8 Cal.2d 624, 15724, Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. Johnson

Docket Nº:15724
Citation:8 Cal.2d 624, 67 P.2d 675
Opinion Judge:[9] Curtis
Party Name:Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. Johnson
Attorney:[7] Raymond Benjamin and Hartley F. Peart for Appellant. [8] U. S. Webb, Attorney-General, Neil Cunningham, Deputy Attorney-General, and James J. Arditto for Respondent.
Case Date:April 26, 1937
Court:Supreme Court of California

Page 624

8 Cal.2d 624

67 P.2d 675

CONNECTICUT GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY (a Corporation), Appellant,

v.

CHARLES G. JOHNSON, as State Treasurer, etc., Respondent.

CONNECTICUT GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY (a Corporation), Appellant,

v.

CHARLES G. JOHNSON, as State Treasurer, etc., Respondent.

S. F. No. 15724., S. F. No. 15725.

Supreme Court of California

April 26, 1937

In Bank.

Page 625

COUNSEL

Raymond Benjamin and Hartley F. Peart for Appellant. U.S. Webb, Attorney-General, Neil Cunningham, Deputy Attorney-General, and James J. Arditto for Respondent

OPINION

CURTIS, J.

These two actions, while appealed separately, have been argued together, and as they present the same identical question, they may and will be considered in one opinion. The only difference in the two actions, is that in action S. F. No. 15724, the plaintiff seeks to recover taxes paid for the calendar year 1930, while in action S. F. No. 15725 recovery is sought for the year 1931. These actions differ in no material respect from the two actons bearing the same title and reported in 3 Cal.2d 83 [43 P.2d 278], except as to the years during which the taxes involved accrued. In our decision in those actions we held that the taxes paid by plaintiff which it sought to recover in those actions, were legally levied and collected and the plaintiff was not entitled to recover any portion of the taxes so paid by it. As to all the questions involved in those appeals which were discussed and decided therein, we adhere to the conclusions reached by us in that decision.

The present actions were pending at the time the former cases were decided. On the going down of the remittitur in the [67 P.2d 676] former appeals, the plaintiff amended its complaints in the two instant actions by expressly pleading the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and alleging that the assessment and levy of a tax against plaintiff

Page 626

on the basis of its reinsurance business transacted during the two years covered by the complaints in these actions violated the provisions of this section of the federal Constitution.

There are set forth in said amended complaints, three grounds upon which the plaintiff relies in support of its contention that the assessment and levy of said tax against it violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. These grounds are now relied upon by the plaintiff in support of its appeals herein.

It is first contended that the state board of equalization in computing the tax upon the reinsurance business of plaintiff levied a tax on account of business not done in the state of California and on contracts executed wholly and performed entirely without this state. This contention was the basis of the plaintiff's argument upon the former appeals, and it was decided adversely to plaintiff. We see no good reason for restating our position upon this question as our former decision fully answers the present contention of plaintiff.

It is next contended that the computation of said tax upon the basis of reinsurance done by plaintiff is violative of said constitutional section, and is the taking of plaintiff's property without due process of law in that said tax is levied against plaintiff on account of a transaction and privilege not granted to plaintiff by the state of California and not exercised by the plaintiff within this state. Plaintiff alleges that the plaintiff during the years for which said tax was levied held a legal and valid certificate of authority issued by the officials of this state authorizing it to do and transact the business of life and accident and health insurance within this state. It further alleges that neither of these certificates of authority authorized plaintiff to transact in California any other type of insurance except the three types above mentioned, all of which are recognized as types of insurance under section 594 of the Political Code of the state of California.

This section of the code was amended in 1933, and in 1935 the Insurance Code was adopted, which superseded section 594 of the Political Code classifying insurance business. As these amendments were subsequent to the years during which the taxes herein involved accrued, the present actions are governed by the provisions of section 594 of the Political

Page 627

Code prior to its amendment in 1933. Neither the amendment of 1933 nor the provisions of the Insurance Code change the law in any material respect, in so far as it applies to any point raised in these actions, from what it was prior to the year 1933. Section 594 of the Political Code provides for some twenty different classes of insurance for which certificates of authority may be issued in this state. No mention is made of reinsurance in said section as a separate class of insurance which may...

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