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SETON HALL COLLEGE v. VILLAGE SOUTH ORANGE ET AL.

December 4, 1916

SETON HALL COLLEGE
v.
VILLAGE OF SOUTH ORANGE ET AL.



ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY

White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Van Devanter, Pitney, McReynolds, Brandeis, Clarke

Author: Day

[ 242 U.S. Page 101]

 MR. JUSTICE DAY delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a writ of error to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, seeking to reverse a judgment of that court, which judgment was affirmed by the Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey (86 N.J.L. 365) and the record remitted to the Supreme Court. The case involves the validity of a tax levied by the assessor of the Village of South Orange, for the year 1911, the contention being that the act of the legislature of New Jersey of March 16th, 1870, hereinafter referred to, constituted a contract which could not be repealed by subsequent legislation without doing violence to the contract clause of the Constitution of the United States.

The case was heard by the Board of Equalization of Taxes of New Jersey, and by the Supreme Court of that State, upon a stipulation of facts:

"(1) Seton Hall College was incorporated under an act of the Legislature of the State of New Jersey entitled 'An Act to incorporate Seton Hall College,' Chapter 86 of the Laws of 1861, pages 198 and 199, approved March 8, 1861.

"(2) A supplement to said act was passed, being Chapter 167 of the Laws of 1870, entitled 'Supplement to an Act to Incorporate Seton Hall College', approved March 8th, 1861, which supplement was approved March 16th, 1870.

"(3) The act incorporating Drew Theological Seminary

[ 242 U.S. Page 102]

     of the Methodist Episcopal Church, referred to in the supplement above mentioned, was approved February 12th, 1868 (Laws of 1868, Chap. 2, p. 4).

"(4) That Seton Hall College accepted its charter contained in the Laws of 1861 aforesaid, and thereafter purchased real and personal property from time to time, erected college buildings thereon and continuously since has been and still is actively engaged in carrying out the purposes of its creation and fulfilling its obligations imposed by its said charter, and has been and is exercising all the powers granted by said charter.

"(5) After the supplement to its charter was passed in 1870, Seton Hall College accepted the same, and purchased further lands and erected further buildings, and has continued ever since to live up to the terms of both acts and carry out the purposes of its creation, and has been and is exercising all the powers granted thereby.

"(6) That the lands in question with other lands were acquired by the College by a conveyance dated the 17th day of October, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-four, and recorded in the office of the Register of the County of Essex on the 21st day of February, Eighteen ...


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