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Manson v. N. York, N. Haven & Hartford R. R. Co., 592 Mattoon, Scoville v.

114 McKane, Welch v.

25 McKone, Hurlbut v.

31 Meriden Britannia Co. v. Rogers

496 Miller v. Benton

529 Morgan, Flynn v.


New Britain (City of), Dunham v. .

378 New Haven (Town of), Diamond Match Co. v. 510 New York & New England R. R. Co. v. City of Waterbury

19 New York, N. Haven & Hartford R. R. Co., Manson v. 592 Nyman, State v.


Old Farm School Dist., Gravel Hill School Dist. v.
Olmstead v. Scutt,
O'Neil's Appeal from Probate

211 125 409


Palmer v. Cheseboro
Parker Co., Schwab v.
Parsons, Ely v.
Peck, Cowles v.
Phelps v. Phelps
Pinches v. Swedish Lutheran Church
Postal Telegraph Co., Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. v.
Potter v. Waite

114 370

83 251 359 183 331 236

Richmond v. Connell
Richmond, Connell v. .


403 101

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Sanford, Lambert v.
Schwab v. Parker Co.
Scoville v. Mattoon
Scutt, Olmstead v.
Scutt v. Town of Southbury
Shoe & Leather Bank's Appeal from Commissioners
Simons's Will, (In re)
Southbury (Town of), Scutt v.
Sprague Manufacturing Co., Waterman v.
State v. Glidden
State v. Nyman
Strong, Lemmon v.
Swedish Lutheran Church, Pinches v.

437 370 14+ 125 405 469 239 405 55+ 47 17 413 183


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Waite, Potter v.
Waterbury (City of), N. York & N. England R. R. Co. v.
Waterman v. Sprague Manufacturing Co.
Weber, Judd v.
Welch v. McKane
Welles v. Bailey
Whitman v. Winchester Arms Co. .
Winchester Arms Co., Whitman v.
Windham Co. Savings Bank v. Himes


19 55+ 267

25 292 247 217 433 tion made by one G to supply the city with water, and granted him (with a right of assignment) the exclusive right to lay pipes in the streets so long as a full supply of pure water should be furnished. In 1857 the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company was incorporated with power to acquire, and which did acquire, all the rights of G under the vote of the city and becaine charged with all his duties ; and this company soon after expended a large sum of money in acquiring property and establishing its water works. Held that, so long as this company supplied the city with an abundance of pure water, the legislature had no power to give another corporation the right to lay its pipes in the









Fairfield Co., Oct. T., 1886. PARK C. J., CARPENTER, PARDEE, LOOMIS

and GRANGER, Js.

In 1853 the common council of the city of Bridgeport accepted a proposi

streets of the city for the purpose of supplying the city with water. Although the state may be no party to, and have no interest in, the subject

matter of a contract, yet if it invests a corporation, otherwise powerless, with power to make it, the legislature is thereafter concluded in reference to it. It is, as a lawful contract, sacred from any interfer

ence other than judicial construction. It is the duty of courts to preserve contracts inviolate rather than to des

troy monopolies. If the common council had no power to grant the exclusive use of the streets, yet as the charter of the defendant company recognized and


Citizens' Water Co. v. Bridgeport Hydraulic Co.

confirmed the grant by the city, it became as effective as if the city had had the power to make it, and as if the legislature had made it in

the most direct and explicit words. By a clause in the charter of the defendant company the legislature re

served the power to recall the franchise at its pleasure. Held that this provision did not authorize the legislature to set aside or impair the contract which the city had entered into for the exclusive use of its streets by the defendant company so long as it should supply the city with water, and which the charter had recognized and confirmed.

[Argued December 9th, 1886-decided February 25th, 1887).

A PROCEEDING for the condemnation to the use of the plaintiff company of certain property and water rights belonging to the defendant company, taken before Judge Sanford of the Superior Court. The defendant filed an answer to which the plaintiff demurred. The demurrer was sustained pro forma by the judge and the answer held insufficient. The plaintiff appealed to this court. The case is fully stated in the opinion.

C. R. Ingersoll, with whom were G. Stoddard and C. Sherwood, for the appellant.

1. Upon the incorporation of the Bridgeport Water Company a contract arose between the new corporation on the one side, and the city of Bridgeport and the state of Connecticut on the other, by which a right to the exclusive use of the streets of the city for a public water supply became vested in that corporation. And the constitution of the United States (Art. 1, Sec. 10), protects the obligation of this contract from any impairment by the legislation of the state. The answer of the defendant should, for this reason, have been held sufficient. This proposition involves a federal question. The decisions of the United States Supreme Court upon all questions arising upon the construction of the constitution must control the state courts. Trustees of Bishop's Fund v. Rider, 13 Conn., 93. It is well settled by the decisions of that court that a grant of a franchise may constitute an irrevocable contract, the obligation of which cannot be destroyed or impaired by any legislative action thereafter. Dartmouth College Case, 4 Wheat., 518; New

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