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Sleight v. Board of Education of Paterson

Decided: February 2, 1934.

ALBERT E. SLEIGHT, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF PATERSON, IN THE COUNTY OF PASSAIC, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Supreme Court, whose per curiam opinion is printed in 10 N.J. Mis. R. 523.

For the plaintiff-appellant, William B. Gourley.

For the defendant-respondent, Harold D. Green.

Wells

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WELLS, J. This is an appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court affirming a judgment of the Passaic Common Pleas, striking out the plaintiff's complaint on the ground that it disclosed no cause of action.

The complaint alleged that on April 13th, 1916, Charles E. Sleight, and plaintiff, duly registered architects, partners, doing business under the name of Charles E. Sleight & Son, were engaged by the board of education of the city of Paterson to prepare plans and specifications for a proposed new school building in the city of Paterson; that the said partnership and the appellant, Albert E. Sleight, assignee of said partnership business and assets, rendered services to the board of education, at its request, as architects in forming and drawing plans and specifications for the proposed new public school; that for said services, defendant undertook to pay what the same were reasonably worth, and that the same were reasonably worth $11,885.22, and that defendant paid plaintiff on account the sum of $4,000, leaving a balance of $7,885.22 due.

The answer admits that Charles E. Sleight was engaged by the defendant to prepare plans as set forth in the complaint but denies that defendant had any legal authority to engage him and alleges it was acting beyond its power in so doing.

The answer set up a separate defense as follows: "Defendant will object that the complaint discloses no cause of action, as defendant was unable to enter into any contract or incur any obligation with plaintiff as alleged, as defendant has no money appropriated or authorized for such purpose."

At the trial the defendant, in accordance with said objection, moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it disclosed no cause of action.

The court struck out the complaint.

Upon appeal the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Common Pleas Court, holding that the alleged contract was ultra vires the power and authority of the board of education to enter or engage in.

The Supreme Court considered the case in the light of sections 61, 74, 75 and 76 of the General School law of 1903. 4 ...


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