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Christ Church in the City of Philadelphia v. County of Philadelphia

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

61 U.S. 26

Christ Church in the City of Philadelphia  v.  County of Philadelphia

THIS case was brought up from the Supreme Court of the State of Pennsylvania, by a writ of error issued under the 25th section of the judiciary act.

As the decision of the court was, that the record did not show any ground of jurisdiction under the 25th section of the judiciary act, it will be proper to state what that record was.

The acts of 1833 and 1851 are recited in the opinion of the court, and need not be repeated.

The rector and church wardens were assessed for taxes upon several pieces of property, amongst which was the following:

Lower Delaware ward, No. 8 Cherry street, Hospital lot, &c., $126.

They paid the tax upon the whole assessment, including the above, under protest, and then brought an action in the State court to recover the amount so paid. The court decided in favor of the defendants. Upon being carried to the Supreme Court of the State, that court reversed the judgment of the court below, so far as respected the tax upon the Hospital lot. The rector and church wardens, believing that the whole of the property ought to be exempted from taxation, brought the case to this court. The question which they intended to raise was, whether or not the act of 1833 was a contract, irrepealable except with their consent. But the record presented only the following state of facts.

March Term, 1853, No. 145. Docket Entries.

The Rector, Church Wardens, and Vestrymen, of Christ Church, in the City of Philadelphia, in trust for Christ Church Hospital,


The County of Philadelphia.




Summons case ret'ble the first Monday of June, 1853, exit 11th May, 1853.

'Service accepted.'

March 3d, 1854.-Case stated in the nature of a special vervict filed.

April 1, 1854.-Judgment entered without argument for defendants by the court. By writing filed, it is agreed that the above case may be removed by the plaintiffs to the Supreme Court, without any recognizance being given by them. Eo die assignments of errors filed.

April 4, 1854.-Argued.

December 27, 1854.-Reargued.

March 12, 1855.-Opinion by C. J. Lewis, judgment reversed, and judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in error for the sum of one hundred and twenty-six dollars, with costs. Eo die opinion filed.

The case was submitted on a printed argument, by Mr. Watts and Mr. Meredith for the plaintiffs in error, and Mr. Porter for the defendants.

The arguments proceeded upon the ground that the question of impairing the obligation of a contract was raised by the record; but, as the court decided that no such question was properly involved in the discussion, it is thought unnecessary to report the arguments.

Mr. Justice CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).