Graff v. Priest, No. 40171.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtBradley
Citation201 S.W.2d 945
PartiesGEORGE GRAFF v. H. SAM PRIEST ET AL., Appellants.
Docket NumberNo. 40171.
Decision Date21 April 1947
201 S.W.2d 945
GEORGE GRAFF
v.
H. SAM PRIEST ET AL., Appellants.
No. 40171.
Supreme Court of Missouri.
Division One, April 21, 1947.
Rehearing Denied, May 12, 1947.

[201 S.W.2d 946]

Appeal from Circuit Court of City of St. Louis.Hon. Charles B. Williams, Judge.

REVERSED.

[201 S.W.2d 947]

James V. Frank, Associate City Counselor, James W. Griffin, Circuit Attorney, and William C. Lochmoeller, Prosecuting Attorney, all of City of St. Louis, J.E. Taylor, Attorney General, and William C. Blair, Assistant Attorney General, for appellants.

(1) The prohibition and/or regulation of intoxicants is a matter within the power of the state. Sec. 1, 2, Twenty-first Amendment, Fed. Constitution; Samuels v. McCurdy, 45 S. Ct. 264, 267 U.S. 188, 69 L. Ed. 568; Ziffrin, Inc. v. Reeves, 84 L. Ed. 128, 308 U.S. 132, 60 S. Ct. 163; Eberle v. Michigan, 58 L. Ed. 803, 232 U.S. 700, 34 S. Ct. 464; State v. Parker Distilling Co., 237 Mo. 103, 139 S.W. 453; Griesedieck Bros. Brewing Co. v. Moore, 262 Fed. 582; General Sales and Liquor Co. v. Becker, 14 F. Supp. 348; State v. Privitt, 39 S.W. (2d) 755, 327 Mo. 1194; State v. Kennedy, 123 S.W. (2d) 118, 343 Mo. 786; State ex rel. Klein v. Balsiger, 151 S.W. (2d) 521; Zinn v. The City of Steelville, 351 Mo. 413, 173 S.W. (2d) 398. (3) All the regulations and/or prohibitions relating to intoxicants grow out of the police power of the State. State ex rel. v. Hudson, 78 Mo. 302; License Cases, 12 Law Ed. 314; 8 Cyc. 683; State ex rel. v. Mercantile Co., 184 Mo. 160, 82 S.W. 1075; State v. Addington, 12 Mo. App. 214; Griesedieck Bros. Brewery Co. v. Moore, 262 F. 582; General Sales and Liquor Co. v. Becker, 14 F. Supp. 348; State v. Parker Distilling Co., supra; Hann v. Fitzgerald, 119 S.W. (2d) 808, 342 Mo. 1166; State v. Wipke, 133 S.W. (2d) 354, 345 Mo. 283; State v. Ruebling, 133 S.W. (2d) 360; 33 C.J., Sec. 34, p. 505. (3) The state having the power to prohibit intoxicants by an exercise of its police power, it has the lesser power to appropriately regulate intoxicants in any manner which is to the general good of its citizenry. Hann v. Fitzgerald, supra; State v. Wipke, supra; State v. Ruebling, supra; 33 C.J., sec. 44, p. 514; 33 C.J., sec. 65, p. 519; Zinn v. The City of Steelville, supra; Lincoln Center v. Linker, 6 Kan. App. 369, 51 Pac. 807; Ziffrin, Inc. v. Reeves, supra; California Liquor Control Act, Sec. 53.2; Indiana Liquor Control Act, Sec. 12-439. (4) The present statute, sec. 4895a, Laws of 1945, supra, is a reasonable regulation of intoxicants. 33 C.J., sec. 44, p. 514, sec. 48, p. 515, sec. 65, p. 519, sec. 70, p. 522; Sec. 3495, R.S. 1919.

Roberts P. Elam for respondent.

(1) The constitutional guaranties of "liberty" and "property" include (a) the right to perform, and to permit another to perform, any wholly innocent and lawful act, (b) the right to engage in any common lawful occupation, and (c) in the pursuit thereof, the right to contract with others respecting any lawful subject matter. Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 43 S. Ct. 625, 67 L. Ed. 1042; In re Flukes, 157 Mo. 125, 57 S.W. 545; State v. Julow, 129 Mo. 163, 31 S.W. 781; State v. Loomis, 115 Mo. 307, 22 S.W. 350; Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578, 17 S. Ct. 427, 41 L. Ed. 882; Adair v. United States, 208 U.S. 161, 28 S. Ct. 277, 52 L. Ed. 436; Coppage v. Kansas, 236 U.S. 1, 35 S. Ct. 240, 59 L. Ed. 441; Adams v. Tanner, 244 U.S. 590, 37 S. Ct. 662, 61 L. Ed. 1336; Kusnetsky v. Security Ins. Co., 313 Mo. 143, 281 S.W. 47. (2) An act of the legislature, such as the act here in question, which makes it a criminal offense for one person to permit the doing by another of a wholly innocent and lawful act, is not only void because unreasonable and arbitrary, but deprives the former person of liberty and property without due process of law. It is not within the power of the legislature to declare that to be a crime which is wholly innocent and lawful. State v. Excelsior Springs, L.P.R. & W. Co., 212 Mo. 101, 110 S.W. 1079; Lawton v. Steele, 119 N.Y. 226; State v. Julow, 129 Mo. 163, 31 S.W. 781; Coppage v. Kansas, 236 U.S. 1, 35 S. Ct. 240, 59 L. Ed. 441; Ex parte Smith, 135 Mo. 223, 36 S.W. 28; City of St. Louis v. Roche, 128 Mo. 541, 31 S.W. 915; People v. Belcastro, 356 Ill. 144, 190 N.E. 401; Gillespie v. People, 188 Ill. 176, 58 N.E. 1007; Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 310, 45 S.W. 571, 69 L. Ed. 1070; Re Flukes, 157 Mo. 125, 57 S.W. 545. (3) The legislature cannot, under the mere guise of police regulations, take away or abridge rights secured to citizens by the constitutional due process clauses. Such rights may reasonably be abridged by police regulations only when such regulations bear a direct relationship to the evil sought to be remedied. Such is not the case here. Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 43 S. Ct. 625, 67 L. Ed. 1042; Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, 25 S. Ct. 358, 49 L. Ed. 643; Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 25 S. Ct. 539, 49 L. Ed. 937; People v. Belcastro, 356 Ill. 144, 190 N.E. 301; Lawton v. Steele, 152 U.S. 133, 14 S. Ct. 499, 38 L. Ed. 385; State ex rel. Wyatt v. Ashbrook, 154 Mo. 375, 55 S.W. 627; State v. Julow, 129 Mo. 163, 31 S.W. 781; House v. Mayes, 219 U.S. 270, 31 S. Ct. 234, 55 L. Ed. 213; State v. Missouri Pacific R. Co., 242 Mo. 339, 147 S.W. 118; Poole & Creber Market Co. v. Breshears, 343 Mo. 1133, 125 S.W. (2d) 23. (4) The act in question is, with reference to conduct declared criminal by it, so vague, uncertain and ambiguous that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at is meaning and differ as to its application. United States v. L. Cohen Grocery Co., 255 U.S. 81, 41 S. Ct. 298, 65 L. Ed. 516; Lanzetta v. New Jersey, 306 U.S. 451, 59 S. Ct. 618, 83 L. Ed. 888; Collins v. Kentucky, 234 U.S. 634, 34 S. Ct. 924, 58 L. Ed. 1510; International Harvester Co. v. Kentucky, 234 U.S. 216, 34 S. Ct. 853, 58 L. Ed. 1284; American Seeding Machine Co. v. Kentucky, 236 U.S. 660, 35 S. Ct. 456, 59 L. Ed. 773. (5) The act of the 63rd General Assembly here in question is illegal, null, void, of no effect and unenforceable against plaintiff, and is in violation of Section 23 of Article III of the Constitution of Missouri of 1945, because. The title to the act does not clearly express the subject of the act. (6) The act contains more than one subject. (7) Although the title of the act descends to particulars, such particulars do not include or cover the regulation attempted by the body of the act. Fidelity Adjustment Co. v. Cook, 339 Mo. 45, 95 S.W. (2d) 1162; State v. Sloan, 258 Mo. 305, 167 S.W. 500; State v. Rawlings, 232 Mo. 544, 134 S.W. 530; State v. Fulks, 207 Mo. 26, 105 S.W. 733; St. Louis v. Wortman, 213 Mo. 131, 112 S.W. 520; Booth v. Scott, 276 Mo. 1, 205 S.W. 633. (8) There was no error in the finding and decision of the trial court that the act of the 63rd General Assembly here in question is illegal, null, void, of no effect, unenforceable against plaintiff, and in violation of paragraph (30) of Section 40 of Article III of the Constitution of Missouri of 1945, because. If, upon examination by the courts, a classification made by the legislature is arbitrary, unreasonable and unjust, the legislation will be set aside as a special law. State ex rel. Rolston v. Chicago, B. & Q.R. Co., 246 Mo. 512, 152 S.W. 28; State ex inf. Barrett ex rel. Bradshaw v. Hedrick, 241 S.W. 402. (9) The act contains mere classification for legislation, without any regard to necessity therefor, and without regard or relation to the purposes to be served by the act, and must be set aside as a special law. State ex rel. Garesche v. Roach, 258 Mo. 541, 167 S.W. 1008; State ex rel. Garesche v. Drabelle, 258 Mo. 568, 167 S.W. 1016; Reals v. Courson, 349 Mo. 1193, 164 S.W. (2d) 306; State v. Empire Bottling Co., 261 Mo. 300, 168 S.W. 1176.

BRADLEY, C.


This is an action to test the constitutional validity of Sec. 4895a, a new section amendment, effective July 1, 1946, to article 1, chapter 32, R.S.A., 1939, our liquor control act. The new section appears in Mo. R.S.A., Sec. 4895a. Also, plaintiff asked that enforcement be enjoined. Plaintiff (respondent) operates a cafe, "Club 400", at 3631 Grandel Square, St. Louis, and is affected by the act. Defendants (appellants) are the police commissioners, chief of police, chief of detectives, the circuit attorney and the prosecuting attorney of St. Louis, the state supervisor of liquor control and his deputy in district 3, and the attorney general. The trial court held the act unconstitutional and void and enjoined enforcement; defendants appealed.

The new section amendment with its caption follows:

"AN ACT

"To amend Article 1, Chapter 32 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1939, known as the Liquor Control Act, by adding a new section to said Article 1, Chapter 32 to be known as Section 4895a, regulating the drinking and consumption of intoxicating liquor in premises where food, beverages or entertainment are sold or provided for compensation; providing for the issuance of licenses to operate such premises and fixing the fees therefor; providing for the issuance of licenses to operate such premises by incorporated cities having a population of more than twenty thousand inhabitants; providing that such cities may, by ordinance, further regulate the drinking and consumption of intoxicating liquor on such premises; providing qualifications for persons to whom a license may be granted and the giving of a bond by the applicant therefor before approval of a license; regulating the drinking and consumption of intoxicating liquor on premises licensed for sale of intoxicating liquor by the drink; providing that premises operated in violating of this Act are a public and common nuisance; providing for enjoining the same; providing that persons violating this Act shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor; providing that the Supervisor of Liquor Control may issue regulations for enforcement of this...

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8 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Normandy School Dist. of St. Louis County v. Small, No. 49177
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 9, 1962
    ...Storage Co., Mo.Sup., 296 S.W.2d 20, 24; Hoerath v. Sloan's Moving & Storage Co., Mo.Sup., 305 S.W.2d 418; Graff v. Priest, 356 Mo. 401, 201 S.W.2d 945, 952, certiorari denied 332 U.S. 770, 68 S.Ct. 83, 92 L.Ed. 356, and say that these cases are in accord with the Edwards case insofar as it......
  • City of Kansas City v. Jordan, No. WD 64388.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 25, 2005
    ...of the police power cannot be made a cloak under which to overthrow or disregard constitutional rights." Graff v. Priest, 356 Mo. 401, 201 S.W.2d 945, 951 (1947). "The police power is limited by: (1) the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, (2) the necessity of a legitimate public purpose......
  • State v. Hacker, No. 40971.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 8, 1948
    ...food etc. are sold, was being violated by appellant's drinking intoxicating liquor on Wilson's premises (Graff v. Priest, 356 Mo. 401, 201 S.W.2d 945); and that when Wilson asked him to leave appellant invited Wilson to throw him out if he were man enough and threatened to kill Wilson if he......
  • State v. King, No. 45573
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 8, 1957
    ...'The purpose of a title is to serve as a clear and comprehensive indicator of the purport of the act.' In Graff v. Priest, 356 Mo. 401, 201 S.W.2d 945, 952, the court said: 'The intent and purpose of the framers of this constitutional provision was to limit the subject matter of a bill to o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • State ex rel. Normandy School Dist. of St. Louis County v. Small, No. 49177
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 9, 1962
    ...Storage Co., Mo.Sup., 296 S.W.2d 20, 24; Hoerath v. Sloan's Moving & Storage Co., Mo.Sup., 305 S.W.2d 418; Graff v. Priest, 356 Mo. 401, 201 S.W.2d 945, 952, certiorari denied 332 U.S. 770, 68 S.Ct. 83, 92 L.Ed. 356, and say that these cases are in accord with the Edwards case insofar as it......
  • City of Kansas City v. Jordan, No. WD 64388.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 25, 2005
    ...of the police power cannot be made a cloak under which to overthrow or disregard constitutional rights." Graff v. Priest, 356 Mo. 401, 201 S.W.2d 945, 951 (1947). "The police power is limited by: (1) the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, (2) the necessity of a legitimate public purpose......
  • State v. Hacker, No. 40971.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 8, 1948
    ...food etc. are sold, was being violated by appellant's drinking intoxicating liquor on Wilson's premises (Graff v. Priest, 356 Mo. 401, 201 S.W.2d 945); and that when Wilson asked him to leave appellant invited Wilson to throw him out if he were man enough and threatened to kill Wilson if he......
  • State v. King, No. 45573
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 8, 1957
    ...'The purpose of a title is to serve as a clear and comprehensive indicator of the purport of the act.' In Graff v. Priest, 356 Mo. 401, 201 S.W.2d 945, 952, the court said: 'The intent and purpose of the framers of this constitutional provision was to limit the subject matter of a bill to o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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