "Term `governmental functions' should be limited to duties imposed by state on municipal corporatio......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Port of Umatilla v. Richmond
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • February 5, 1958
    ...should [212 Or. 609] not be construed to defeat the intent and 'manifest purpose of the legislature.' Seafeldt v. Port of Astoria, 141 Or. 418, 420, 16 P.2d 943; State ex rel. Olcott v. Hawk, supra, 105 Or. 319, 327, 208 P. 709, 209 P. 607; Chapman v. Hood River, 100 Or. 43, 52, 196 P. 467;......
  • Quackenbush v. City of Cheyenne, 2021
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 27, 1937
    ...of the property of the municipality, in the absence of illegality, fraud, or clear abuse of their authority." Seafeldt v. Astoria, (Or.) 16 P.2d 943; Haesloop v. City Council, 123 S.C. 272; 115 S.E. 596; 44 C. J. 1411. If the lots were in fact sold for less than their face value, that fact ......
  • Colwell v. City of Great Falls, No. 8500.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • March 23, 1945
    ...of Sanford, 66 Me. 585, 591;Blood v. Manchester Electric Light Co., 68 N.H. 340, 342, 39 A. 335. In Seafeldt v. Port of Astoria, 141 Or 418, 16 P.2d 943, 945, the court said: “The contract the performance of which is sought to be enjoined in this suit is not a contract to sell the dredge, b......
  • Seltenreich v. Town of Fairbanks, No. 6926.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Alaska
    • March 4, 1952
    ...172 U.S. 1, 19 S.Ct. 77, 43 L.Ed. 341; Linne v. Bredes, 43 Wash. 540, 86 P. 858, 6 L.R.A.,N.S., 707. In Seafeldt v. Port of Astoria, 141 Or. 418, 16 P.2d 943, it is stated as set forth in the "Term `governmental functions' should be limited to duties imposed by state on municipal corporatio......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT