Appeal from Genesee, John W. Baker, J.
Leave to appeal denied, 396 Mich 865.
R. B. Burns, P. J., and D. E. Holbrook and D. F. Walsh, JJ.
1. Constitutional Law -- Statutes -- Municipal Corporations -- Property Taxation -- Contracts -- Notice Requirements -- Publication -- Due Process.
A notice by publication of the intent of a unit of government to execute a contract affecting property taxes, given in accordance with statutory provision, is sufficient to satisfy the constitutional requirement of due process of law (MCLA 46.175b; MSA 5.2767[5.2]).
2. Constitutional Law -- Due Process -- Property Taxation -- Notice by Publication -- Substitution -- Reasonable Notice.
Notice by publication is recognized as a customary substitute where the publication is calculated to give reasonable notice to the parties involved and it is not reasonably possible or practicable to give more adequate legal warning.
3. Constitutional Law -- Due Process -- Property Taxation -- Notice -- Judicial Balancing -- Personal Notice -- Compelling Reasons.
A determination of the constitutionality of a particular statutory notice scheme requires judicial balancing of the plaintiff's right to notice against the factors of economy and practicability in determining the form that this notice must or should take; the right of a property owner to be free from an increase in general ad valorem taxation without an opportunity to present his objections is not so qualitatively compelling as to require personal notice to each taxpayer and notice by publication as provided by statute is therefore sufficient (MCLA 46.175b; MSA 5.2767[5.2]).
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burns
Complaint by Merten D. Harter, for himself and all others similarly situated, against the City of Swartz Creek, Genesee County, the county drain commissioner, and Northern Trust Bank challenging the adequacy of notice of a resolution to enter sewage disposal and water supply contracts. Judgment for defendants. Plaintiff appealed. Reversed. Intervention by the Attorney General. Defendants' petition for rehearing before the Court of Appeals granted.
In this case we have granted defendants' application for rehearing and entertained additional oral argumentation.
The facts are simple, and stipulated. During the period at issue, plaintiff was a landowner and taxpayer in Swartz Creek, but a resident of Bloomfield Hills. Swartz Creek undertook to enter into two sewage disposal and water supply contracts to be financed by municipal bonds, which bonds were to be redeemed by ad valorem taxation. As required by MCLA 46.175b; MSA 5.2767(5.2), notice to this effect was published in the Swartz Creek News. Plaintiff never received a copy of the newspaper, and asserted that he was not aware of the publications until long after the statute's prescribed period for petition and referendum had expired. Plaintiff claims violation of his constitutional right to due process of law under the Federal and state constitutions. US Const, Am XIV; Const 1963, art 1, § 17. On the authority of Ridenour v County of Bay, 366 Mich 225; 114 NW2d 172 (1962), International Salt Co v Wayne County Drain Commission, 367 Mich 160; ...