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Londoner v. Denver

United States Supreme Court
210 U.S. 373 (1908)


Facts

The charter of the city of Denver (defendant) confers upon the city the power to make local improvements and to assess the cost upon property specifically benefited. The charter specifies the steps that city authorities must take to execute this power to improve and assess costs. For example, under the charter, due notice and opportunity for a hearing must be presented prior to the assessment of the cost upon the landowners. Mr. Londoner and other property owners (plaintiffs) filed a case in state court seeking relief from the city’s assessment of a tax for the cost of paving a street upon which their lands abutted. The trial court granted the requested relief. In reaching its decision, the court found that the city offered no opportunity for a hearing prior to its assessment of the cost on benefitted landowners. The state supreme court reversed, holding that the tax was assessed in conformity with the United States Constitution and the laws of the state. In so reversing, the state supreme court did not disturb the trial court’s finding regarding a lack of opportunity for a hearing. Londoner appealed on a writ of error.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Moody, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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