Annual Report of the Attorney General of the State of Virginia
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Report of the Attorney General. 5 Circuit Court of the City of Richmond. Kelly vs. The Board of Public Works. Kelly, surviving partner of Kelly & Larguey, sued the Board of Public Works for the recovery of an alleged balance due them on a contract between themselves and the board for work done in the construction of that part of the Blue Ridge railroad designated as the first section thereof, and for monies advanced by them for the board; a total with interest of $20,000. On the trial of the cause, there was judgment for the defendant, which on appeal was reversed and a new trial directed. Upon the new trial there was judgment for the plaintiff, which on appeal was reversed and another trial was directed, for which the case now stands on the docket. The gist of the case as it now stands is as follows: in the progress of the work, which was settled for on monthly estimates, there was no money in the treasury to pay the estimates from the month of March, 1856, to the month of September, 1857, inclusive; and the practice of the contractors was to obtain from the board orders for the amounts due on the estimates in the usual manner, for which warrants on the treasury were given by the second auditor, as the law directs, payable in money, which they sold at a depreciation, and it was for the loss thus occasioned that they brought their suit. The plaintiff insisted that this practice was pursued under a contract with the board, under which the board became liable to them for their loss. But the board insisted that they made no such contract, an that if it had been made, it was beyond their legal competency to make it, and imposed no obligation on it as the agent of the State. To prove the contract, the court on the trial admitted as evidence for the plaintiff a statement of the treasurer and auditor, which was regarded by those officers as a report by them acting as the Board of Public Works. On the appeal it was decided that this evidence was inadmissible, but that on the new trial to be had, the matter of the statement might be established by other admissible evidence. But it is believed that none such exists. Platt vs. The Board of Public Works, etc. The Commonwealth obtained a judgment on the 24th of March, 1874, against Vanauken, late treasurer of Sussex county, and his sureties, of whom the plaintiff is one, for his default in office, amounting to $6,378.85 with interest at twelve per cent, per annum on a part, and nine per cent, per annum on part, and $956.83 damages. Execution was levied on a tract of land in Sussex county, with buildings on it, being the tavern property at Sussex courthouse, as the property of Platt. Whereupon Platt filed his bill, setting out that the sale of the property would be improper until certain claims made against it by a third party should be adjusted. These claims are made by one Vaidenia Thornton, who is suing to recover dower in the land as widow of Richard E. Thornton, who once owned the land; and which claim Platt contends should be estimated and compensated in money, so that a full title to the property, free of dower, may be conveyed to the purchaser; and is suing likewise as administrator of said Thornton, to enforce against the property payment of the purchase money for the land said to be yet due his estate from those under whom Platt claims and for which the land is still bound. These matters remain to be inquired into and decided. James M. Spiller, J. M. Wallen and John B. Robertson, who sue for themselves and such other creditors of the James River and Kanawha Company, who hold first and second mortgage bonds of said Company as may choose to be come plaintiffs against the company and trustees, vs. Board of Public Works and the