152 N.W. 1053 (Mich. 1915), 190, People v. Gibbs

CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Writing for the CourtSTEERE, J.
JudgeArgued before BROOKE, C.J., and McALVAY, KUHN, MOORE, STONE, OSTRANDER, BIRD, and STEERE, JJ.
Citation152 N.W. 1053,186 Mich. 127
Docket Number190.
Date07 June 1915
PartiesPEOPLE v. GIBBS.

Page 1053

152 N.W. 1053 (Mich. 1915)

186 Mich. 127

PEOPLE

v.

GIBBS.

No. 190.

Supreme Court of Michigan

June 7, 1915

Certiorari to Recorder's Court of Detroit; William F. Connolly, Judge.

Lipman A. Gibbs was convicted of violating a city ordinance, and he brings certiorari to review the judgment. Reversed.

Argued before BROOKE, C.J., and McALVAY, KUHN, MOORE, STONE, OSTRANDER, BIRD, and STEERE, JJ.

[186 Mich. 128] Doyle & Cameron, of Detroit, for appellant.

William E. Tarsney, of Detroit (Richard I. Lawson, of Detroit, of counsel), for the People.

STEERE, J.

Defendant seeks here by certiorari to review and reverse on constitutional grounds a judgment rendered in the recorder's court of the city of Detroit convicting him of violating an ordinance of said city entitled 'An ordinance to license and regulate auctioneers and auctions held within the city of Detroit.' The particular provision of said ordinance, under which he was convicted (section 12a) so far as directly material here, reads thus:

[186 Mich. 129] 'No such person doing business as a duly licensed auctioneer shall operate a public auction room, or sell goods at public auction, within the meaning of this ordinance, except on week days between the hours of 8 a. m. and 6 p. m. Any person convicted of a violation of the provisions of this section shall be fined,' etc., with resulting imprisonment in case of failure to pay said fine.

Section 12 of said ordinance, with which appellant contends section 12a should be construed, is as follows:

'Sec. 12. Noises Prohibited. No bellman or crier, nor any drum or fife, or other instrument of music, nor any show signal or means of attracting the attention of the public, other than a sign or flag, shall be employed, or suffered or permitted to be used in connection with any auction sale at or near any place of such sale, or at or near any auction room.'

The objections urged and argued against said conviction as set out in appellant's brief, are as follows:

'(1) The court erred in refusing to rule that the power of the common council of the city of Detroit granted by the charter to license and regulate auctioneers is not sufficient authority to authorize the common council to prohibit auction sales entirely between the hours of 8 o'clock a. m. and 6 o'clock p. m.

'(2) The court erred in refusing to rule that section 12a of the ordinance in question when construed with section 12 thereof and other sections of said ordinance discloses great want of reasonableness and hence is invalid.

'(3) The court erred in refusing to rule that section 12a of the ordinance apart from its connection with section 12 is clearly unreasonable, unfair and partial in its operation, and hence invalid. It cannot be by its terms sustained as a legitimate exercise of the police power.

'(4) The court erred in refusing to rule that this ordinance is in violation of the Constitution of the United States and of this state.'

[186 Mich. 130] We do not understand any serious question is or can be raised as to the general power of the city under its charter to enact an ordinance to license and regulate auctioneers and auctions held within its limits, and therein prescribe such regulations as are necessary and appropriate in that connection to eliminate fraud, and protect the public from annoyance and imposition.

Page 1054

Divested of auxiliary elaborations, the substance of defendant's grievance is that the provision of the ordinance prohibiting auction sales in the evening after 6 o'clock during customary evening business hours, is unreasonable and invalid, and is beyond the city's power of regulation, which is limited to protection of public safety, health, and welfare, to which objects this prohibition has no real and substantial relation.

The facts in this record are few and concise, briefly establishing without dispute that defendant was a duly licensed auctioneer, and, on February 14, 1914, the same being a week day, did business as an auctioneer and sold goods at public auction after 6 p. m. at 51 Monroe avenue in said city.

This does not purport to be an ordinance for revenue or to prohibit, but one within the police power, enacted to license, regulate, and control for the public welfare a calling or occupation of that class recognized as peculiarly requiring surveillance for the reason that when unrestrained their inherent tendency is often towards dishonest and annoying methods, inimical to the quiet, good order and general welfare of a community. When rightly conducted the business of an auctioneer is regarded not only as a legitimate calling, but often as a useful and important line of vending in the sum total of business activities. The question therefore arises: Does this provision of the ordinance pass the limit of the power of reasonable regulation?

[186 Mich. 131] In reviewing section 12a, which gives rise to the question, it is proper not only to take into consideration section 12, as urged by counsel for appellant, but also the entire ordinance and any fact or matter disclosed by the record which may throw light upon the contention. This ordinance, considered as a whole as originally enacted, is an unusually comprehensive, well worded, logically arranged, and readily understood piece of municipal legislation, keeping well within the scope of its title and the legislative power of the enacting body. It is confined and devoted strictly to the one general object and purpose of authorizing and regulating the business of auctioneering, and to that end licensing certain qualified persons to conduct auction sales, with the well known and generally understood evils attending such business when unrestrained, enumerated, and prohibited. It provides for licensing, as auctioneers, persons of good character, who must pay a stated license fee and give a bond in the sum of $1,000 to faithfully observe all provisions of applicable ordinances, with two freehold sureties, or a surety company, to be approved by the mayor, and imposes proper punishment for engaging in the business without a license. Among its salient restrictions are the following: The purchaser of jewelry of specified kinds at any auction held by a licensed auctioneer may within five days from the date of the sale return the same if not of the quality represented, when, upon demand, the auctioneer must return the purchase price of the article so purchased, he and his bondsmen being liable therefor; in case of...

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43 practice notes
  • 98 N.W.2d 753 (Mich. 1959), 508, Lockwood v. Nims
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • October 22, 1959
    ...in Bacon. Such reasoning is fully consistent with the which defendants' counsel themselves point out (by quotation from People v. Gibbs, 186 Mich. 127, 135, 152 N.W. 1053, 'Bad motives might inspire a law which appeared on its face and proved valid and beneficial, while a bad and invalid la......
  • 471 N.W.2d 321 (Mich. 1991), 87631, Square Lake Hills Condominium Ass'n v. Bloomfield Tp.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 11, 1991
    ...the range of conferred discretionary powers and then determine if it is reasonable. Id. at 437, 86 N.W.2d 166. See also People v. Gibbs, 186 Mich. 127, 133, 152 N.W. 1053 (1915); 1426 Woodward Ave Corp v. Wolff, 312 Mich. 352, 371, 20 N.W.2d 217 (1945); State, Co. & Municipal Employees ......
  • 283 S.W.2d 623 (Mo. 1955), 44557, Hagerman v. City of St. Louis
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 12, 1955
    ...p. m. and 8 a. m. Miller v. Greenville, supra; Webber v. Scottsbluff, 1942, 141 Neb. 363, 3 N.W.2d 635, 638[6-8]; People v. Gibbs, 1915, 186 Mich. 127, 152 N.W. 1053[5], Ann.Cas.1917B, 830, 834; Perry Trading Co. v. Tallahassee, 1937, 128 Fla. 424, 174 So. 854, 111 A.L.R. 463, 466, 470. Pro......
  • 211 P. 1082 (Idaho 1922), Moore v. Village of Ashton
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 29, 1922
    ...as an inferior legislative body. (People v. Gardner, 143 Mich. 104, 106 N.W. 541; Paine v. Boston, 124 Mass. 486; People v. Gibbs, 186 Mich. 127, Ann. Cas. 1917B, 830, 152 N.W. 1053; Ex parte Sumida, 177 Cal. 388, 170 P. 823; 19 R. C. L., sec. 197, p. 898; 28 Cyc. MCCARTHY, J. Dunn and Lee,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
43 cases
  • 98 N.W.2d 753 (Mich. 1959), 508, Lockwood v. Nims
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • October 22, 1959
    ...in Bacon. Such reasoning is fully consistent with the which defendants' counsel themselves point out (by quotation from People v. Gibbs, 186 Mich. 127, 135, 152 N.W. 1053, 'Bad motives might inspire a law which appeared on its face and proved valid and beneficial, while a bad and invalid la......
  • 471 N.W.2d 321 (Mich. 1991), 87631, Square Lake Hills Condominium Ass'n v. Bloomfield Tp.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 11, 1991
    ...the range of conferred discretionary powers and then determine if it is reasonable. Id. at 437, 86 N.W.2d 166. See also People v. Gibbs, 186 Mich. 127, 133, 152 N.W. 1053 (1915); 1426 Woodward Ave Corp v. Wolff, 312 Mich. 352, 371, 20 N.W.2d 217 (1945); State, Co. & Municipal Employees ......
  • 283 S.W.2d 623 (Mo. 1955), 44557, Hagerman v. City of St. Louis
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 12, 1955
    ...p. m. and 8 a. m. Miller v. Greenville, supra; Webber v. Scottsbluff, 1942, 141 Neb. 363, 3 N.W.2d 635, 638[6-8]; People v. Gibbs, 1915, 186 Mich. 127, 152 N.W. 1053[5], Ann.Cas.1917B, 830, 834; Perry Trading Co. v. Tallahassee, 1937, 128 Fla. 424, 174 So. 854, 111 A.L.R. 463, 466, 470. Pro......
  • 211 P. 1082 (Idaho 1922), Moore v. Village of Ashton
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 29, 1922
    ...as an inferior legislative body. (People v. Gardner, 143 Mich. 104, 106 N.W. 541; Paine v. Boston, 124 Mass. 486; People v. Gibbs, 186 Mich. 127, Ann. Cas. 1917B, 830, 152 N.W. 1053; Ex parte Sumida, 177 Cal. 388, 170 P. 823; 19 R. C. L., sec. 197, p. 898; 28 Cyc. MCCARTHY, J. Dunn and Lee,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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