200 N.E. 507 (Ohio 1936), 25486, Cleveland v. Ruple

Docket Nº25486
Citation200 N.E. 507, 130 Ohio St. 465
Opinion JudgeWILLIAMS, J.
Party NameCity Of Cleveland Et Al. v. Ruple.
AttorneyMr. Ezra Z. Shapiro and Mr. Alfred Clum, directors [130 Ohio St. 469] of law; Mr. Gordon C. Locke and Mr. Alfred Lawrence, for plaintiffs in error. Messrs. Horwitz, Kiefer, Gates & Harmel, for defendant in error.
Case DateFebruary 26, 1936
CourtSupreme Court of Ohio

Page 507

200 N.E. 507 (Ohio 1936)

130 Ohio St. 465

City Of Cleveland Et Al.



No. 25486

Supreme Court of Ohio

February 26, 1936

Municipal corporations - Local self-government and public utilities - Engaging in purely private, competitive business, not conferred - Power to tax limited to public purposes - Municipal exhibition hall cannot be operated as private garage, when - Exhibition hall may be used for public and incidental purposes - Parking and storage by municipal officers and employees, permissible - Municipal motor vehicles may be parked, stored or serviced.

1. The Constitution of Ohio gives to municipalities the right of local self-government, local police power, and the authority to acquire, construct, own, lease and operate any public utility; but neither the Constitution nor the statutes contain language which can be construed as an attempt to confer upon a municipality the privilege of engaging in purely private, competitive business.

2. The right of private property, guaranteed by the state and federal Constitutions, is subject to the governmental power of taxation; but the power to tax can be exercised only to raise money for a purpose public in nature.

3. A public underground exhibition hall, constructed with public funds for holding public exhibitions or to provide space for storage, garage or other public purposes and for all uses incidental thereto, may not lawfully be used by the municipality in carrying on a purely private garage business in competition with other private garage businesses in the vicinity, such use being an undue interference with the constitutional right of private property.

4. Such a public underground exhibition hall may be used by the municipality for all public purposes and all purposes incidental thereto, including the right to afford to patrons of adjacent municipal buildings, to wit, a public stadium and a public hall, parking and storing privileges, and a reasonable charge therefor amy be made.

[130 Ohio St. 466] 5. The municipality has the right to permit its officers and employees to use such underground exhibition hall for parking and storing their automobiles, while performing their duties as officers or employees, on such reasonable terms as the municipality may impose.

6. The municipality may lawfully use such underground exhibition hall for parking storing and servicing its own automobiles, trucks, busses, and other vehicles, such use being public in kind.

Several years ago the city of Cleveland established a civic center, and among the buildings erected therein were a public hall which embraced a large auditorium with seating capacity for many thousands and a hall adapted to use as a theater, a public stadium with a large seating capacity, and a city hall. These three public buildings were part of the same group, and in conjunction therewith and in the same vicinity the county erected a new court house. After these buildings were erected the city of Cleveland made a lease with the county of Cuyahoga in accordance with an ordinance passed September 28, 1931, authorizing the city to enter into an agreement of lease with the Board of County Commissioners of Cuyahoga county for the site of an underground exhibition hall or annex to the public hall. The lease contained the following provisions authorized by municipal legislation: "Whereas, it is mutually desired to construct for public purposes certain underground structures in and underneath the present surface of the ground between the Cuyahoga County Court House and the Cleveland City Hall together with appropriate entrances thereto. * * *

"Said premises shall be used only for the purpose of constructing maintaining and operating below the surface of the ground one or more structures for public purposes, suitable for holding public exhibitions [130 Ohio St. 467] therein, or to provide space for storage, garage or other public purposes, and for all uses incidental thereto. * * *"

From June, 1933, when the underground exhibition hall...

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