Page images

whether, under all the circumstances, there is fanlt imputable to some one, and if so, who should be held accountable for it.

What is a Special Injury. It is a special injury if one has a dock on navigable water, and the city, by running a sewer into it, causes it to be filled up, or the entrance materially obstructed.' So it is a special injury to the plaintiff if having occasion to pass along a navigable stream, he finds a barge moored across it which prevents his boat passing, or a bridge which has been constructed without permission and which renders his passage inconvenient or impossible;' or if in passing along the highway he finds himself stopped by a fence put up without authority,' or kept up after the authority once given has expired. So the public nuisance of an offensive mill dam is a special and peculiar injury to the man whose residence is near it, and the comfort of whose home is destroyed thereby. So any dangerous excavation made in the public way is a nuisance. It is only necessary for the plaintiff in these cases to show how he has been injured by the nuisance, and to distinguish his injury from that suffered by the public at large, and he brings himself within the rules entitling him to redress.” So if one's premises are situate

· Macomber 0. Nichols, 34 Mich. 212; 8. C. 22 Am. Rep. 522, where in a note the following cases under English statutes regulating the use of steam engines for the protection of travel on the highway are referred to. Watkins o. Reddin, 2 F. & F. 629; Smith o. Stokes, 4 B. & S. 84; Harri. son o. Leaper, 5 Law Times Rep. (N. 8.) 640. Compare Favor o. Boston, &c., R. R. Co., 114 Mass. 350; S. C. 19 Am. Rep. 364.

* Clark o. Peckham, 10 R. I. 35; 8. C. 9 R. I. 455; Brayton o. Fall River, 113 Mass. 218; S. C. 18 Am. Rep. 470. See French v. Conn. River, &c., Co., 14 N. E. Rep. 113 (Mass.)

Rose o. Miles, 4 M. & S. 101. See Walker 0. Shepardson, 2 Wis. 282. Or a boom. Dudley v. Kennedy, 63 Me. 465; Union Mill Co. 0. Shores, 66 Wis. 476; Gifford 0. McArthur, 55

Mich. 535. See McPheters v. Moose
River, &c., Co., 78 Me. 329.

* Arundel o. McCulloch, 10 Mass. 70; Gates o. Nor. Pac. R. R. Co., 64 Wis. 64; Little Rock, &c., R. R. CO.. Brooks, 39 Ark. 403. So if driftwood gathers against bridge piers, St. Louis Co. o, Meese, 44 Ark. 414. But, see Clark o. Chicago, &c., Ry Co., 36 N. W. Rep. 326 (Wis.); Blackwell . Old Colony R. R. Co., 122 Mass,1.

5 Gregory o. Commonwealth, 2 Dsna, 417. But see Sohn o. Cambern. 106 Ind. 302; Powell o. Bunger, 91 Ind. 64; Holmes o. Corthell, 12 Atl. Rep. 730 (Me.) and note.

6 Adams o, Beach, 6 Hill, 271. See Allen o. Lyon, 2 Root, 213; Columbus 0. Jaques, 30 Geo. 506.

7 See case of a warehouse projecting into the street and obstructing the view from the plaintiff's warehouse.

upon *public navigable water, whatever obstruction [*619) in the stream tends specially to interfere with his access to the water is an actionable injury.' And in general it may be sufficient to say that to entitle him to an action it is only necessary that he suffer some peculiar injury, differing from that suffered by the community at large.'

Stetson o. Faxon, 19 Pick. 147. Ota injury. Patterson o. Detroit, &c., R. bridge built 80 as to prevent entrance R. Co., 56 Mich. 172. to a building. Knox 0. New York, "Dobson v. Blackmore, 9 Q. B. 991; 55 Barb. 404. Of a wall extended in. Ryan o. Brown, 18 Mich. 196; Larson to the street. Schulte o. N. P. T. 0. Furlong, 63' Wis. 323; Wood 0. Co., 50 Cal. 592. If a street is ob- Esson, 9 Can. 8. C. R. 239, where structed so that access to one's prem- the obstruction was under an invalid ises is hindered or cut off, it is action. government permission. Gould on able. Cummins o. Seymour, 79 Ind. Waters, sec. 122–127. 491; Callanan 0. Gilman, 14 N. E. See Venard 0. Cross, 8 Kan. 248; Rep. 264 (N. Y.); Brakken o. Minn., Green o. Nunnemacher, 36 Wis. 50; &c., Ry Co., 29 Minn. 41; Wilder 0. Yolo o. Sacramento, 36 Cal. 193. But DeCou, 26 Minn. 10. But not if the a special injury to plaintiff's propobstruction is 500 feet away. Rude erty in the street, by a crowd gathero. St. Louis, 6 S. W. Rep. 257 (Mo.); ed to hear a speech, is not a special or several squares. Chicago 0. Un- injury from the public nuisance of ion Bldg. Ass., 102 Ill. 379. See Bar- obstructing the street. Fairbanks 0. num o. Minn., &c., Ry Co., 33 Minn. Kerr, 70 Penn. St. 86; S. C. 10 Am. 365; Sheedy o. Union, &c., Works, Rep. 664. The difference must be 25 Mo. App. 527; Crook 0. Pitcher, in kind, not merely in degree. The61 Md. 510. It is not a special injury lan o. Farmer, 36 Minn. 225; East St. if a street in front of a lot is narrow- Louis o. O'Flynn, 119 Ill. 200; Givens ed. Bigley v. Nunan, 53 Cal. 403. 0. Van Studdiford, 86 Mo. 149; NotNor if the adjacent sidewalk is en- tingham o. Balt., &c., Co., 3 Maccroached upon. Marini o. Graham, Arth. 517; Hogan v. Centr. Pac. R. 67 Cal. 130, and cases. Nor if a land- R. Co., 71 Cal. 83. Use of public ing on a street used by a ferryman square by hucksters is such to owner without any contract right is obstruct- of dwelling near by. McDonald o. ed by a bridge. Pittsburgh, &c., R. Newark, 42 N.J. Eq. 138. So erection R. Co. o. Jones, 111 Penn. St. 204. by municipal authority of dangerousBut it is held a special injury if, in ly inflammable bullding near dwellcase of a store, an obstruction diverts ings. Blanc 0. Murray, 36 La. Ann. travel from the street. Platt 0. Chi. 162. The injury to a man by the obcago, &c., Ry Co., 87 N. W. Rep.

struction of a road which passes his 107 (Ia.); or if a lot is lowered in value farm is not special. Atwood o. Par. by the obstruction. Shephard 0. Bar- tree, 14 Atl. Rep. 85 (Conn.). See nett, 52 Tex. 638. If a railroad train Potter o. Howe, 141 Mass. 357; also obstructs a road crossing in violation Chicago o. Union Bldg. Ass., 102 Ill. of statute, one thereby hindered from 379, for a clear statement of the cases taking another train suffers special in which damages may be recovered

for the obstruction of a public right.

Continuity of the Wrong. A nuisance continued is a fresh nuisance every day it is suffered to remain anabated. New suits for the damage caused by its continuance may therefore be brought from day to day.'

Nuisances by Municipal Corporations. As the wrongs for which municipal corporations may be responsible are more often than otherwise in the nature of nuisances, the present seems a suitable place for according to them Brief notice.

Municipal corporations are to be considered first, as parts of the governmental machinery of the State, legislating for their corporators, and planning and providing for the customary local conveniences for their people: second, as corporate bodies through proper agencies putting into execution their plans, and discharging such duties as they have imposed upon themselves or as the State has imposed upon them; and, third, as

artificial persons owning and managing property. In [*620] this last *capacity they are chargeable with all the duties

and obligations of other owners of property, and must

Shadwell 0. Hutchinson, 4 C. & uing wrong. Colrick e. Swinburne, P. 333; Holmes 0. Wilson, 10 Ad. & 105 N. Y. 503. So is flooding land. El. 503; Howell r. Young, 5 B. & C. New Salem 0. Eagle Mills Co., 138 259; Gillon o. Boddington, Ry. & M. Mass. 8; Van Hoozier 0. Hannibal, 161; Bowyer 0. Cook, 5 C. B. 236; &c., R. R. Co., 70 Mo. 145; Dickson Allen o. Worthy, L. R. 4 Q. B. 163; o. Chicago, &c., R. R. Co., 71 Mo. Queen o. Waterhouse, L.R. 7Q. B. 545; 575; Valley Ry Co. o. Franz, 4 N. Beckwith o. Griswold, 29 Barb. 291; E. Rep. 88 (Ohio); Omaha, &c., Ry Conhocton Stone Co. o. Buffalo, &c., Co. o. Standan, 35 N. W. Rep. 183 R. R. Co., 52 Barb. 390; Vedder 0. (Neb.). See Chicago, &c., Ry Co. e. Vedder, 1 Denio, 257; Mahon o. New Schaffer, 16 N. E. Rep. 239 (IIL). So York Cent. R. R. Co., 21 N. Y. 658; is the wrongful use of a side track in Slight v. Gutzlaff, 35 Wis. 675; Phils. a street in front of a lot. Cain e bury o. Moore, 44 Me. 154; Staple o. Chicago, &c., Co., 54 Ia. 255. For s Spring, 10 Mass. 72; Byrne o. Minn., continuing nuisance an action may be &c., Ry Co., 36 N. W. Rep. 339 maintained against the original wrong(Minn.); Crawford 0. Rambo, 44 doer or his grantee continuing it af. Ohio St. 279; Reid 0. Atlanta, 73 Geo. ter request to abate. Prentiss e. 523. The mere continuance of a Wood, 132 Mass. 486. See cases pp. building wrongfully erected on the 725, n. 1 and 2, 727, 2 1. But see Bizer land of another is a continual wrong, o. Ottumwa, &c., Co., 70 la. 145. If for which the owner of the land may the cause of action is not s nuisance bring new suits after recovery and but negligence in the course of . satisfaction for the original erection. permanent public improvement, Russell v. Brown, 63 Me. 203. The second action will not lie. North diversion of spring water is a contin. Vernon o. Voegler, 103 Ind. 314

respond for creating or suffering nuisances' under the same rnles which govern the responsibility of natural persons. Under this head, therefore, nothing more need be said in this place.

For taking or neglecting to take strictly governmental action, municipal corporations are under no responsibility whatever except the political responsibility to their corporators and to the State. The reason is that it is inconsistent with the nature of their powers that they should be compelled to respond to individuals in damages for the manner of their exercise. They are conferred for public purposes, to be exercised within prescribed limits, at discretion, for the public good; and there can be no appeal from the judgment of the proper municipal authorities to the judgment of courts and juries. Therefore, one shows no ground of action whatever when he complains that he has suffered damage because the city he resides in has made insufficient provision for protection against fire, or because cattle are not prohibited from running at large,s or because “coasting" in the highways is not prevented,' or because the operation of an ordinance which prohibits the explosion of fire works within the city is temporarily suspended,' or because

See Clark o. Peckham, 9 R. I. 455. Pennoyer 0. Saginaw, 8 Mich. 455; Cumberland, &c., Co. o. Portland, 62 Me. 504; Rowland 0. Kalamazoo Sup'ts. 49 Mich.553; Moulton o. Scar. borough, 71 Me. 267. If a municipality uses & public building for profit and one is injured by negligence of the municipality, it is liable. Worden o. New Bedford, 131 Mass. 23. If the use is not for profit, it is not liable. Larrabee o. Peabody, 128 Mass, 561.

: Davis o. Montgomery,51 Ala. 139; S. C. 23 Am. Rep. 545; Wheeler o. Cincinnati, 19 Ohio, (N. 8.) 19; Patch c. Covington, 17 B. Mon. 722. See, also, Howard 0. San Francisco, 51 Cal. 52; Joliet o. Verley, 35 Ill. 58; Russell 0. New York, 2 Denio, 461; O'Meara o. New York, 1 Daly, 425; Brinkmeyer 0. Evansville, 29 Ind. 187; Hatford v. New Bedford, 16 Gray, 297; Fisher 0. Boston, 104

Mass. 87; Grant o. Erie, 69 Penn St. 420.

For ultra vires acts done under supposed authority, a city is not liable. Cavanagh o. Boston, 139 Mass. 426. See Wakefield 0. Newport, 60 N. H. 374; Seele o Deering, 10 Atl. Rep. 45 (Me.). Compare Stanley o Davenport, 54 Ia. 463.

Kelly o. Milwaukee, 18 Wis. 83. See Mich., &c., R. R. Co. 0. Fisher, 27 Ind. 96; Rivers 0. Augusta, 65 Geo. 376.

4 Hutchinson o. Concord, 41 Vt. 271. See Altvater 0 Baltimore, 31 Md. 462. Burford 0. Grand Rapids, 53 Mich. 98; Lafayette 0. Timberlake, 88 Ind. 330; Faulkner 0. Au. rora., 85 Ind. 130; Taylor o. Mayor, &c., of Cumberland, 64 Md. 68; Schultz o. Milwaukee, 49 Wis 254.

5 Hill 0. Charlotte, 72 N. C. 55; S. C. 21 Am. Rep. 451. See McDade o. Chester, 12 Atl. Rep. 421 (Penn.);

provision is not made for lighting the streets,' or because the drains which it orders and constructs are insufficient to carry off the surface water,' or because the plan of a bridge or sewer, or any other public work does not provide against accidental injury to individuals as completely as it might have done.'

Neither is a municipal corporation responsible for the [*621] failure *of its officers to discharge properly and effect

ually their official duties; for in respect to these the officers are not properly the servants or agents of the corporation, but act upon their own official responsibility, except as they may be specially directed by the corporate authority. Neither is it

Ball 0. Woodbine, 61 Ia. 83. For change in a street grade. Heiser e. failure to exercise power to remove Mayor, &c., New York, 104 N. Y. & ruinous wall it is not liable to one 68; Henderson 0. Minneapolis, ** injured upon adjoining premises by Minn, 319; North Vernon o. Voegler, its fall. Cain v. Syracuse, 95 N. Y. 103 Ind. 314; Olney o. Wharf, 115 B3; Kiley o. Kansas City, 87 Mo. Ill. 519. But see Sheehy e. Kansas 103. Otherwise if one injured is in City, &c., Co., 7 S. W. Rep. 579 the street. Duffy o. Dubuque, 63 la. (Mo.); Morris o. Council Bluffs, 67 171.

Ia. 343. County not liable to one 1 Freeport o. Isbell, 83 III. 440. who has been a prisoner for negli

2 See Roberts o. Chicago, 26 III. 249, gently permitting its jail to be unand cases cited in next note.

wholesome to his injury. Pfeferle e. 8 Governor,&c., o. Meredith, 4T. R. Lyon Co., 18 Pac. Rep. 506 (Kan.). 794; Wilson o. New York, 1 Denio, Thayer 0. Boston, 19 Pick. 511; 595; Mills o. Brooklyn, 32 N. Y. 489; Pelrey o. Georgetown, 7 Gray, 461; White o. Yazoo, 27 Miss. 357; Lam- Barney o. Lowell, 98 Mass. 570; Big. bar o. St. Louis, 15 Mo. 610; Detroit elow o. Randolph, 14 Gray 541; Hayes 0. Beckman, 34 Mich. 125; Delphi o. 0. Oshkosh, 33 Wis. 314; S. C. 14 Am. Evans, 36 Ind. 90; Toolan o. Lansing, Rep. 760; Young o. Comr, of Roads, 38 Mich. 315; Foster o. St. Louis, 71 2 N. & McC. 537; Martin e. Brook Mo. 157; Johnston o. Dist. of Colum- lyn, 1 Hill, 545; Lorillard o. Monroe bia, 118 U. S. 19; Rozell 0. Ander- 11 N. Y. 392; Sherman o. Grenada, 51 son, 91 Ind. 591; Urquhart o. Ogdens- Miss. 186; Mitchell o. Rockland, 53 burg, 91 N. Y. 67; but see same case, Me. 118; Barbour o. Ellsworth, 67 Me. 97 N. Y. 238. See Cotes v. Daven- 294; Prather o. Lexington, 13 B. Mon. port, 9 Iowa, 227; Carr o. Northern 559; Judge o. Meriden, 38 Conn. 90: Liberties, 35 Penn. St. 324; Pontiac Sheldon o. Kalamazoo, 24 Mich. 383; 0. Carter, 32 Mich. 164. For negli- Eastman v. Meredith, 36 N. H. 284; gence in devising a plan a city is lia- Hyde 0. Jamaica, 27 Vt. 443. See ble, North Vernon o. Voegler, 103 Hunt o. Boonville, 65 Mo. 620; ROTFInd. 314. And see Gould o. Topeka, land o. Gallatin, 75 Mo, 134; Shiebe 82 Kan. 485; Lehn o. San Francisco, Collier, 11 Atl. Rep. 366 (Peon.); 66 Cal. 76; State o. Portland, 74 Me. Cooney o. Hartland,95 IV. 516; Wake 269; Seifert v. Brooklyn, 101 N. Y. field o. Newport, 60 N. H. 374; Lite 136. A city is not liable for a tle o. Madison, 49 Wis. 605;Wallace e.

« PreviousContinue »