The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918. Page: 27
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SPENCER V. BABYLON R. CO.
passed from the District Court (the assessment and probably the levy
for 1914 was before December 13, 1913). Assuming, as we may, that
that court had the right, after December 13, 1913, to reserve the is-
suance of receiver's certificates to pay for assessments for taxes and
other receiver's expenses incurred during pendency of the receivership,
and even assuming that as an incident to that reservation it had the
power to enjoin the assertion of these taxes in so far as it might be
necessary to a complete disposal of the controversy, nevertheless the
reservation could not extend beyond those matters which were left
undecided at the time the court lost custody and none of the subsequent
taxes under any construction lay within the further power of the court.
We do not agree that, having lost custody, the court could reserve a
general jurisdiction under a reserved power to resume possession at
some future time.
 We think, moreover, that the District Court was also without
jurisdiction in its review of the assessments for special franchises for
the years 1910-1914. Under the statute of New York the power to
assess special franchises is vested in the state board of tax commis-
sioners, an official body with sole jurisdiction for that purpose. New
York Tax Law (Consol. Laws, c. 60) 43, 44, 45. An adequate means
of review of their assessment is provided in that statute by certiorari
in the Supreme Court of the state, under section 46. Now there was
no question in the case at bar of the jurisdiction of the state board of
tax examiners, or of any irregularity in the assessment, levy, or ex-
tension on the rolls by which the tax was imposed. The law of New
York gives an assessment once made with jurisdiction the force of a
judgment which cannot be collaterally attacked. Swift v. Pough-
keepsie, 37 N. Y. 511; U. S. Trust Co. v. New York, 144 N. Y. 488,
39 N. E. 383. No error as to the actual value of the property assessed
is open for reconsideration (People ex rel. Insurance Co. v. Coleman,
107 N. Y. 541, 14 N. E. 431; New York v. Chase, etc., Co., 206 N. Y.
3, 99 N. E. 143), though this limitation does not, of course, apply any
more than in the case of a judgment, if the assessors had no jurisdic-
tion (Bruecher v. Portchester, 101 N. Y. 240, 4 N. E. 272). Article 13
of the Tax Law (sections 290-294) gives full relief against overvalua-
tion and inequality of assessment, and it is through it alone that the
assessment may be assailed. The state of New York having the pow-
er, subject, of course, to constitutional limitations, to levy its taxes by
such officers as it sees fit, no court may set aside the acts of the as-
sessors and reassess the property, since that is not a judicial act, and
a judge has no more power to do it than a layman, whether the ques-
tion arise at law or in equity.
The only ground for the exercise of such a power is as an incident
to the right to set aside the assessment as unconstitutional. This the
Supreme Court, in Raymond v. Chicago Union Traction Co., 207 U. S.
20, 28 Sup. Ct. 7, 52 L. Ed. 78, 12 Ann. Cas. 757, and Greene v.
Louisville & Interurban R. R. Co., 244 U. S. 499, 37 Sup. Ct. 673,
61 L. Ed. 1280, Ann. Cas. 1917E, 88, did, holding that an assessment
may be reopened, and furthermore that the property may in effect be
reassessed, by compelling the plaintiff to consent to a fair assessment
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918., legislative document, 1918; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38821/m1/42/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.