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Districts heretofore organized.
regulate and alter the boundaries of the same as circumstances shall render proper; and each district shall be composed of contiguous territory and be in as compact a form as may be. Districts heretofore organized shall remain and bave the same boundaries as at the time of the passage of this act, subject to change hereafter in the discretion of the township board.
See secs. 33-36.
PRIMARY SCHOOL SYSTEM: The whole primary school system was confided by the constitution to the legislature and it cannot be said that the officers of school districts chosen pursuant to the system adopted by the legislature, are constitutional officers.-Belles v. Burr, 76/11. The constitution of 1850 left to the legislature, as did the preceding constitution, the establishment of a system of primary schools, restricting the legislature only by providing that a school shall be kept, without charge for tuition, at least three months in each year, and that all instruction shall be conducted in the English language. All other matters scem to be within the discretion of the legislature.-Perrizo v. Kesler, 93/283; People v. Howlett, 94/168; Pingree v. Board of Education, 99/408. The constitution of 1909 provides that a district maintain school five months in each year in order to participate in the prima interest fund. Our primary school system is the pride of the state.-People v. Howlett, 94/169.
FORMATION OF DISTRICTS: See Doxey v. Sch. Inspectors, 67/803; Brody v. Penn Twp. Board, 32/273; Sch. Dist. v. Sch. Dist., 81/343; Simpkins v. Ward, 45/561. See Briggs v. Borden, 71/89-90; People v. Davidson, 2 Doug. 121; Brewer v. Palmer, 13/107. When two districts are annexed without any other change in their boundaries, the mere fact that one number is preferred to another does not change the real character of the annexation.-Brewer V. Palmer, 13/109. When one district is annexed to another, its corporate existence ceases and it cannot be sued for debts; the new district must be held responsible for them.-Id. But when a district is parceled out among several other districts, the latter cannot be held jointly liable for the debts of the former; whatever they are hound to pay is a several and not a joint obligation.-Halbert v. Sch. Dists., 36/421. Change of a district formed by special act of the legislature.-Sch. Dist. v. Dean, 17/223. The organization of a new township severs its territory from the school district within which it was formerly embraced.—People v. Ryan, 19/203. See section 34.
QUESTIONING REGULARITY: The regularity of the proceedings for the formation of a district and the existence of it cannot be questioned collaterally, but only in direct proceedings.-Clement v. Everest, 29/19. See Sch. Dist. v. Inspectors, 27/3; Stuart v. Sch. Dist., 30/69; Lord v. Every, 38/405; Bird v. Perkins, 33/30 ; Stockle v. Silsbee, 41/621; Keweenaw Ass'n v. Sch. Dist., 98/437. The legality of the organization and existence of the district cannot be tested by certiorari.—Jaquith v. Hale, 31/430. Certiorari to review the proceedings in organizing a district will not lie after the district is actually organized and has assumed the functions of a corporation; its corporate existence must then be tested by quo warranto.-Sch. Dist. v. Inspectors, 27/3; People v. Gartland, 75/143. But there should be some special and extraordinary reason to justify interference by quo warranto with the organization of a school district, as the statutes provide a speedier remedy by an appeal from the district board to the township board.Lord v. Every, 38/405. And the supreme court will not meddle with the concerns of school districts, on mandamus, except on things of substance.-Sch. Dist. v. Riverside Twp., 67/406. The facts in regard to the notices and proof of posting are sufficiently established if set out in the return of the board, though not appearing in the clerk's minutes of the proceedings. The act of detaching territory from two school districts and forming a new district by one and the same motion, after parties interested have had ample opportunity to be heard on both questions, is valid.-Smelzer v. Inspectors Big Prairie Twp., 125/666.
(27) § 5649. SEC. 2. Whenever the township board of any township shall form a school district therein, it shall be the duty of the clerk of such board to deliver to a taxable inhabitant of such district a notice in writing of the forma-. tion of such district, describing its boundaries and specifying the time and place of the first meeting, which notice, with the fact of such delivery, shall be entered upon record by the clerk. The said notice shall also direct such inhabitant to notify every qualified voter of such district, either personally or by leaving a written notice at his place of residence, of the time and place of said meeting, at least five days before the time appointed therefor; and it shall be the duty of such inhabitant to notify the qualified voters of said
Notice to qualified voters,
district accordingly, and said inhabitant, when he shall have
NOTICE: The board may, under one notice, at one meeting, by separate
(28) § 5650. Sec. 3. In case the inhabitants of any dis- Proceedings trict shall fail to organize the same in pursuance of such failure tom notice as aforesaid, the said clerk shall give a new notice in organize the manner hereinbefore provided, and the same proceedings shall be had thereon as if no previous notice had been delivered.
(29) § 5651. SEC. 4. Whenever it shall be necessary or Fractional convenient to form a district from two or more adjoining districtsin
. townships, the township boards, or a majority of them, of each of such adjoining townships, may form such district, to be designated as a fractional district, and direct which township clerk shall make and deliver the notice of the formation of the same to a taxable inhabitant thereof, and may regulate and alter such district as circumstances may render necessary in the same manner that other districts are altered. The Annual annual reports of the director of such district shall be made to reports, the clerk of the township in which the schoolhouse may be made. situated, and the township board of such township shall number said district. Saginaw Twp. v. Sch. Dist., 9/544; Brewer v. Palmer, 13/109.
(30) $ 5652. Sec. 5. Every such school district shall be when deemed duly organized when any two of the officers elected districts at the first meeting shall have filed their acceptances in writ- organized. ing with the director, and the same shall have been recorded in the minutes of such first meeting. Every school district When preshall in all cases be presumed to have been legally organized sumed Zegally when it shall have exercised the franchises and privileges of a district for the term of two years; and such school district and its officers shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities, and be subject to all the duties and liabilities conferred upon school districts by law. Any school district Organization,
how lost. shall lose its organization as follows:
(a) Whenever there are not three or more persons in such district qualified under the law to hold district offices;
(b) Whenever such district shall fail to maintain school Failure to for the time required by law for a period of two successive maintain years either within its own boundaries or by providing for the education of the children in other districts. Upon the happening of either condition, the township board, or joint declaring
. board, if such district be fractional, shall declare by resolution such district dissolved and shall immediately attach the
territory thereof, in whole or in part, to other districts already organized and make an equitable distribution of the money, property and other material belonging to such district among the districts to which the territory thereof shall be attached, in accordance with the provisions hereinafter stated.
PRESUMPTION OF LEGAL ORGANIZATION: When a district has exercised the franchises and privileges of a school district for over two years, it is too late to question the legality of its organization.-Sch. Dist. v. Sch. Dist., 63/56; Sch. Dist. v. Sch. Dist., 81/343; Bd. of Ed. of Traverse City v. Straub, 182/665. The same rule which recognizes the right of officers de facto recognizes corporations de facto.-Clement v. Everest, 29/23. In public affairs, when the people have organized themselves under color of law into the ordinary municipal bodies, and have gone on year after year raising taxes, making improvements and exercising their usual franchises, their rights are properly regarded as depending quite as much on the acquiescence as on the regularity of their origin, and no ex post facto inquiry can be permitted to undo their corporate existence.- People v. Maynard, 15/470. As to questioning the regularity of organizations, etc., see note to section 26.
(31) S 5653. SEC. 6. The record of the first meeting made by the director shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein set forth and of the legality of all proceedings in the organization of the district prior to the first district meeting; but nothing in this section contained shall be so construed as to impair the effect of the record kept by the township board as evidence.
Directors' record of first meeting prima facie evidence.
CORPORATE POWERS OF DISTRICTS.
School district body corporate.
(32) $ 5654. SEC. 7. Every school district organized in pursuance of this chapter, or which has been organized and continued under any previous law of the state or territory of Michigan, shall be a body corporate, and shall possess the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes, by the name and style of “school district number
(such number as shall be designated in the formation thereof by the township board), of
(the name of the township or townships in which the district is situated),” and in that name shall be capable of suing and being sued, of contracting and being contracted with, and of holding such real and personal estate as is authorized to be purchased by the provisions of law, and of selling the same, and shall have the right to insure school property either in mutual or stock companies: Provided, That school districts whether organized under this act or any other act may insure their school property in mutual or stock companies.
Am. 1923, Act 156.
CORPORATE POWERS: The school district, under our statutes, is a corporation, and, as such corporation, is represented by three officers: a moderator, director and assessor. The affairs of the district are managed and controlled by them, under certain restrictions.-Sch. Dist. v. Sch. Dist., 63/57. A school district can take and hold bequests of money for the maintenance of a public library for the use and benefit of the residents of the district.—Maynard v. Woodward, 36/423. School districts, like townships and counties, are subdivisions of the state. This section gives them the capacity to sue and be sued.—Van Wert v. Sch. Dist., 100/333. School districts are municipal corporations.--Seeley v. Board of Ed., 39/486; Sch. Dist. v. Gage, 39/484; Belles v. Burr, 76/1. And cannot be garnisheed even by their own consent, unless the debtor also consents.--Id. They preceded the constitution (Stuart v. Sch. Dist., 30/69), and were recognized by that instrument.-Belles v. Burr, 76/11. It is a familiar doctrine that school districts are state agencies with limited powers, confined, generally, to those expressly enumerated and those necessarily implied.-Attorney General v. Detroit Bd. of Education, 175/440.
ASSUMPSIT: This section gives school districts capacity to sue and be sued. If the claim against the district is unliquidated, assumpsit will lie and if liquidated the remedy would be by mandamus to compel the necessary action to cause it to be paid.-Waterman, etc., Co. v. Sch. Dist., 183/175.
ALTERATION OF DISTRICTS.
(33) § 5655. SEC. 8. Whenever the township board Alteration shall contemplate an alteration of the boundaries of a dis- boundaries trict, the township clerk (and for meetings of boards to act by township
board. in relation to fractional districts, clerks of the several townships interested) shall give at least ten days' notice of the time and place of the meeting of said board and the alteration proposed, by posting such notice in three public places in Posting the township or townships, one of which notices shall be in notice. each of the districts that may be affected by such alteration. Whenever the township boards of more than one township Joint boards. meet, they shall elect one of their number chairman, and another clerk thereof.
NOTICE: 'The notice required is jurisdictional and indispensable.—Coulter v. Inspectors, 59/391; Sch. Dist. v. Inspectors, 63/611; Gentle v. Inspectors, 73/40; Graves v. Inspectors, 102/635; Passage v. Inspectors, 19/330; Andress v. Inspectors. 19/332. Proof of the posting of such notice should be filed with the clerk of the board, before any action is taken. Coulter v. Inspectors, 59/391; Sch. Dist. v. Inspectors, 63/611; Graves v. Inspectors, 102/635. Where notice is not given the filing of the consent of a majority of the resident taxpayers of the districts affected will not validate the action.-Gentle v. Inspectors, 73/40. Notices must be posted in each township affected by the alteration.-Sch. Dist. v. Metcalf, 93/499. The object of the notice is to enable parties interested to be heard before any action is taken.-Gentle v. Inspectors, 73/45; Sch. Dist. v. Metcalf, 93/499. As to the provision in the former law, see Sch. Dist. v. Sch. Dist., 63/51. Notice of posting notices in three public places is jurisdictional. Affidavit must show that the notices were so posted. Certiorari will lie to test validity of proceedings where petitioner moves promptly.-Huyser v. Board of School Inspectors, 131/568.
FRACTIONAL DISTRICTS: The action of the joint boards is required in case of fractional districts.-Sch. Dist. v. Sch. Dist., 81/343.
(34) § 5656. SEC. 9. A township board may in its dis- May detach, cretion detach the property of any person or persons from etc., property. one district and attach it to another: Provided, however, Proviso, That no land which has been taxed for building a school- referendum. house shall be set off into another district for the period of three years thereafter except by the consent of a two-thirds majority of the resident owners of said land; and no district shall be divided into two or more districts without the consent of the majority of the resident taxpayers of said district, and no two or more districts shall be consolidated without the consent of a majority of the resident taxpayers of each district.
Am. 1919, Act 351.
People v. Davidson, 2 Doug. 121; Brewer v. Palmer, 13/104. See Sch. Dist. v.
DISSOL VING DISTRICT: The school inspectors (township board) have power to alter boundaries of districts, and attach or detach persons, to or from any district; but no power is anywhere granted to them to disband, dissolve or destroy a district, save as restricted under this section.—Briggs v. Borden, 71/90. As intimated in Doxey v. Inspectors, 67/604, the board have no authority to divide up a district and destroy it without the consent of a majority of the resident taxpayers; nor can they destroy it by cutting it up into pieces and attaching, all the territory to other districts without such consent.-Id. The terms “dissolve" and "disband" are of similar import and a vote taken to “disband” is supported by notice of a meeting to vote upon a proposition to “dissolve." --Id.
CONSENT OF OWNER: Lands taxed within three years for building a schoolhouse, not to be set off into another district without the consent of the owner.Coulter v. Inspectors, 59/391.
CONSOLIDATION: The right of inspectors to consolidate districts depends upon the consent of majority of resident taxpayers. Where a school district
de facto formed by consolidation of other districts has been in existence two years or more the court will not set aside action of board.—Howell v. Shannon, 180/556.
POWER OF LEGISLATURE: The legislature may change the boundaries of district.-Att'y Gen. ex. rel. Kies v. Lowery, 131/639.
(35) § 5657. SEC. 10. The township board shall attach to a school district contiguous territory in the township and not in any organized district.
(36) § 5658. Sec. 11. In all cases where an alteration of the boundaries of a school district shall be made, the township clerk shall, within ten days, deliver to the director of each district affected by the alteration a notice in writing, setting forth the action of the township board and defining the alterations that have been made.
Notice to director of district affected by alteration,
DIVISION OF PROPERTY.
(37) § 5659. Sec. 12. When a new district is formed in whole or in part from one or more districts possessed of a schoolhouse or entitled to other property, the township board at the time of forming such new district, or as soon thereafter as may be, shall ascertain and determine the amount justly due to such new district from any district out of which it may have been in whole or in part formed, as the proportion of such new district, of the value of the schoolhouse and other property belonging to the former district, at the time of such division; and whenever by the division of any district, the schoolhouse or site thereof shall no longer be conveniently located for school purposes and shall not be desired for use by the new district in which it may be situated, the township board of the township in which such schoolhouse and site shall be located may advertise and sell the same, and apportion the proceeds of such sale and also any moneys belonging to the district thus divided among the several districts erected in whole or in part from the divided district.
Saginaw Twp. v. Sch. Dist., 9/541; People v. Ryan, 19/203; Ramsey V. Everett
NEW DISTRICT: See Pine Sch. Dist. v. Wilcox, 48/404, and section 117 as to appeals. Bill to prevent the consummation of a void apportionment.-Sch. Dist. v. Sch. Dist., 63/58. Bill to restrain the sale of the schoolhouse.—Briggs v. Borden, 71787. Upon the formation of a new district by the union of two or more, the new district succeeds to the credits and property and is liable for the debts of the old ones.—Brewer v. Palmer, 13/104; Halbert v. Districts, 36/421.
(38) § 5660. Sec. 13. Such proportion shall be ascertained and determined according to the value of the taxable property of the respective parts of such former district at the time of the division, by the best evidence in the power of the township board; and such amount of any debt due from the former district, which would have been a charge upon the new had it remained in the former district, shall be deducted from such proportion: Provided, That no real estate thus set off, and which shall not have been taxed for the purchase or building of such schoolhouse, shall be entitled to any portion thereof nor be taken into account in such division of district property.
DEBTS OF OLD DISTRICTS: Where the territory of a school district is absorbed by other districts, the statute contemplates that the township board
Proportion, how ascertained.