Forgrave v. Buchanan County

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtSmall
Citation222 S.W. 755,282 Mo. 599
Decision Date02 June 1920
PartiesFORGRAVE v. BUCHANAN COUNTY.
222 S.W. 755
282 Mo. 599
FORGRAVE
v.
BUCHANAN COUNTY.
Supreme Court of Missouri, Division No. 1.
June 2, 1920.

[222 S.W. 756]

Appeal from Circuit Court, Buchanan County; L. A. Vories, Judge.

Suit by Lyman W. Forgrave against Buchanan County. From judgment for defendant, plaintiff appeals. Reversed, and cause remanded" for new trial in accordance with the opinion.

Graham & Silverman and Strop & Mayer, all of St. Joseph, for appellant.

Randolph & Randolph, of St. Joseph, for respondent.

SMALL, C. I.


This is a suit by appellant, a justice of the peace of Washington township, Buchanan county, to recover his salary at the rate of $2,000 per annum from respondent, under the act of the Legislature of 1915 (Session Acts 1915, p. 324), and also to recover clerk hire at the rate of $75 per month under said act.

Prior to the institution of this suit appellant had brought a suit in mandamus to compel the judges of the county court of said county to order a warrant issued for the services now sued for. This court held mandamus would not lie, and plaintiff's remedy, if any, was by suit against the county. State ex rel. v. Hill et al., 272 Mo. 206, 198 S. W. 844. Subsequently this suit was brought.

The defense set up in the answer, besides a general denial, was that the act is unconstitutional in that it violated the Constitution of the state in the particulars to be noticed in this opinion. The lower court held with the defendant, and plaintiff appealed to this court.

The act in question, including the caption and title, is as follows:

"(H. B. 106.)

"Justices' Courts — Organization and Procedure; Justices in Townships Containing Seventy-Five Thousand and Not Over One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Inhabitants.

"An act entitled justice of the peace in townships containing seventy-five thousand inhabitants and not over one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants.

Section

1. Salary and number of justices of the peace.

2. Justice of the peace to give bond.

3. County court may require new bond.

4. Fees to be paid into the county treasury.

5. Penalty for noncompliance with provisions of this article.

6. County may sue on bond of justice of peace.

7. County to provide office — appointment of clerk and payment of salary.

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

"Section 1. salary and Number of Justices of the Peace. — In all townships which now contain or may hereafter contain seventy-five thousand inhabitants and not over one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants according to the last decennial census there shall be four justices of the peace and each shall receive a salary of two thousand dollars per annum, payable monthly out of the treasury of the county in which he is elected.

"Sec. 2. Justice of the Peace to Give Bond. — Each justice of the peace shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, give bond to the state of Missouri, with two good and sufficient sureties, residents of the county, in the penal sum of two thousand dollars, conditional that he will account for and pay to the proper officer all the money received by him by virtue of his office; said bond to be approved by the county court, or the clerk in vacation, and if taken by the clerk in vacation it shall be approved or rejected by the court at the next term.

"Sec. 3. County Court may Require New Bond. — Whenever any surety shall die, remove from the county or become insolvent, or when from any other cause the county court shall have reason to believe that the sureties to a justice's bond are likely to become or have become insufficient, the court shall require the justice, at a time to be fixed, to show why a new bond shall not be required and unless cause to the contrary be shown, the justice of the peace shall be required within a given time to give a new bond; and in default thereof the office shall be vacant, which shall be filled as now provided by law for filling vacancies in office of the justice of the peace.

"Sec. 4. Fees to be Paid Into the County Treasury. — Each justice of the peace shall pay over all fees collected for his services to the treasurer of the county in which he is elected every thirty days, accompanied by a statement thereof sworn to by him, and all other costs collected by said justice of the peace shall be paid by him every thirty days, accompanied by like sworn statement, to the constable of his district, who shall be responsible for the same and pay over the same to the parties entitled thereto, as is now required by law in cases of costs collected by or paid to said constable.

"Sec. 5. Penalty for Noncompliance with Provisions of This Article. — Upon failure or neglect of any justice of the peace to comply with the provisions of this article, within five days from the time provided for paying over said costs and filing said statement, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall forfeit his salary for and during such time that he fails to make such statement, as provided in section

222 S.W. 757

four of this article; and should he further fail and neglect to pay over said costs and file said statement for a period of thirty days from the time required for filing the same, he shall forfeit all his right and claim to said office of justice of the peace, and the same shall be filled as now provided by law for filling vacancies in the office of justice of the peace.

"Sec. 6. County may Sue on Bond of Justice of Peace. — Any such county shall sue for and recover all sums of money payable into the treasury thereof by any justice of the peace, and the sureties on his official bond shall be liable therefor.

"Sec. 7. County to Provide Office — Appointment of Clerk and Payment of Salary. — Said county shall provide proper offices for said justice courts and for the proper care of the same, and shall provide light, heat, proper books of accounts, dockets, and printed forms of writs, and stationery, and whatever else may be deemed necessary by the county court of said county, for the proper conduct and the business of such court, including a clerk thereof, to be designated by the justice, at a salary of seventy-five dollars per month, payable at the end of each month out of the treasury of such county. Approved March 23, 1915."

II. It is true the power to declare an act of the Legislature null and void because it infringes upon provisions of the Constitution of the state or of the United States is, by reason of our system of government, vested in the courts. But great care and caution has always been used in the exercise of this high prerogative. We have accordingly laid it down, as a rule, that unless the conflict with the Constitution is so plain that it is beyond reasonable doubt, the act would be held constitutional and valid. Greene County v....

To continue reading

Request your trial
13 practice notes
  • State v. Hedrick, No. 23106.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 3, 1922
    ...doubt applies to questions concerning the sufficiency of titles of acts. Forgrave v. Buchanan County, 282 Mo. loc. cit. 604, 605, 222 S. W. 755; Ex parte Loving, 178 Mo. loc. cit. 203 et seq., 77 S. W. Is a provision for removal of the warehouse commissioner germane to the subject expressed......
  • State ex rel. Transport Mfg. Co. v. Bates, No. 41456.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 14, 1949
    ...v. Purcell, 337 Mo. 574, 85 S.W. (2d) 543; State ex rel. Lorantos v. Terte, 324 Mo. 402, 23 S.W. (2d) 120; Forgrave v. Buchanan County, 282 Mo. 599, 222 S.W. 755. (2) The constitutional provision relating to titling of legislative acts is liberally construed. Sec. 32, Art. IV, Constitution ......
  • Graves v. Purcell, No. 34169.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1935
    ...Mo. 385; State ex rel. Dept. of Penal Institutions v. Becker, 47 S.W. (2d) 782, 239 Mo. 1081; Forgrave v. Buchanan County, 222 S.W. 756, 282 Mo. 599; State ex rel. v. Buckner, 272 S.W. 942, 308 Mo. 390; State ex rel. v. Hendrick, 241 S.W. 408, 294 Mo. 21; State ex rel. Keshlear v. Slover, 1......
  • Missouri Electric Power v. City of Mountain Grove, No. 38630.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 3, 1944
    ...County v. Lydy, 263 Mo. 77, 172 S.W. 376; In re Kansas City Ordinance No. 39946, 298 Mo. 569, 252 S.W. 404; Forgrave v. Buchanan County, 282 Mo. 599, 222 S.W. 755; Phillips v. Mo. Pacific Ry. Co., 86 Mo. 540. (3) In constitutional construction, language must be given its plain, natural and ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • State v. Hedrick, No. 23106.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 3, 1922
    ...doubt applies to questions concerning the sufficiency of titles of acts. Forgrave v. Buchanan County, 282 Mo. loc. cit. 604, 605, 222 S. W. 755; Ex parte Loving, 178 Mo. loc. cit. 203 et seq., 77 S. W. Is a provision for removal of the warehouse commissioner germane to the subject expressed......
  • State ex rel. Transport Mfg. Co. v. Bates, No. 41456.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 14, 1949
    ...v. Purcell, 337 Mo. 574, 85 S.W. (2d) 543; State ex rel. Lorantos v. Terte, 324 Mo. 402, 23 S.W. (2d) 120; Forgrave v. Buchanan County, 282 Mo. 599, 222 S.W. 755. (2) The constitutional provision relating to titling of legislative acts is liberally construed. Sec. 32, Art. IV, Constitution ......
  • Graves v. Purcell, No. 34169.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1935
    ...Mo. 385; State ex rel. Dept. of Penal Institutions v. Becker, 47 S.W. (2d) 782, 239 Mo. 1081; Forgrave v. Buchanan County, 222 S.W. 756, 282 Mo. 599; State ex rel. v. Buckner, 272 S.W. 942, 308 Mo. 390; State ex rel. v. Hendrick, 241 S.W. 408, 294 Mo. 21; State ex rel. Keshlear v. Slover, 1......
  • Missouri Electric Power v. City of Mountain Grove, No. 38630.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 3, 1944
    ...County v. Lydy, 263 Mo. 77, 172 S.W. 376; In re Kansas City Ordinance No. 39946, 298 Mo. 569, 252 S.W. 404; Forgrave v. Buchanan County, 282 Mo. 599, 222 S.W. 755; Phillips v. Mo. Pacific Ry. Co., 86 Mo. 540. (3) In constitutional construction, language must be given its plain, natural and ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT