Baxter v. State

CourtSuperior Court of Delaware
Writing for the CourtRODNEY, J.
Citation197 A. 678,39 Del. 223
PartiesJAMES R. BAXTER, Defendant Below, v. THE STATE OF DELAWARE
Decision Date08 March 1938

197 A. 678

39 Del. 223

JAMES R. BAXTER, Defendant Below,
v.

THE STATE OF DELAWARE

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County

March 8, 1938


[197 A. 679]

Superior Court for New Castle County, Certiorari, No. 218, September Term, 1937.

On August 10, 1937, James R. Baxter was arrested and tried for violation of the Motor Vehicle Laws. He entered a plea of guilty and a fine of $ 100 was imposed and paid. Subsequently, at his instance, a Writ of Certiorari was issued seeking to test the validity of the judgment by which the fine was imposed. Upon the return of the certiorari three exceptions were filed to the record of the judgment, as follows:

(1) That the record does not disclose that the Justice of the Peace had advised James R. Baxter, the defendant below, of his right to elect to have his case tried by the Court of Common Pleas, in and for New Castle County.

(2) That the said record does not disclose that the arresting officer had advised James R. Baxter, the defendant below, of his right to elect to have his case tried by the Court of Common Pleas, in and for New Castle County.

(3) That the said record does not disclose that the Justice of the Peace after passing judgment in the case below immediately advised James R. Baxter, the defendant, of his right to take an appeal from the decision of the Justice of the Peace, and that the said record does not disclose that the defendant was informed of the time and manner in which his appeal might be taken.

The first two exceptions are based upon a recent Act of the General Assembly approved April 15, 1937, being Chapter 239, Vol. 41, Laws of Delaware, page 714, as follows:

"An Act to Amend Chapter 169 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, in Reference to the Court of Common Pleas for New Castle County.

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

"Section 1. That Chapter 169 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended, by adding at the end of 5811, Section 5, a new and additional paragraph, as follows:

"Section 1. In all cases where the Justice of the Peace now has jurisdiction and power to hear and finally determine the matter and the accused has the right to elect to have the case tried by the Court of Common Pleas for New Castle County, it shall be the duty of every Justice of the Peace for New Castle County, and the officer making the arrest, to advise such accused of his right to so elect, and every officer making the arrest and every Justice of the Peace for New Castle County is hereby required to so advise the accused before the said Justice of the Peace shall have jurisdiction and power to try the case."

It is conceded that, pursuant to the act creating this Court of Common Pleas for New Castle County, Revised Code 1935, § 5807 et seq., the defendant did have the right to elect to have such case tried by the said Court of Common Pleas. It is argued that the new statute made the jurisdiction of the Justice of the Peace depend upon the fact that he and the officer making the arrest had advised the defendant of his right of election as to the Court in which the case should be tried, and being jurisdictional, the fact that the defendant had been so advised must appear upon the record.

As to the first and second exceptions the Attorney-General contends that the cited statute is unconstitutional because it violates Section 16 of Article 2 of the Constitution, which provides:

"No bill * * * shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title."

The third exception is based upon another recent Act of the General Assembly, approved April 26, 1937, being Chapter 208, Vol. 41, Laws of Delaware, page 653, the terms of which are set out in the following opinion. It is contended that the omission from the records of any entry of any information given to the defendant constitutes the fatal error in such judgment.

Francis A. Reardon for Defendant Below.

P. Warren Green, Attorney-General, for the State.

LAYTON, C. J., RODNEY and SPEAKMAN, J. J., sitting.

OPINION [197 A. 680]

[39 Del. 227] RODNEY, J.

The first exception involves the question as to whether the quoted act is unconstitutional as being violative of the Constitutional provision, "No bill * * * shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title." Article 2, § 16.

It needs no additional language by this Court to support the well established doctrine that no Court ought to nullify an act of the Legislature except in a very clear case and upon weighty...

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4 practice notes
  • State v. Hobson, No. 8
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Delaware
    • September 1, 1951
    ...are resolved in its favor. In re Blackstone, 8 W.W.Harr. 230, 250, 38 Del. 230, 250, 190 A. 597; Baxter v. State, 9 W.W.Harr. 223, 227, 39 Del. 223, 227, 197 A. 678; Collison v. State ex rel. Green, supra. And if the question of reasonable necessity for the regulation is 'fairly debatable, ......
  • United States v. 1,010.8 ACRES, ETC., No. 2.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Delaware)
    • June 24, 1944
    ...Terry, 136, 40 Del. 136, 6 A.2d 596; In re Cypress Farms Ditch, 7 W.W.Harr. 71, 37 Del. 71, 180 A. 536; Baxter v. State, 9 W.W.Harr. 223, 39 Del. 223, 197 A. 678; Wilmington Trust Co. v. Highfield, 4 W.W.Harr. 394, 34 Del. 394, 153 A. 864; Equitable Guaranty & Trust Co. v. Donahoe, 3 Pennew......
  • Massey v. Worth
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • March 8, 1938
    ...and as a means of access to his property. Den Braven v. Public Service, etc., & Gas Co. et al., (Err. & App.) 115 N.J.L. 543, 181 A. 46. [197 A. 678] [39 Del. 223] So far as appears, his use was merely that use which every occupant of premises, with a driveway leading therefrom, crossing th......
  • Ney v. State.
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • August 9, 1947
    ...embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.’ Const. Art. 2, § 16. See also Baxter v. State, 9 W. W. Harr. 223, 39 Del. 223, 197 A. 678. No question has been raised concerning the constitutionality of the present Act. It is beyond dispute that the judgment of a tria......
4 cases
  • State v. Hobson, No. 8
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Delaware
    • September 1, 1951
    ...are resolved in its favor. In re Blackstone, 8 W.W.Harr. 230, 250, 38 Del. 230, 250, 190 A. 597; Baxter v. State, 9 W.W.Harr. 223, 227, 39 Del. 223, 227, 197 A. 678; Collison v. State ex rel. Green, supra. And if the question of reasonable necessity for the regulation is 'fairly debatable, ......
  • United States v. 1,010.8 ACRES, ETC., No. 2.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Delaware)
    • June 24, 1944
    ...Terry, 136, 40 Del. 136, 6 A.2d 596; In re Cypress Farms Ditch, 7 W.W.Harr. 71, 37 Del. 71, 180 A. 536; Baxter v. State, 9 W.W.Harr. 223, 39 Del. 223, 197 A. 678; Wilmington Trust Co. v. Highfield, 4 W.W.Harr. 394, 34 Del. 394, 153 A. 864; Equitable Guaranty & Trust Co. v. Donahoe, 3 Pennew......
  • Massey v. Worth
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • March 8, 1938
    ...and as a means of access to his property. Den Braven v. Public Service, etc., & Gas Co. et al., (Err. & App.) 115 N.J.L. 543, 181 A. 46. [197 A. 678] [39 Del. 223] So far as appears, his use was merely that use which every occupant of premises, with a driveway leading therefrom, crossing th......
  • Ney v. State.
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • August 9, 1947
    ...embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.’ Const. Art. 2, § 16. See also Baxter v. State, 9 W. W. Harr. 223, 39 Del. 223, 197 A. 678. No question has been raised concerning the constitutionality of the present Act. It is beyond dispute that the judgment of a tria......

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