168 S.W.2d 1042 (Mo. 1943), 38256, State ex rel. Arena v. Barrett

Docket Nº:38256
Citation:168 S.W.2d 1042, 350 Mo. 757
Opinion Judge:CLARK
Party Name:State of Missouri ex rel. Joseph Arena and Vincent P. Dimurcurio, Relators, v. Jesse W. Barrett, William E. Buder, Alphonse G. Eberle and A. Sidney Johnston, as the Board of Election Commissioners of the City of St. Louis, Missouri
Attorney:Alroy S. Phillips for relators. Roy McKittrick, Attorney General, and Harry H. Kay, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.
Judge Panel:Clark, J. All concur except Gantt, J., absent.
Case Date:March 01, 1943
Court:Supreme Court of Missouri
 
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Page 1042

168 S.W.2d 1042 (Mo. 1943)

350 Mo. 757

State of Missouri ex rel. Joseph Arena and Vincent P. Dimurcurio, Relators,

v.

Jesse W. Barrett, William E. Buder, Alphonse G. Eberle and A. Sidney Johnston, as the Board of Election Commissioners of the City of St. Louis, Missouri

No. 38256

Supreme Court of Missouri

March 1, 1943

Preliminary rule made permanent (with qualifications).

Alroy S. Phillips for relators.

(1) This court has jurisdiction to prohibit respondents from exceeding their authority. Mo. Const., Art. VI, Sec. 3; Thomas v. Mead, 36 Mo. 232; State ex rel. Bates v. Remmers, 325 Mo. 1175, 33 S.W.2d 609. (2) As citizens, electors and judges of election, relators are proper parties to sue out the writ of prohibition. State ex rel. Drainage Dist. v. Duncan, 334 Mo. 733, 68 S.W.2d 679; State ex rel. Darst v. Wurdeman, 304 Mo. 583; State ex rel. Ponath v. Hamilton, 240 S.W. 445; State ex rel. Feinstein v. Hartman, 231 S.W. 982; State ex rel. Dengel v. Hartman, 339 Mo. 200, 96 S.W.2d 329; State ex rel. Wear v. Francis, 95 Mo. 44; State ex rel. Halliburton v. Roach, 230 Mo. 408. (3) Respondents had no statutory power to open the boxes and recount the ballots, except in case of fraud, misconduct or irregularities in the count or returns. Secs. 11608, 12243, 12248, R. S. 1939. (4) Section 12248, R. S. 1939, is unconstitutional and void because it authorizes respondents to open the boxes and recount the ballots in a case not authorized by the Constitution. Laws 1937, pp. 235, 267-68, sec. 54; Laws 1921, pp. 330, 365-66, R. S. 1929, sec. 10264; R. S. 1939, sec. 12058; Mo. Const., Art. VIII, Secs. 3, 8; Mo. Const., Art. II, Sec. 9; State ex rel. Goldman v. Hiller, 278 S.W. 708; Laws 1921, pp. 329-30; State ex rel. Hollman v. McElhinney, 315 Mo. 731, 286 S.W. 951; Laws 1929, pp. 194-96; R. S. 1929, secs. 10293-97; State ex rel. Dorsey v. Sprague, 326 Mo. 654, 33 S.W.2d 102; State ex rel. Dengel v. Hartman, 339 Mo. 200, 96 S.W.2d 329; State ex rel. Miller v. O'Malley, 342 Mo. 641, 117 S.W.2d 319; Mo. Const., Art. II, Secs. 9, 28; State ex rel. Frank v. Becker, 320 Mo. 1087, 9 S.W.2d 153; Mo. Const., Art. II, Sec. 30; Mo. Const., Art. IV, Sec. 46. (5) The General Assembly had no power to re-enact a statute previously held unconstitutional in toto by this court. Laws 1921, pp. 330, 365-66, Art. XVI, Sec. 61; Sec. 12248, R. S. 1939; State ex rel. Goldman v. Hiller, 278 S.W. 708; Mo. Const., Art. III; Mo. Const., Art. VI, Sec. 1; State ex rel. Mo. & North Arkansas R. Co. v. Johnston, 234 Mo. 338; 12 C. J. 775, 800-801; 16 C. J. S. 288; Lynch v. Murphy, 119 Mo. 163. (6) The absolute writ of prohibition should issue because respondents still have duties to perform and the questions involved are of great public importance. 50 C. J. 711; R. S. 1939, secs. 12248-49; State ex rel. Broadhead v. Berg, 76 Mo. 136; State ex rel. Reyburn v. Ringo, 42 Mo.App. 115; State ex rel. Steadley v. Stuckey, 78 Mo.App. 533; State ex rel. Averill v. Baird, 217 Mo.App. 362; State ex rel. Campbell v. St. Louis Court of Appeals, 97 Mo. 276; State ex rel. Rogers v. Rombauer, 105 Mo. 103; St. Louis, etc., Railroad Co. v. Wear, 135 Mo. 230; State ex rel. Jones v. Wurdeman, 309 Mo. 408; State ex rel. Pickett v. Truman, 333 Mo. 1018, 64 S.W.2d 105.

Roy McKittrick, Attorney General, and Harry H. Kay, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.

(1) Writ of prohibition is a discretionary writ and should not be issued unless it appears that the law sanctions it and sound judicial discretion commends it. State ex rel. v. Sevier, 345 Mo. 274, 132 S.W.2d 961; State ex rel. v. Henson, 217 S.W. 17. (2) Writ of prohibition is preventive and not corrective and should not be issued where no useful purpose will be served by it. State ex rel. v. Burney, 324 Mo. 363, 23 S.W.2d 117; Wyers v. Arnold, 347 Mo. 413, 147 S.W.2d 644; Sec. 3, Art. VIII...

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