ERROR to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Western District of Missouri. This is an action brought by the defendant in error to recover on certain coupons attached to bonds alleged by him to have been issued by the county of Dallas, in the State of Missouri. The pleadings upon which the question of law decided by this court arose are set forth in the opinion.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mr. Justice Hunt delivered the opinion of the court.
Mr. William Patrick for the plaintiff in error.
Mr. T. C. Fletcher, contra.
This case comes before the court upon a demurrer to the answer.
In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant issued certain bonds, by which it promised to pay to the Laclede and Fort Scott Railroad Company the sums named, pursuant to an order of the county court; that the bonds recited that they were issued pursuant to an order of the county court of Dallas County, made on the 18th of May, 1871, and amended on the nineteenth day of June and the twelfth day of August, of the same year, by authority granted in the charter of said company, by an act approved Jan. 11, 1860; that he is the owner for value and the bearer of certain coupons attached to said bonds, and entitled to recover the amount thereof, by reason of which he avers an indebtedness to him in the sum of $3,800 with interest from the various dates mentioned.
To this the defendant answers, denying that it promised to pay the bonds as in the complaint is alleged, denying t at by its writings or coupons it promised to pay the different sums therein specifically set forth, and denying that the plaintiff was the owner for value of the coupons sued for.
The answer, for a further defence, avers that the bonds referred to recite that they were issued pursuant to certain orders of the county court of Dallas County (which are of the dates specified in the complaint), and avers that no orders authorizing the issue of such bonds were ever made by the said county court as so recited, but that two of the justices of said court, fraudulently and corruptly, but not as a court, made a certain other order set forth, but upon conditions which were not complied with. It is further averred that said bonds were fraudulently and corruptly issued, and without authority, and that at the date of said issue the annual assessment of the county of Dallas was less than $1,500,000, and the county had already subscribed to the capital of said railroad the sum of $150,000.
To this answer the plaintiff demurred, upon the following grounds:––
1. That it did not state facts sufficient to constitute a defence.
2. That its admissions were sufficient to entitle plaintiff to recover.
3. That its denials were inconsistent with its admissions.
4. That it was not necessary to file the bonds, the coupons being filed in the court.
5. That plaintiff being the bearer of the coupons is sufficient, and ownership being immaterial.
6. That the authority of the court to issue the bonds under the special law incorporating the Laclede and Fort Scott ...