Inhabitants of the Township of Montclair County of Essex v. Ramsdell
The judgment below was in accordance with the verdict in an action brought by the defendant in error on certain bonds, payable to Samuel Holmes or bearer, and coupons thereof payable to the holder, all dated March 17, 1870, and alleged to have been issued by the township of Montclair, Essex county, New Jersey. They are negotiable in form and purport to have been executed in pursuance of an act approved April 9, 1868, entitled 'An act to authorize certain townships, towns, and cities to issue bonds, and to take the bonds of the Montclair Railway Company'-a corporation created with authority to construct a railway from the village of Montclair to the Hudson river at Pavonia or Hoboken ferries or between those points. On the margin of each bond is the certificate of the county clerk of Essex county that it is registered in his office.
The first section of the foregoing act-which was declared to be a public act to take effect immediately upon its passage provides:
'Section 1. That on the application in writing of 12 or more freeholders, residents of any township, town, or city along the route of the Montclair Railway Company, or at the terminus thereof, (except the township of Bloomfield, in the county of Essex, which township is hereby excepted from the operation of all the provisons of this act,) it shall be the duty of the judge of the circuit court of the county wherein such freeholders shall reside, within 10 days after receiving such application, to appoint under his hand and seal not more than three freeholders, residents of such township, town, or city, to be commissioners thereof, to carry into effect the purposes and provisions of this act; said commissioners shall hold their offices respectively for the term of five years, and until others shall have been appointed.' The second and third sections are as follows:
'Sec. 2. That it shall be lawful for said commissioners to borrow, on the faith and credit of their respective township, towns, or cities such sums of money, not exceeding 20 per centum of the valuation of the real estate and landed property of such township, town, or city, to be ascertained by the assessment rolls thereof, respectively, for the year 1867, for a term not exceeding 25 years, at the rate of interest not exceeding 7 per centum per annum, payable semi-annually, and to execute bonds therefor under their hands and seals respectively. The bonds so to be executed may be in such sums, and payable at such times and places as the said commissioners and their successors may deem expedient; but no such debt shall be contracted or bonds issued by said commissioners of or for either of said townships, towns, or cities, until the written consent of the persons owning or representing as agent or president at least two-thirds of the real estate and landed property of such township, town, or city, borne on the last assessment roll thereof, at the valuation thereon appearing, shall have been obtained.
'Such consent shall state the amount of money authorized to be raised in such township, town, or city, and that the same is to be invested in the bonds of said railway company, and the signatures shall be proved by one or more of said commissioners. The fact that the persons signing such consent own or represent, as aforesaid, at least two-thirds of the taxable, real, and landed property of such township, town, or city shall be proved by the affidavit of the assessor of such township, town, or city, indorsed upon or annexed to such written consent, and the assessor of such township, town, or city is hereby required to perform such service. Such consent and affidavit shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county in which such township, town, or city is situated, and a certified copy thereof in the office of the clerk of such township, town, or city, and the same, or a certified copy thereof, shall be evidence of the facts therein contained, and shall be received as evidence in any court of this state, and before any judge or justice thereof.