Ex parte King

Citation217 S.W. 465,141 Ark. 213
Decision Date15 December 1919
Docket Number53
CourtSupreme Court of Arkansas

Certiorari to Saline Circuit Court; W. H. Evans, Judge affirmed.

Judgment affirmed.

W. K Ruddell, for petitioner.

1. The "juvenile act" is unconstitutional, and hence appellant's conviction of delinquency by the Independence Court was void. Kirby & Castle's Digest, § 1561, being section 2 of the juvenile act of 1911. It creates a court unknown to and not mentioned in our Constitution. Art. 7, sec. 1, Const. 1874; 7 R. C. L. 981; 102 Ill. 218; 81 S.W. 435; 108 Id. 563; 60 S.E. 78; 1 Pin. (Wis.) 449; 45 Ala. 103; 36 A. 662.

2. The county court could not have jurisdiction. 115 Ark. 130; 90 Id. 195; 95 Id. 194; 3 L. R. A. (N. S.) 564, 575; 2 R. C. L. 343; 18 Am. St. 569; 90 Ark. 198.

3. The statute expressly gives the right of supersedeas. K. & C. Dig., §§ 1533, 1590; L. R. A. 1915 E, 340, 343; 37 Wash. 258; 79 P. 786.

4. Habeas corpus can not take the place of appeal. 55 Ark. 275; 51 Id. 215; 49 Id. 143; 48 Id. 283.

John D. Arbuckle, Attorney General, and Robert C. Knox, Assistant, and R. E. Wiley, special counsel, for respondent.

1. Juvenile acts like ours (Acts 1917, page 288) have been sustained in practically all the States. 257 Ill. 328; 100 N.E. 892; Ann. Cases 1914 A, 1223-1227 and note; 213 Pa.St. 48; 5 Ann. Cas. 92; 14 Id. 816; 88 P. 609; 120 Am. St. 935; 18 L. R. A. (N. S.) 886; 120 Am. St. 952 and note. The general purpose of such acts is stated in 196 F. 123. They are not penal or criminal, but the purpose is to protect minors from prosecution and conviction and confer a benefit both upon the child and the community. See also 51 Conn. 472; 103 Wis. 651; 79 N.W. 422.

2. The act is not unconstitutional. 26 Ala. 156; 209 Mo. 708; 108 S.W. 563.

3. The act does not create a new court, nor a separate one, but vests properly jurisdiction in the county courts which have jurisdiction "in all matters" relating to "paupers," "vagrants," "minors" and the local concern of counties, etc., and ejusdem generis. 213 Pa.St. 48; 5 A. & E. Ann. Cases 92; 144 N.W. 804; 38 Ark. 406.

4. The commitment by the juvenile court can not be superseded. 75 N.E. 655; 2 L. R. A. (N. S.) 244; 170 P. 130; L. R. A. 1918 C, 921; 87 P. 1069; L. R. A. 1918 C, 923 and notes.

WOOD, J. MCCULLOCH, C. J., SMITH, J., dissenting.



Miss Blanche Martin is superintendent of the Girls' Industrial School of Arkansas. This school was established by act of the General Assembly, approved February 9, 1917. Section 14 of the act in part is as follows: "That the present land, buildings and equipment now occupied by the Boys' Reform School is hereby converted into an institution to be known as the Girls' Industrial School of the State of Arkansas, and the same is hereby turned over to the board of managers of the Girls' Industrial School of the State of Arkansas, to be used by them for the care and custody of delinquent and dependent girls under the age of eighteen years. That the said board of managers shall, immediately after the passage of this act, proceed to erect at least two cottages, and equip the same for the care of such delinquent and dependent girls as may be committed to said school by the juvenile courts of this State."

Pearlie King was adjudged a delinquent by the juvenile court of Independence County on the 5th of May, 1919, and committed to the Industrial School. On the 9th of September, 1919, a writ of habeas corpus was issued by Circuit Judge W. H. Evans of Saline County, directed to Miss Blanche Martin, ordering her to produce the body of said Pearlie King and to show the cause of her imprisonment. Miss Martin responded, bringing Pearlie King before the circuit judge, and alleged that she held the custody of Pearlie King under the authority of an order of the juvenile court of Independence County. This order adjudged in part as follows: "That the said Pearlie King, being the age of fifteen years, be taken to the Girls' Industrial School at Little Rock and turned over to them to be handled by them as they deemed best for the interest of said child."

The circuit judge thereupon denied the petition and remanded Pearlie King to the custody of Miss Blanche Martin.

These proceedings are brought to us for review by certiorari.

It appears from the record that Pearlie King is held in custody under an order of the juvenile court of Independence County.

The first question for our consideration therefore is whether or not the act 215 of the Acts of 1911, page 166, creating juvenile courts is constitutional. The title of the act is, "An act creating and establishing a juvenile court in the several counties of this State, defining the jurisdiction and powers thereof, providing for the support of the same, and for other purposes." The first section of the act declares: "That all persons under the age of twenty-one years shall, for the purpose of this act only, be considered wards of this State and their person shall be subject to the care, guardianship and control of the court, as hereinafter provided.

"A court, to be known as 'The Juvenile Court,' is hereby created and established in the several counties of this State. The court shall be held by the county judge of the county at the place where the county court is, by law, required to be held, and may be opened and adjourned from time to time, as the judge thereof may deem proper. The clerk of the county court shall be the clerk of the juvenile court, and any officer or person, who, under the law, is authorized to serve process issued from any of the courts of this State, may serve the process issuing out of the juvenile court."

Then follows the definition of the words "dependent child," "neglected child" and "delinquent child." Also a provision that the disposition of any child under the act and evidence given in the cause shall not be used for any purpose whatever except in subsequent cases against the same child under the act, and a provision prohibiting the newspapers from publishing the name of the child proceeded against without a written order of the court. There is also a definition of the words "child and children" and parent and parents," and of the word "association."

The second section of the act provides: "The county courts of the several counties of the State shall have original jurisdiction in all cases coming within the terms of this act. All trials under this act shall be by the court without a jury."

Section 3 of the act provides as follows: "The findings of the court shall be entered in a book or books to be kept for that purpose, and known as the 'Juvenile Record' and the court may, for convenience, be called 'The Juvenile Court.'"

Succeeding sections provide for the method of procedure, petition, process, notice, trial, final disposition of the cause, and an appeal to the circuit court.

We need not analyze the various provisions of the act. Suffice it to say when they are all considered, as they must be, and given their proper construction in relation to each other, it was not the intention of the Legislature to create a separate and independent tribunal and vest it with certain functions and powers, but rather to place within the jurisdiction and power of the county court, in the manner provided in the act, the subject-matter of the disposition of minors, who, for purposes of the act, are considered wards of the State.

The act prescribes certain functions and confers certain powers, some of which are clearly judicial and others clearly administrative. Some of the sections of the act fail to discriminate between the functions which are judicial and those which are administrative. For instance, in the sixth section the county court is given authority to appoint any number of discreet persons of good moral character to serve as probation officers. Also in the fourteenth section the judge of the juvenile court is given the power to appoint a board composed of six reputable men and women to constitute a board of visitation, etc. The above functions are clearly administrative.

Other sections prescribe duties and functions which are clearly judicial. For instance, in the first section a court is designated as a juvenile court to be held by a county judge at the place where the county court is required to be held with the same procedure and the same machinery for the discharge of the functions and duties prescribed as are designated for the county court. In this and other sections court proceedings are provided for and issues are to be determined by the court which are judicial in character. While the first section of the act designates the court, when performing the duties and functions prescribed by the act as the "Juvenile Court," nevertheless the act requires that these duties and functions shall be performed by the county judge and the other officers who constitute the necessary machinery for holding the county court. The clerk of the county court is the clerk of the juvenile court, and the sheriff and other officers, who under the law are authorized to serve process from the county court, serve the process issuing from the juvenile court.

The key note for the construction of this act to determine whether or not it was the purpose of the Legislature to create an independent tribunal with separate powers is found in the second and third sections. The second section confers upon the "county courts original jurisdiction in all cases coming within the terms of this act." The third section, while designating the court as the "Juvenile Court" and its record as the "Juvenile Record," expressly declares that this is done "for convenience."

Construing the act as a whole, we have reached the conclusion that it was not the purpose of the...

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