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FISHER v. PHILADELPHIA. (06/28/55)

June 28, 1955

FISHER
v.
PHILADELPHIA.



Original jurisdiction, No. 230, Miscellaneous Docket No. 10, in case of Wm, Franklin Fisher v. City of Philadelphia et al. Order entered denying injunction and dismissing complaint.

COUNSEL

Lewis H. VanDusen, Jr., for plaintiff.

Helen S. Chait, Deputy City Solicitor, with her Jerome J. Shestack, First Deputy City Solicitor, and Abraham L. Freedman, City Solicitor, for respondents.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Stern

[ 382 Pa. Page 608]

ORDER PER CURIAM, June 28, 1955:

And now, To wit, June 28, 1955, it is ordered and decreed that the prayer for an injunction in these proceedings is denied; that the Ordinance of the City of Philadelphia of September 24, 1954, to authorize the creation of a loan in the sum of two million dollars as therein provided, is declared to be valid and not violative of any provision of the Constitution or laws of the Commonwealth; and that the complaint be, and the same is hereby dismissed. Opinion to be filed later. Costs to be paid by the City of Philadelphia.

Opinion BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HORACE STERN, September 26, 1955:

The inquiry here concerns the constitutionality and validity of a certain ordinance of the City of Philadelphia authorizing a public loan. We exercised our original

[ 382 Pa. Page 609]

    jurisdiction because of the public importance of the question involved and the consequent desirability of its being determined as promptly as possible. For the same reason we entered a decree immediately following the argument and stated that an opinion would be filed later.

The ordinance is that of September 24, 1954. It authorized the Mayor, City Controller and City Solicitor, or a majority of them, to borrow, on the faith and credit of the City of Philadelphia, a sum or sums which in the aggregate should not exceed $2,000,000, the monies raised by the loan to be used for highway purposes. It provided "That the authority to increase the City's indebtedness as herein contained shall not be effective unless the electors shall give their consent thereto at a public election to be held on Tuesday, November 2, 1954: And provided further, That notwithstanding the consent of the electors at said election, the authority to increase the City's indebtedness as herein contained shall not be valid and effective nor constitute an increase of the indebtedness of the City until January 3, 1955, and then only if, as shown by a certificate of the City Controller to be made as of January 3, 1955, the amount of the indebtedness of the City existing on that date, plus the loan hereby authorized, less the deductions from such indebtedness allowed by law, shall not exceed thirteen and one-half per centum of the average of the annual assessed valuations of the taxable realty in the City during the ten years immediately preceding the year 1955."

On November 2, 1954, after due notice as required by law, an election was held at which the following question was submitted: "Shall the City of Philadelphia borrow $2,000,000 for and towards roads, streets, bridges and buildings for highway purposes: ...


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