Untitled Texas Attorney General Opinion

O-6831 | Tex. Att'y Gen. | Jul 2, 1945


AUSTIN LWs, Peyton Burke County Auditor Falls County Earlin., Texan Dear Us. Burker

Opinion NO. O-6831 r'8 court or Falls he Road and Bridge sic and the re- he budget of 8 or ~n0m.0 r0r

or those OP the other precincts date. issued on the eam scrip warranta oi Preoinot #2 will be paid before thoae of' Precinot #I+ and those drawn against Preoinot #4 will be paid bsfor$ thoae drawn agebet Preoinot 83.

Mrs. Feytou Burke, page 2 *The queetion on whioh I would like an opinion Is it legal for a oounty to pay the scrip Is this: warrants outstanding of one preoinot ahead of the aorip warrants outstanding of another preoinot in the case of Falls County; I.e., when the Road and Bridge inoome is allooated to the Pour preoinote on a percentage basis?" Article 1625, Revised Civil Statutes, 1925, providea:

Qaoh oounty treasurer shall keep a well-bound book in whloh he shall register all olaims against his oounty in the order of presentation, and ii more than one Is presented at the same time he ahall register pay no suoh claim or any part thereoi, nor shall the

them in the order of their date, He shall same ) or any part thereof, be reoelved by any oifioer in payment or any indebtedness to the oounty, until it has been duly registered In aooordanos with the provlelone OP this title. All claims in eaoh olass shall be paid in the order In whloh they are regls- tered.* Art. 1626, R. C. s., provides:

"Claims againeta oounty ehall be registered in three olaases, as Pollowe; All jury scrip and sorip ieeued for feeding juroriFi* All aorlp ieaued under the provieiona oP the roai law or for work done on roads and bridgea. "3. All the general indebtedness of the oounty, including reedlng and guarding prlaonere, and paupers* claima,. ” Art. 1627, R. c. s., providers:

Y3ai.d treasurer shall enter eaah claim in the register, stating the class to which it belongs, the name of the payee, the amount, the date of the claim, the date of registration, the number of such claim, by what authority ieaued, and for what service the same waa lasued, and shall write on the face of the claim its registration number, the word 'registered,' the date OP euoh registration,

and shall sign his name officially thereto." Mrs. Peyton Burke, page 3 Art. 6740, R. c. s., provides: "The oommiealonera oourt shall see that the road and bridge fund of their oounty Is judio1ocaly and equitably expanded on the roads and bridges of their oounty, and, aa nearly aa the oondition and neosaaity of the roada will permit, it shall be expended in eaoh county oommissionere preoinot in proportion to the amount oolleoted in suoh preoinot; Money used in building permanent roads ahall riret be used only on

or second-olass roada, and on those whioh shall rirat have the right of way Purniahed free oP coat to make as etraight a road aa ia praotioable anb having the greatest bonus oliered by the oitizene or money, labor or other property." Article 6675a-10, Vernon’s Annotated civil

stqtutee, in part, providers: None of 'the monies (motor vehiole regis- tratio: ;eis) 80 plaaed to the oredit of the Road and Bridge Fund oP a oouuty shall be used to pay the salary or OOmpen%atf.On Of shy COUdy Judge or County .COIS&.S-

but all eaid monies shall be ueed for the sioner, oonetruotion and maintenance of lateral road8 in such county under the supervision oP the County Bngineer, if there be one, and it there is no such engineer, then the County Commisaionerst Court shall have authority to oommand the servioes of the Division Engineer or the State Highway Department for the purpose or eupervi+ng the oonatruotion and surveying oP lateral roads in oountiea. All fund8 allooated to the their reapeotive countlea by the provisions of this Aot (Arta. 6675a-1 to 6675a-14; P.C. Art. 807%) may be used by the oountiea in the payment or obligations, iP any, issued and incurre4i.n the construotion or the improvement or all roada,'inoluding State Bighways o; 'such oountiea and districts therein; or the improvement oP the roada comprising the County Road system." (Parenthetical matter ours) The commiaaionere~ oourt la authorized to ellooate the

_ . road and bridge fund among the varloue aommlssionersl preoinots, of Article 674.0 and 6675a-10, su ra, eubjeot to the provisions

75 S. N. (26) 276; arrirned 129 T. 25 % , (Shivers v. Stooall, 103 S. Vii'. (26) 363), and we presume that the allooationa and

Mrs. Peyton Burke, ‘page 4 expenditure8 oP the road and bridge fund, mentioned in your letter, were made Prom time to time in oomplianoe with the provisions that, on the bee18 of the aforementioned allooation of aaid artioles. We understand Prom your inquiry

of the road and bridge fund on said peroentage basis to the various preoinots, the oommiaaioners* court authorized the isauanoe of sorip warrants for claFms incurred against the reepeotive pre- oinct Funds. We understand further that the sorip warrants issued against eaoh preoinot fund were registered in numerical order, and, aa funds beoome available in a partioular preoinot fund, under the above mentioned allooation, the sorip .warrants against that partfouler preoinot fund are paid in the order of their registration.

With reiarenoe to the matter of the proper order in whioh warrants drawn against oounty funds are to be paid, in the oase of Wilkinson v. Franklin County, 94 S. W.. (26).1190, the Court eaidr .Artiole 1625, R. s., clearly denotes the

(I a, . order in which warranta drawn against the oounty treasurer are to be paid, and amounts to an appro- priation of the funds in the oounty treasury to the payment of all warrants legally drawn against the several olaeaea of funds in the order ot their registration. . .v In Opinion No. O-4552, this department paesed upon a

question involving the authority of a oommiasionere~ oourt to to another preoinot fund, transfer fund8 of certain preoinota when there were registered scrip warrants outstanding against

funds Prom whloh said transfer was to the partloular preoinot be nede. We quote rrrm said Opinion a8 roiiow8,t

“The holder8 of the outstanding aorip again& Preoincte Noe.~ 1, 2 and 3 have vested interests in the funds of said preoinots to the Pull extent of olaiae as evidenoed by auoh aorip, and the Commis- sionera’ Court of Limeatone County haa no authority to decree a prsierence, thereby impairing suoh vested rights of oreditors of Preoinota Nos. 1, 2 and 3 by paying out the funds of said preolnota to Precinot No.. 4.”

tire, Peyton Burke, page 5 Ih view of the foregoing and in view of the faots submitted, it is our opinion that the holder of a registered rorip warrant against a partioular preoinot has a vested interest in the runas legally allocated to that particular preoinot to the full extent of olaixus as evidenced by auoh scrip warrant. It is our further

of 5 partfouler opinion that the vested rfghta of the creditors precinct nay not be impaired, and that the registered aorip warrants agaihst a partioular preoinot fund should be paid in the order of the registration of warrants issued against that partioular fund, even though warrants issued on a given

preolnot date against ens partfouler preoinot fund may be paid before warrants drawn on the same date against a different preoinot fund beoome eligible for payment.

that the foregoing satiaraotorily answers your in- We trust qulry . Your8 very truly, ATTORNXY Q~RAL OF T&XM