Ex Parte Bailey

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the Court[39 Fla. 742] TAYLOR, C.J. (after stating the facts).
PartiesEx parte BAILEY.
Decision Date11 November 1897

23 So. 552

39 Fla. 734

Ex parte BAILEY.

Florida Supreme Court

November 11, 1897[1]


Error to circuit court, Nassau county; Rhydon M. Call, Judge.

Habeas corpus by E. W. Bailey for his release from prison under a commitment charging him with violation of the law relating to the sampling of phosphates. From an order remanding him to custody, he brings error. Reversed.

Syllabus by the Court

SYLLABUS

1. Where a cause can be fully disposed of without adjudicating constitutional questions raised therein, the courts will generally ignore such questions, and dispose of the case upon other grounds.

2. A penal law must be construed strictly, and according to its letter. Nothing is to be regarded as included within it that is not within its letter as well as its spirit; nothing that is not clearly and intelligibly described in its very words, as well as manifestly intended by the legislature. And where a penal statute contains such an ambiguity as to leave reasonable doubt of its meaning, where it admits of two constructions, that which operates in favor of life or liberty is to be preferred.

3. Section 8 of chapter 4547, Laws 1897, that provides for official samples and samplers of phosphate, does not prohibit the owner of phosphates, or his authorized agents, from drawing and taking samples thereof wheresoever, whensoever, and as often as he pleases for his own private purposes and uses, so long as he does not trench upon the duties of the official sampler, by drawing for him the official sample that the law requires such official personally to draw, label, and preserve within his official keeping. The legal effect of the said section of this law is to require the official sampler, or his duly-appointed deputy, personally to perform the physical act of drawing, mixing, labeling, filing, and preserving all official samples; and the penalty imposed is aimed only against those persons who, without authority of law, undertake, for the official sampler, to draw an official sample, to be filed, kept, and used as such by the official sampler.

4. On habeas corpus proceedings, the courts will inquire whether the complaint upon which a defendant is held, or has been convicted, charges a public offense; and, when it finds that to the charge preferred no criminality is attached by law, the party imprisoned is entitled to his discharge.

COUNSEL [23 So. 554]

[39 Fla. 742] Anderson & Hocker and R. H. Liggett, for plaintiff in error.

William B. Lamar, Atty. Gen., and W. B. Young, for the State. [23 So. 553]

[39 Fla. 735] Chapter 4547, Laws approved May 18, 1897, provides, in section 1, that the governor shall appoint one official sampler of phosphate at each port in the state of Florida where phosphates are or may be shipped, who shall hold office for four years, subject to removal by the governor for good cause shown, and requiring of them a bond in the sum of $10,000 for the faithful discharge of their duties.

Section 2 of said act provides that it shall be the duty of such official sampler to sample all phosphate arriving at and shipped from the port of his appointment, and to obtain from the railroad or other company or persons hauling phosphates to such port copies of the waybills of such shipments, showing the numbers and titles of all cars loaded with and bringing such phosphate, the name of the steamer or other vessel upon which it is to be loaded, and the names of the consignors and consignees, and makes it further his duty to draw and take from each car a fair and [39 Fla. 736] representative sample of phosphate while it is being transferred to the steamer or other vessel, combining the samples taken from all the cars shipped from the same mine for loading on the same steamer or other vessel; said samples to be kept in a dry and secure place; all of said samples to be carefully and thoroughly mixed, and reduced to the quantity of about three cubic feet, and then put by the official sampler into three strong wooden boxes, of equal size, and all of them securely fastened and sealed, and labeled with the name of the steamer or other vessel into which the phosphate from which the samples were taken was shipped, with the names of the consignor and consignee, the date of its shipment, the name of the mine, the number and title of the cars carrying the same, and such other data as will identify the sample. One of such boxes shall be subject to the order or request of both the consignor and consignee, and the remaining or third box to be filed and kept by the official sampler in a dry and safe place for a period of three months, or longer, when notified to do so by and party in interest, and to be surrendered from his custody only upon the joint order or written request of the consignor and consignee. A proviso to this section provides that when such phosphate has been sampled at the mines, or is to be sampled at the port of destination, or was sold without any guaranty as to its quality, and due notice thereof is given to the official sampler by the owner or consignor, then such phosphate need not be sampled by him.

Section 3 of said act makes it the duty of all railroads and terminal companies hauling phosphate at their several ports of shipment in this state to furnish to the official sampler...

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59 practice notes
  • Sullivan v. Sapp, No. SC02-2490.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 15 Enero 2004
    ...887 (1931); Lippman v. State, 72 Fla. 428, 73 So. 357, 361 (1916); State v. Parker, 57 Fla. 170, 49 So. 124, 125 (1909); Ex parte Bailey, 39 Fla. 734, 23 So. 552, 555 (1897); Franklin County v. State ex rel. Patton, 24 Fla. 55, 3 So. 471, 472 7. See, e.g., M.Z. v. State, 747 So.2d 978, 980 ......
  • Carawan v. State, No. 69384
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 3 Septiembre 1987
    ...§ 784.045, Fla.Stat. (1985), aggravated battery. 2 Lee v. Walgreen Drug Stores, Inc., 151 Fla. 648, 10 So.2d 314 (1942); Ex Parte Bailey, 39 Fla. 734, 23 So. 552 3 In pertinent part, the charge on attempted homicide alleges that Carawan did unlawfully attempt to murder MEMPHIS KNIGHTEN from......
  • Ex Parte Amos
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 11 Enero 1927
    ...venue is properly laid in Palm Beach county and the indictment sufficiently states the offense. In the case of Ex parte Bailey, 3 Fla. 734, 23 So. 552, this court held that where a person is held under color of criminal process he is entitled to his discharge on writ of habeas corpus if the......
  • Lamont v. State, Nos. 89-2917
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 18 Febrero 1992
    ...E.g., State v. Jackson, 526 So.2d 58 (Fla.1988); State ex rel. Cherry v. Davidson, 103 Fla. 954, 139 So. 177 (1931); Ex parte Bailey, 39 Fla. 734, 23 So. 552 (1897). This principle ultimately rests on the due process requirement that criminal statutes must say with some precision exactly wh......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
59 cases
  • Sullivan v. Sapp, No. SC02-2490.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 15 Enero 2004
    ...887 (1931); Lippman v. State, 72 Fla. 428, 73 So. 357, 361 (1916); State v. Parker, 57 Fla. 170, 49 So. 124, 125 (1909); Ex parte Bailey, 39 Fla. 734, 23 So. 552, 555 (1897); Franklin County v. State ex rel. Patton, 24 Fla. 55, 3 So. 471, 472 7. See, e.g., M.Z. v. State, 747 So.2d 978, 980 ......
  • Carawan v. State, No. 69384
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 3 Septiembre 1987
    ...§ 784.045, Fla.Stat. (1985), aggravated battery. 2 Lee v. Walgreen Drug Stores, Inc., 151 Fla. 648, 10 So.2d 314 (1942); Ex Parte Bailey, 39 Fla. 734, 23 So. 552 3 In pertinent part, the charge on attempted homicide alleges that Carawan did unlawfully attempt to murder MEMPHIS KNIGHTEN from......
  • Ex Parte Amos
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 11 Enero 1927
    ...venue is properly laid in Palm Beach county and the indictment sufficiently states the offense. In the case of Ex parte Bailey, 3 Fla. 734, 23 So. 552, this court held that where a person is held under color of criminal process he is entitled to his discharge on writ of habeas corpus if the......
  • Lamont v. State, Nos. 89-2917
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 18 Febrero 1992
    ...E.g., State v. Jackson, 526 So.2d 58 (Fla.1988); State ex rel. Cherry v. Davidson, 103 Fla. 954, 139 So. 177 (1931); Ex parte Bailey, 39 Fla. 734, 23 So. 552 (1897). This principle ultimately rests on the due process requirement that criminal statutes must say with some precision exactly wh......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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