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 duty of supporting paupers which rests upon public corporations and quasi-corporations is a creature of statute. In passing such statutes the legislature intended to set forth fully and completely the duty and liability of such public organizations. Accordingly in the absence of statutory provision therefor, no recovery can be had from the public corporation which is liable for such support but neglects to furnish it, by any person furnishing such support,1 whether a natural person,2 or another public corporation.3 While many statutes give such right of recovery, either to a private person,4 or to a public corporation,5 such right of action is limited by the terms of the statute giving it, and does not exist unless such terms are complied with.6 Thus where the remedy given by statute is an action for money laid out and expended, this means an action in assumpsit, not in case, and a pleading will be construed to be in assumpsit if it states facts sufficient to show such liability, even if no ex-press promise is alleged.7 Where a town is given a right to recover for support which it furnishes, no recovery can be had for support furnished through the voluntary subscription of private individuals.8 In some few states, however, it seems to be held that a statute providing that a pauper is to be supported at the expense of a public corporation, imposes a liability on such corporation in favor of persons furnishing necessaries to a pauper at least after the public corporation has notice of the needs of such pauper and thereafter omits to furnish such necessaries.9
8 Rowe V. Raper, 23 Ind. App. 27; 77 Am. St. Rep. 411; 54 N. E. 770.
9 Murphy v. Ottenheimer, 84 111. 39; 25 Am. Rep. 424; Holt v. Baldwin, 46 Mo. 265; 2 Am. Rep. 515; Freeman v. Robinson, 38 N. J. L. 383; 20 Am. Rep. 399; Jackson v. Mull, 6 Wyom. 55; 42 Pac. 603.
10 White v. Mann, 110 Ind. 74; 10 N. E. 629; Blachley v. Laba, 63 la. 22; 50 Am. Rep. 724; 18 N. W. 658.
11Fairchild v. Bell. 2 Brev. (S. C.) 129; 3 Am. Dee. 702.
1Gilligan v. Grattan, 63 Neb.
242; 88 N. W. 477; Patrick v. Bald-win, 109 Wis. 342; 53 L. R. A. 613; 85 N. W. 274; overruling in effect Mappes v. Iowa County, 47 Wis. 31; 1 N. W. 359.
2 Morgan County v. Seaton, 122 Ind. 521; 24 N. E. 213; O'Keefe v. Northampton, 145 Mass. 115; 13 N. E. 382; Caswell v. Hazard, 10 R. I. 490; Macoon v. Berlin, 49 Vt. 13; Patrick v. Baldwin, 109 Wis. 342; 53 L. R. A. 613; 85 N. W. 274; overruling in effect Mappes v. Iowa County, 47 Wis. 31; 1 N. W. 359.