Shoemaker v. United States, No. 1,197

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSHIRAS
Citation13 S.Ct. 361,37 L.Ed. 170,147 U.S. 282
Decision Date16 January 1893
Docket NumberNo. 1,197
PartiesSHOEMAKER et al. v. UNITED STATES, on Petition of the Commission to Select the Land for the Rock Creek Park

147 U.S. 282
13 S.Ct. 361
37 L.Ed. 170
SHOEMAKER et al.

v.

UNITED STATES, on Petition of the Commission to Select the Land for the Rock Creek Park.

No. 1,197.
January 16, 1893.

[Syllabus from pages 282-284 intentionally omitted]

Page 284

Proceeding on behalf of the United States for the condemnation of certain lands for the purpose of establishing a park known as 'Rock Creek Park,' in the District of Columbia. By a final judgment of the court below the title was declared to be vested in the United States, and from that decree certain of the property holders bring error. Affirmed.

Statement by Mr. Justice SHIRAS:

Under the title of 'An act authorizing the establishing of a public park in the District of Columbia,' an act of congress was approved on September 27, 1890, (26 St. p. 492,) directing that a tract of land lying on both sides of Rock creek, and within certain limits named in the act, be secured as thereinafter set out, and be perpetually dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States. The act provides that the whole tract to be selected and condemned shall not exceed 2,000 acres, and that the cost thereof shall not be in excess of a certain amount appropriated.

It is provided that the chief of engineers of the United States army, the engineer commissioner of the District of Columbia, and three citizens to be appointed by the president by and with the advice and consent of the senate, be, and they are by the act, created a commission (a majority of which shall have power always to act) to select the land for the said park, of the quantity and within the limits prescribed, and to have the same surveyed by the assistant to the said engineer commissioner of the District of Columbia in charge of public highways.

The means to be employed in the ascertainment of the value of the lands to be selected, and in the acquirement of ownership and possession thereof by the United States, are provided for in sections 3, 4, and 5 of the act, which are as follows:

'Sec. 3. That the said commission shall cause to be made an accurate map of said Rock Creek park, showing the location, quantity, and character of each parcel of private property to be taken for such purpose, with the names of the respective owners inscribed thereon, which map shall be filed and recorded in the public records of the District of Columbia, and from and after the date of filing said map the several tracts and parcels of land embraced in said Rock Creek park shall be held as condemned for public uses, and the title thereof

Page 285

vested in the United States, subject to the payment of just compensation, to be determined by said commission, and approved by the president of the United States: provided, that such compensation be accepted by the owner or owners of the several parcels of land.

'That if the said commission shall be unable, by agreement with the respective owners, to purchase all of the land so selected and condemned, within thirty days after such condemnation, at the price approved by the president of the United States, it shall, at the expiration of such period of thirty days, make application to the supreme court of the District of Columbia, by petition, at a general or special term, for an assessment of the value of such land as it has been unable to purchase.

'Said petition shall contain a particular description of the property selected and condemned, with the name of the owner or owners thereof, if known, and their residences, so far as the same may be ascertained, together with a copy of the recorded map of the park; and the said court is hereby authorized and required, upon such application, without delay to notify the owners and occupants of the land, if known, by personal service, and, if unknown, by service by publication, and to ascertain and assess the value of the land so selected and condemned, by appointing three competent and disinterested commissioners to appraise the value or values thereof, and to return the appraisement to the court; and when the value or values of such land are thus ascertained, and the president of the United States shall decide the same to be reasonable, said value or values shall be paid to the owner or owners, and the United States shall be deemed to have a valid title to said land; and if, in any case, the owner or owners of any portion of said land shall refuse or neglect, after the appraisement of the cash value of said lands and improvements, to demand or receive the same from said court, upon depositing the appraised value in said court to the credit of such owner or owners, respectively, the fee simple shall in like manner be vested in the United States.

'Sec. 4. That said court may direct the time and manner in which the possession of the property condemned shall be

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taken or delivered, and may, if necessary, enforce any order or issue any process for giving possession.

'Sec. 5. That no delay in making an assessment of compensation, or in taking possession, shall be occasioned by any doubt which may arise as to the ownership of the property, or any part thereof, or as to the interests of the respective owners. In such cases the court shall require a deposit of the money allowed as compensation for the whole property, or the part in dispute. In all cases, as soon as the said commission shall have paid the compensation assessed, or secured its payment by a deposit of money under the order of the court, possession of the property may be taken. All proceedings hereunder shall be in the name of the United States of America, and managed by the commission.'

It is made the further duty of the commission, when they have ascertained the amount required to be paid for the land, and for expenses, to assess the same upon the lands, lots, and blocks, situated in said district, specially benefited by reason of the location and improvement of said park, in proportion to such benefits to said property; and it is provided that, if the commission shall find that the benefits are not equal to the cost and expenses of the land obtained for the park, they shall assess each tract specially benefited to the extent of the benefit thereto. If the proceeds of the assessment exceed the cost of the park, the excess is to be used in its improvement, if such excess shall not exceed the amount of $10,000; any part above that amount to be refunded ratably. The commission shall give due notice of the time and place of their meeting for the purpose of making such assessment for benefits, and all persons interested may appear and be heard. This assessment being duly made, it becomes the duty of the commission to apply to the supreme court of the District of Columbia to have it confirmed. The court is given power, after notice duly given to all parties in interest, to hear and determine all matters connected with said assessment, and to revise, correct, amend, and confirm the same, in whole or in part, or order a new assessment in whole or in part, with or without further notice, or on such

Page 287

notice as it shall prescribe. The act also prescribes the mode in which payment of the assessment for benefits shall be made after it is confirmed, and provides for the enforcement of such payment in the manner employed in the District for the collection of delinquent taxes. All payments under said assessment shall be made to the treasurer of the United States, and all money so collected may be paid by the treasurer, on the order of the commission, to any persons entitled thereto as compensation for land or services.

To pay the expenses of inquiry, survey, assessment, cost of lands taken, and all other expenses incidental thereto, the sum of $1,200,000 is appropriated out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, one half of which, as well as one half of any sum annually appropriated and expended for the maintenance and improvement of the park, is made a charge upon the revenues of the District of Columbia.

The act finally provides that the public park authorized and established thereby shall be under the joint control of the commissioners of said District and the chief of engineers of the United States army; and it is made their duty, as soon as practicable, to render the park fit for the purposes of its establishment, and to make and publish such regulations as they deem necessary or proper for the care and management of the same.

On May 20, 1891, the commission appointed under the provisions of the act filed a petition in the supreme court of the District of Columbia, setting out therein that they had caused a map to be made of the lands selected by them for the park, showing the location, quantity, and character of each tract or parcel of property to be taken therefor, and that they had filed and recorded the map in the public records of said District on April 16, 1891. The petitioners stated that immediately upon the filing of the map they made to each of the owners of said tracts of land an offer to purchase his property at a definite sum fixed by the commission and approved by the president of the United States, and that they had not been able, within the time limited for such pur-

Page 288

pose, to purchase, by agreement with the owners, any of the lands, except 5 of the 84 tracts selected; and the petitioners therefore prayed the court for the appointment of three competent and disinterested commissioners to appraise the land so selected, and to return the appraisement to the court. The court directed that the petition be filed in general term, and ordered that the persons named as respondents to the petition, and all others interested, or claiming to be interested, in the land described, or in any part thereof, as occupants or otherwise, appear in court on or before June 15, 1891, and show cause why the prayer of the petition should not be granted, and why the...

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362 practice notes
  • U.S. v. 101.88 Acres of Land, More or Less, Situated in St. Mary Parish, State of La., No. 77-2768
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • May 5, 1980
    ...use for which private property is authorized by the legislature to be taken, is in fact a public use". Shoemaker v. United States, 1893, 147 U.S. 282, 298, 13 S.Ct. 361, 390, 37 L.Ed. 170. The court may ask in this inquiry whether the authorized officials were acting in bad faith or arbitra......
  • United States v. 15.3 ACRES OF LAND, ETC., Civ. A. No. 5051.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • August 15, 1957
    ...268 F. 273, at page 277; Woodlands Cemetery Co. v. United States, D.C.E.D.Pa.1953, 110 F.Supp. 704; Shoemaker v. United States, 1893, 147 U.S. 282, at page 306, 13 S.Ct. 361, 37 L.Ed. 170; Columbia Heights Realty Co. v. Rudolph, 1910, 217 U.S. 547, at page 560, 30 S.Ct. 581, 54 L.Ed. 877. E......
  • United States v. Crary
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • October 24, 1932
    ...of the commissioners should be to ascertain the fair cash value of each of the two tracts sought to be taken. See Shoemaker v. U. S., 147 U. S. 282, 304, 13 S. Ct. 361, 37 L. Ed. 170; Richmond & Mechlenburg R. Co. v. Humphreys, 90 Va. 425, 436, 18 S. E. 901; Town of Galax v. Waugh, 143 Va. ......
  • United States v. 70.39 Acres of Land, Civ. No. 1506-SD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • July 10, 1958
    ...Company v. City of Brooklyn, 1897, 166 U.S. 685, 17 S.Ct. 718, 41 L.Ed. 1165; Shoemaker v. United States, 1893, 164 F. Supp. 484 147 U.S. 282, 13 S.Ct. 361, 37 L.Ed. 170; United States v. Jones, 1883, 109 U.S. 513, 3 S.Ct. 346, 27 L.Ed. 1015; Kohl, etc. v. United States, 1875, 91 U.S. 367, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
360 cases
  • U.S. v. 101.88 Acres of Land, More or Less, Situated in St. Mary Parish, State of La., No. 77-2768
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • May 5, 1980
    ...use for which private property is authorized by the legislature to be taken, is in fact a public use". Shoemaker v. United States, 1893, 147 U.S. 282, 298, 13 S.Ct. 361, 390, 37 L.Ed. 170. The court may ask in this inquiry whether the authorized officials were acting in bad faith or arbitra......
  • United States v. 15.3 ACRES OF LAND, ETC., Civ. A. No. 5051.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • August 15, 1957
    ...268 F. 273, at page 277; Woodlands Cemetery Co. v. United States, D.C.E.D.Pa.1953, 110 F.Supp. 704; Shoemaker v. United States, 1893, 147 U.S. 282, at page 306, 13 S.Ct. 361, 37 L.Ed. 170; Columbia Heights Realty Co. v. Rudolph, 1910, 217 U.S. 547, at page 560, 30 S.Ct. 581, 54 L.Ed. 877. E......
  • United States v. Crary
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • October 24, 1932
    ...of the commissioners should be to ascertain the fair cash value of each of the two tracts sought to be taken. See Shoemaker v. U. S., 147 U. S. 282, 304, 13 S. Ct. 361, 37 L. Ed. 170; Richmond & Mechlenburg R. Co. v. Humphreys, 90 Va. 425, 436, 18 S. E. 901; Town of Galax v. Waugh, 143 Va. ......
  • United States v. 70.39 Acres of Land, Civ. No. 1506-SD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • July 10, 1958
    ...Company v. City of Brooklyn, 1897, 166 U.S. 685, 17 S.Ct. 718, 41 L.Ed. 1165; Shoemaker v. United States, 1893, 164 F. Supp. 484 147 U.S. 282, 13 S.Ct. 361, 37 L.Ed. 170; United States v. Jones, 1883, 109 U.S. 513, 3 S.Ct. 346, 27 L.Ed. 1015; Kohl, etc. v. United States, 1875, 91 U.S. 367, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • The Regulatory Takings Battleground: Environmental Regulation of Land Versus Private-Property Rights
    • United States
    • Land use planning and the environment: a casebook
    • January 23, 2010
    ...Georgetown & Alexandria Turnpike Co., 10 U.S. 233 (1810); United States v. Jones, 109 U.S. 513 (1883); and Shoemaker v. United States, 147 U.S. 282, 300, 301 (1893)), 1 and we have since then thought it “long . . . settled that there is no constitutional right to a jury in eminent domai......
  • Resilience and Raisins: Partial Takings and Coastal Climate Change Adaptation
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 46-2, February 2016
    • February 1, 2016
    ...v. City of New York, 88 U.S. 196, 198 (1874). 43. Searl v. School Dist. No. 2, 133 U.S. 553 (1890). 44. Shoemaker v. United States, 147 U.S. 282, 284 (1893). 45. Olson v. United States, 292 U.S. 246, 255 (1934). 46. McCoy v. Union Elevated R.R. Co., 247 U.S. 354 (1918). 47. Monangahela Navi......

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