Wiggin v. City of Lewiston

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtSTOCKSLAGER, J.
Citation69 P. 286,8 Idaho 527
PartiesWIGGIN v. CITY OF LEWISTON
Decision Date12 June 1902

69 P. 286

8 Idaho 527

WIGGIN
v.
CITY OF LEWISTON

Supreme Court of Idaho

June 12, 1902


CHARTER OF CITY-MAY BE AMENDED.-A city may amend its charter by a legislative enactment prescribing time and manner of conducting the elections in the city for city purposes.

CITY ELECTION-PROPERTY QUALIFICATION.-It may also prescribe a property qualification for all voters otherwise eligible to vote at any election creating an indebtedness against city.

SAME-PERCENTAGE OF PROPERTY AS BASIS OF BOND ISSUE-CONSTITUTION CONSTRUED.-An act of the legislature amending the charter of a city, providing that fifteen per cent of the entire property of the city, both personal and real, may be considered as the basis for issuing bonds for municipal improvements, wherein it is provided that bonds shall not be issued in excess of fifteen per cent of the taxable property as shown by the assessment of the preceding year, is a local or special law, but is not in conflict with the state constitution.

(Syllabus by the court.)

APPEAL from District Court, Nez Perces County.

Affirmed; costs to respondent.

Charles L. McDonald, for Appellant.

The state constitution provides, in article 8, section 3, that no city shall incur any indebtedness beyond its income without the assent of two-thirds of the qualified electors thereof. The term "qualified electors" is defined in article 6, section 2, of the constitution, and being a taxpayer is not made one of the qualifications of an elector. It thus appears that when the proposition to issue bonds was submitted to only such of the qualified electors as were taxpayers, the provision of the constitution that said questions should be submitted to all of the qualified electors was not complied with. (Idaho Sess. Laws 1899, p. 53; Idaho Const., art. 6, sec. 2, art. 8, sec. 3.) Under the general election law of the state, no tax qualification is required. (Idaho Sess. Laws 1899, p. 45.) The act of the legislature of 1899, amending section 20 of the charter of the city of Lewiston, is unconstitutional, for the reason that it provides a special and local law for conducting elections and designating the place of voting. (Idaho Const., art. 3, sec. 19.) The act of the legislature approved March 6, 1899, provides for the holding and conducting of special elections therein provided, and by reason of said provisions, it contravenes the state constitution prohibiting the passage of special or local laws, providing for elections. (Idaho Const., art. 3, sec. 19; Idaho Sess. Laws 1899, pp. 39, 66.) Upon an examination of the act of the legislature, under which the elections were sought to be held, it will be seen that there are provisions relative to the assessment and collection of taxes, and the same being an act amending the charter of the city of Lewiston, is a special or local law, relative to the same. (Idaho Const., art. 3, sec. 19.)

S. L. McFarland, for Respondent.

The question raised is whether or not the act of March 6, 1899, amending section 20 of the charter of the city of Lewiston contravenes article 8, section 3, of the state constitution, in defining a qualified elector. (Act of the legislature, approved Feb. 2, 1899; act of March 6, 1899.) While we do not believe that either of the above-mentioned acts can be so construed as defining a qualified elector, or even if such a construction be placed on the acts, neither of them contravenes any provisions of the state constitution, for the reason that section 4 of article 6 of the state constitution provides that the legislature may prescribe the qualifications, limitations and conditions for the right of suffrage additional to those prescribed in said article. Section 20 of article 1 of the state constitution expressly provides that in all elections creating an indebtedness, a property qualification is required, and we apprehend that there is no question but that both of the elections shown by the record in this case were for the purpose of creating an indebtedness. (Idaho Sess. Laws 1899, pp. 40, 593; Idaho Const., art. 1, sec. 20, art. 6, sec. 4.) The special act of the legislature of Idaho territory (now state), incorporating the city of Lewiston, provides the manner of conducting elections within the city, and upon examination of the record in this case, it will be seen that the respondents followed the provisions of its charter in holding both of the elections. (Idaho Sess. Laws 1899, p. 593; Special and Local Laws of Idaho secs. 559-669.) Our constitution, in requiring a property qualification, does not specify the character of the property required, and we do not believe there is a single provision in our constitution which makes a distinction in the character of property that a person must own in order to entitle him to participate in an election where a property qualification is required. The act of the legislature of March 6, 1899, expressly provides that the city can borrow money and issue therefor its negotiable coupon bonds not to exceed, at any time, in the aggregate, fifteen per cent of all the taxable property. (Idaho Const., art. 1, sec. 20; Idaho Sess. Laws 1899, p. 591.)

STOCKSLAGER, J. Quarles, C. J., and Sullivan, J., concur.

OPINION

[8 Idaho 529] STOCKSLAGER, J.

This case comes here on appeal from an order of Hon. Edgar C. Steele, district judge of the second judicial district, made at chambers at Mt. Idaho Idaho county, on the sixth day of May, 1902, refusing to grant a temporary injunction on application of plaintiff.

The complaint is a voluminous one, occupying folios 1 to 125, inclusive, in the record. The statement of the case in the brief of appellant is conceded to be a fair one by counsel for respondent, and we adopt it as a correct statement of the case. This is an action brought by appellant, praying that the respondent be restrained from issuing or selling certain municipal coupon bonds of the city of Lewiston, and from purchasing or negotiating the purchase of the water system of the Lewiston Water and Light Company, John P. Vollmer, and Frank W. Kettenbach. The complaint alleges: That, among other things, the city of Lewiston is a municipal corporation, organized and existing under and by virtue of an act of the legislature of Idaho territory (now state), and that the above-named respondents [8 Idaho 530] constitute the duly elected, qualified, and acting mayor and aldermen of said city of Lewiston; that the appellant is a resident taxpayer and qualified elector of the city of Lewiston; that on the seventh day of October, 1901, the common council of the city of Lewiston duly and regularly passed ordinance No. 322, which was an ordinance providing for the holding of a special election in the city of Lewiston, Nez Perces county, state of Idaho for the purpose of submitting to the electors of said city the question of issuing municipal coupon bonds of said city of Lewiston, in the amount of $ 80,000, to be used for the purpose of erecting, constructing, operating, and maintaining a system of waterworks, to be the property of the city of Lewiston, Nez Perces county, Idaho; that said ordinance No. 322 was thereafter duly and regularly recorded in a book kept for that purpose, and authenticated by the signatures of the proper officers; that on the seventeenth day of October, under and by direction of the mayor and common council...

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18 practice notes
  • Lyons v. Bottolfsen, 6763
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 21, 1940
    ...39-701, I. C. A.) The legislature may equally authorize the highway department to purchase or build bridges. (Wiggin v. City of Lewiston, 8 Idaho 527, 537, 69 P. 286; Thomas v. City of Gooding, 27 Idaho 624, 149 P. 1064; Bradbury v. City of Idaho Falls, 32 Idaho 28, 177 P. 388.) Such purcha......
  • State v. Calloway
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • January 31, 1906
    ...Liquors, sec. 227; Provo City v. Shurtliff, 4 Utah 15, 5 P. 302.) The ordinance is not defective in form. (Wiggins v. City of Lewiston, 8 Idaho 527, 69 P. 286. See, also, State v. Cantieny, 34 Minn. 1, 24 N.W. 458; People v. Mellen, 32 Ill. 181; Brewster v. Syracuse, 19 N.Y. 117; Appeal of ......
  • Jones v. State Bd. of Medicine, No. 12093
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • October 15, 1976
    ...39 Idaho 382, 228 P. 1068 (1924); State Water Conservation Board v. Enking, 56 Idaho 722, 58 P.2d 779 (1936); Wiggin v. City of Lewiston, 8 Idaho 527, 69 P. 286 (1902); Board of County Commissioners of Lemhi County v. Swensen, 80 Idaho 198, 327 P.2d 361 If as asserted by appellants here the......
  • State ex rel. Mitchell v. Dunbar
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • October 15, 1924
    ...to the public welfare. ( Innis v. Bolton, 2 Idaho 442, 17 P. 264; Shepherd v. Grimmett, 3 Idaho 403, 31 P. 793; Wiggin v. Lewiston, 8 Idaho 527, 69 P. 286; Blair v. Ridgely, 41 Mo. 63, 97 Am. Dec. 248, and note; Adams v. Lansdon, 18 Idaho 483, 110 P. 280; 20 C. J. 60; State v. Superior Cour......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Lyons v. Bottolfsen, 6763
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 21, 1940
    ...39-701, I. C. A.) The legislature may equally authorize the highway department to purchase or build bridges. (Wiggin v. City of Lewiston, 8 Idaho 527, 537, 69 P. 286; Thomas v. City of Gooding, 27 Idaho 624, 149 P. 1064; Bradbury v. City of Idaho Falls, 32 Idaho 28, 177 P. 388.) Such purcha......
  • State v. Calloway
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • January 31, 1906
    ...Liquors, sec. 227; Provo City v. Shurtliff, 4 Utah 15, 5 P. 302.) The ordinance is not defective in form. (Wiggins v. City of Lewiston, 8 Idaho 527, 69 P. 286. See, also, State v. Cantieny, 34 Minn. 1, 24 N.W. 458; People v. Mellen, 32 Ill. 181; Brewster v. Syracuse, 19 N.Y. 117; Appeal of ......
  • Jones v. State Bd. of Medicine, No. 12093
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • October 15, 1976
    ...39 Idaho 382, 228 P. 1068 (1924); State Water Conservation Board v. Enking, 56 Idaho 722, 58 P.2d 779 (1936); Wiggin v. City of Lewiston, 8 Idaho 527, 69 P. 286 (1902); Board of County Commissioners of Lemhi County v. Swensen, 80 Idaho 198, 327 P.2d 361 If as asserted by appellants here the......
  • State ex rel. Mitchell v. Dunbar
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • October 15, 1924
    ...to the public welfare. ( Innis v. Bolton, 2 Idaho 442, 17 P. 264; Shepherd v. Grimmett, 3 Idaho 403, 31 P. 793; Wiggin v. Lewiston, 8 Idaho 527, 69 P. 286; Blair v. Ridgely, 41 Mo. 63, 97 Am. Dec. 248, and note; Adams v. Lansdon, 18 Idaho 483, 110 P. 280; 20 C. J. 60; State v. Superior Cour......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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