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United States Supreme Court

73 U.S. 481

Walkley  v.  City of Muscatine

APPEAL from a decree of the Circuit Court of the United States for Iowa.

A bill had been filed in that court to compel the authorities of the city of Muscatine to levy a tax upon the property of the inhabitants, for the purpose of paying the interest on certain bonds, to the amount of $130,000, that had been issued for the benefit of the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad Company. It appeared that a judgment had been recovered in the same court against the city for $7666, interest due on the bonds held by the plaintiff; that execution had been issued and returned unsatisfied, no property being found liable to execution; that the mayor and aldermen had been requested to levy a tax to pay the judgment, but had refused; that the city authorities possessed the power under their charter to impose a tax of one per cent. on the valuation of the property of the city, and had made a levy annually, but had appropriated the proceeds to other purposes, and wholly neglected to pay the interest on the bounds before the judgment, or to pay the judgment since it was rendered. The bill prayed that the mayor and aldermen might be decreed to levy a tax, and appropriate so much of the proceeds as might be sufficient to pay the judgment, interest, and costs. An answer was put in, and replication and proofs taken. On the hearing the court dismissed the bill. The creditor appealed.

Mr. J. Grant, for the appellant:

In The Board of Commissioners of Knox County v. Aspinwall, [1] where the application was for a mandamus to compel the levy of a tax, this court, in answer to an argument that the creditor could have relief in equity alone, say:

'A court of equity is sometimes resorted to as ancillary to a court of law in obtaining satisfaction of its judgment. It is no objection to the writ of mandamus that the party might possibly obtain another remedy by new litigation in a new tribunal.'

The court holds, apparently, that a writ of mandamus is a cumulative remedy, and does not oust the court of equity of its jurisdiction.

Mr. W. F. Brannan, contra.

Mr. Justice NELSON delivered the opinion of the court.


^1  24 Howard, 385.

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).