Lee County v. Rogers (74 U.S. 181)

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

74 U.S. 181

Lee County  v.  Rogers

In error to the Northern Circuit Court of Illinois.

Rogers brought suit against Lee County, Iowa, upon the coupons of certain bonds signed by one Boyles, county judge, issued by the county under the county seal, to a certain railroad company named. [1]

The defences, as appearing on answer and amended answer, were:

1. That the bonds were issued and executed by Boyles, county judge, &c., 'without any authority of law, having been issued for the purpose of subscribing on behalf of this defendant to the stock of certain railroad corporations, which the defendant had no power or authority to do,' and that they were 'utterly null and void from the beginning.'

2. That a bill had been filed by McMillan and others, taxpayers of Lee County, against Boyles, the county judge, &c., on the 1st October, 1856, in a State court, before any bonds were issued, and that he was enjoined, on account of irregularities in preliminary proceedings, at the December Term, 1856, against issuing the bonds; that soon afterwards, in January, 1857, the legislature passed an act confirming and legalizing these proceedings; that a second bill was filed, by the same parties, on the 26th February, 1859, a year after this act of the legislature, for the purpose of having both the act, and also the bonds, which, in the meantime, had been issued, declared void, and that on the 22d June, 1858, a decree was rendered, declaring both the act and the bonds valid and binding; that a third bill was filed, which was a bill of review of the previous case, on the 28th July, 1860, two years after the previous decree, and that on the 18th October, 1862, a decree was rendered declaring the act of the legislature, and bonds, void and of no effect.

The defence meant to be set up by this second head was, of course, that of lis pendens.

The defendant demurred, and the court below sustaining the demurrer, the case was now brought here by the county.

It was submitted by Mr. McCrary, on elaborate briefs of his own, and of Messrs. Semple and Casey; and by Messrs. Dick and Grant, on similar briefs of theirs.

Mr. Justice NELSON delivered the opinion of the court.


^1  The suit was originally brought in the Iowa circuit, but like the last one was transferred to Illinois. The preceding case renders further allusion to this fact unnecessary.

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).