35 P. 882 (Okla. 1894), Territory v. Clark

Citation:35 P. 882, 2 Okla. 82
Opinion Judge:BIERER, J.
Party Name:TERRITORY ex rel. SAMPSON et al., Board of County Commissioners, v. CLARK, Township Trustee.
Attorney:Harris Houston, for plaintiff.
Case Date:March 02, 1894
Court:Supreme Court of Oklahoma
 
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Page 882

35 P. 882 (Okla. 1894)

2 Okla. 82

TERRITORY ex rel. SAMPSON et al., Board of County Commissioners,

v.

CLARK, Township Trustee.

Supreme Court of Oklahoma

March 2, 1894

Syllabus by the Court.

1. Under the provisions of section 541 of article 21 of chapter 66, p. 852, of the Statutes of Oklahoma of 1893, parties to a question which might be the subject of a civil action may agree upon a case containing the facts of the controversy, and submit the same to any court which would have jurisdiction if an action had been brought, and the court shall render judgment as if an action were pending.

2. In the construction of statutes, it is a cardinal rule that the intention of the legislature must govern.

3. In the construction of statutes, when the intention of the legislature can be gathered from the statute, words may be modified, altered, or supplied to give to the enactment the force and effect which the legislature intended.

4. Also, in such interpretation, the intention of the legislature must be ascertained by a construction of the whole act, or enactment or enactment of the legislature on the same subject.

5. In construing an act the court should, if possible, so interpret all of the provisions of an enactment or enactments of the legislature as to harmonize their various provisions and, so far as possible, to give reasonable effect to all.

6. Construing the seventh subdivision of section 2 of article 1 of chapter 70, p. 1032, of the Statutes of Oklahoma of 1893, which provides that "all breaking, wells or fertilizing upon lands upon which final proof has not been made" shall be exempt from taxation, together with subdivision 15 of section 3 of the same article, which provides that "all other property, real and personal, of any kind not including improvements upon government lands, or lots not deeded," shall be subject to taxation; also, together with subdivision 15 of section 1 of article 2 of the same chapter, which provides that the list of taxable property made by the assessor and assessed to each person shall contain "all other property not specially enumerated in this section by its actual cash value, except such as is specially exempted by section two of this chapter,"--it is held that the legislature intended that all improvements upon government lands, except all breaking, wells, or fertilizing, and also lots not deeded, on lands where final proof and final entry had been made, are subject to taxation.

Original application at the relation of John J. Sampson and others, as board of county commissioners of Logan county, for mandamus to compel A. Z. Clark, trustee and assessor of Spring Creek township, to list for taxation certain property. Granted.

Harris Houston, for plaintiff.

BIERER, J.

This is an agreed case in mandamus, submitted as an original proceeding in this court to determine in a summary manner the legal question involved under the provisions of general section 4419, (section 541, art. 21, c. 66, p. 852, St. Okl. 1893,) which provides: "Sec. 541. Parties to a question, which might be the subject of a civil action, may, without action, agree upon a case containing the facts upon which the controversy depends, and present a submission of the same to any court, which would have jurisdiction if an action had been brought. But it must appear, byaffidavit, that the controversy is real, and the proceedings in good faith to determine the rights of the parties. The court shall thereupon hear and determine the case, and render judgment as if an action were pending." All of the provisions of this section have been fully complied with, and we will determine the question involved the same as if it had been brought before us by an original action in the usual form. The sole question involved in this controversy is as to whether or not improvements upon government lands and lots not deeded, excepting the breaking, wells, and fertilizing upon lands upon which final proof has not been made, are subject to taxation; and this question involves the construction of certain sections of the revenue law of this territory.

The legislature of 1893 passed an act. which took effect March 14, 1893, entitled "An act to provide for the raising and collecting of revenue, and repealing chapter 75 of the Statutes of Oklahoma, entitled 'Revenue'." St. Okl. 1893, p. 1031. The seventh subdivision of section 2 of article 1 of said act (c. 70, p. 1032, St. Okl. 1893) is, with the heading of the section, which must be read to get the meaning thereof, as follows: "Sec. 2. The following classes of property shall be exempt from taxation, and may be omitted from the list herein...

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