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If an act passed to induce the creditors of a municipal corporation to surrender old bonds and take new ones, prohibits the issuing of bonds thereafter for any other purpose whatever, except in payment of the bonded debt of the corporation, this prohibition becomes a part of the contract, and is not subject to legislative repeal or amendment, so as to impair or diminish the security of the creditors. Smith v. Appleton, 19 Wis. 468.
If the contract in its inception was without a legal remedy for its violation or suspension, the legislature may repeal a statute subsequently passed whereby a remedy was provided. Young v. Oregon, i Oregon, 213.
The executory contracts of a State have no other than a moral sanction, and depend upon good faith for their performance. No money can be drawn without an appropriation, and no court can compel the legislative department to pass a law to make one. As there is no legal remedy to enforce a contract against a State, a statute forbidding the auditor to issue warrants does not impair the obligation of contracts. Swann v. Buck, 40 Miss. 268.
A State law providing for the discontinuance of work on a public building under a contract, is valid, for it leaves the contractor his remedy for damages for a breach of the contract. Lord v. Thomas, 64 N. Y. 107.
An act of the legislature authorizing a municipal corporation to subscribe to the stock of a railroad corporation is not a contract. Wheeling, 7 W. Va. 501.
Where a fund is pledged for the payment of municipal bonds at the time of their issue, a subsequent statute can not authorize its diversion so as to impair the security of the bondholders. People v. Supervisors, 12 Cal. 300; People v. Woods, 7 Cal. 579; Western Saving Fund v. Philadelphia, 31 Penn. 185; People v. Bond, 10 Cal. 563; People v. Tillinghast, 10 Cal. 584; English v. Supervisors, 19 Cal. 172; Board v. Fowler, 19 Cal. 11 ; Trustees v. Bailey, 10 Fla. 112.
If an act authorizing a municipal corporation to issue bonds, provides for the levy and preservation of a tax to pay the same, this constitutes a contract with the bondholders which no subsequent ordinance can impair. Maenhut v. New Orleans, 2 Woods, 108; Ranger v. New Orleans, 2 Woods, 128.
If a corporation builds an improvement, under a statute which provides for the issue of bonds by the State, to be paid as fast as a fund accumulates for that purpose, an act providing for their redemption at less than par, and authorizing a loan of the fund if no bonds are tendered for redemption, is void. Goldsmith v. Brown, 5 Oregon, 418.
Where a statute pledging certain property to the payment of certain debts of a municipal corporation only authorizes a public sale, a subsequent act may provide a new mode for the disposition of those portions of the property which can not be advantageously disposed of at public sale in consequence of existing doubts as to the title thereto. Babcock v. Middleton, 20 Cal. 643.
If a municipal corporation obtains a loan by placing certain property in the hands of trustees as a security, and at the time promises not to change the selection or constitution of the trustees, it can not subsequently make any such change. Western Saving Fund v. Philadelphia, 31 Penn. 175; S. C. 31 Penn. 185.
If a statute authorizing a municipal corporation to condemn land for a park, provides that the bonds issued to pay for the same shall be a lien thereon, no subsequent act can authorize a sale of the land free from the lien, although the proceeds are to be turned into a sinking fund for the use of the bondholders. Brooklyn Park v. Armstrong, 45 N. Y. 234.
If the legislature pledges certain property to secure bonds at the time of their issue, it can not subsequently divest that lien, or postpone it to others. Trustees v. Beers, 2 Black, 448.
A contract is a compact between two or more parties, and is either ex
l ecutory or executed. An executory contract is one in which a party binds himself to do or not to do a particular thing. A contract executed is one in which the object of the contract is performed, and this differs in nothing from a grant. A contract executed, as well as one which is executory, contains obligations binding on the parties. A grant, in its own nature,
Y. amounts to an extinguishment of the right of the grantor, and implies a contract not to re-assert that right. Since then, in fact, a grant is a contract executed, the obligation of which still continues, and since the Constitution uses the general term contract without distinguishing between those which are executory and those which are executed, it must be construed to comprehend the latter as well as the former. A law annulling conveyances between individuals, and declaring that the grantors shall stand seized of their former estates, would be as repugnant to the Constitution as a law discharging vendors of property from
the obligation of X executing their contracts by conveyances. Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cranch, 87; Terrett v. Taylor, 9 Cranch, 43 ; Berrett v. Oliver, 7 G. & J. 191 ; Montgomery v. Kasson, 16 Cal. 189; Grogan v. San Francisco, 18 Cal. 590.
No consideration is necessary to render a grant irrevocable. Derby Turnpike Co. v. Parks, 10 Conn. 522.
If an act of the legislature of a State granting certain lands is obtained by fraud and corruption, and the grantee conveys the land to a bona fide purchaser for a valuable consideration, an act of the legislature divesting
the rights of such purchaser will be unconstitutional and void. Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cranch, 87.
The grant of a part of the land under water, affords no foundation for the inference of an intention in any manner to restrict or impair the right of the State to dispose of or improve the residue, and an improvement which affects the flow of the stream does not impair the obligation of the grant when the injury is remote and consequential. Lansing v. Smith, 8 Cow. 146; Hollister v Union Co. 9 Conn. 436.
The property of an alien, purchased by him under a special act of the legislature, can not be transferred to another without his consent by mere legislative power. Bonaparte v. Camden & Amboy R. R. Co. Bald. 205.
Where a religious corporation is under a disability to convey by its charter, a statute authorizing a sale, violates no contract. Burton's Appeal, 57 Penn. 213.
A grant made for the purpose of public instruction, religious or literary, is not subject to subsequent legislative control any more than if made for private use. Terrett v. Taylor, 9 Cranch, 43; Grammar School v. Burt, 11 Vt. 632.
The word irrevocable, in a grant, adds nothing to its force. Without that word the grant would be irrevocable. The exercise of the right of eminent domain is not a revocation of the grant. Ill. & Mich. Canal Co. v. Railroad Co. 14 Ill. 314.
A State may release its interest in an escheated estate to the occupant, although it has agreed to give one half thereof to an attorney who recovered it, for the release only passes the moiety belonging to the State. Mulligan v. Corbins, 7 Wall. 487.
If parties dedicate a square to public use, the legislature can not authorize its sale and use for a purpose foreign to the object of the grant. Warren v. Mayor, 22 Iowa, 351.
If a party, by the payment of the purchase money, has become entitled under a State law to a grant of a piece of land, the State can not by a subsequent act provide for a forfeiture of his right unless he obtains the grant within a certain period. Winter v. Jones, 10 Geo. 190; Fogg v. Williams, 2 Head, 474.
A statute which declares that land shall be forfeited unless improvements are made within a certain time, imposes a condition not contained in the grant, and is unconstitutional, Gaines v. Buford, i Dana, 481.
A statute giving the assent of the State to the purchase of lands by the United States is a grant of a right to purchase, which the State is not at
liberty to qualify or impair by any subsequent act. U. S. v. Great Falls Manuf. Co. 21 Md. 119.
A grant of land to a railroad corporation upon certain conditions which are complied with is an executed contract, and the State can not subsed quently revoke the grant. Davis v. Gray, 16 Wall. 203.
A grant made by the State of certain lands is an executed contract, and the State can not pass any law whereby the estate of those holding under the grant will be impaired or rendered null and void. Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cranch, 87 ; People v. Platt, 17 Johns. 195; Gaines v. Buford, 1 Dana, 481; Crenshaw v. Slate River Co. 6 Rand. 245.
If a grant of lands includes both sides of an unnavigable river, the State can not by a subsequent law compel the owner to alter a dam already erected, so as to allow of the passage of fish up and down the stream. People v. Plati, 17 Johns. 195; State v. Glenn, 7 Jones (N. C.) 321; Cornelius v. Glen, 7 Jones (N. C.) 512.
If a mortgage made to a trustee provides a mode of perpetuating the trust, the legislature can not by a subsequent act provide a different mode. Fletcher v. R. & B. R. R. Co. 39 Vt. 535.
A statute allowing an occupant to recover compensation for improvements put by him on the land, does not impair the obligation of the grant from the State. Albee v. May, 2 Paine, 74; Armstrong v. Jackson, 1 Blackf. 374; Scott v. Mather, 14 Tex. 235; contra, Bristoe v. Evans, 2 Overt. 341; Nelson v. Allen, i Yerg. 360.
A law which restricts the rights of a claimant as against an occupant of land, in violation of a compact between two States, is unconstitutional. Green v. Biddle, 8 Wheat. I; vide Bodley v. Gaither, 3 Mon. 57 ; Fowler v. Halbert, 4 Bibb, 52; Sanders v. Norton, 4 Mon. 464; M'Kinney v. Car
4 roll, 12 Pet. 66; S. C. 5 Mon. 96; Fisher v. Cockerill, 5 Mon. 129.
A grant of a ferry franchise is a contract the obligation of which the legislature can not impair. McRoberts v. Washburne, 10 Minn. 23.
The grantee of a ferry right who pays no consideration for the grant, takes it subject to the power of the legislature to regulate the rates of ferriage. People v. Mayor, 32 Barb. 102; State v. Hudson, 23 N. J. 206 ; S. C. 24 N. J. 718.
If the grant of a license for a ferry is accompanied with a reservation of the power to a State court to establish a bridge alongside of the ferry, the legislature may make the grant directly to another without impairing the obligation of the grant to the licensee. Dyer v. Tuscaloosa Bridge Co. 2 Port 296.
The Constitution does not prevent the legislature of any State from
enacting such laws as may have for their object the application to public use of the property of any member of the community. Jackson v. Winn, 4 Litt. 323; Beekman v. Railroad, 3 Paige, 45; Young v. McKenzie, 3 Geo. 31 ; Bloodgood v. Railroad Co. 18 Wend. 9.
Private property may be taken for public use, but such appropriations are constitutional and legal only when a fair and just equivalent is awarded to the owner of the property so taken. People v. Platt, 17 Johns. 195; Bonaparte v. Camden & Amboy R. R. Co. Bald. 205.
Subjecting the land of a grantee to the payment of his debts does not impair the rights derived to him under the grant, for in the very act the full effect of the transfer of interest to him is recognized and asserted. Because it is his is the direct and only reason for subjecting it to his debts. Livingston v. Moore, 7 Pet. 469.
A grant by a municipal corporation upon certain conditions requiring large expenditures, and the assumption of onerous obligations, and a compliance with those conditions, constitutes a contract. Brooklyn Central R. R. Co. v. Brooklyn City R. R. Co. 32 Barb. 358.
If a municipal corporation conveys land to an ecclesiastical corporation, to be used as a cemetery, with a covenant for quiet enjoyment, it may subsequently prohibit the use of the premises as a cemetery for the interment of the dead, for it has no power as a party to make a contract which shall control or embarrass its legislative powers and duties. Presbyterian Church v. New York, 5 Cow. 538.
A statute authorizing a municipal corporation to issue bonds, and thereby bind the citizens, does not impair any obligation contained in the grant of land to the individual citizens from the State. McCoy v. Washington Co. 3 Wall. Jr. 381; S. C. 3 Phila. 290.
A municipal corporation can make such contracts only as are allowed by the act of incorporation, and hence it can not abridge its legislative power or bind its legislative capacities. Gozzler v. Georgetown, 6 Wheat, 593; Presbyterian Church v. New York, 5 Cow. 538; Coates v. New York, 7 Cow. 585.
Every right from an absolute ownership in property down to a mere #easemeni, is purchased and holden subject to the restriction that it shall be
so exercised as not to injure others. Every purchaser is bound to know that his rights must yield to regular remedies for the suppression of nui
Hence a law may be passed to prohibit the use of a place as a cemetery, although there is a covenant in the grant that the place may be so used. Coates v. New York, 7 Cow. 585.