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ty," with certain specified exceptions not performance of which is of great impor. affecting the questions presented.
tance in the regulation of those instru. The case was heard by the court of com- ments of trausportation. They are inmon pleas for Richland county, and by its vested with the general supervision of all decree the validity of the assessment and railroads in the state, and are obliged to tax was sustained, and the complaint examine the same, and keep themselves dismissed. On appeal to the supreme informed as to their condition, and the court of the state the judgment was af- manner in which they are operated, with firmed, and to review that judgment the reference to the security and comfort of case is brought here on writ of error. the public, and compliance with the pro
Linden Kent, for plaintiff in error. Wm. visions of their charters and the laws of E. Earle and N. L. Jeffries, for defendant the state. Whenever it appears to them in error.
that a railroad corporation has violated
any law, or neglected in any respect or *Mr. Justice Field, after stating the case, particular to comply with the terms of its delivered the opinion of the court.
charter, especially in regard to connecNotwithstanding the several objections tions with other railroads, the rates of taken in the complaint to the assessment toll, and the time schedules, they are and tax upon the railroad companies to obliged to give notice thereof to such corpo. meet the expenses and salaries of the rail- | ration; and, if the violation or reglect is road commissioners, the argument of continued after such notice, to apply to counsel on the hearing was confined to the the courts for an injunction tu restrain supposed conflict of the laws authorizing the company complained of from further the tax with the inhibition of the four. continuing to violate the law or the terms teenth amendment of the constitution of of its charter; and whenever it appears the United States. All other objections that repairs are necessary to any such were deemed to be disposed of by the de- road, or that any addition to the rollings cision of the supreme court of the state stock or any enlargement or improvements that the laws complained of are not in *in the stations or station-bouses, or any. conflict with its constitution.
modification of the rates of fare for transThe property of railroad companies in porting freight or passengers, or any South Carolina is subjected by the general change in the mude of operating the road law to the same tax as similar property and conducting its business is reasonable of individuals, in proportion to its value, and expedient, in order to promote the and like conditions of uniformity and security, convenience, and comfort of the equality in its assessment are imposed. public, they are required to give informaThe further tax laid upon them to meet tion to the corporation of the improvethe expenses and salaries of the railroad ments and changes adjudged to be propcommissioners is not in proportion to er, and, if the company fail within 60 days the value of their property, but according to adopt the suggestions made, to take to their gross income, proportioned to such legal proceedings as may be deemed the number of miles of their roads in the expedient to compel them. It is their state. This tax is stated to be beyond duty to listen to complaints against a any which is levied upon other corpora. railroad company made by the authori. tions to meet an expenditure for state ties of any city, town, or county, and to officers, and therefore, it is contended, give its officers due opportunity of cx. constitutes an unlawful discrimination planation, and, if the complaint is susagainst railroad corporations, imposing tained, to require the corporation to rean unequial burden upon them, in conflict move the cause of complaint. They are with the constitutional amendment which required to investigate the cause of any ordains that nostateshall deny to any per- accident on the railroad resulting in the son the equal protection of the laws. Pri: loss of life, and of any accident not so revate corporations are persons, within the sulting, which shall require investigation, meaning of the amendment. It has been and to make annual reports to tbe legis. 80 held in several cases by this court. lature of their official acts, including such Santa Clara Co. v. Railroad Co., 118 U. S. statements and explanations as will dis394, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1132; Mining Co. v. close the actual working of the system of Pennsylvania, 125 U. S. 181, 189, 8 Sup. Ct. railroad transportation in its bearing Rep. 737; Railroad Co. v. Beckwith, 129 U. upon the business and prosperity of the S. 26, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 207.
state, with such suggestions as to the If the tax were levied to pay for services general railroad policy of the state, or as in no way connected with the railroads, to any part thereof, or as to the condi. as, for instance, to pay the salary of the tion, affairs, or conduct of any of the railexecutive or judicial officers of the state, road corporations, as may seem to them. while railroad corporations were at the appropriate, with a special report of all same time subjected to taxation upon accidents, and the causes thereof, for the their property equally with other corpo. preceding year. All contracts, agreerations for such expenses, and other cor- ments, or arrangements of any and every porations were not taxed for the salaries nature, made by any railroad company mentioned, there would be just ground of doing business in the state, for the pooling complaint of unlawful discrimination of earnings of any kind with any other against the railroad corporations, and of railroad company or companies, are to be their not receiving the equal protection of subinitted to the commissioners for their the laws. But there is nothing of this nat. inspection and approval, no far as they ure in the tax in question. The railroad may be affected by any of the provisions commissioners are charged with a variety of the act for securing to all persons just, of duties in connection with railroads, the equal, and reasonable facilities for transe
portation of freight and passengers; and be met by the corporations, the operation if the contracts, agreements, or arrange. of whose roads, and the exercise of whose ments shall, in the opinion of the commis. franchises, are supervised. In exacting sioners, in any way be in violation of the this there is no encroachment upon the provisions of the act, the commissioners fourteenth amendment. Requiring that are to notify the railroad companies, in the burden of a service deemed essential writing, of their objections thereto, speci. to the public, in consequence of the exist. fying them; and if the railroad companies, ence of the corporations and the exercise after such notice, fail or neglect to amend of privileges obtained at their request, and alter such contract, agreement, or should be borne by the corporations in rearrangement in a manner satisfactory to la tion to whom the service is rendered, the commissioners, they shall call upon the and to whom it is useful, is neither deny. attorney general to institute such legal ing to the corporations the equal protecproceedings as may be necessary to enforce tion of the laws, nor making any unjust the penalties prescribed for such violations. discrimination against them. All railroad
It is evident, from these and many other corporations in the state are treated alike provisions that might be stated, that the in this respect. The necessity of supervisduties of the railroad commissioners, ion extends tu them all, and for that suwhen proper!s discharged, must be in the pervision the like proportional charge is highest degree beneficial to the public, se made against all. There is no occasion curing faithful service on the part of the for similar regulations for the government railroad companies, and safety, conven. of other than railroad corporations, and ience, and comfort in the operation of their therefore no charge is made aguinst them roads. That the state has the power to for the expenses and salaries of the commis. prescribe the regulations mentioned there sioners. The rule of equality is not invad. can be no question. Though railroad ed where all corporations of the same corporations are private corporations, as kind are subjected to like charges for sindistinguished from those created for mu ilar services, though no charge at all is nicipal and governmental purposes, their made against other corporations. There uses are public. They are formed for the is no charge where there is no service renconvenience of the public in the transpor dered. The legislative and constitutional tation of persons and merchandise, and are provision of the state, that taxation of inrested, for that purpose, with special property shall be equal and uniform and privileges. They are allowed to exercise the in proportion to its value, is not violated state's right of eminent domain, that they by exacting a contribution according to may appropriate for their uses the neces their gross income, in proportion to the sary property of others upon paying just number of miles of railroad operated in compensation therefor,-a right which the state, to meet the special service recan only be exercised for public purposes. quired. Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27, 5 And they assume, by the acceptance of Sup. Ct. Rep. 357; Soon Hing v. Crowley, their charters, the obligations to transport 113 U. S. 703, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 730; Railway all persons and merchandise upon like con Co. v. Humes, 115 U. S. 512, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. ditions and at reasonable rates; and they 110. are authorized to charge reasonable com There are many instances where parties pensation for the services they thus per are compelled to perform certain acts, and form. Being the recipients of special priv. to bear certain expenses, when the public ileges from the state, to be exercised in the is interested in the acts which are perinterest of the public, and assuming the formed as much as the parties themselves. obligations thus mentioned, their busi- Thus, in opening, widening, or improving ness is deemed affected with a public use, streets, the owners of adjoining property and to the extent of that use is subject to are oiten com pelled to bear the expenses, legislative regulation. Banking Co. v. or at least a portion of them, notwith. Smith, 128 U. S. 174-179, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 47. standing the work done is chiefly for the That regulation may extend to all meas benefit of the public. So, also, in the ures deemed essential, not merely to secure draining of marsh lands, the public is dithe safety of passengers and freight, but | rectly interested in removing the causes of to promote the convenience of the public malaria; and yet the expense of such la. in the transaction of business with them, hor is usually thrown upon the owners of and to prevent abuses by extortionate the property. Quarantine regulations are charges and unjust discrimination. It adopted for the protection of the public may embrace a general supervision of the against the spread of disease; yet the reoperation of their roads, which may be quirement that the vessel examined shall exercised by direct legislation command pay for the examination is a part of all ing or forbidding, under severe penalties, quarantine_systems. Morgan, etc., Co. v. tbe doing or omission of particular acts, Louisiana Board of Health, 118 U. S. 455, or it may be exercised through commis 466, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1114. So, the expense sioners specially appointed for that pur of a compulsory examination of a railpose. The mode or manner of regulation road engineer, to ascertain whether he is is a matter of legislative discretion. When free from color blindness, has been held to exercised through commissioners, their be properly chargeable against the rail. services are for the benefit of the railroad road company. Railway Co. v. Alabama, corporations as well as of the public. 128 ('. S. 96, 101, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 28. Su, Both are served by the required supervis. where work is done in a particular county ion over the roads and means of trans for the benefit of the public, the cost is portation; and there would seem to be no oftentimes cast upon the county itself, insound reason why the compensation of stead of upon the whole state. Thus, in the commissioners in such case should not County of Mobile v. Kimball, 102 U. S. 091,
It was held that a provision for the issu. the city, following the lines of such latter suring of bonds by a counts in Alabama vey. In ejectment for land lying on Mission could not be declared invalid, although it
creek above the shore line of the bay, and emimposed upon one county the expense of
braced in the patent, but not in the first survey, an improvement in which the whole state rived from the city under the patent, plaintiffs
brought against a defendant claiming title de. was interested. In such instances, where claimed under a grant of the land from the state the interests of the public and of individu- tide-land commissioners, as land which had als are blended in any work or service passed to the state, on its admission to the Unimposed by law, whether the cost shall be on, by virtue of its sovereignty over all tidethrown entirely upon the individuals or
lands below the high-water line. Held, that
parol evidence that the land was below highupon the state, or be apportioned between
water mark of the creek was not admissible; them, is matter of legislative direction.
that the patept, following the decree of confir. We see no error in the ruling of the court mation and the final and correct survey of the below upon the federal question presented, confirmed claim, was evidence of the title of the and the conclusion we have reached renders city under Mexican laws, and was conclusive, it unnecessary to consider how far the ob not only as against the government and against ligation of the corporation was afiected all parties claiming under it by title subsequent by the alleged amendment made to its ly acquired, but also as against all parties excharter.
cept those having a full and complete title ac
quired from Mexico anterior to that contirmed Judgment affirmed.
by the decree of confirmation. Justices BRADLEY and GRAY did not sit In error to the supreme court of the in this case, nor take part in its decision. state of Califoruia. Reversed.
Edward R. Taylor and S. M. Wilson, for (142 U. S. 161)
plaintiff in error. Chas. N. Foxand Philip KNIGHT V. UNITED Land Ass'y et al. G. Galpin, for defendants in error.
(December 21, 1891.) PUBLIC LANDS—THE LAND-OFFICE-SURVEYS AND
Mr. Justice Lamar delivered the opinions PATENTS-MEXICAN GRANTS-PUEBLO LANDS OF
of the court. SAN FRANCISCO.
*This was an action of ejectment, brought 1. Under Rev. St. & 441, by which "the secre
in the superior court in and for the city vry of the interior is charged with the supervis
and county of San Francisco, Cal., by the in of public business relating to
United Land Association, a corporation public lands," and sections. 453 and 2478, which of that state, and one Clinton C. Tripp, provide that the commissioner of the general against Thomas Knight, to recover land-office, “under the direction of the secretary block of land in that city bounded by Bar. of the interior,” shall perform all executive du.
ry, Channel, Seventh, and Eighth streets, ties respecting the public lands, etc., the secre
and known as “Block No. 40." The tary of the interior is the supervising agent of the government in matters relating to the sale
controversy involves an interesting quesand disposition of the public lands, the survey. tion of title to the property described, the ing of private land claims, and the issuing of plaintiffs asserting that the premises were patents thereon, etc., and as such he has power to below the line of ordinary high-water set aside an order of the commissioner of the mark at the date of the conquest of Cali. general land-office approving a survey of land in.fornia from Mexico, and, therefore, upon cluded in a confirmed claim, and order a new aurvey. He may exercise this power not only
the admission of the state into the Uniong un formal notice or appeal according tu the rules
in 1850, iuured to it in virtue of its soverof the department, but on his own motion; and
eignty over tide-lands; and the defendant bis action in such a matter is unassailable in the insisting that the lands are a portion of courts in a collateral proceeding.
the pueblo of San Francisco, as confirmed 2. The decree of the United States circuit
and patented by the United States. court contirming to the city of San Francisco,
The complaint, filed un the 23d of No. Cal., as successor of a Mexican pueblo, its claim,
vember, 1880, alleged that the plaintiffs made under Act Cong. March 3, 1851, to the pueblo lands, described the tract so confirmed as
were the owners in fee of the premises deenibracing so much of the extreme upper portion scribed, and were entitled to the posses. of the peninsula, above ordinary high water sion thereof, and that they had been mark,
on which the city of San Fran. wrongfully dispossessed thereof by the cisco is situated, as will contain an area of four defendant, who continued to hold such unsquare leagues; said tract being bounded on the lawful possession, to their damage in the vorth and east by the Bay of San Francisco, on the west by the Pacific ocean, and on the south
sum of $100, and to their loss of the rents by a due east and west line drawn so as to in
and profits thereof in the sum of $500. clude the area aforesaid." Held, that in a sur. Wherefore they prayed a judgment of res. vey under the decree the shore line of the bay |titution and damages aforesaid. should be run on the line of ordinary high-water The answer consisted of a general demark, crossing the mouths of all streams running nial of all the allegations of the com. into the bay, and not following the line of high plaint; and the cause, being at issue, was, water of any tidal stream or estuary forming an arm of the bay.
by stipulation of counsel referred to a ref. 3. A survey of the tract, which, in running
eree, to take testimony,“try all the issues, sucb shore line of the bay, followed the line of
and report his findings and judgment ordinary high tide of Mission creek, a navigable thereon.” arm of the bay, was approved by the commis In obedience to the order of the court sioner of the general land office, but bis approval the referee tried the case, making an elabwas set aside by the secretary of the interior,
ora te finding of facts, and concluding, as and a new survey was ordered by the latter,
matter of law, that judgment should go and, under his directions, was made, in which the shore line of the bay was run across the
for the plaintiffs. Accordingly, on the 2d mouth of Mission creek; and the latter survey
of June, 1888, a judgment was entered in was approved by the commissioner of the general the superior court in favor of the plain. land-office, and a patent was issued thereon to tiffs. That judgment was afterwards
afirmed by the supreme court of the state, ty of San Francisco, and read a resoluon appeal; and, after two separate re- tion passed by the board on the 23d of hearings, the judgment of affirmance was December, 1878, that no appeal should be adhered to by a bare majority of the court, taken from the action of the commissioner three of the judges dissenting. 85 Cal. 474, of the general land-office approving the 24 Pac. Rep. 823, and 85 Cal. 448, 24 Pac. Stratton survey. Objection was made Rep. 818. This writ of error was then to this evidence, but it was overruled, sued out.
and an exception was noted. It appears from the bill of exceptions The plaintiffs then offered in evidence that on the trial of the case before the ref. the deeds from the state land commissioneree the plaintiffs, to sustain the issues on ers to one Ellis, (from whom they derived their bebalf, introduced evidence tending their title,) together with the letter of the to show the location of the premises to be attorney general of the state advising the as alleged in the complaint, and also a board to dispose of all the tide-lands not complete and good title in themselves un. in litigation, and where they could ascer. der a grant from the state and certain tain to whom the state title ought to go, mesne conveyances, provided the title to in pursuance of the tide-land acts. The the premises was originally in the state, deeds embrace the property in dispute. an provided certain deeds ( which were The defendant objected to these deeds on also introduced) from the state tide-land the ground that they vere incompetent, conmissioners, dated, respectively, No- in that the board of tide-land commissionvember 24 and 27, 1875, were effectual to ers had no power or jurisdiction to make convey said title. For the purpose of them, and on the further ground that proving title in the state they offered pa- there was nothing to show that the board rol testimony to show that in 1854 the was advised by the attorney general to premises were below the line of ordinary make such deeds. The objection was high-water mark, and that Mission creek overruled, and an exception was noted. (which is an estuary of the Bay of San The plaintiffs thereupon rested their case. Francisco, and runs along-side this block) The defendant, to sustain the issues on was, at that time, navigable for a consid- his part, offered in evidence the patent of erable distance above them. This evi- the San Francisco pueblo lands, regularly dence was objected to, on the ground that issued to that city on the 20th of June parol evidence was inadmissible to prove 1884, and also the plat of said pueblo the boundary lines of the decree of confir. lands surveyed under instructions from mation of the pueblo lands; but the ob- the United States surveyor general by jection was overruled, and an exception Deputy-Surveyor Von Leicht in December, noted.
1883, which showed an indursement of The plaintiffs then offered in evidence approval by the commissioner of the gencertain documents relative to the confir- eral land-office, under date of May 15, 1884, mation to the city of San Francisco of its and was also indorsed as follows: "The pueblo lands, and also the first survey of field-notes of the survey of the pueblo those lands under the decree of confirma- lands of San Francisco, from which this tion, which survey, made by Deputy-Sur- | plat has been made, are strictly in accordveyor Stratton, approved by the surveyor ance with the instructions of the honorgeneral of California, and confirmed by able commissioner of the general land. the commissioner of the general land-office, office received with his letter, dated Nodid not include the premises in controver- vember 25, 1883, as the same appear of by. They also producerl a witness who record and on file in this office. United testified that the premises were below or- States surveyor general's office, San Frandinary high-water mark, as laid down on cisco, California, January 17th, 1884. W. such survey. To the introduction of this H. Brown, Uuited States Surveyor Gen survey as evidence, and to the parol proof eral for California." of the location of the premises with refer- It was admitted that the land in ques ence to the line of high tide, as delineated tion is included within the exterior bound thereun, the defendant objected, on the aries of the patent; but the patent was ground that the survey was not matter objected to as incompetent to show title of record; that it did not tend to prove, in the city of San Francisco, as against as between the parties hereto, where the grantees of the state of the premises, for line of bigb tide was, being res inter alios the following reasons: acta; and that it had been canceled and " (1) The state of California acquired superseded by another survey subsequent her title by virtue of*her sovereignty ons ly made in accordance with instructions her admission into the Union, and her of the secretary of the interior. The ob. title could not be overthrown by decjection was overruled, the survey was ad- larations of the United States, made after initted in evidence, and the defendant duly title had vested in her. excepted.
“(2) That as to lands acquired by virtue The plaintiffs also produced in evidence of her sovereignty, the state was not the certain maps made by persons in official owner of a private land claim, and was station in 1853, 1857, 1859, and 1864, show- not bound to present her claims to the ing the line of high tide at about the sama board of land commissioners, organized line as on the aforesaid Stratton survey. under the act of congress entitled 'An act Objections were made to these maps as to ascertain and settlo the private land evidence, but they were overruled, and ex- claims in the state of California, passed ceptions were noted.
March 3, 1851;' nor is she concluded as The plaintiffs also introduced in evi. to her rights by not presenting them as dence the original minute-book of the provided in section 13 thereof, nor by any board of supervisors of the city and coun- decision on the claim of another person.
The act did not apply to her or her prop- are within a subsequent survey of the erty.
pueblo, made by Deputy-Surveyor Von *(3) The only authority for the patent Leicht in 1884, which was not approved was a decree of the United States circuit by the surveyor general of California, but court, whicb court was not vested witb was certified by him to bave been made jurisdiction over the state or the prop- | in accordance with orders from the secreerty of the state, although it was vested tary of the interior. The patent for the with jurisdict over natural persons pueblo lands was issued on this second and corporations. Neither the decree nor survey, and recited, aniong other things, any proceedings under the decree could the proceedings had in relation to the peraffect the title of the state, or furnish evi- fecting of the pueblo title, including the dence against her.
decree of confirmation and the confirmato“(4) The state was not a party to the ry acts of congress. The plaintiffs derived record in the case of The City, etc., v. The their title from the state through certains United States, nor is she affected as a nat. piesne conveyances, regular and legal in ural person or corporation would be by all respects, while the defendant did not a failure to attend before the United States connect himself with the title of the state. surveyor general and object to a survey, Upon the foregoing facts the referee as provided in section 1 of the act of con- found as conclusions of law that: gress approved July 1, 1864, and entitled (1) The state of California, upon her ad'An act to expedite the settlement of ti- mission into the Union, September 9, 1850, tles to lands in the state of California.' became seised in fee of the premises in disBut, being a stranger to the entire record | pute. and proceeding, the patent is not compe. (2) This title subsequently became vesttent evidence against her or her property.ed in the plaintiffs, by virtue of certain
" (5) The first survey is the final adjudi- conveyances described. cation of the land office of the location (3) This title of the plaintiffs was subof the premises described in the decree, be-ject to defeat by the decree of the circuit cause
court confirming the claim of the pueblo, “(a) In confirming a survey under the but the premises, being without the conacts of March 3, 1851, and July 1, 1864, the firmed survey of 1878, and outside of the commissioner acts in a special judicial specific boundary given in the decree, recapacity, and his decisions are not appeal. mained the property of the state. able to the secretary of the interior.
(4) “The second [Von Leicht] surrey was "(b) The city refused to appeal, and this illegal, because it was not approved by refusal appears in the record, and there the surveyor general of California, no apwas no appeal.
peal was taken to the secretary of the in. "(c) The first confirmed survey is bet. | terior from the decision of the commis. ter evidence of the location in this case sioner of the general land-office approp. than the patent, and the patent is void to iug the prior survey, and because the sec. the extent that it departs from it.
ond survey was not retained in the office "(d) The decree confirms to the city of the United States surveyor general for only the land above or within the ordi- | ninety days, and no notice of the same nary high-water mark at che date of the was given to enable parties in interest to conquest.
file protests, as required by law, and be"The preinises are outside that specific cause in approring said prior survey said boundary; and, as the surveyor general commissioner of the general land-office had no authority under the acts of con- was acting in a judicial capacity, and bis gress to surrey, nor the land office to pat- judgment thereon is not reversible, and ent, land not confirmed to the claimant, was not legally reversed;" and, the decree controls, and the patent is void (5) The description of the premises conto the extent that it departs from the spe. | tained in the patent being in excess of the cific boundary given in the decree."
premises described in tbe prior surrey The evidence was admitted, but the ref. and in the decree, the patent, to the exeree refused to find thereon in favor of tent that it covered land of the state not the defendant, and an exception was confirmed to the claimant, was invalid, noted.
and did not operate to convey the state's The defendant also introduced in evi. title to the premises in controversy. dence the judgment roll in a case tried in The judgment of the supreme court of a state court between this defendant and the state was based upon substantially the city and county of San Francisco, in the same grounds as that of the referee, which a judgment was rendered in his fa- and the correctness of the propositions vor in November, 1868, quieting his title of law involved therein is drawo in questo the premises.
tion by this writ of error. That was all the evidence introduced, To understand precisely the exact patand upon it the referee found the material ure of the questions involved in this case facts of the case substantially as follows: a somewhat inore detailed statement of The premises in dispute are below ordi- *lacts than is contained in the above find. nary high-water mark as the same existedings of the referee will be found useful. on the 7th of July, 1846, (the date of the These facts are not contradictory of those conquest of Mexico,) and are below and findings, and are recited in former decisoutside of a survey of the pueblo claim ions of this court, statutes of the United made by Deputy-Survoyor Stratton, and States and of the state of California, and approved by the surveyor general of Cali- the records of the interior department, fornia on the 13th of August, 1868, and of all of which the court can take judicial confirmed by the commissioner of the notice. general land-office, November 11, 1878, but The pueblo of San Francisco has beeu a