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
 
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Page 285

65 S.W. 285 (Mo. 1901)

164 Mo. 610

THE STATE

v.

MUIR, Appellant

Supreme Court of Missouri, Second Division

November 12, 1901

Transferred from St. Louis Court of Appeals.

Affirmed.

E. S. Gantt for appellant.

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.

Edward C. Crow, Attorney-General, for the State, with whom is R. D. Rodgers.

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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