QUASI CORPORATIONS. This term is applied to such bodies or municipal
societies, which, though not vested with the general powers of corporations,
are yet recognized by statutes or immemorial usage, as persons or aggregate
corporations, with precise duties which may be enforced, and privileges
which may be maintained by suits at law. They may be considered quasi
corporations, with limited powers, coextensive with the duties imposed upon
them by statute or usage; but restrained from a general use of the
authority, which belongs to those metaphysical persons by the common law.
2. Among quasi corporations may be ranked towns, townships, parishes, hundreds, and other political divisions of counties, which are established without an express charter of incorporation; commissioners of a county, supervisors of highways, overseers of the poor, loan officers of a county, and the like, who are invested with corporate powers sub modo, and for a few specified purposes only. But not such a body as the general assembly of the Presbyterian church, which has not the capacity to sue and be sued. 4 Whart. 531. See 2 Kent Com. 224; Ang. on Corp. 16; 13 Mass. 192; 18 John. R. 422; 1 Cowen, R. 258, and the note; 2 Wend. R. 109; 7 Mass. R. 187; 2 Pick. R. 352; 9 Mass. Rep. 250; 1 Greenl. R. 363; 2 John. Ch. Rep. 325; 1 Cowen, 680; 4 Wharton, R. 531, 598.