Bleon v. Emery, 3849

CourtSupreme Court of Utah
Writing for the CourtFRICK, J.
Citation60 Utah 582,209 P. 627
PartiesBLEON v. EMERY, Sheriff
Docket Number3849
Decision Date18 September 1922

209 P. 627

60 Utah 582

BLEON
v.
EMERY, Sheriff

No. 3849

Supreme Court of Utah

September 18, 1922


Rehearing denied October 4, 1922.

Original application by Sylvan Bleon for a writ of habeas corpus against C. Frank Emery, as Sheriff of Salt Lake County.

DENIED, and petitioner remanded to custody.

H. L. Mulliner, of Salt Lake City, for plaintiff.

Harvey H. Cluff, Atty. Gen., and Wm. A. Hilton and J. Robert Robinson, Asst. Attys. Gen., for defendant.

FRICK, J. CORFMAN, C. J., and WEBER, GIDEON, and THURMAN, JJ., concur.

OPINION

[60 Utah 583] FRICK, J.

The plaintiff was charged in the city court of Salt Lake City with having violated the provisions of title 69, Comp. Laws Utah 1917, constituting sections 3970 to 3990, and with violating that title as amended by chapter 78, Laws Utah 1919, and by chapters 81, 82, and 83, Laws Utah 1921. Reference will hereinafter be made to the particular provisions of the foregoing chapters which are in question here. A warrant was duly issued upon the complaint filed as aforesaid, and plaintiff was arrested and taken into custody, and was thus restrained of his liberty by the defendant as sheriff of Salt Lake county. After having been arrested and being in custody as aforesaid plaintiff filed his petition in this court for a writ of habeas corpus, which was duly issued, and to which the defendant has made return in which the reasons why plaintiff was taken into custody and is being restrained of his liberty are duly set forth. The matter [209 P. 628] was submitted to this court upon the allegations of plaintiff's petition and the return of the defendant, and upon the printed briefs filed by the respective parties.

The theory upon which plaintiff bases his right to a discharge in this proceeding is tersely stated by his counsel in his printed brief in the following words:

"Plaintiff has brought his petition for a writ of habeas corpus based upon the ground that he cannot be compelled and is not required under the Constitution of the state of Utah to pay another license fee for the privilege of operating a touring car of the same horse power as that for which he has already paid the annual tax,"

[60 Utah 584] Plaintiff also urges that by being compelled to pay further registration fees each time he disposes of one car and obtains another, or if he exchanges or trades one car for another, he is discriminated against and is deprived of the equal protection of the law.

Our motor vehicle law, as stated above, is found in the several chapters to which we have referred, and covers the whole subject of regulating and registering automobiles or motor vehicles and the payment of registration fees, etc. The sections of the motor vehicle law are very numerous, and the provisions thereof are so intermingled that, in the interest of brevity, we will merely state the effect of the provisions that are involved here, rather than to copy the sections in which they are contained.

The motor vehicle act provides that every owner of an automobile shall, before the 1st day of March in each year or before he shall operate his motor vehicle, register the same in the office of the Secretary of State, and "obtain a license to operate the same" for the ensuing year. The statute then specifically provides the manner in which application for registration of motor vehicles shall be made, and that upon such registration a license or certificate shall issue to the applicant, and numbered plates shall be delivered to him, which shall be attached to the motor vehicle thus registered. By the Motor Vehicle Act all motor vehicles are classified, and the fees for registration, etc., are determined and fixed in accordance with the horse power of the engine used for propelling the motor vehicle, ranging from $ 10 for a motor vehicle which is used "only for pleasure" to $ 25 for motor vehicles that are used for general purposes. Motor trucks are classified according to the tonnage capacity, and the registration fees range from $ 20 upwards. Under the law as it stood prior to 1921, in case the owner of a motor vehicle sold or transferred the same to another, the fact had to be reported to the Secretary of State, and that official, upon receiving satisfactory evidence of the sale or transfer, was required by the act to collect a transfer fee of $ 1 and the purchaser could then, without further payment, use the car obtained by him [60 Utah 585] by purchase or in exchange for the unexpired part of the year. The law, however, was amended in many particulars in 1921, which amendments are found in chapters 81, 82 and 83, Laws Utah 1921. In the law as amended the provision with respect to the transfer fee was omitted, and the law as amended by chapter 81 aforesaid provides that--

"Upon the transfer of ownership of a vehicle its registration shall expire, and it shall be the duty of the original owner to notify the Secretary of State immediately the name and address of the new owner or dealer, and return the registration card and license plates to the Secretary of State."

It is further provided that the Secretary of State "shall not register any vehicle or issue any certificate or registration thereof or numbered plates therefor, unless and until the owner thereof shall have complied with the provisions of this act." In another section (section 3973, as amended by chapter 82) it is provided that--

"On and after the first day of September of any year the fee for such registration shall be one half of the amount of the annual registration fee."

There are numerous other provisions of the motor vehicle law, which, if construed together, as they must be, make it very clear that the law was intended as a regulatory measure to protect the owners of motor vehicles, so far as that can be done by the identification of each owner, as well as of each vehicle, from fraudulent transfers and from thefts, etc.; that it was also intended as a revenue measure, to raise funds for the construction and maintenance of paved, macadamized, and other roads. The fact that the statute is both a regulatory measure and a revenue measure in no way affects its validity. In Berry, Automobiles (3d Ed.) § 110, the author says:

"A regulatory measure may also be a revenue measure without being objectionable on that account."

In order that proper roads might be constructed and maintained, the Legislature authorized the issuance of so-called road bonds and $ 7,000,000 worth of such bonds have been issued and the fees derived from the registration fees aforesaid, after defraying the expenses incident to the registration [60 Utah 586] of motor vehicles, etc., are set apart in a fund called the "Motor Vehicle Fund," which is exclusively devoted to the payment of interest as it accrues upon the road bonds aforesaid and to create a sinking fund for the payment of the principal thereof as the bonds mature.

From what has been said it is clear that plaintiff's objection to the motor vehicle [209 P. 629] law is that, after he had duly registered his motor vehicle and had paid the annual registration fee, and he then exchanges or trades his registered motor vehicle for another of the same horse power, he must again pay the registration fee for the motor vehicle he has acquired as aforesaid, notwithstanding that he has paid the full annual fee for the car originally owned by him. This, no doubt, is precisely what the law requires of him. Counsel for petitioner in his reply brief, however, vigorously insist that, although a person who sells his motor vehicle and buys another must pay the additional fee required by the statute, yet that in case of an exchange of...

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7 practice notes
  • Solberg v. Davenport, 40262
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 26, 1930
    ...P. 1177); Saviers v. Smith, 101 Ohio St. 132 (128 N.E. 269); State v. Preston, 103 Ore. 631 (206 P. 304); [211 Iowa 620] Bleon v. Emery, 60 Utah 582 (209 P. 627); State v. Caplan, 100 Vt. 140 (135 A. 705); Jasnowski v. Board of Assessors, 191 Mich. 287 (157 N.W. 891); Kane v. State of New J......
  • House of Tobacco, Inc. v. Calvert, No. A-10706
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • October 6, 1965
    ...purposes. Payne v. Massey, 145 Tex. 237, 196 S.W.2d 493; Rapp & Son v. Kiel, 159 Cal. 702, 115 P. 651 (1911, Dictum); Bleon v. Emery, 60 Utah 582, 583, 209 P. 627 (1922); Mahany on Texas Taxes (1946), § 21.05, p. 642; Cf. Carter v. State Tax Commission, 98 Utah 96, 96 P.2d 727, 126 A.L.R. 1......
  • Thompson v. Harris, 6655
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • December 31, 1943
    ...this court is generally limited to the question of whether the committing court had jurisdiction to try and commit. See Bleon v. Emery, 60 Utah 582, 209 P. 627. It is clear that the failure of the informations to state a public offense cannot generally be reached by habeas corpus. See Areso......
  • Hartman v. Meier
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • May 29, 1924
    ...v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385; In re Hoffert, 34 S.D. 271, 148 N.W. 20, 52 L. R. A., N. S., 949; Bleon v. Emery, 60 Utah 582, 209 P. 627; Kane v. State, 81 N.J.L. 594, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 273, 80 A. 453, L. R. A. 1917B, 553.) Where the legislature imposes a property qua......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Solberg v. Davenport, 40262
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 26, 1930
    ...P. 1177); Saviers v. Smith, 101 Ohio St. 132 (128 N.E. 269); State v. Preston, 103 Ore. 631 (206 P. 304); [211 Iowa 620] Bleon v. Emery, 60 Utah 582 (209 P. 627); State v. Caplan, 100 Vt. 140 (135 A. 705); Jasnowski v. Board of Assessors, 191 Mich. 287 (157 N.W. 891); Kane v. State of New J......
  • House of Tobacco, Inc. v. Calvert, No. A-10706
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • October 6, 1965
    ...purposes. Payne v. Massey, 145 Tex. 237, 196 S.W.2d 493; Rapp & Son v. Kiel, 159 Cal. 702, 115 P. 651 (1911, Dictum); Bleon v. Emery, 60 Utah 582, 583, 209 P. 627 (1922); Mahany on Texas Taxes (1946), § 21.05, p. 642; Cf. Carter v. State Tax Commission, 98 Utah 96, 96 P.2d 727, 126 A.L.R. 1......
  • Thompson v. Harris, 6655
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • December 31, 1943
    ...this court is generally limited to the question of whether the committing court had jurisdiction to try and commit. See Bleon v. Emery, 60 Utah 582, 209 P. 627. It is clear that the failure of the informations to state a public offense cannot generally be reached by habeas corpus. See Areso......
  • Hartman v. Meier
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • May 29, 1924
    ...v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385; In re Hoffert, 34 S.D. 271, 148 N.W. 20, 52 L. R. A., N. S., 949; Bleon v. Emery, 60 Utah 582, 209 P. 627; Kane v. State, 81 N.J.L. 594, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 273, 80 A. 453, L. R. A. 1917B, 553.) Where the legislature imposes a property qua......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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