The Metro. City Ry. Co. v. the Chicago West Div. Ry. Co..

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtSCOTT
Citation87 Ill. 317,1877 WL 9865
Decision Date30 September 1877

87 Ill. 317
1877 WL 9865 (Ill.)


Supreme Court of Illinois.

September Term, 1877.

[87 Ill. 318]

APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook county; the Hon. JOHN G. ROGERS, Judge, presiding.

Mr. C. B. LAWRENCE, Mr. M. F. TULEY, Mr. L. G. PRATT, and Mr. D. L. HOUGH, for the appellant.

Mr. C. BECKWITH, and Mr. B. F. AYER, for the appellee.

Mr. JUSTICE SCOTT delivered the opinion of the Court:

The Metropolitan City Railway Company, a corporation organized under the general incorporation act, for the purpose of constructing and operating horse and dummy railways in Chicago and in other portions of Cook county, filed its petition,

[87 Ill. 319]

in which it represented to the court that, by an ordinance passed on the 30th day of April, 1875, the company was authorized to lay down, operate and maintain railway tracks upon Lake street, Lake street bridge and West Lake street, from the Union Depot, at the foot of Lake street, to Canal street, and on Canal from West Lake street to Fourteenth street, in the City of Chicago, for and during a period of twenty years from the 30th of April, 1875; that the Chicago West Division Railway Company has, or claims to have, some property right, interest or privilege in such streets, which will be destroyed or damaged by laying down, operating and maintaining railway tracks thereon by petitioner, which property right, interest or privilege petitioner is desirous of appropriating, or so much thereof as may be necessary, for the purpose of laying down its tracks, and of maintaining and operating them; and that, inasmuch as the compensation to be paid for, or in respect to, the property right, interest or privilege claimed by defendant corporation, so sought to be appropriated, could not be agreed upon by the parties interested, petitioner prayed it might be condemned under the eminent domain law.

On appearing to defend, the defendant corporation filed thirteen special pleas, the substance of which is, that petitioner is not, and was not, a body politic and corporate, and could not, therefore, invoke the aid of the eminent domain law for the purpose of condemning property to public use; that the ordinance of the 30th of April, 1875, passed by the common council, on account of sundry reasons, specifically set forth, among which was, that the notice required by statute was not first given, was void, and hence gave no consent to petitioner to locate, construct and operate its railroad in the streets mentioned in the ordinance; that petitioner had given no bond, as required by the provisions of the ordinance; that the consent granted was void, because for a longer period than the common council was authorized to grant by the general law; that the ordinance did not make it a condition precedent that

[87 Ill. 320]

petitioner should first pay all damages that might be sustained by abutting land owners by reason of constructing its road, and that the Chicago City Railway Company had, by contract made with the common council of the city of Chicago, and sanctioned by an act of the General Assembly, the right to have all horse railways excluded from certain streets, among which is that portion of Lake and Canal streets which petitioner seeks to condemn for the use of its horse railway, for a definite number of years, not yet expired,--to all the benefits of which contract defendant had succeeded.

Other matters, of minor importance, are set forth in the pleas, but it will not be necessary to an understanding of the case to state them.

On motion of petitioner, all the pleas of defendant were stricken out, but on leave being given to answer, the same matters of defense were insisted upon in the form of an answer to the petition. A trial was had upon the merits of the case, and the jury to whom the cause was submitted found the damage that would be sustained by defendant on account of property taken, viz: the right to have preserved and kept free from horse railways the streets named, to be one cent. The motion made by defendant for a new trial was overruled, and thereupon petitioner moved for a judgment on the verdict, but that motion was also overruled, and, on motion of defendant, the whole proceeding was dismissed out of court. Both parties have preserved exceptions to the several rulings of the court. The case comes to this court on the appeal of petitioner, but defendant has availed of its privilege, under the statute, to assign cross-errors.

Although questioned in the answer of defendant, it is not insisted in argument that the petitioning corporation was not duly organized under the general law. It seems to be conceded it is a corporation authorized to construct and maintain a horse railway, although wanting in authority to use for that purpose any street in the city of Chicago except with the consent of its common council. Whether any defects might be developed,

[87 Ill. 321]

on quo warranto, that would seriously affect the validity of its organization, we have not deemed it necessary to inquire, for it does appear to be a corporation in fact, and the people have not seen fit to demand, in any appropriate form, by what authority it assumes to exercise its franchises and privileges. Such a corporation, by the act of the legislature in relation to “Horse and Dummy Railways,” is empowered to enter upon and appropriate any property necessary for the construction, maintenance and operation of its road, the compensation therefor to be ascertained and made in the manner provided by law for the exercise of the right of eminent domain.

Elaborate arguments have been made as to the validity of the ordinance of 30th of April, 1875, under which petitioner alleges it obtained the consent of the common council to construct its railway on certain streets, and maintain the same for a definite number of years. The necessity for considering whether that ordinance was legally enacted, or whether it has the effect to confer upon petitioner the license or privilege...

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35 cases
  • South Park Com'rs v. Montgomery Ward & Co.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • February 8, 1911
    ...easements. Johnson v. Joliet p Chicago Railroad Co., 23 Ill. 202;Metropolitan City Railway Co. v. Chicago West Division Railway Co., 87 Ill. 317;Sholl v. German Coal Co., 118 Ill. 427, 10 N. E. 199,59 Am. Rep. 379. Questions of the necessity and propriety of the exercise of the right are le......
  • McPhee & McGinnity Co. v. Union Pac. R. Co., 2,644
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    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 27, 1907
    ...Barber Asphalt Paving Co. v. City of Denver, 72 F. 336, 337, 19 C.C.A. 139; Metropolitan City Ry. Co. v. Chicago West Division Ry. Co., 87 Ill. 317, 322; Lincoln Street Ry. Co. v. City of Lincoln, 61 Neb. 109, 126, 84 N.W. 802, 807; Crowder v. Town of Sullivan, 128 Ind. 486, 28 N.E. 94, 13 ......
  • Baltimore & O. Railroad Co. v. Pittsburg, W. & KY. Railroad Co.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 7, 1881
    ...9 Rich. Law (old series) 228; 8 Bush 69; 39 N. J. Law 28; 20 Hun. 201; 23 Cal. 324; 43 Conn. 234; 70 N.Y. 191; 29 Pa. 165; 82 Pa. 382; 87 Ill. 317; 4 Ohio St. 675; 1 Otto 367; 36 N. J. Law 181; 16 Hun. 497; 78 N.Y. 362; 5 Ohio St. 276; 5 W.Va. 382; 6 W.Va. 397; 7 W.Va. 191; 9 W.Va. 648; 47 ......
  • Minnesota Canal & Power Company v. Pratt, 14,917 - (148) [2]
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • June 7, 1907
    ...and the consent of the city, which would at the most amount to no more than a license, be subsequently obtained. Metropolitan v. Chicago, 87 Ill. 317. This case is approved in Chicago v. Dunbar, 100 Ill. 110. Another case to which our attention is called is California v. Kimball, 61 Cal. 90......
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