Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis v. Illinois
This was an action of assumpsit originally brought in the circuit court of St. Clair county by the people of the state of Illinois against the Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis, a corporation of Illinois, to recover the sum of $1,818 for the fees of state mine inspectors for the inspection of certain coal mines located in Illinois, owned and operated by the defendant, under 'An Act Providing for the Health and Safety of Persons Employed in Coal Mines,' originally enacted May 28, 1879, and the amendments thereto.
The case was submitted to the court without a jury, upon a stipulation of facts, in which it was agreed that the mines of the defendant, thirty-one in number, had been inspected between November 2, 1895, and June 26, 1899, by a state inspector, whose aggregate fees were $1,818; that the secretary of the bureau of labor statistics presented the defendant with the inspection bills and demanded payment therefor, which defendant refused to pay.
It was further stipulated that the charge for the recovery of which this action was brought was made in pursuance of the act of May 28, 1879, and that the question to be raised and disposed of was the validity and constitutionality of so much of said above-entitled act and the amendments thereto as related to the inspection fees of the said mine inspectors, and the imposing upon the mine operator and owner the duty of paying such fees, and also whether there was any remedy at law to recover such fees.
A judgment having been entered for the payment of these fees, the case was carried by writ of error to the supreme court, where the judgment of the circuit court of St. Clair county was affirmed.
Mr. Charles W. Thomas for plaintiff in error.
Mr. Howland J. Hamlin for defendant in error.
Mr. Justice Brown delivered the opinion of the court: