Angel v. Murray

Supreme Court of Rhode Island, 1974322 A.2d 630 (1974)

Facts

James L. Maher (defendant) has operated a refuse-collection service in the City of Newport since 1946 under a series of five-year contracts. Maher originally entered into these contracts with the expectation that refuse-producing dwelling units would steadily increase at a rate of twenty to twenty-five per year. However, after Maher signed a five-year contract in July 1964, the city experienced a substantial and unanticipated increase of four hundred new dwelling units. In 1967, Maher asked the city council for an additional $10,000 per year to cover the cost of these new units. The city council agreed to pay him $10,000 per year for both 1968 and 1969, for a total of $20,000 beyond the original contract. Alfred L. Angel (plaintiff) brought suit against Maher, the city, and Murray, the Director of Finance on the ground that the payment of $20,000 to Maher was illegal and asking that Maher be ordered to repay that sum to the city. The trial court held the payment illegal and ordered Maher to repay the $20,000. Maher appealed.

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