Ex parte City of Paducah

Decision Date02 May 1907
Citation125 Ky. 510,101 S.W. 898
PartiesEX PARTE CITY OF PADUCAH.
CourtKentucky Court of Appeals

Appeal from Circuit Court, McCracken County.

"To be officially reported."

Ex parte proceedings by the city of Paducah, for the purpose of having determined the validity of an ordinance. From the judgment, the city appeals. Affirmed.

James Campbell, Jr., City Sol., for appellant.

Wheeler Hughes & Berry, for appellees Board of Aldermen. J. Wheeler Campbell, for appellees Police and Fire Commissioners.

CARROLL C.

Paducah is a city of the second class. In April, 1906, its general council enacted an ordinance providing that "from and after the passage, approval, and publication of this ordinance the number of policemen of the Paducah police force shall not exceed 18 men; but there shall be in addition thereto one chief of police, one captain of police, one lieutenant of police." Pursuant to this ordinance, the police force was reduced to the required number. At its session of 1906, the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Kentucky amended section 3140 of the Kentucky Statutes contained in the charter of cities of the second class. The title of the act is as follows: "An act to amend and re-enact section 3140 of the Kentucky Statutes." This section, as amended, provides: "The number of firemen or policemen and officers of either department may be such as the general council may from time to time ordain, and may be increased or diminished on petition of the commissioners in that behalf, and said general council shall by ordinance provide for the payment of salaries of the firemen and policemen and officers of either of said departments, and other expenses: Provided, that the number of policemen and detectives shall not be less than thirty in addition to the chief of police, captain of police, and lieutenant of police." Laws 1906, p. 439, c. 123. This act was approved March 22, 1906. The city filed this ex parte proceeding for the purpose of having determined whether the ordinance or statute controlled the number of policemen the city of Paducah shall have. The lower court held that the legislative act repealed the ordinance and, from this judgment, the city appeals.

The validity of the legislative act is assailed upon two grounds First, that the title is defective; second, that it is an unwarranted interference with the right of local self-government. Section 51 of the Constitution provides, in part, that: "No law enacted by the General Assembly shall relate to more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title." In considering a like objection made to an act passed under the Constitution of 1850, which contained a provision similar to section 51 of the present Constitution, this court, in Pennington v. Woolfork, 79 Ky. 13, said: "The design of that provision of the Constitution, which requires that the subject of each act shall be expressed in the title, is to prevent the use of deceptive titles as a cover for vicious legislation by enabling members of the General Assembly to form an opinion of the nature of a bill from merely hearing it read by its title." Accepting this general reason for the adoption of the constitutional provision, and applying it to existing conditions, it is apparent that members of the Legislature are better prepared to understand the purpose and meaning of an act that amends or repeals a section of the Kentucky Statutes when the title specified the section than they would be with almost any other title that could be adopted. The Kentucky Statutes is a compilation of the general laws of the state, divided into chapters, but arranged in consecutive sections, and is a book in general use throughout the state; in fact, the only one purporting to be a compilation of the statute laws. In 1904 the General Assembly, by an act, adopted the Kentucky Statutes as the law of the state, and provided that any of the chapters or sections therein might be amended or repealed by reference to and citation of the chapter or section, without giving the date or title of the act from which the chapter or section was taken. When the Legislature amends or repeals a section of the Kentucky Statutes, and the title of the repealing or amendatory act mentions the section affected, the members of the General Assembly can at once conveniently examine the statute and ascertain the nature of the amendment; whereas, if it was necessary that the title of the act should refer to the title of the act proposed to be amended, it would require some effort and delay to find the act, and then locate the section affected. We therefore conclude that the intention of the constitutional provision will be fully carried out when the title of an act calls attention to the section or chapter of the Kentucky Statutes to be repealed or amended. Section 3140 of the Kentucky Statutes of 1903 related solely to the number of firemen, policemen, and officers, and their salaries; and the title of the legislative act expressed as fully the subject-matter of the act as if it had declared that it was an act regulating the number and salaries of the firemen and policemen in cities of the second class; and every member of the General Assembly who heard the title read could promptly and conveniently find the section of the statute affected by the act, and what it...

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27 cases
  • Hatcher v. Meredith
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • June 25, 1943
    ... ... was a single subject. In the case of City of Ravenna v ... Boyer Fire Apparatus Co., 218 Ky. 429, 291 S.W. 782, ... 784, an attack was ... sections not mentioned therein does not thereby render it ... unconstitutional. Ex parte City of Paducah, 125 Ky. 510, 101 ... S.W. 898; Edrington v. Payne, 225 Ky. 86, 7 S.W.2d ... ...
  • Board of Trustees of Policemen's and Firemen's Retirement Fund of City of Paducah v. City of Paducah
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court — District of Kentucky
    • March 18, 1960
    ...tax for that purpose. As concerns police departments, the decisions of this Court took a different course. In 1907, in Ex parte City of Paducah, 125 Ky. 510, 101 S.W. 898, the Court upheld an Act fixing the number of policemen in cities of the second class. The opinion, after stating that t......
  • Hatcher, Sec. of State, v. Meredith, Atty. Gen.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court — District of Kentucky
    • July 15, 1943
    ...amendment impliedly repeals sections not mentioned therein does not thereby render it unconstitutional. Ex parte Page 200 City of Paducah, 125 Ky. 510, 101 S.W. 898; Edrington v. Payne, 225 Ky. 86, 7 S.W. (2d) 827; Barnett v. Caldwell, 231 Ky. 514, 21 S.W. (2d) 838. A very pointed declarati......
  • Board of Aldermen of City of Ashland v. Hunt
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • June 21, 1940
    ... ...          To the ... same effect are Flynn v. Barnes, 156 Ky. 498, 161 ... S.W. 523, and Ex parte Paducah, 125 Ky. 510, 101 S.W. 898, 31 ... Ky. Law Rep. 170, and others cited in these cases, and which ... might be supplemented ... ...
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