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LOUISIANA V. NEW ORLEANS, 108 U. S. 568 (1883)

U.S. Supreme Court

Louisiana v. New Orleans, 108 U.S. 568 (1883)

Louisiana ex Rel. New Orleans Gas Light Company

v. City Council of New Orleans

Decided May 7, 1883

108 U.S. 568


Where a party seeks a writ of mandamus from a state court to compel a city government of which he is a creditor to apply to the payment of his debt the proceeds of a proposed sale of city property, and to exhaust its powers of taxation, and continue to do so until the relator's debt is paid, and the state court denies the prayer as to the application of the proceeds of sale of the property, on the ground that the state laws require it to be applied to the retirement of other debts of the city, and grants the writ as to the residue of the prayer, no federal question arises.

Petition to the judge of the Fourth District Court of the Parish of Orleans in Louisiana, setting forth that the petitioners are judgment creditors of the City of New Orleans; that the city government has power to levy taxes to an amount named in the petition; that it is about to part with valuable privileges for a large sum of money, and praying that the city government may be required to include in its next

Page 108 U. S. 569

estimate of receipts the proceeds of the sales of the privileges, and in the next budget of expenses the debt of the relators, and to exhaust its powers of taxation and continue to do so till the relator's judgment is paid and satisfied. Pending the proceedings, the city government made sale of the privileges and placed the proceeds to the credit of the premium bond fund. The court held that this was rightly done, and granted the petitioners' prayer as to the remainder of their petition. They appealed to the Supreme Court of Louisiana, where the judgment below was sustained. They then brought their writ of error to review the case here.

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