Page images

sole ground that, in the judgment of the court, the rates fixed are not reasonable. (Spring Valley W. W. v. San Francisco, 82 Cal. 286, 16 Am. St. Rep. 116, 22 Pac. 910.)

The fixing of water rates is not judicial. (Spring Valley W. W. v. Bartlett, 63 Cal. 245.)

An ordinance establishing water rates, and fixing certain rates to be paid by individuals and certain rates to be paid by the city, and providing that, if the city pays its rates, the rates of the individual consumers shall be diminished twenty-five per cent is void, as the city has no power to make such condition. (San Francisco etc. Factory v. Brickwedel, 60 Cal. 166.)

Failure to Fix Rates.—This provision does not authorize the court by mandamus to compel the board to fix the rates, where their action fixing them has been vetoed by the mayor. (Jacobs v. Superrisors, 100 Cal. 121, 34 Pac. 630.)

An ordinance fixing rates passed subsequently to the month of February, and prior to July 1st, when it is required to take effect, is equally valid, if passed voluntarily, as if passed under peremptory process. (Fitch v. Supervisors, 122 Cal. 285, 54 Pac. 901.)

The provision of this section authorizing the legislature to preBeribe “further processes and penalties” only authorizes such processes and penalties as are within the power of the legislature, in view of other limitations of the constitution. (Fitch v. Superrisors, 122 Cal. 285, 54 Pac. 901.)

A taxpayer is not an “interested party' within the meaning of this section. (Fitch v. Supervisors, 122 Cal. 285, 54 Pac. 901.)

In view of section 20, article VI, the legislature cannot authorize the removal of a board of supervisors from office for delay in fixing water rates "at the suit of any interested party,” or in the name of any individual. (Fitch v. Supervisors, 122 Cal. 285, 54 Pac. 901.)

Where enforcement of rates is enjoined and appeal is taken, and the water company has continued to supply water pending the liti tion, the city has the right to pay the water company therefor, at rates agreed upon, not exceeding those fixed by the ordinance. (Contra Costa Water Co. v. Breed, 139 Cal. 432.)

And where the city council, having general authority to provide for furnishing the city with water, received and retained the benefit of the water supply, although there was no express contract as to the price, the city is liable in assumpsit for its reasonable value, and is estopped to deny the validity of the claim, on the ground that it had not passed a lawful ordinance therefor. [Per McFarland, J., and Lorigan, J.; Beatty, C. J., dissenting; and Shaw, J., Angellotti, J., and Van Dyke, J., expressing no opinion.] (Contra Costa Water

Breed, 139 Cal. 432.) This section does not take away the right to collect rates fixed by contract for irrigation in the absence of statute or provisions

Co. v.

regulating such rates. The act of March 5, 1885 (Stats. 1885, p. 95), does not destroy the right of contract between irrigation companies and the owners of land. It merely allows the supervisors upon proper petition to fix maximum rates, and the power to contract within such maximum rates is still preserved, and, until the supervisors shall have acted, persons selling water are allowed to continue to collect their established and customary rates, without being required to make a formal declaration, or to secure an ordinance to that effect. (Fresno Canal etc. Co. v. Park, 129 Cal. 437, 62 Pac. 87. To same effect: San Diego Flume Co. v. Souther, 90 Fed. 164; 104 Fed. 706; 112 Fed. 228; overruling San Diego etc. Co. v. Nat. City, 74 Fed. 79; Lanning v. Osbourne, 76 Fed. 319; Mandell v. San Diego etc. Co., 89 Fed. 295. And see Osborne v. San Diego etc. Co., 178 U. S. 22, 20 Sup. Ct. Rep. 860.)


Sec. 2, Art. XIV. The right to collect rates or compensation for the use of water supplied to any county, city and county, or town, or the inhabitants thereof, is a franchise, and cannot be exercised except by authority of and in the manner prescribed by law.

Legislative History.

There is no parallel provision in the Constitution of 1849. For legislation as to water rates, see section 1 of this article, ante.

Section Cited.

S. V. W. W. v. S. F., 61 Cal. 38; S. V. W. W. v. Schottler, 62 Cal. 108; People v. Stephens, 62 Cal. 233; S. V. W. W. v. S. F., 82 Cal. 286, 16 Am. St. Rep. 116, 22 Pac. 910, 1046; San Diego Water Co. v. San Diego, 118 Cal. 579, 62 Am. St. Rep. 261, 50 Pac. 633; Fresna Canal etc. Co. v. Park, 129 Cal. 437, 62 Pac. 87.


Water Rates.- The right to collect rates for water is a franchise. (Spring Valley W. W. v. Schottler, 62 Cal. 69; People v. Stephens, 62 Cal. 209.)

This section does not take away the right under the general law of the land to collect rates or compensation fixed by contract of the parties for the irrigation of lands, in the absence of a special stat. ute, or authorized provision, regulating such rates. (Fresno Canal etc. Co. v. Park, 129 Cal. 437, 62 Pac. 87.)




Title I. General Provisions Applicable to all Corporations, $8 283.

II. Insurance Corporations, $$ 414-452.
III. Railroad Corporations, $8 454-494.
IV. Street Railroad Corporations, $8 497-511.

V. Wagon Road Corporations, $$ 512-523.
VI. Bridge, Ferry, Wharf, Chute, and Pier Corporations, 88 528-

VII. Telegraph Corporations, $8 536-541.
VIII. Water and Canal Corporations, $$ 548-552.
IX. Homestead Corporations, $8 557-566.

X. Savings and Loan Corporations, $8 571-583a.
XI. Mining Corporations, $8 584-587.
XII. Religious, Social, and Benevolent Corporations, $8 593-605.
XIII. Cemetery Corporations, $$ 608-616.
XIV. Agricultural Fair Corporations, $$ 620-622.

XV. Gas Corporations, $$ 628-632. XVI. Land and Building Corporations, 639-6482. XVII. Colleges and Seminaries of Learning, $8 649-651. XVIII. Consolidation of Colleges and Institutions of Higher Educa

tion, $8 652-653.




Chapter 1. Formation of Corporations, 88 283-321a.

II. Corporate Stock, 88 322-349.
III. Corporate Powers, $$ 354-393.
IV. Extension and Dissolution of Corporations, $8 399-403.


FORMATION OF CORPORATIONS. Article I. Corporations Defined and how Organized, 88 283-300a.

Promotion and Subscription Agreements-[Editors' Note,

pp. 120-126.] II. By-laws, Directors, Electors, and Meetings, $$ 301-321a,



$ 283. Corporation defined. § 284. Kinds of. $ 285. Private, how formed. § 286. For what purpose private corporations are formed. § 287. How corporations may continue their existence under this

code. § 288. Existing corporations not affected. § 289. Name of instrument creating corporation. § 290. Articles of incorporation, what to contain. $ 291. Certain corporations to state further facts in articles. $ 292. Five corporators, three to be citizens of the state, to sigu

articles and acknowledge the same. $ 293. Prerequisite to filing articles- Amounts to be subscribea in

be fixed. $ 294. Prerequisite to filing articles of corporations for profit. $ 295. Oath of officer to subscription of stock and payment of ten

per cent. § 296. To file articles with county clerk and Secretary of State,

and receive certificate-- Term of existence. $ 297. Copy of articles prima facie evidence. $ 298. Who are members and who stockholders of a corporation. $ 299. Filing articles of incorporation. $ 300. Banking corporations may elect to have capital stock. § 300a. Change of name-Filing copy of decree.


Sec. 283, C. C. A corporation is a creature of the law, having certain powers and duties of a natural person. Being created by the law, it may continue for any length of time which the law prescribes. En. March 21, 1872. Powers of corporations: See post, sec. 354, C. C. et seq.

Existence of corporations limited to fifty years: Secs. 290, 401, C. C., post.

Homestead corporations limited to ten years: Sec. 557, C. C., post. Legislative History.

The term "corporation" had not been previously defined by the legislature. Section 33 of article IV of the Constitution of 1849, and section 4 of article XII of the Constitution of 1879, both contain this provision: “The term 'corporations,' as used in this article, shall be construed to include all associations and joint stock companies having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships." The powers of corporations in general are prescribed in sections 354-393 of the Civil Code. The powers of particular classes of corporations will be found under their respective titles.

The existence of a corporation is limited to fifty years by sections 290 and 401 of the Civil Code. Prior to the adoption of the Civil Code, there was no law fixing the period of existence for all corporations. The term of existence of particular corporations was prescribed in the particular act relating to such corporations, and varied from ten to fifty years.

Section 401 of the Civil Code provides for the extension of the existence of corporations formed for a period of less than fifty years to a period not exceeding fifty years from its formation. Section 402 of the Civil Code (repealed March 30, 1874, Amendments 1873-74, p. 209, in effect July 1, 1874), provided that all corporations might continue their corporate existence for an additional period of fifty years. There is now no law providing for a continuance of corporate existence for more than fifty years. Section 7 of article XII of the Constitution of 1879 provides that “the legislature shall not extenil any franchise or charter, nor remit the forfeiture of any franchise or charter of any corporation now existing, or which shall hereafter exist under the laws of this state."

Section Cited.

Dean v. Davis, 51 Cal. 410; San Luis Water Co. v. Estrada, 117 Cal. 177, 48 Pac. 1075.


Definitions. A corporation is little more under our laws than a joint stock company under the English law, in its true nature more nearly resembling a limited partnership under special articles than a corporation at common law, the corporation being the mere agency of the associates created for convenience in carrying out the agreement. (Chatter v. S. F. Sugar Co., 19 Cal. 220. To same effect: Robinson v. Bidwell, 22 Cal. 388; Shorb v. Baudry, 56 Cal. 450; Clute v. Loveland, 68 Cal. 254, 9 Pac. 133.)

Joint-stock Companies.- Plank and turnpike road companies are corporations, though denominated joint-stock companies. (Blanchard v. Kaull, 44 Cal. 440.)

« PreviousContinue »