58 S.W.2d 979 (Mo. 1933), 32753, Jennings v. City of St. Louis

Docket Nº32753
Citation58 S.W.2d 979, 332 Mo. 173
Opinion JudgeTIPTON
Party NameThomas F. Jennings, Appellant, v. City of St. Louis, a Municipal Corporation; Victor J. Miller, Mayor; Louis Nolte, Comptroller; William G. Buechner, Treasurer
AttorneyCase, Voyles & Stemmler for appellant. Julius T. Muench and Oliver Senti for respondents; B. H. Charles and Carl Trauernicht of counsel.
Judge PanelTipton, J. All concur, except Leedy, J., not sitting.
Case DateFebruary 23, 1933
CourtSupreme Court of Missouri

Page 979

58 S.W.2d 979 (Mo. 1933)

332 Mo. 173

Thomas F. Jennings, Appellant,

v.

City of St. Louis, a Municipal Corporation; Victor J. Miller, Mayor; Louis Nolte, Comptroller; William G. Buechner, Treasurer

No. 32753

Supreme Court of Missouri

February 23, 1933

Appeal from Circuit Court of City of St. Louis; Hon. Robert W. Hall, Judge.

Affirmed.

Case, Voyles & Stemmler for appellant.

(1) The city of St. Louis has no power to incur an indebtedness and issue bonds "for the purpose of providing for the support, maintenance and care of children, and sick, aged or insane, poor persons and paupers, and for poor relief, and of providing and maintaining charitable facilities and services," as such purposes contemplate the use of taxes for the benefit of a special class or special classes and are not "public" purposes within the meaning of Section 3, Article X of the Constitution of Missouri, nor "municipal" purposes within the meaning of Section 11, Article X of the Constitution of Missouri, nor "lawful, public or municipal purposes" within the meaning of Article I, Section 1 of the Charter of the City of St. Louis, or Article XVII, Section 1 of the Charter of St. Louis. The ordinances are, therefore, unconstitutional and void. State ex rel. v. Switzler, 143 Mo. 326; Simmons Medicine Co. v. Ziegenhein, 145 Mo. 368; State ex rel. v. Osawkee Township, 14 Kan. 418; Lowell v. City of Boston, 111 Mass. 454; Feldman v. City Council of Charleston, 23 S.C. 57; William Deering & Co. v. Peterson, 75 Minn. 124, 77 N.W. 570; Lucas County v. State, 75 Oh. St. 114, 78 N.E. 955; Commonwealth ex rel. Kirschler v. Brown, 15 Pa. Dist. 582. (a) Indirect benefits to the general public do not make a purpose a "public" one where the direct benefits accrue to members of a special or particular class. State ex rel. v. Switzler, 143 Mo. 287; Lowell v. Boston, 111 Mass. 461; Feldman v. City Council of Charleston, 23 S.C. 57; Allen v. Inhabitants of Jay, 60 Me. 124. (b) If, among the purposes of the taxation as expressed in the ordinances, there be one or more purposes not definitely public in their nature, then the whole must fail, as the ordinances lay down no rule of apportionment as to the application of the proceeds. State ex rel. v. Osawkee Township, 14 Kan. 420. (2) The powers of the city of St. Louis, granted to it in its Municipal Charter, must be strictly construed, and, if there is a reasonable doubt that the power has been granted, the doubt must be resolved against the city. The purposes of the bonds, as set out in the ordinances, are too broad to come within the authority, express or implied, granted to the city of St. Louis in its Charter. Dillon Mun. Corp. (5 Ed.) sec. 237; McQuillin Mun. Corp. (2 Ed.) sec. 356; State v. Butler, 178 Mo. 272, 77 S.W. 560; Knapp v. Kansas City, 48 Mo.App. 493; State ex rel. v. Orear, 277 Mo. 317, 210 S.W. 392; City of St. Louis v. Bell Tel. Co., 96 Mo. 628, 10 S.W. 197; William Deering & Co. v. Peterson, 75 Minn. 124, 77 N.W. 568.

Julius T. Muench and Oliver Senti for respondents; B. H. Charles and Carl Trauernicht of counsel.

(1) The expenditure of public funds for poor relief is for a public purpose. Cooley on Taxation (4 Ed.) sec. 215, p. 452; 2 Cooley's Const. Lim. (8 Ed.) p. 1030; State ex rel. v. Nelson County, 1 N.D. 98, 8 L. R. A. 287. (2) It is a positive governmental duty to care for the poor. Rummers v. Evans (Wash.), 13 P.2d 26; State ex rel. v. Braden (Ohio), 181 N.E. 138; City and County of San Francisco v. Collins (Cal.), 13 P.2d 912; State ex rel. v. Industrial Commission (Wis.), 242 N.W. 321; Commonwealth v. Liveright (Pa.), 161 A. 697. (3) Poor relief is recognized by the Missouri statutes as a public purpose and a governmental duty; because (a) Counties are authorized to spend money in support of the poor. R. S. 1929, secs. 12950, 12952. (b) A county "pauper fund" is provided for in R. S. 1929, sec. 9986. (c) Poorhouses in R. S. 1929, sec. 12058. (d) Needy mothers in R. S. 1929, sec. 8986. (e) The poor in county hospitals. R. S. 1929, sec. 13942. (f) Poor children in schools for the blind and the deaf. R. S. 1929, sec. 9697. (g) The county court is directed to set aside, out of its annual revenues, a definite fund for support of the poor. R. S. 1929, sec. 12961. (h) A state board of charities and corrections is created by, and functions under, Art. I of Ch. 90, R. S. 1929. (i) And this board is required to supervise public relief to the poor. R. S. 1929, sec. 12930. (4) Poor relief is a municipal purpose. (a) A social welfare board is authorized for cities by R. S. 1929, sec. 12938. (b) Municipal charters confer authority on the municipalities of the State to care for the poor as follows: In cities of the first class (poorhouses), Secs. 6107, 6171, Par. IX, R. S. 1929. Cities of the second class (in language almost identical with that of the St. Louis Charter) in Sec. 6486, par. XXVIII. In cities of the third and fourth classes by Secs. 6807 and 7023, respectively. Cities under special charter are authorized to maintain poorhouses and charitable institutions by Sec. 7330. And even villages are authorized to maintain poorhouses and hospitals under Sec. 7097. (5) The St. Louis Charter confers all of these powers and certain others in addition. Art. I, Sec. 1, Pars. (31) and (32). Incidentally, the language of the Kansas City Charter is similar to that of St. Louis. Kansas City Charter, Art. I, Sec. 1, Pars. (38) and (39). (6) It is primarily a legislative function to determine whether a proposed tax (or bond issue) is or is not for a public purpose; and courts are loath to interpose and declare any tax unlawful, and will only do so in the case of a palpable disregard of the wise...

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16 practice notes
  • 256 S.W.2d 775 (Mo. 1953), 43232, Hickey v. Board of Ed. of City of St. Louis
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 13, 1953
    ...1021; State ex rel. v. Kansas City, 319 Mo. 386, 4 S.W.2d 427; Dysart v. St. Louis, 321 Mo. 514, 11 S.W.2d 1045; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 173, 58 S.W.2d 979; Woodmansee v. Kansas City, 346 Mo. 919, 144 S.W.2d 137; In re Motley v. Callaway County, 347 Mo. 1018, 149 S.W.2d 875. (2) The ......
  • 233 S.W.2d 26 (Mo. 1950), 41719, Bowman v. Kansas City
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 9, 1950
    ...1947, p. 392; McSorley v. Fitzgerald, 359 Pa. 264, 59 A.2d 142; Kansas City v. Liebi, 298 Mo. 569, 252 S.W. 405; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 173, 58 S.W.2d 979; Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann, 345 Mo. 449, 134 S.W.2d 65; Dysart v. St. Louis, 321 Mo. 514, 11 S.W.2d 1045; Halbruegger v. St. Lo......
  • 134 S.W.2d 65 (Mo. 1939), 36925, Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 5, 1939
    ...unless the court is clearly satisfied that error has been committed. Halbruegger v. St. Louis, 262 S.W. 381; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 178. (3) When the Legislature, in a law, makes findings, the courts will presume that such findings are based upon evidence satisfactory to the Legisla......
  • 152 S.W.2d 184 (Mo. 1941), 37397, A. J. Meyer & Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Com'n
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 18, 1941
    ...Sec. 3; State ex rel. Garth v. Switzler, 143 Mo. 287, 45 S.W. 245; Simmons Medicine Co. v. Ziegenhein, 145 Mo. 368; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 173, 58 S.W.2d 979. Harry G. Waltner, Jr., and Edward D. Summers for respondents. (1) The findings of fact of the Commission in any contested be......
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16 cases
  • 256 S.W.2d 775 (Mo. 1953), 43232, Hickey v. Board of Ed. of City of St. Louis
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 13, 1953
    ...1021; State ex rel. v. Kansas City, 319 Mo. 386, 4 S.W.2d 427; Dysart v. St. Louis, 321 Mo. 514, 11 S.W.2d 1045; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 173, 58 S.W.2d 979; Woodmansee v. Kansas City, 346 Mo. 919, 144 S.W.2d 137; In re Motley v. Callaway County, 347 Mo. 1018, 149 S.W.2d 875. (2) The ......
  • 233 S.W.2d 26 (Mo. 1950), 41719, Bowman v. Kansas City
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 9, 1950
    ...1947, p. 392; McSorley v. Fitzgerald, 359 Pa. 264, 59 A.2d 142; Kansas City v. Liebi, 298 Mo. 569, 252 S.W. 405; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 173, 58 S.W.2d 979; Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann, 345 Mo. 449, 134 S.W.2d 65; Dysart v. St. Louis, 321 Mo. 514, 11 S.W.2d 1045; Halbruegger v. St. Lo......
  • 134 S.W.2d 65 (Mo. 1939), 36925, Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 5, 1939
    ...unless the court is clearly satisfied that error has been committed. Halbruegger v. St. Louis, 262 S.W. 381; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 178. (3) When the Legislature, in a law, makes findings, the courts will presume that such findings are based upon evidence satisfactory to the Legisla......
  • 152 S.W.2d 184 (Mo. 1941), 37397, A. J. Meyer & Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Com'n
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 18, 1941
    ...Sec. 3; State ex rel. Garth v. Switzler, 143 Mo. 287, 45 S.W. 245; Simmons Medicine Co. v. Ziegenhein, 145 Mo. 368; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 173, 58 S.W.2d 979. Harry G. Waltner, Jr., and Edward D. Summers for respondents. (1) The findings of fact of the Commission in any contested be......
  • Request a trial to view additional results