Armstrong v. City of Tampa

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtTHORNAL; TERRELL
Citation106 So.2d 407
Decision Date14 November 1958
PartiesHelen ARMSTRONG, Mary W. McKenzie, Clara Einhorn, Nancy Stroup and Jimmie C. Rozier, Appellants, v. CITY OF TAMPA, Florida, a municipal corporation, and John D. Latture, as Chiefof Police of said City, Appellees.

Page 407

106 So.2d 407
Helen ARMSTRONG, Mary W. McKenzie, Clara Einhorn, Nancy Stroup and Jimmie C. Rozier, Appellants,
v.
CITY OF TAMPA, Florida, a municipal corporation, and John D. Latture, as Chiefof Police of said City, Appellees.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Nov. 14, 1958.

Mabry, Reaves, Carlton, Fields & Ward and J. A. McClain, Jr., Tampa, for appellants.

Ralph A. Marsicano, Neil C. McMullen, William R. McCown and James M. McEwen, Tampa, for appellees.

THORNAL, Justice.

The appellants who were plaintiffs below seek reversal of a final decree sustaining the validity of a city occupational license tax ordinance.

Numerous grounds for reversal are cited. However, we are confronted by a jurisdictional problem which precludes any exploration into the merits of the controversy.

The appellant Armstrong is a salaried employee of Avon Products, Inc., a New York corporation engaged in the manufacture and sale of cosmetics. Mrs. Armstrong resides in Tampa. Her function is to select and train district managers for

Page 408

Avon. The other appellants reside either in Tampa or some other place in Hillsborough County. They engage in the solicitation of orders for Avon Products, Inc. The City of Tampa, pursuant to ordinance, undertook to collect from the appellants a flat sum license tax and a sliding scale tax based upon gross sales. The appellants sought an injunction against enforcement of the ordinance. The contended by their complaint that, as applied to them, the taxing ordinance would be violative of Article I, Section 8, and Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution of the United States, Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and Section 1 of the Declaration of Rights of Florida, F.S.A. By the final decree the Chancellor concluded that the activities of the appellants constituted 'a separable intrastate incident' which would legitimately subject them to the payment of the occupational license taxes. The ordinance was held valid and the complaint was dismissed. Reversal of this decree is now sought.

The notice of appeal was filed May 21, 1958. Our preliminary examination of the record suggested a lack of jurisdiction in this court under Article V, Section 4, Florida Constitution. The parties were requested to file briefs and orally argue the jurisdictional aspects of the matter preliminary to their discussion of the merits. This they have done.

We are compelled to conclude that the record on appeal reveals that it should be considered by the appropriate district court of appeal rather than this court. Since July 1, 1957, when Amended Article V of the Florida Constitution became effective, we have been confronted on numerous occasions with the problem of determining the existence of jurisdiction is view of the limits within which our jurisdiction has been confined by the cited constitutional provision. We continue to proceed through this period of transition with the realization that often times the problem cannot easily be resolved by the members of the Bar who bring the cases to us. Our consideration of these problems is also influenced by the proposition that we should cautiously avoid encroachment upon the jurisdiction of the several courts of appeal. This is prompted by the fact that those courts are in most instances appellate courts of last resort. If we and the Bar fail to take full cognizance of this proposition we run the risk of converting the courts of appeal into mere intermediate steps in the appellate process. This in turn would have the effect of completely destroying the significant improvements in the administration of justice implicit in Amended Article V, supra. Only by scrupulously observing the proper limits of our jurisdiction can we bring about the more effective and expeditious consideration of cases at the appellate level which was a prime objective of Amended Article V.

Appellants ask us to take jurisdiction under that portion of Section 4, Article V, supra, authorizing direct appeals to this court as a matter of right from 'decrees directly passing upon the validity of a state statute * * * or construing a controlling provision of the Florida or federal constitution * * *.' We are referred to the fact that the decree under assault passed directly upon the validity of a municipal ordinance. We are then requested to hold that for purposes of determining our appellate jurisdiction a municipal ordinance is...

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34 practice notes
  • Grand Jury Investigation, In re, Nos. 43644 and 43649
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • December 5, 1973
    ...opinion was duly issued on May 1, 1973, and is reported at 276 So.2d 235. 1 ,273 So.2d 391 (Fla.1973). 2 116 So.2d 632 (Fla.1959). 3 106 So.2d 407 4 206 So.2d 692 (Fla.App.2d 1968). 5 192 So.2d 518 (Fla.App.4th 1966). 6 140 So.2d 601 (Fla.App.2d 1962). 7 In re: Grand Jury Investigation Conc......
  • State ex rel. Dept. of General Services v. Willis, No. DD--104
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 29, 1977
    ...Cf. Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234 (Fla.1974), cert. den., 419 U.S. 851, 95 S.Ct. 93, 42 L.Ed.2d 82 (1974); Armstrong v. City of Tampa, 106 So.2d 407 Neither may it be supposed that, by enacting Chapter 75--191, the legislature preserved from repeal the baffling array of disparate statutes w......
  • Schermerhorn v. Local 1625 of Retail Clerks Intern. Ass'n, AFL-CIO, AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 25, 1962
    ...is whether the ruling amounts to a construction of Section 12, Declaration of Rights. As stated in Armstrong v. City of Tampa, Fla., 106 So.2d 407, and in Cohen v. State, Fla., 121 So.2d 155, the trial court will be held to have construed a controlling provision of Page 272 the constitution......
  • Armstrong v. City of Tampa
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 24, 1960
    ...a 'separable intrastate incident' which would support the imposition of both privilege taxes. See Armstrong v. City of Tampa, Fla., 106 So.2d 407. The Court of Appeal did not undertake to isolate the so-called 'separable intrastate incident.' On the other hand, that court, while apparently ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • Grand Jury Investigation, In re, Nos. 43644 and 43649
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • December 5, 1973
    ...opinion was duly issued on May 1, 1973, and is reported at 276 So.2d 235. 1 ,273 So.2d 391 (Fla.1973). 2 116 So.2d 632 (Fla.1959). 3 106 So.2d 407 4 206 So.2d 692 (Fla.App.2d 1968). 5 192 So.2d 518 (Fla.App.4th 1966). 6 140 So.2d 601 (Fla.App.2d 1962). 7 In re: Grand Jury Investigation Conc......
  • State ex rel. Dept. of General Services v. Willis, No. DD--104
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 29, 1977
    ...Cf. Rojas v. State, 288 So.2d 234 (Fla.1974), cert. den., 419 U.S. 851, 95 S.Ct. 93, 42 L.Ed.2d 82 (1974); Armstrong v. City of Tampa, 106 So.2d 407 Neither may it be supposed that, by enacting Chapter 75--191, the legislature preserved from repeal the baffling array of disparate statutes w......
  • Schermerhorn v. Local 1625 of Retail Clerks Intern. Ass'n, AFL-CIO, AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 25, 1962
    ...is whether the ruling amounts to a construction of Section 12, Declaration of Rights. As stated in Armstrong v. City of Tampa, Fla., 106 So.2d 407, and in Cohen v. State, Fla., 121 So.2d 155, the trial court will be held to have construed a controlling provision of Page 272 the constitution......
  • Armstrong v. City of Tampa
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 24, 1960
    ...a 'separable intrastate incident' which would support the imposition of both privilege taxes. See Armstrong v. City of Tampa, Fla., 106 So.2d 407. The Court of Appeal did not undertake to isolate the so-called 'separable intrastate incident.' On the other hand, that court, while apparently ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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