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LOUIS V. BROWN TOWNSHIP, 109 U. S. 162 (1883)

U.S. Supreme Court

Louis v. Brown Township, 109 U.S. 162 (1883)

Louis v. Brown Township

Submitted October 11, 1883

Decided November 5, 1883

109 U.S. 162


Defendants in error issued to A, their bonds with interest coupons attached. A endorsed to B, and B endorsed to the plaintiff after the bonds were overdue. While the bonds were in B's possession, overdue, B was party defendant in a suit in chancery in a state court in which D, an owner of real estate alleged to be encumbered by a mortgage to secure payment of the bonds, sought to have them declared invalid, and party plaintiff to a cross-bill in that suit in which it was sought to have the same bonds declared valid, and the mortgage foreclosed. In these proceedings, the bonds were adjudged to be invalid for want of authority in the trustees to issue them. During the same period B, as holder of the bonds, applied to the state court for a writ of mandamus to compel the trustees of the township to levy a tax for payment of interest on the bonds. In this suit,

Page 109 U. S. 163

it was decided that the bonds were issued without legal authority. On these facts,


1. That the general rule that a purchaser of overdue bonds, after judgment rendered that the bonds are void, is bound by that judgment applies here.

2. That when a mandamus is refused on grounds that are conclusive against the right of the plaintiff to recover in any action whatever, the judgment is conclusive of that fact.

3. When a proceeding in mandamus is used as an action at law to recover money, it is subject to the principles which govern money actions.

4. The judgment of the state court that the bonds were void in the hands of B is conclusive of that fact in the hands of his vendee and privy in action.

5. If the parties have had a hearing and an opportunity of asserting their rights, they are concluded by final decree so far as it affects rights presented to the court and passed upon, even though all were defendants in the suit,

and as between them no issue was raised and no adverse proceedings had.

The facts are fully stated in the opinion of the Court.

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