Page images

county clerk, it is his duty to draw the warrant. Sehorn v. Williams, 110 Cal. 621.

Prohibition will not lie at the suit of a taxpayer to prevent a board of supervisors from auditing or ordering paid certain claims, on the ground that the same are not proper or valid claims against the county. Until the supervisors have acted, it cannot be known that they will allow an improper claim. Merriam v. Supervisors, 72 Cal. 517.

Relief for damages resulting from failure to keep a bridge on county road in repair must be sought against the road overseer or supervisors personally. The county is not liable for such damages. Huffman v. San Joaquin Co., 21 Cal. 429; Crowell v. Sonoma Co., 25 Cal. 315.

A claim for damages for injuries to property, caused by a nob or riot, is not to be presented in the first instance to the board of supervisors for allowance, as in the case of other claims, but a judgment must be had, and thereupon the board must order it to be paid, unless they shall determine to appeal. Bank of California v. Shaber, 55 Cal. 322. Improper claims to be rejected.

SEC. 42. When the board find that any claim presented is not payable by the county, or is not a proper county charge, it must be rejected; and said rejection shall be plainly indorsed on said claim; if they find it to be a proper county charge, but greater in amount than is justly due, the board may allow the claim in part, and draw a warrant for the portion allowed, on the claimant filing a receipt in full for his account. If the claimant is unwilling to receive such amount in full payment, the claim may again be considered at the next regular session of the board, but not afterward.

Political Code, 4074.

It is a felony to present to the board of supervisors, with intent to defraud, any false or fraudulent claim, bill, account, voucher, or writing. Penal Code, section 72.

Neither the allowance of, nor the warrant drawn on allowance of illegal claim creates any liability against the county. Linden v. Case, 46 Cal. 171.

Examples of illegal demands: Defending pauper prisoners. Rowe v. Yuba County, 17 Cal. 62. Personal injuries caused by acts of officers at hospital. Sherbourne v. Yuba County, 21 Cal. 113. On neglect to repair bridge. Huffman v. San Joaquin County, 21 Cal. 428. Overflow caused by abutment of bridge. Crowell v. Sonoma County, 25 Cal. 314. Medical care of sick. Johnson v. Santa Clara County, 28 Cal. 546.

What is a rejection of claim. Tilden v. Sacramento County, 41 Cal. 69.

Claimant dissatisfied with allowance may sue within six months. (Pol. Code Sec. 4075.] Fulkerth v. County of Stanislaus, 67 Cal. 336. But under the present section the claim must be again presented, if it has been allowed in part.

Supervisors in passing on claims exercise judicial functions. Robinson v. Supervisors, V 16 Cal. 209; Eldorado County v. Elstner, 18

Cal. 148; Hornblower v. Duden, 35 Cal. 664;

[ocr errors]

Tilden v. Supervisors, 41 Cal. 68; Colusa County v. De Jarnett, 55 Cal. 373.

The allowance of an illegal claim creates no liability against the county. Foster v. Coleman, i0 Cal. 279; People v. Supervisors, El Dorado, 11 Cal. 170-187; Robinson v. Supervisors, 16 Cal. 208; Carroll v. Siebenthaler, 37 Cal. 193; Linden v. Case, 46 Cal. 172; Domingos v. Supervisors, 51 Cal. 608,

An order allowing a claim should also direct the payment of it, in order to authorize the issuance of a warrant, but in petition for mandamus against treasurer to pay the warrant it is not necessary to allege that the supervisors ordered payment. Conner v. Morris, 23 Cal. 451; Jones v. Morgan, 67 Cal. 310.

A judgment against a board of supervisors is not a judgment against a county; nor can a board as such be sued for a claim against the countyHastings v. City and County of San Francisco, 18 Cal. 49.

County warrants are not negotiable. A purchaser for value takes them subject to all defects existing against them in the hands of an original payee. Bank of Santa Cruz County v. Bartlett, 78 Cal. 302. When claimant may sue.

SEC. 43. If the board refuse, or neglect to allow or reject a claim or demand for ninety days after the same has been filed with the clerk, such refusal or neglect may, at the option of the claimant, be deemed equivalent to a final action and rejection on the ninetieth day, and a claimant dissatisfied with the rejection of his claim or demand, or with the amount allowed him on his account, may sue the county therefor at any time within six months after the final action of the board, but not afterward; and is, in such action, judgment is recovered for more than the board allowed, on presentation of a certified copy of the judgment, the board must allow and pay the same, together with the costs adjudged; but if no more is recovered than the board allowed, the board must pay the claimant no more than was originally allowed.

Political Code sections 4074, 4075. Former. county government acts, sections 43, 44.

Presentation, rejection and suit, apply as well to claims on tort

as upon contract. McCann v. Sierra County, 7 Cal. 122. Cited in People v. Supervisors S. F., 28 Cal. 431.

Rejection and right to sue. Fulkerth v. County of Stanislaus, 67 Cal. 336.

Demands against a county cannot be split up for the purpose of bringing suit. Where $640.77 was allowed on a claim of $952.77, the claimant could not maintain a suit against the county for the balance. The suit must be for the whole claim, and not for the sum disallowed. Zirker v. Hughes, 77 Cal. 235.

Limiting the right to sue “after final action” implies that the board is to act more than once thereon, and its final action is that

which in the concluding portion of section 43 V [42] is directed to be taken when it has again

considered the claim, after learning that the claimant is dissatisfied with its prior action. The board would not know whether the claimant would be willing to accept the amount allowed, unless he should in some way indicate his disposition. The statute is framed with the purpose of avoiding useless expense

in litigation, and to give to the county ample opportunity to avoid such expense. Arbios v. County of San Bernardino, 110 Cal. 555. What warrants must specify.

SEC. 44. Warrants drawn by order of the supervisors on the county treasury for the current expenses during each year, must specify the liability for whic they are drawn, and when they accrued, and must be paid in the order of presentation to the treasurer. If the fund is insufficient to pay any warrant, it must be registered, and thereafter paid •in the order of registration.

Political Code, section 4076. Section 45, county government acts of 1883, 1891, 1893.

The duty to register the warrants is one specially enjoined upon the auditor, and mandamus will lie to compel its performance. Babcock v. Goodrich, 47 Cal. 508, Members must not be interested, etc.

SEC. 45. No member of the board must be interested, directly or indirectly, in any property purchased for the use of the county, nor in any purchase or sale of property belonging to the county, nor in any contract imade by the board, or other person, on behalf of the county, for the erection of public buildings, the opening or improvement of roads, or the building of bridges, or for any purpose, or act as a member of a committee or board of reviewers.

Political Code, section 4071. Section 46 of former county government acts.

As to other public officers see Political Code, section 920.

As a criminal offense, see Penal Code, section 71; constitution, article XI, section 17.

"It is a well established and salutary rule in

« PreviousContinue »