65 S.W. 285 (Mo. 1901), State v. Muir
|Citation:||65 S.W. 285, 164 Mo. 610|
|Opinion Judge:||SHERWOOD, P. J.|
|Party Name:||THE STATE v. MUIR, Appellant|
|Attorney:||E. S. Gantt for appellant. Edward C. Crow, Attorney-General, for the State, with whom is R. D. Rodgers.|
|Case Date:||November 12, 1901|
|Court:||Supreme Court of Missouri|
Transferred from St. Louis Court of Appeals.
The courts of this State have always held that a conviction in a municipal court is a bar to the subsequent prosecution by the State for the same offense. State v. Simonds, 3 Mo. 414; State v. Cowan, 29 Mo. 330; State v. Hannah Thornton, 37 Mo. 361; Pilot Grove v. Frank McCormick, 56 Mo.App. 530; State v. Freeman, 56 Mo.App. 579. Prosecutions by a city are not civil cases. They are civil in form only and of a quasi criminal character. State v. Gordon, 60 Mo. 383; In re Miller, 44 Mo.App. 127; Kansas City v. Clark, 68 Mo. 588; Carrollton v. Rhomberg, 78 Mo. 547; St. Louis v. Schoenbusch, 95 Mo. 621. The municipality is the agent of the State and a prosecution by the city is a bar to a prosecution by the State for the same offense. Am. and Eng. Ency. of Law, 958; Lynch v. Commonwealth (Ky.), 35 S.W. 264; 1 Dillon's Mun. Corp. (4 Ed.), secs. 367 and 368; secs. 5835, 5843, R. S. 1899.
A crime is defined by our courts to be "An act committed in violation of the public law -- a law co-extensive with the boundaries of the State which enacts it." Kansas City v. Clark, 68 Mo. 588; Ex parte Holworth, 74 Mo. 395; State v. Gustin, 152 Mo. 108; St. Louis v. Burke, 84 Mo. 204. "A violation of a city ordinance is not a criminal offense within the meaning of the Constitution, and a proceeding by a city to recover a fine for a violation of such ordinances, need not be by indictment or even in the name of the State." Kansas City v. Neal, 122 Mo. 234. These facts being true, then, a prosecution by a city under the city ordinances could not be a conviction for the same offense. The rule is "the former acquittal or conviction must have been the same identical act or crime." 4 Black. Com., p. 336; 1 Chitty, Crim. Law, 452. If a violation of a city ordinance is not a crime within the meaning of the Constitution, or a criminal offense within the meaning of the Constitution, then a conviction under a city ordinance could not be pleaded in bar to a prosecution under the statutes. As a crime is a violation of the public law the term does not include a mere breach of corporate ordinances. 8 Am. and Eng. Ency. of Law (2 Ed.), p. 252; Railroad v. Harris, 12 Colo. 226; Macinnary v. Denver, 17 Colo. 302; Williams v. Augusta, 4 Ga. 513; Naylor v. Galesburg, 56 Ill. 285; Wiggins v. Chicago, 58 Ill. 372; State v. Henchert, 42 La. Ann. 271; Monroe v. Menser, 35 La. Ann. 1193; Cooper v. People, 41 Mich. 403; People v. Jackson, 8 Mich. 110; People v. Maurster County, 26 Mich. 424...
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