Agnew v. Culver City

Citation51 Cal.2d 474,334 P.2d 571
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Decision Date02 February 1959
PartiesR. W. AGNEW, Respondent, v. CULVER CITY et al., Appellants. L. A. 25283.

M. Tellefson, City Atty., Culver City, for appellants.

R. W. Agnew, in pro. per.

McCOMB, Justice.

This cause was transferred to this court after decision by the District Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three. Upon further examination of the record, we adopt the opinion of that court prepared by Mr. Justice Vall ee, with such omissions as hereinafter appear, as and for the decision of this court. As modified, it reads:

'Plaintiff brought this suit for declaratory relief to determine the validity of certain ordinances of defendant city. The cause was tried and judgment rendered that Ordinance 49 of Culver City, as amended by Ordinance 250, is invalid and unenforceable against plaintiff insofar as it provides for the enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance by criminal process. On appeal the judgment, to the extent that it adjudged that Ordinance 49, as amended by Ordinance 250, was invalid and unenforceable against plaintiff insofar as it provided for the enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance by criminal process, was affirmed. In other respects the judgment was reversed with directions to the superior court to amend its findings of fact and conclusions of law. (Agnew v. City of Culver City, 147 Cal.App.2d 144 (304 P.2d 788).)

'The superior court amended its findings of fact pursuant to the directions; and rendered judgment that 'plaintiff, as a duly State-licensed electrical contractor, is entitled to contract anywhere in the State to do electrical work authorized by said General State License, without applying for or obtaining any license or permit from any municipality, except such licenses or permits as may be required by public agencies with respect to the quality, safety and character of electrical installations, and except such other licenses as may be required by public agencies requiring payment of license fees for revenue purposes only, under duly and legally adopted Ordinances enforceable by civil process only, which tax may, however, be increased by way of penalty of a percentage thereof for failure to pay the same as required by said Ordinances'; and 'That Ordinance No. CS-49, as amended by Ordinance No. CS-250, is invalid and unenforceable against plaintiff insofar as it provides for the enforcement of the provisions of said Ordinance by criminal process.'

'Defendants appeal from the part of the judgment reading, 'except such other licenses as may be required by public agencies requiring payment of license fees for revenue purposes only, under duly and legally adopted Ordinances enforceable by civil process only,' and 'That Ordinance No. CS-49, as amended by Ordinance No. CS-250, is invalid and unenforceable against plaintiff insofar as it provides for the enforcement of the provisions of said Ordinance by criminal process.'

'The contentions are that the penal provisions of a business license ordinance, and particularly Ordinance 49 as amended by Ordinance 250, are not invalid and do not invalidate the ordinance in imposing an additional burden on plaintiff in carrying on his work as a licensed contractor; and that the penal provisions of a business license ordinance, and particularly Ordinance 49 as amended by Ordinance 250, do not invalidate the ordinance as requiring imprisonment for a debt in violation of section 15, article I, of the Constitution.

'Plaintiff is an electrical contractor licensed by the Contractors' State License Board under section 7000 et seq. of the Business and Professions Code. He applied to the proper official for a permit authorizing him to do electrical work within Culver City at a designated address. He was informed it would be necessary for him to pay a license fee of $100 under Ordinance 49 and to obtain from the business license collector a business license to do work as an electrical contractor in the city. Plaintiff refused to pay the fee and to obtain the license on the ground his state license as an electrical contractor authorized him to do work as such in Culver City without conforming to any local ordinances requiring a license or the payment of a fee.

'Ordinance 49, as amended by Ordinance 250, makes it unlawful for any person to commence or carry on any business specified in the ordinance wtihout first having paid the required license fee and having procured a license certificate so to do from the city and without...

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10 cases
  • Weekes v. City of Oakland
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 17 Diciembre 1976
    ...... (Stats.1965, ch. 1319, § 1, p. 3206.) . 9 The opinion states: 'Petitioner contends, however, citing Agnew v. City of Los Angeles, 51 Cal.2d 1, 330 P.2d 385, Agnew v. City of Culver City, 51 Cal.2d 474, 334 P.2d 571, and Agnew v. City of Culver City, 147 ......
  • The Pines v. City of Santa Monica
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 16 Julio 1981
    ...(1952) 114 Cal.App.2d 115, 249 P.2d 856, Agnew v. City of Los Angeles (1958) 51 Cal.2d 1, 330 P.2d 385, and Agnew v. City of Culver City (1959) 51 Cal.2d 474, 334 P.2d 571 invalidated ordinances requiring additional licenses for state-licensed contractors doing business in those cities. As ......
  • Agnew v. City of Los Angeles
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 5 Abril 1961
    ...at page 846): 'Petitioner contends, however, citing Agnew v. City of Los Angeles, 51 Cal.2d 1, 330 P.2d 385, Agnew v. City of Culver City, 51 Cal.2d 474, 334 P.2d 571, and Agnew v. City of Culver City, 147 Cal.App.2d 144, 304 P.2d 788, that city business taxes may not be enforced against pe......
  • Arnke v. City of Berkeley
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 1 Noviembre 1960
    ...by criminal process. Appellant relies upon the cases of Agnew v. City of Los Angeles, 51 Cal.2d 1, 330 P.2d 385, Agnew v. City of Culver City, 51 Cal.2d 474, 334 P.2d 571, and Agnew v. City of Culver City, 147 Cal.App.2d 144, 304 P.2d 788, as standing for the proposition that city business ......
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