Armstrong v. Bd. Civil Service Com., City Newport

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
Writing for the CourtJudge Willis
Citation243 Ky. 415
Decision Date19 April 1932
PartiesArmstrong v. Board of Civil Service Commissioners of City of Newport.

Page 415

243 Ky. 415
Armstrong
v.
Board of Civil Service Commissioners of City of Newport.
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
Decided April 19, 1932.

1. Municipal Corporations. — Evidence must be reasonably sufficient to sustain charges preferred against policeman before Court of Appeals can sustain findings resulting in policeman's discharge (Ky. Stats., sec. 3137 et seq., and sec. 3138-5).

2. Municipal Corporations. — Charges preferred against policeman resulting in his discharge must be definite and of such character as to establish inefficiency, misconduct, insubordination, or violation of law by accused officer (Ky. Stats., sec. 3137 et seq., and sec. 3138-5).

3. Evidence. — In proceedings against policeman charged with perjury, transcript of testimony in police court in another case held competent only to show policeman's testimony (Ky. Stats., sec. 3137 et seq., and sec. 3138-5).

4. Arrest. — Officer must have reasonable grounds to believe that offense is being committed before he is justified in arresting without warrant.

5. Municipal Corporations. — Evidence held insufficient to establish that policeman willfully failed to arrest person committing crime (Ky. Stats., sec. 3137 et seq., and sec. 3138-5).

6. Municipal Corporations. — Evidence in proceedings resulting in dismissal of policeman from service held insufficient to establish that policeman had committed perjury (Ky. Stats., sec. 3137 et seq., and sec. 3138-5).

Appeal from Campbell Circuit Court.

BLAINE McLAUGHLIN for appellant.

ARTHUR J. DALY for appellees.

OPINION OF THE COURT BY JUDGE WILLIS.


Reversing.

John Armstrong was a member of the police department of the city of Newport. Charges were preferred against him by the chief of police, and he was given a trial before the board of civil service commissioners resulting in his dismissal from the service. He prosecuted an appeal to the circuit court, where the action of the board was sustained. The present appeal is from the judgment of the circuit court.

Newport is a city of the second class, and its police force is governed by section 3137 et seq., Ky. Stats., and ordinances pursuant thereto. Policemen may be suspended

Page 416

or dismissed only upon specific charges and after a fair hearing. They are given the right of appeal to the circuit court and then to this court. Section 3138-5, Ky. Stats. It is the practice of this court to repose confidence in the findings of the board of civil service commissioners, and of the circuit court, but the evidence must be reasonably sufficient to sustain the charges preferred. Williams v. City of Newport, 229 Ky. 810, 18 S.W. (2d) 283. The charges must be definite and certain and of such character as to establish inefficiency, misconduct, insubordination, or violation of law on the part of the accused officer. Bregel v. City of Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665. The statute was designed to enable the city to provide an efficient, law-abiding capable, and honest police force, and ample power is given to achieve the ends desired. But at the same time the individual officer is protected against the exercise of arbitrary power and unjust or unauthorized removals from office cannot be upheld. The question before us is whether the evidence in the present case supported the charges. The charges were, first, that the policeman had failed to make an arrest for offenses committed in his presence; and, second, that he had sworn falsely in an examining trial. The specification under the first charge was that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the crime of grand larceny was being committed in his presence, and he...

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5 practice notes
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Williams, No. 36718.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 9, 1940
    ...ex rel. Dewald v. Matia, 125 Ohio St. 487, 181 N.E. 901; Bregel v. Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Armstrong v. Civil Service Commrs., 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W. (2d) 1055; Ridgway v. Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740; Sharp v. Jones, 100 W. Va. 662, 131 S.E. 463. (a) The Missouri Constitution provide......
  • Mason v. Seaton, Mayor
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • December 10, 1946
    ...271 S.W. 665; Barney v. City of Ashland, 220 Ky. 657, 295 S.W. 998, and Armstrong v. Board of Civil Service Com'rs of City of Newport, 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W. 2d 1055. Therefore, if appellant's complaints, which must be accepted as true, do not state facts upon which the Board of Commissioners......
  • City of Glasgow v. Duncan
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • February 7, 1969
    ...of the common council. Evidence must be reasonably sufficient to warrant removal. Armstrong v. Board of Civil Service Commissioners, 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W.2d 1055. The trial court had the opportunity to observe the witnesses and their demeanor while testifying and in the whole case found the ......
  • Hartman v. Board of Ed. of Jefferson County
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • March 10, 1978
    ...and requires charges for demotion or discharge to be very definite and certain. See Armstrong v. Board of Civil Service Commissioners, 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W.2d 1055 (1932); Osborne v. Bullitt County Board of Educ., Ky., 415 S.W.2d 607 We note in 68 Am.Jur.2d, Schools, Section 188, at page 519......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 cases
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Williams, No. 36718.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 9, 1940
    ...ex rel. Dewald v. Matia, 125 Ohio St. 487, 181 N.E. 901; Bregel v. Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Armstrong v. Civil Service Commrs., 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W. (2d) 1055; Ridgway v. Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740; Sharp v. Jones, 100 W. Va. 662, 131 S.E. 463. (a) The Missouri Constitution provide......

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