Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner, No. 21964.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Ohio
Writing for the CourtMARSHALL
Citation121 Ohio St. 393,169 N.E. 301
PartiesBELDING v. STATE ex rel. HEIFNER.
Docket NumberNo. 21964.
Decision Date11 December 1929

121 Ohio St. 393
169 N.E. 301

BELDING
v.
STATE ex rel.
HEIFNER.

No. 21964.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

Dec. 11, 1929.


Error to Court of Appeals, Franklin County.

Bastardy proceedings by the State of Ohio, on the relation of Esther Heifner, against Larry S. Belding. Judgment for plaintiff was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, and defendant brings error. Affirmed.-[By Editorial Staff.]

The facts are stated in the opinion.



Syllabus by the Court

Section 5 of article 1 of the Constitution of Ohio only guarantees the right of trial by jury in those cases where it existed previous to its adoption.

The obligation created by section 12123, General Code, as amended April 30, 1923, is not a debt within the meaning of section 15, article 1 of the Constitution of Ohio.

A judgment that a defendant in a bastardy suit pay to the claimant a sum of money for ‘support, maintenance and necessary expenses caused by pregnancy and childbirth,’ and that in default of payment or security for such payment that he stand committed to jail, there to remain except as provided in section 12124, General Code, until he complies with the order of the court, does not violate either section 15, article 1, of the Ohio Constitution, or the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution.


[Ohio St. 393]Hamilton & Kramer, of Columbus, for plaintiff in error.

W. B. McLeskey, of Columbus, for defendant in error.


MARSHALL, C. J.

This case was originally tried as a bastardy proceeding in the court of common pleas of Franklin county, Ohio, being a proceeding [Ohio St. 394]under section 12123, General Code. An amendment of that section passed April 5, 1923 (110 Ohio Laws, p. 299), materially changed its provisions. The statute now reads, in part, as follows: ‘If, in person or by counsel, the accused confesses in court that the accusation is true or, if the jury find him guilty, he shall be adjudged the reputed father of the bastard child and the court shall thereupon adjudge that he pay to the complainant such sum as the court may find to be necessary for her support, maintenance and necessary expenses, caused by pregnancy and childbirth together with costs of prosecution.’

Prior to the amendment (Gen. Code 1921) that portion in italic read as follows: ‘and stand charged with its maintenance in such sum as the court orders, with payment of costs of prosecution.’

The cause came before this court upon motion to certify the record on the ground of public interest and great general interest, but that motion was overruled. A petition in error was also filed in this court as of right, claiming that the cause involves a question

[169 N.E. 302]

arising under the Constitution of the State of Ohio. A motion to dismiss the petition in error was filed, claiming that it involved no debatable constitutional question. Inasmuch as the motion to certify was overruled, there is no occasion for discussion of any question except the one involving the claim of unconstitutionality of section 12123, General Code.

It is conceded that before its amendment that statute was held to be constitutional, and the claim of unconstitutionality is now based upon the changes made by the amendment. It is claimed that the statute no longer provides for the enforcement of a [Ohio St. 395]moral duty arising from a criminal offense, but that it is in its present form a provision for recovery of money due to the complainant from the defendant, and that it therefore violates section 5, article 1, of the Ohio Constitution, which guarantees the right of trial by jury, section 6, article 1, of the Ohio Constitution, which forbids involuntary servitude except as a punishment for crime, section 15, article 1, of the Ohio Constitution, which prohibits imprisonment for debt, and the Fourteenth Federal Amendment, which guarantees due process of law.

Upon the question of defendant's guilt the issue was submitted to a jury and no error is assigned upon the portion of the record. After the jury had adjudged the defendant to be the reputed father, the court proceeded without a jury to determine the sum necessary for the complainant's ‘support, maintenance and necessary expenses, caused by pregnancy and childbirth,’ and for this purpose further testimony was taken. Upon...

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37 practice notes
  • McClain v. State, APPEAL NO. C-200195
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • April 23, 2021
    ...is the ultimate relief granted, does [sic] not entitle the parties to a jury trial.Id. at 420, quoting Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner, 121 Ohio St. 393, 396-397, 169 N.E. 301 (1929). {¶17} In Kneisley v. Lattimer-Stevens Co., the Supreme Court followed Armstrong and refused to interpret t......
  • Gladon v. Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Auth., No. 94-1063
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • March 6, 1996
    ...644 N.E.2d 397, 401; Sorrell v. Thevenir (1994), 69 Ohio St.3d 415, 421, 633 N.E.2d 504, 510; Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner (1929), 121 Ohio St. 393, 169 N.E. 301, paragraph one of the For whatever reason, however, the dissent seeks to cast the issue in this case in terms of whether the ......
  • Arbino v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 2006-1212.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • December 27, 2007
    ...causes of action in which the right existed in the common law when Section 5 was adopted. See Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner (1929), 121 Ohio St. 393, 169 N.E. 301, paragraph one of the 116 Ohio St.3d 475 syllabus. It is settled that the right 880 N.E.2d 431 applies to both negligence and......
  • Barton v. Barton, No. 2016–CA–12
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • March 17, 2017
    ...right attached at common law when the Ohio Constitution was adopted in 1802." Arbino at ¶ 117, citing Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner , 121 Ohio St. 393, 169 N.E. 301 (1929), paragraph one of the syllabus (Cupp, J., concurring).{¶ 118} The Supreme Court of Ohio has noted that "[t]here was ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • McClain v. State, APPEAL NO. C-200195
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • April 23, 2021
    ...is the ultimate relief granted, does [sic] not entitle the parties to a jury trial.Id. at 420, quoting Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner, 121 Ohio St. 393, 396-397, 169 N.E. 301 (1929). {¶17} In Kneisley v. Lattimer-Stevens Co., the Supreme Court followed Armstrong and refused to interpret t......
  • Gladon v. Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Auth., No. 94-1063
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • March 6, 1996
    ...644 N.E.2d 397, 401; Sorrell v. Thevenir (1994), 69 Ohio St.3d 415, 421, 633 N.E.2d 504, 510; Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner (1929), 121 Ohio St. 393, 169 N.E. 301, paragraph one of the For whatever reason, however, the dissent seeks to cast the issue in this case in terms of whether the ......
  • Arbino v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 2006-1212.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • December 27, 2007
    ...causes of action in which the right existed in the common law when Section 5 was adopted. See Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner (1929), 121 Ohio St. 393, 169 N.E. 301, paragraph one of the 116 Ohio St.3d 475 syllabus. It is settled that the right 880 N.E.2d 431 applies to both negligence and......
  • Barton v. Barton, No. 2016–CA–12
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • March 17, 2017
    ...right attached at common law when the Ohio Constitution was adopted in 1802." Arbino at ¶ 117, citing Belding v. State ex rel. Heifner , 121 Ohio St. 393, 169 N.E. 301 (1929), paragraph one of the syllabus (Cupp, J., concurring).{¶ 118} The Supreme Court of Ohio has noted that "[t]here was ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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