Hines v. Hook

Decision Date18 December 1935
Docket Number33086
Citation89 S.W.2d 52,338 Mo. 114
PartiesFrank T. Hines, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, Appellant, v. C. H. Hook, Guardian of Gerald Schrader
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Appeal from Callaway Circuit Court; Hon. North T. Gentry Judge.

Reversed and remanded.

Ray J. Cunningham for appellant.

(1) The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs is a party in interest by virtue of both Federal and State law, and entitled to notice of all proceedings in estates under guardianship of persons entitled to money benefits from the United States Veterans' Bureau. 38 U.S. Code Ann. 450; Sec. 606, R. S 1929; U.S. Veterans' Bureau v. Glenn, 46 S.W.2d 200; Veterans' Administration v. Boles, 61 S.W.2d 757; U.S. Veterans' Bureau v. Thomas, 159 S.E 159; In re Strozyk, 156 Wash. 233, 286 P. 646; In re Estate of Rickell, 158 Md. 654, 149 A. 446; Carter, Curatorship, 116 So. 491; Wilson v. Sawyer, 6 S.W.2d 825; Payne v. Jordan, 36 Ga.App. 787, 138 S.E. 262; In re Succession of Geir, 155 La. 167, 97 S.E. 26, 32 A. L. R. 353; Watkins v. Hall, 147 S.E. 876; Jones v. Price, 146 S.E. 890; 21 R. C. L. 217; United States v. Hall, 98 U.S. 343, 25 L.Ed. 180; United States v. Moyers, 15 F. 411; Manning v. Spry, 121 Iowa 191, 96 N.W. 873; Kellog v. Waite, 94 Mass. 530; Walton v. Colton, 60 U.S. 660, 15 L.Ed. 359; Tax Commission of Ohio v. Rife, 119 Ohio St. 43. (2) An appeal lies from an order of a probate court made in connection with expenses of administration. Sec. 284, subsection 10, R.S. 1929; Crow v. Lutz, 175 Mo.App. 427, 162 S.W. 679; State ex rel. v. Zeppenfeld, 279 S.W. 188; In re Taylor Estate, 5 S.W.2d 457; U.S. Veterans' Bureau v. Glenn, 46 S.W.2d 200; Veterans' Administration v. Boles, 61 S.W.2d 757; In re McMenamy's Guardianship, 270 S.W. 662; Coleman v. Farrar, 112 Mo. 72, 20 S.W. 441; Stanton v. Johnson's Estate, 177 Mo.App. 56, 163 S.W. 296; Brockman v. Webb, 189 Mo.App. 476, 176 S.W. 1082; State v. Williams, 310 Mo. 267, 275 S.W. 534. (3) Sections 605, 606, 607, Revised Statutes 1929, are not offensive to Article IV, Section 28, Constitution of the State of Missouri. State ex rel. v. Imhoff, 291 Mo. 603, 238 S.W. 122; State ex rel. v. Hackman, 292 Mo. 27, 237 S.W. 742; State ex inf. v. Hedrick, 294 Mo. 21, 241 S.W. 402; State v. Mullinex, 301 Mo. 385, 257 S.W. 121; State ex rel. v. Hackman, 305 Mo. 685, 267 S.W. 608; State ex rel. v. Buckner, 308 Mo. 390, 272 S.W. 940; State ex rel. v. Schmoll, 313 Mo. 693, 282 S.W. 702; Levee Dist. v. Darroh, 316 Mo. 398, 289 S.W. 925; Burge v. Ry. Co., 244 Mo. 76, 148 S.W. 925; State ex rel. v. Danuser, 319 Mo. 799, 6 S.W.2d 907; Bottling Co. v. Mosby, 289 Mo. 462, 233 S.W. 446; Booth v. Scott, 276 Mo. 1, 205 S.W. 508; Ex parte Karnstrom, 297 Mo. 384, 248 S.W. 595; State ex rel. McClintock v. Guinotte, 275 Mo. 298, 204 S.W. 806; Coffey v. Carthage, 200 Mo. 616, 98 S.W. 562, 36 Cyc., pp. 1017, 1028. (4) Sections 605, 606, 607, Revised Statutes, 1929, do not offend Sections 34, 35, Article VI, Constitution of Missouri. State v. Lochner, 181 S.W. 1001. (5) Section 607, Revised Statutes 1929, does not amend Section 436, Revised Statutes 1929, and is not in violation of Section 34, Article IV, but both acts must be construed together so as to effectuate the legislative intent. State ex rel. American Century Ins. Co. v. Gehner, 280 S.W. 416, 315 Mo. 1126, 59 A. L. R. 1041; Bishop v. Musick Plating Works, 3 S.W.2d 256; Henderson v. Koenig, 168 Mo. 374, 68 S.W. 72, 57 L. R. A. 659; State ex rel. v. Herman, 75 Mo. 340; U.S. Veterans' Bureau v. Glenn, 46 S.W.2d 200; 59 C. J. 1056. (6) Section 607, Revised Statutes 1929, does not offend the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and is not offensive to items 17, 21, 26 and 32, Section 53, Article IV, Constitution of Missouri, as a local or special law. People v. Metz, 193 N.Y. 148, 85 N.E. 1070, 24 L. R. A. (N. S.) 201; Davis v. Jasper County, 318 Mo. 248, 300 S.W. 493; State ex rel. v. Hartman, 299 Mo. 410, 253 S.W. 991; State ex rel. Barker v. Southern, 177 S.W. 640, 265 Mo. 275; State ex rel. v. Taylor, 224 Mo. 477, 123 S.W. 892; Etling v. Hickman, 172 Mo. 257, 72 S.W. 700; State ex rel. Dickson v. County Court, 125 Mo. 427, 30 S.W. 103; Lynch v. Murphy, 119 Mo. 163, 24 S.W. 774; Springfield v. Smith, 19 S.W.2d 1; State ex rel. Moseley v. Lee, 5 S.W.2d 83; State ex rel. v. Wofford, 121 Mo. 61, 25 S.W. 851; State ex inf. v. Southern, 265 Mo. 575, 177 S.W. 640; Phillips v. Ry. Co., 86 Mo. 540; Straughn v. Meyers, 187 S.W. 1159, 268 Mo. 580; State ex rel. State Board of Agriculture v. Woods, 296 S.W. 381, 317 Mo. 403; Miners Bank v. Clark, 158 S.W. 597; Carter, Curatorship, 116 So. 491; Board of Directors v. Nye, 8 Cal. 527, 76 P. 208; State ex rel. Atwood v. Johnson, 175 N.W. 589, 7 A. L. R. 1617; Gustafason v. Rhinow, 175 N.W. 903; In re Estate of Rickell, 158 Md. 654, 149 A. 446; U.S. Veterans' Bureau v. Glenn, 46 S.W.2d 200; Veterans' Administration v. Boles, 61 S.W.2d 757; Williams v. Bowling Green, 70 S.W.2d 967; Thompson v. Railroad Co., 69 S.W.2d 936; Art. 4, Sec. 53, Const. of Mo.; Bollinger v. Watson, 63 S.W.2d 643.

Frank P. Baker for respondent.

(1) The appellant has no right to appeal from the annual settlement of guardian, because annual settlements are not judgments, and for the further reason that the appellant is not an interested party under the statute. Sheets v. Kirtley, 62 Mo. 417; West v. West, 75 Mo. 208; Picot v. Biddle, 35 Mo. 29; Folger v. Heidel, 60 Mo. 284; Seymour v. Seymour, 67 Mo. 303; In re Wichard's Estate, 282 S.W. 173; In re Settlement of Barnes, 43 Mo.App. 295; North v. Priest, 81 Mo. 56; Presbyterian Church v. McElhinney, 61 Mo. 540; In re Davis, Executor, 62 Mo. 450; Peper v. Bell, 226 S.W. 550, 286 Mo. 134; State ex rel. Goodloe v. Wurdeman, 227 S.W. 64. (2) Sections 605, 606, 607, of Revised Statutes 1929, and being act passed by Fifty-fifth General Assembly, is unconstitutional because indefinite and uncertain, and because it is in violation of the State Constitution and Federal Constitution which prohibit special laws and arbitrary class legislation. Const. of Mo. Art. IV, Sec. 53, Items 17, 21, 26, 32; Art. VI, Secs. 34, 35; Const. of U.S., Fourteenth Amendment; 21 C. J., pp. 1128, 1130; Sams v. Ry. Co., 174 Mo. 72; Lige v. Railroad Co., 204 S.W. 508; Ex parte French, 285 S.W. 513; Springfield v. Smith, 19 S.W.2d 1.

OPINION

Collet, J.

On January 14, 1922, Gerald Schrader, a veteran of the World War, was adjudged to be a person of unsound mind by the Probate Court of Callaway County. A guardian was duly appointed to administer his estate which consisted of compensation and insurance received and to be received from the United States Government by reason of his military service to his country. On May 10, 1932, respondent C. H. Hook, as such guardian, filed his annual settlement which included an item of $ 127.80 as compensation to the guardian. This sum represented an allowance of one per cent of the gross amount of the estate of $ 12,780.35. Appellant, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the Administrator), acting pursuant to the provisions of Section 450, 38 Statute United States Code Annotated as amended, and Section 606, Revised Statutes 1929, filed a written exception to this allowance on the ground that Section 607, Revised Statutes 1929, fixed the guardian's compensation at not to exceed five per cent of the income for the year preceding the settlement. Respondent filed a motion to strike the exception. After a hearing this motion was sustained and the allowance approved. Appellant appealed to the Circuit Court of Callaway County where the case was tried upon the record of the probate court and the facts agreed to in the following stipulation:

"It is stipulated and agreed between the parties hereto as follows:

"That C. H. Hook is the duly appointed, qualified and acting guardian and curator of the person and estate of Gerald Schrader, and as such guardian and curator he filed his 5th annual settlement in the Probate Court of Callaway County, Missouri, at the May, 1932, term; that Frank T. Hines, as Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, filed exceptions to the allowance of the guardian's commission at one per cent of the gross estate; that the guardian filed a motion to strike out the exceptions and upon a hearing the motion to strike out was sustained and the settlement of the guardian was approved; that Frank T. Hines, as Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, appealed from such order to the Circuit Court of Callaway County, Missouri.

"It is further agreed that the only contention between the appellant and appellee is the amount of commission to be received by the guardian. The appellant contends that under Section 607, Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri for the year 1929, the guardian is limited to five per cent of the total receipts received by the guardian during the last calendar year prior to his report; the guardian contending that said section is unconstitutional and that he is entitled to a reasonable compensation which is one per cent of the gross estate, and it is agreed that if said section is unconstitutional, the amount charged by the guardian is reasonable.

"It is agreed that the guardian does receive money benefits from the United States Veterans' Bureau.

"The parties hereto shall be permitted to file briefs in support of their contention; and the settlement, the exceptions filed thereto, and the motion to strike out the exceptions shall be considered in evidence."

The circuit court approved the allowance. After unsuccessful motion for new trial the administrator appealed to this court. We have jurisdiction by reason of the fact that the constitutionality of Sections 605, 606 and 607, Revised Statutes 1929, is...

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