Wiswall v. Greenville and Raleigh Plank Road Co.

56 N.C. 183, 3 Jones Eq. 183 (1857)

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Wiswall v. Greenville and Raleigh Plank Road Co.

North Carolina Supreme Court
56 N.C. 183, 3 Jones Eq. 183 (1857)

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Facts

The Greenville and Raleigh Plank Road Company (the company) (defendant) was incorporated with a stated purpose in its charter to build a plank road from Greenville to Raleigh. The company’s charter also contained provisions empowering the company to repair and maintain the road and to collect tolls. The company began construction out of Greenville and completed the road as far as Wilson, a town on the way to Raleigh, before running out of the funds necessary to complete the road. The company operated the road from Greenville to Wilson for several years, accumulating a large amount of toll proceeds. The company proposed to use the accumulated proceeds to buy stagecoaches and horses as part of a larger plan to contract with the United States government as mail carriers along the road. Several shareholders in the company (plaintiffs) sued to enjoin the company from carrying forward these plans on the ground that the plans were outside of the operations authorized by the corporate charter. The company demurred.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pearson, J.)

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