135 U.S. 100 (1890), Leisy v. Hardin

Citation:135 U.S. 100, 10 S.Ct. 681, 34 L.Ed. 128
Party Name:LEISY et al. v. HARDIN. [1]
Case Date:April 28, 1890
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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135 U.S. 100 (1890)

10 S.Ct. 681, 34 L.Ed. 128

LEISY et al.

v.

HARDIN. 1

United States Supreme Court.

April 28, 1890

In error to the supreme court of the state of Iowa.

[10 S.Ct. 681] Christiana Leisy, Edward Leisy, Lena and Albert Leisy, composing the firm of Gus. Leisy & Co., citizens of Illinois, brought their action of replevin against A. J. Hardin, the duly elected and qualified marshal of the city of Keokuk, Iowa, and ex officio constable of Jackson township, Lee county, Iowa, in the superior court of Keokuk, in said county, to recover 122 one-quarter barrels of beer, 171 one-eighth barrels of beer, and 11 sealed cases of beer, which had been seized by him in a proceeding on behalf of the state of Iowa against said defendants, under certain provisions of the Code of the state of Iowa; and upon issue joined, a jury having been duly waived by the parties, the case was submitted to the court for trial, and, having been tried, the court, after having taken the case under advisement, finally 'rendered and filed in said cause its findings of fact and conclusions of law in words and figures following, to-wit:

'(1) That plaintiffs, Gus. Leisy & Co., are a firm of that name and style, residing in the state of Illinois, with principal place of business at Peoria, Ill.; that said firm is composed wholly of citizens of Illinois; that said firm is engaged as

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brewers in the manufacture of beer in the said city of Peoria, Ill., selling same in the states of Illinois and Iowa.

'(2) That the property in question, to-wit, 122 one-quarter barrels of beer, of the value of $300, 171 one-eighth barrels of beer, value $215, and 11 sealed cases of beer, value of $25, was all manufactured by said Leisy & Co. in the city of Peoria, Ill., and put up in said kegs and cases by the manufacturers, viz., Gus. Leisy & Co., at Peoria, Ill.; that each of said kegs was sealed and had placed upon it, over the plug in the opening of each keg, a United States internal revenue stamp of the district in which Peoria is situated; that said cases were substantially made of wood, each one of them containing 24 quart bottles of beer, each bottle of beer corked, and the cork fastened in with a metallic cap, sealed and covered with tin foil, and each case was sealed with a metallic seal; that said beer in all of said kegs and cases was manufactured and put up into said kegs and cases as aforesaid by the manufacturers, to-wit, Gus. Leisy & Co., plaintiffs in this suit, and to open said cases the metallic seals had to be broken.

'(3) That the property herein described was transported by said Gus. Leisy & Co. from Peoria, Ill., by means of railways, to Keokuk, Iowa, in said sealed kegs and cases, as same was manufactured and put up by them in the city of Peoria, Ill.

'(4) That said property was sold and offered for sale in Keokuk, Iowa, by John Leisy, a resident of Keokuk, Iowa, who is agent for said Gus. Leisy & Co.; that the only sales and offers to sell of said beer was in the original keg and sealed case as manufactured and put up by said Gus. Leisy & Co., and imported by them into the state of Iowa; that no kegs or cases sold or offered for sale were broken or opened on the premises; that as soon as same was purchased it was removed from the premises occupied by Gus. Leisy & Co., which said premises are owned by Christiana Leisy, a member of the firm of Gus. Leisy & Co., residing in and being a citizen of Peoria, Ill.; that none of such sales or offers to sell were made to minors or persons in the habit of becoming intoxicated.

'(5) That on the 30th day of June, 1888, the defendant, as

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constable of Jackson township, Lee county, Iowa, by virtue of a search-warrant issued by J. G. Garrettson, an acting justice of the peace of said Jackson township, upon an information filed charging that in premises occupied by said John Leisy there were certain intoxicating liquors, etc., seized the property therein described, and took same into his custody.

'(6) And the court finds that said intoxicating liquors thus seized by the defendant in his official capacity as constable were kept for sale in the premises described in the search-warrant in Keokuk, Lee county, Iowa, and occupied by Gus. Leisy & Co. for the purpose of being sold, in violation of the provisions of the laws of Iowa, but which laws, the court holds, are unconstitutional and void, as herein stated.

'(7) That on the 2d day of July, 1888, plaintiffs filed in this court their petition, alleging, among other things, that they were the owners and entitled to the possession of said property, and that the law under which said warrant was issued was unconstitutional and void, being in violation of section 8 of article 1 of the constitution of the United States, and having filed a proper bond a writ of replevin issued, and the possession of said property was given to plaintiffs.

[10 S.Ct. 682] 'From the foregoing facts the court finds the following conclusions: That plaintiffs are the sole and unqualified owners of said property, and entitled to the possession of same, and judgment for $1.00 damages for their detention, and costs of suit; that so much of chapter 6, tit. 11, Code 1873, and the amendments thereto, as prohibits such sales by plaintiffs as were made by plaintiffs, is unconstitutional, being in contravention of section 8 of article 1 of the constitution of the United States; that said law has been held unconstitutional in a like case heretofore tried and determined by this court, involving the same question, in the case of Collins v. Hills, decided prior to the commencement of this suit, and prior to the seizure of said property by defendant; to all of which the defendant at the time excepted.'

Judgment was thereupon rendered as follows: 'This cause coming on for hearing, plaintiffs appearing by

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Anderson & Davis, their attorneys, and the defendant by H. Scott Howell & Son and Wm. B. Collins, his attorneys, and the cause coming on for final hearing on the pleadings on file and the evidence introduced, the court makes the special finding offacts and law herewith ordered to be made or record, and finds that plaintiffs are the sole and unqualified owners and entitled to possession of the following described personal property, to-wit: 122 one-quarter (1/4) barrels of beer, of the value of $300.00; 171 one-eighth (1/8) barrels of beer, of the value of $215.00; and eleven (11) sealed cases of beer, of the value of $25.00. That, paintiffs being in possession of said property by virtue of a bond heretofore given, said possession in plaintiffs is confirmed. The court further finds that the writ issued by J. G. Garrettson, a justice of the peace, under which defendant held possession of said property and seized same, is void, same having been issued under sections of the law of Iowa that are unconstitutional and void. That plaintiff is entitled to one dollar damages for the wrongful detention of said property. It is therefore ordered and considered by the court that the plaintiffs have and recover of defendant the sum of one dollar damages, and costs of this action, taxed at $-----. To which findings, order, and judgment of court the defendant at the time excepts, and asks until the 31st day of October, 1888, to prepare and file his bill of exceptions, which request is granted, and order hereby made.'

A motion for new trial was made and overruled, and the cause taken to the supreme court of Iowa by appeal, and errors therein assigned as follows: '(1) The court erred in finding that the plaintiffs were the sole and unqualified owners, and were entitled to the possession of the intoxicating liquors seized and held by appellant. (2) In finding that the plaintiffs were entitled to one dollar damages for their detention, and for costs of suit. (3) The court erred in holding that the sales of beer in 'original packages,' by the keg and case, as made by John Leisy, agent of plaintiffs, were lawful. (4) The court erred in tis conclusions and finding that so

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much of the law of the state of Iowa embraced in chapter 6, tit. 11, Code 1873, and the amendments thereto, as prohibits such sales of beer in the state of Iowa, was unconstitutional, being in contravention of section 8, art. 1, of the constitution of the United States. (5) The court erred in rendering a judgment for plaintiffs, and awarding them the intoxicating liquors in question, and damages and costs against defendant. (6) The court erred in overruling the defendant's motion for a new trial.'

The supreme court reversed the judgment of the superior court, and entered judgment against the plaintiffs and their sureties on the relevin bond in the amount of the value of the property, with costs. The judgment thus concluded: 'And it is further certified by this court, and hereby made a part of the record, that in the decision of this suit there is drawn in question the validity of certain statutes of the state of Iowa, namely, chapter 6 of title 11 of the Code of Iowa of 1873 and the amendments thereto, on the ground of their being repugnant to and in contravention of section 8 of article 1 of the constitution of the United States, said appellees, Gus. Leisy & Co., claiming such statutes of the state of Iowa are invalid, and the decision in this cause is in favor of the validity of said statutes of the state of Iowa.' To review this judgment, a writ of error was sued out from this court. The opinion of the supreme court, not yet reported in the official series, will be found in 43 N.W. 188.

The seizure of the beer in question by the constable was made under the provisions of chapter 6, tit. 11, Code 1873, and amendments thereto. Code 1873, p. 279; Laws 1884, c. 8, p. 8; c. 143, p. 146; Laws 1888, c. 71, p. 91; 1 McClain, Ann. Code, §§ 2359-2431, p. 603.

Section 1523 of the Code is as follows: 'No person shall manufacture or sell, by himself,...

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