Hartig v. City of Seattle

Decision Date08 June 1909
CourtWashington Supreme Court

Department 2. Appeal from Superior Court, King County; Arthur E Griffin, Judge.

Mandamus by John Hartig against the City of Seattle and another to compel the issuance of a liquor license. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendants appeal. Affirmed.

Scott Calhoun and H. D. Hughes, for appellants.

Richard Saxe Jones and James A. Snoddy, for respondent.


The respondent made application for a license to sell liquor in the city of Seattle in King county. The city comptroller refused to issue the license by reason of the provisions of the referendum amendment to the city charter. Upon the refusal of the city comptroller to issue the license, respondent applied to the superior court and procured an alternative writ of mandamus. The appellants made return thereto, admitting all the allegations of the respondent's complaint, but pleading the existence and provisions of the referendum act of the city charter. Respondent demurred, not alone upon the ground that the said charter amendment was void as stated, but upon the ground that the pretended facts alleged in said answer and return did not constitute a defense therein, nor did they show any legal ground why a peremptory writ of mandamus should not issue. The issue of law was presented to the Honorable Arthur E. Griffin, judge of the superior court, and after consideration the matter was decided by sustaining respondent's demurrer. There is but a single question presented in this appeal, and that is the validity of the amendment to the charter of the city of Seattle, adopted March 3, 1898, commonly known as the initiative and referendum amendment; and also, we might say, the effect which amendment No. 11, which was adopted on the same day on which the referendum amendment was adopted, has upon the initiative and referendum amendment. Section 1 of art. 4 of the referendum amendment provides: 'The legislative powers of the city of Seattle shall be vested in a mayor and city council, who shall have such powers as are provided for by this charter; but the power to propose for themselves any ordinance dealing with any matter within the realm of local affairs or municipal business, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the mayor and city council is also reserved by the people of the city of Seattle, and provision made for the exercise of such reserved power; and there is further reserved by a provision made for the exercise by the people of Seattle of the power, at their own option, to require submission to the vote of the qualified electors, and thereby to approve or reject at the polls any ordinance, or any section, item or part of any ordinance dealing with any matter within the realm of local affairs or municipal business, which may have passed the city council and mayor, acting in the usual prescribed manner as the ordinary legislative authority. * * *' This will be a sufficient statement of the act, we think, for the purposes of this discussion.

Of course, it is the contention in this case that this question of the granting of the license to the applicant should have been submitted to the voters upon proper showing made, as provided for in the amendment. The appellants have presented a very exhaustive and interesting brief in support of the validity of this amendment; but, as the respondent does not controvert the position taken by the appellants on many of the propositions urged, we will confine our investigation to the points urged against the validity of the charter amendment. First, it is contended that the amendment is in violation of section 10, art. 11, of the Constitution of the state of Washington; but, as we understand appellants' position, it is that the amendment is violative of the Constitution because it is inconsistent with section 740, 1 Ballinger's Ann. Codes & St (Pierce's Code, § 3733), not that it is independently inconsistent with any express provision of the Constitution. It could not very well be, for the Constitution seems to give the city absolute power of government, with only the restriction above mentioned. The Constitution provides that any city, containing a population of 20,000 inhabitants or more, shall be permitted to frame a charter for its own government, consistent...

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19 cases
  • General Telephone Co. of the Northwest, Inc. v. Washington Utilities & Transp. Com'n
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • 19 Septiembre 1985
    ...supersedes a general statute when both apply. E.g. State v. Shriner, 101 Wash.2d 576, 580, 681 P.2d 237 (1984); Hartig v. Seattle, 53 Wash. 432, 437, 102 P. 408 (1909); 2A C. Sands, Statutory Construction § 51.05 (4th ed. The Commission further claims that the Superior Court acted beyond th......
  • Perrault v. Robinson
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • 29 Junio 1916
    ... ... DAVIS, EDWIN HERRINGTON, A. V. EICHELBERGER and THOMAS FINEGAN, Members of Council of Boise City, Idaho, Respondents Supreme Court of Idaho June 29, 1916 ... COMMISSION ... FORM OF ... distinguished from the city, the referendum has no ... application. ( Hartig v. City of Seattle, 53 Wash ... 432, 102 P. 408; Long v. City of Portland, 53 Ore ... 92, 98 ... ...
  • Pitman v. Drabelle
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 21 Febrero 1916
    ... ...           Appeal ... from St. Louis City Circuit Court. -- Hon. George H. Shields, ...           ... Affirmed ... Ore. 459; In re Pfahler, 150 Cal. 71; Graham v ... Roberts, 200 Mass. 152; Hantig v. Seattle, 53 ... Wash. 432; Hindman v. Boyd, 84 P. 609; State v ... Paul, 151 P. 116. See, also, cases ... ...
  • State v. Carroll
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • 3 Agosto 1972
    ...where a general and subsequent special statute relates to the same subject, the provisions of the latter must prevail. Hartig v. Seattle, 53 Wash. 432, 102 P. 408. We hold that in all cases where the negligent homicide statute is applicable, it supersedes the manslaughter statute. This not ......
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