City of St. Louis v. Baskowitz, No. 18770.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtWoodson
Citation201 S.W. 870,273 Mo. 543
Decision Date04 March 1918
Docket NumberNo. 18770.
PartiesCITY OF ST. LOUIS v. BASKOWITZ.
201 S.W. 870
273 Mo. 543
CITY OF ST. LOUIS
v.
BASKOWITZ.
No. 18770.
Supreme Court of Missouri, Division No. 1.
March 4, 1918.

[201 S.W. 871]

Appeal from St. Louis Court of Criminal Correction; Victor H. Falkenhainer, Judge.

Sam Baskowitz was convicted of violating a city ordinance for licensing junk dealers, and appeals. Affirmed.

The defendant was arrested and prosecuted by the city of St. Louis for the violation of section 1605 of Ordinance No. 24751 of said city, providing for the licensing, regulation, and control of junk dealers in said city. From a judgment of conviction in the St. Louis court of criminal correction, the defendant duly appealed the cause to this court.

The section of the ordinance mentioned in so far as is here material reads:

"Any person or persons engaging in the business of buying, selling or dealing in old junk, metals, bottles, syphons, books or other articles usually found in junk shops, and having a store, stand or place of business, are hereby declared to be `junk merchants,' and they shall pay a license fee of fifty dollars per annum; such license shall be available only to the person or persons in whose name or names it is issued, and shall not be used by any person or persons other than the original licensee or licensees; any holder of such license who permits it to be used by any other person, or any other person who uses such license granted to any other person, shall each be deemed guilty of a violation of this ordinance. Any person carrying on the business of junk peddler or junk merchant or operating or using a cart or wagon in said business, without license, shall be deemed guilty of a violation of this section.

"Every junk merchant shall keep a book of registry in which shall be legibly recorded in ink or indelible pencil the names and addresses of all parties from whom he purchases any article whatsoever, together with the date of such purchase and a full and accurate description of the article together with any marks, brands, letters or words of identification thereon, if any such there be. And any junk merchant who shall buy, purchase, or in any manner acquire possession of any article having blown, stamped, etched or otherwise indelibly marked thereon any marks, brands, letters or words shall be deemed to buy, purchase or acquire the same with notice of any pre-existing right or title to such article in the owner or proprietor of such marks, brands, letters or words which may by such owner or proprietor be established. Said book of registry shall at all times be kept open for the inspection and examination of the police or any citizen. Any junk merchant who shall fail to keep such book of registry or who shall fail to record therein the description by this section required shall be deemed guilty of a violation of this ordinance and upon conviction thereof, he shall be fined as hereinafter prescribed, and in addition thereto his license shall be revoked by the license collector. It shall not be lawful for any junk peddler or junk merchant to buy or receive any property from any minor without the written consent of the parent or guardian of such minor. Should any controversy arise respecting the ownership of any property alleged to have been purchased by any person licensed under this section, the burden of proof shall be on such licensee to prove the name and residence of his vendor. The provisions of this section shall apply to secondhand dealers and plumbers who may deal in the articles mentioned herein. Any person who shall neglect, violate or refuse to comply with any or either of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than ten or more than one hundred dollars."

The information filed in said cause was in conventional form, and predicated upon said ordinance. The appellant filed in said cause a written motion to quash the information, stating as ground therefor that the ordinance of the city of St. Louis, under which the information in this case was filed—

"(1) is unconstitutional and void; (2) is not authorized by the statutes of the state of Missouri and is not authorized by the charter of the city of St. Louis, and is therefore void and of no force and effect; (3) and also for the reason that neither the statutes of the state of Missouri nor the charter of the city of St. Louis authorized the municipal assembly to require a license or to impose a tax for the conducting of a junk shop in the city of St. Louis, Mo.; (4) and because the municipal assembly of the city of St. Louis has no authority, under the Constitution and statutes of the state of Missouri and the charter of the city of St. Louis, to impose a tax upon junk shop keepers; and (5) because the information in the cause against appellant fails to state facts sufficient to constitute cause of action against appellant."

Said motion to quash was overruled, and when the case came on for trial the appellant was duly arraigned, and pleaded "not guilty." At the beginning of the case appellant objected to the introduction of any evidence, and moved that he be discharged for the same reasons as set forth in his written motion to quash, and for the additional reasons:

[201 S.W. 872]

"(1) That the part of the ordinance requiring a junk merchant to keep a registry book is an unreasonable regulation, and is prohibitive of the business described by the ordinance, and is in violation of the Constitution of this state and the United States; (2) that the ordinance requires a junk merchant to keep a book of registry, which is not required by the ordinance of a junk peddler; and (3) that the information filed in this case is insufficient, for the reason that the defendant, Sam Baskowitz, is designated therein as a junk dealer, whereas the information should charge that said Sam Baskowitz is either a junk peddler or junk merchant, and that as a junk merchant he is keeping an established place of business and is carrying on the business of a junk merchant at that particular place."

This oral motion was also by the court overruled, to which action of the court the appellant duly saved his exceptions.

The evidence showed that appellant had a place of business at 812 North Sixteenth street in said city; that the building in which he transacted business was a large one, with an office and store room; that appellant conducted both a new and a secondhand bottle business, the former being the larger, constituting 60 to 75 per cent. of the total business; that the secondhand stock "ran way up in the millions" of bottles, and that the appellant had a merchant's license to do business, but had no license authorizing him to carry on a junk merchant's business, nor did he keep a registry of the bottles purchased, as required by said ordinance.

Appellant offered to prove that it was an impossibility to register all the secondhand bottles' purchased by him, as required by said ordinance. That evidence was objected to, which was by the court sustained, and appellant duly excepted to the ruling of the court.

The court gave a number of instructions, which in effect told the jury that if they found the facts to be as before stated, then they would find the appellant guilty, etc., and, upon the other hand, that if they failed to so find the facts, then they would find him not guilty.

In addition to the instructions given by the court the appellant asked the court to give to the jury the five following instructions:

"(1) The court instructs the jury that if they believe from the evidence in this cause that the defendant was, at the time mentioned in the information, to wit, on the 6th day of April, 1911, engaged in the bottle business in the city of St. Louis, Mo., and as such dealt in both new and secondhand bottles; and if the jury further find from the evidence that it was impracticable for the defendant to keep a book of registry as specified in section 1605 of Ordinance No. 24751 of Revised Ordinances of the City of St. Louis, then the jury will find a verdict of `not guilty,' and in favor of the defendant in this cause.

"(2) The court instructs the jury that if they believe from the evidence in this cause that the defendant was, at the time mentioned in the information, to wit, on the 6th day of April, 1911, engaged in the bottle business in the city of St. Louis, Mo., and as such dealt in both new and secondhand bottles, and if the jury further find from the evidence that the keeping of a book of registry, as set forth in section 1605 of Ordinance No. 24751 of Revised Ordinances of the City of St. Louis, would be prohibitive of said business and prevent the defendant from realizing any profits from his said business, then the jury will find a verdict of `not guilty' and in favor of the defendant in this cause.

"(3) The court instructs the jury that if they believe from the evidence in this case that the defendant was on the 6th day of April, 1911, engaged in the bottle business in the city of St. Louis, Mo., and as such had the license of the city of St. Louis to transact a bottle business as a merchant, and that the said defendant was not at said time a junk dealer, then the jury will find a verdict of `not guilty' and in favor of the defendant in this cause.

"(4) The court instructs the jury that if they find from the evidence that defendant was, on the 6th day of April, 1911, engaged in the business of buying and selling bottles, and maintained a store or regular place of business for that purpose, and that defendant's said business consisted of buying and selling bottles exclusively, and that a considerable portion of the bottles bought and sold by the defendant, if you find they were so bought and sold by the defendant, were new bottles, then you are instructed that the defendant is not a junk dealer within the meaning of section 1605 of Ordinance No. 24751 of Revised Ordinances of the City of St. Louis, and...

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33 practice notes
  • Kansas City v. Threshing Machine Co., No. 31452.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 18, 1935
    ...City v. Richardson, 90 Mo. App. 450; St. Louis v. Railways, 263 Mo. 387; St. Louis v. Railways, 241 U.S. 647; St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543; City of Aurora v. McGammon, 138 Mo. HYDE, C. This is a proceeding by writ of error to review the conviction and fine assessed against defendants......
  • Kroger Grocery & Baking Co. v. St. Louis., No. 34280.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 21, 1937
    ...v. Ashbrook, 154 Mo. 375; Nafziger v. Salisbury, 329 Mo. 1014; St. Louis v. Spiegel, 75 Mo. 145, Id., 90 Mo. 587; St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543, 201 S.W. 870; Kansas City v. Grush, 151 Mo. 128; Viquesney v. Kansas City, 305 Mo. 488; City of Washington v. Reed, 70 S.W. (2d) 121; Star S......
  • Campbell Baking Co. v. City of Harrisonville, Mo., No. 8327.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 9, 1931
    ...v. Lorber, 64 Mo. App. 604, loc. cit. 607. In Viquesney v. Kansas City, 305 Mo. 488, 266 S. W. 700, and City of St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543, 201 S. W. 870, cases especially relied upon by respondents, this particular question was neither raised nor considered, and hence they are not......
  • Shapiro v. United States, No. 49
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1948
    ...were public records because his fruit and vegetables were the property of the United States Government. (2) St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543, 201 S.W. 870, where a municipal ordinance requiring junk dealers to keep books of registry recording their purchases and providing that the books ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Kansas City v. Threshing Machine Co., No. 31452.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 18, 1935
    ...City v. Richardson, 90 Mo. App. 450; St. Louis v. Railways, 263 Mo. 387; St. Louis v. Railways, 241 U.S. 647; St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543; City of Aurora v. McGammon, 138 Mo. HYDE, C. This is a proceeding by writ of error to review the conviction and fine assessed against defendants......
  • Kroger Grocery & Baking Co. v. St. Louis., No. 34280.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 21, 1937
    ...v. Ashbrook, 154 Mo. 375; Nafziger v. Salisbury, 329 Mo. 1014; St. Louis v. Spiegel, 75 Mo. 145, Id., 90 Mo. 587; St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543, 201 S.W. 870; Kansas City v. Grush, 151 Mo. 128; Viquesney v. Kansas City, 305 Mo. 488; City of Washington v. Reed, 70 S.W. (2d) 121; Star S......
  • Campbell Baking Co. v. City of Harrisonville, Mo., No. 8327.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 9, 1931
    ...v. Lorber, 64 Mo. App. 604, loc. cit. 607. In Viquesney v. Kansas City, 305 Mo. 488, 266 S. W. 700, and City of St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543, 201 S. W. 870, cases especially relied upon by respondents, this particular question was neither raised nor considered, and hence they are not......
  • Shapiro v. United States, No. 49
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1948
    ...were public records because his fruit and vegetables were the property of the United States Government. (2) St. Louis v. Baskowitz, 273 Mo. 543, 201 S.W. 870, where a municipal ordinance requiring junk dealers to keep books of registry recording their purchases and providing that the books ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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