Hankins v. Town Of Va. Beach

Decision Date01 May 1944
Citation29 S.E.2d 831
PartiesHANKINS et al. v. TOWN OF VIRGINIA BEACH et al.
CourtVirginia Supreme Court

Appeal from Circuit Court, Princess Anne County; L. W. I'Anson, Judge, Designate.

Action by Hazel O. Hankins, as administratrix, and others, against the Town of Virginia Beach and others, involving right of plaintiffs to operate their vehicles for hire under a license issued by the city for the year beginning May 1, 1943, and ending on April 30, 1944. From an adverse decree, plaintiffs appeal.

Appeal dismissed.


W. R. Ashbum, of Norfolk, for appellants.

Roy Smith, of Virginia Beach, and F. E. Kellam, of Norfolk, for appellees.

BROWNING, Justice.

This case involves the right of the appellants to operate their vehicles for hire on the streets of the Appellee under license number 2308 which was issued to them by the Appellee for the license year beginning on May 1st, 1943 and ending on April 30, 1944.

It appearing that the license period has now expired and all rights and benefits thereunder have ended, there is no controversy or issue to be determined.

In Franklin v. Peers, 95 Va. 602, 29 S.E. 321, this was said:

"Whenever it appears or is made to appear that there is no actual controversy between the litigants, or that, if it once existed, it has ceased to do so, it is the duty of every judicial tribunal not to proceed to the formal determination of the ap parent controversy, but to dismiss the case, It is not the office of courts to give opinions on abstract propositions of law, or to decide questions upon which no rights depend and where no relief can be afforded. Only real controversies and existing rights are entitled to invoke the exercise of their powers.

"When it appears from the record, or from matters of which courts may take judicial notice, that the controversy that once existed has terminated by lapse of time, the appellate court will dismiss the writ of error or appeal. Shumate v. Spilman, 10 Va. Law J. 443; Mills v. Green, 159 U.S. 651, 16 S.Ct. 132 , and Cutcomp v. Utt, 60 Iowa 156, 14 N.W. 214."

In the case of Mills v. Green, 159 U.S. 651, 16 S.Ct. 132, L33, 40 L.Ed. 293, Mr. Justice Gray said:

"The duty of this court, as of every other judicial tribunal, is to decide actual controversies by a judgment which can be carried into effect, and not to give opinions upon moot questions or abstract propositions, or to declare principles or rules of...

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39 cases
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2010
    ...the relief requested. Jackson v. Marshall, 19 Va.App. 628, 635, 454 S.E.2d 23, 27 (1995) (quoting Hankins v. Town of Virginia Beach, 182 Va. 642, 644, 29 S.E.2d 831, 832 (1944)). Hollowell challenged 4 VAC 20-1140-20 on the grounds that it prohibited dredging of crabs for an indefinite peri......
  • Bista v. Commonwealth
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals
    • December 6, 2022
    ...before it.’ " Va. Dep't of State Police v. Elliott , 48 Va. App. 551, 554, 633 S.E.2d 203 (2006) (quoting Hankins v. Town of Va. Beach , 182 Va. 642, 644, 29 S.E.2d 831 (1944) ). To address a question that is unasked and not properly before this Court is to offer "an impermissible advisory ......
  • E.C. v. Virginia Dep't of Juvenile Justice, Record No. 110523.
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court
    • March 2, 2012
    ...International Union of United Brewery, etc. Workers of Am. 187 Va. 889, 897, 48 S.E.2d 252, 255 (1948); Hankins v. Town of Virginia Beach, 182 Va. 642, 643–44, 29 S.E.2d 831, 832 (1944); Potts v. Mathieson Alkali Works, 165 Va. 196, 225, 181 S.E. 521, 533 (1935); Board of Supervisors of Amh......
  • Padula-Wilson v. Wilson
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals
    • April 14, 2015
    ...Va. Dep't of State Police v. Elliott, 48 Va. App. 551, 554, 633 S.E.2d 203, 204 (2006) (quoting Hankins v. Town of Va. Beach, 182 Va. 642, 643-44, 29 S.E.2d 831, 832 (1944)). After the August 2013 hearing, the circuit court held three additional hearings: two were four months later in Decem......
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