This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
The legislature may ratify and validate any obligation of a public corporation which it had power to authorize in advance.1 Thus debts in excess of the statutory limit may be made valid by subsequent legislation.2 Thus the legislature may authorize a vote to be taken to validate debts incurred in excess of the limit of indebtedness under a constitutional provision making void debts in excess of the limit unless pursuant to a vote.3 So a statute may require a county to repay the amount received from the sale of bonds, invalid because their proceeds were to be devoted to a state armory, though most of the proceeds have been expended on such armory.4 So the legislature may validate a debt incurred when the legislature had power to authorize it, though the statute is not passed till after a new constitutional provision is adopted, limiting debts so as to make the amount unlawful.5 So Congress may validate a bond of a territory.6 Such a curative act makes bonds valid, even if after the passage of such act a judgment is rendered in a suit instituted before such act was passed adjudging such bonds invalid.7 Such curative acts must be complied with strictly. A statute making valid bonds issued in compliance with a certain ordinance does not make valid any bonds not so issued.8
9 Root v. Topeka, 63 Kan. 129; 65 Pac. 233.
10 McCracken v. San Francisco, 16 Cal. 591; Durango v. Pennington, 8 Colo. 257; 7 Pac. 14.
11 Devers v. Howard, 88 Mo. App. 253.
1 Steele Co. v. Erskine, 98 Fed. 215; 39 C. C. A. 173; (affirming, 87 Fed. 630) ; Yavapai Co. v. McCord, - Ariz. - ; 59 Pac. 99; Schneck v. Jeffersonville, 152 Ind. 204; 52 N. E. 212; Board, etc., of Linn Co. v. Snyder, 45 Kan. 636; 23 Am. St. Rep. 742; 26 Pac. 21; Erskine v. Nelson Co., 4 N. D. 66; 27 L. R. A. 696; 58 N. W. 348; Mill Creek, etc., Ry. Co. v. Carthage, 18 Ohio C. C.
216; Coleman v. Broad River Township, 50 S. C. 321; 27 S. E. 774; Bell v. R. R. Co., 91 Va. 99; 20 S. E. 942; State v. Winter, 15 Wash. 407; 46 Pac. 644. Contra, Choisser v. People, 140 111. 21; 29 N. E. 546; Post v. Pulaski Co., 49 Fed. 628; 9 U. S.App. 1; affirming, 47 Fed. 282.
2 Erskine v. Nelson Co., 4 N. D. 66; 27 L. R. A. 696; 58 N. W. 348; Darke v. Salt Lake Co., 15 Utah 467; 49 Pac. 257.
3 West v. Chehalis, 12 Wash. 369; 50 Am. St. Rep. 896; 41 Pac. 171.
4 New York, etc., Co. v. Board, etc., 106 Fed. 123; 45 C. C. A. 233.
5 Schneck v. Jeffersonville. 152 Ind. 204; 52 N. E. 212; (distinguishing Sykes v. Columbus, 55 Miss. 115.
6 Utter v. Franklin. 172 U. S. 416. 7 Middleton v. St. Augustine, 42
Fla. 287; 29 So. 421.
8 Lehman v. San Diego, 83 Fed. 669; 27 C. C. A. 668; (where the denomination of the bonds was not fixed in accordance with the ordinance).