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Petrie v. Nampa & Meridian Irrig. Dist., 248 U.S. 154 (1918)

Petrie v. Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District

No. 4

Argued November 19, 1918

Decided December 9, 1918

248 U.S. 154


Upon an application to an Idaho court for approval of a proposed contract for sale of water rights by the United States to an irrigation district and for sharing between them certain drainage expenses, landowners objected that the contract exceeded the powers of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, and the district, that its execution would entail assessments on their land within the district otherwise supplied with sufficient water for irrigation, and that, for this reason, they would be deprived of property without due process of law or compensation, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Held that a federal question was presented. P. 248 U. S. 167.

But, since the Idaho Supreme Court, while holding that the contract would be valid and that its confirmation would not invade the landowners' constitutional rights as claimed, also decided that, under the state law, the objection was premature for the reason that such confirmation would not impose any burden upon their lands until assessments should be made upon them in subsequent proceedings

Page 248 U. S. 155

on the basis of benefits conferred, and upon full notice and hearing with opportunity for plenary judicial review, held that the judgment was based upon an independent nonfederal ground broad enough to support it, and that a writ of error from this Court must be dismissed. P. 248 U. S. 158.

Writ of error to review 28 Idaho 227 dismissed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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