Hogan v. Hartwell, 1 Div. 166.

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Citation7 So.2d 889,242 Ala. 646
Docket Number1 Div. 166.
Decision Date07 May 1942

7 So.2d 889

242 Ala. 646


1 Div. 166.

Supreme Court of Alabama

May 7, 1942

[7 So.2d 890]

[242 Ala. 647] Jesse F. Hogan, of Mobile, pro se.

[242 Ala. 648] Harry T. Smith, & Caffey, of Mobile, for appellee.

GARDNER, Chief Justice.

Appellant, a qualified elector of the City of Mobile, instituted this contest of the election of Harry T. Hartwell to the office of Commissioner of said city for the term beginning October 1, 1941. The contest is based upon two grounds: First, it is insisted that Hartwell, at the time of the election, was ineligible to hold the office by reason of his conviction in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama on May 11, 1939, of an [242 Ala. 649] offense punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary and in the second place the contention is that said Hartwell was ineligible because not a qualified elector, as he had failed to re-register following said conviction.

Upon the trial it developed, undisputedly, that contestee Hartwell in May, 1939, was duly convicted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama under an indictment which in the first two counts charged a violation of Section 1731(a), Title 12 U.S.C.A., in that false statements were made for the purpose of procuring a loan from a Federal agency, and in the third count with a use of the mails to defraud in violation of Section 338, Title 18 U.S.C.A.

There was a general verdict of "guilty as charged in the indictment", and punishment was imposed of a fine of $250 and imprisonment in the penitentiary for one year and a day. The fine was duly paid and the sentence suspended. At the time of the election for City Commissioner of Mobile in September, 1941, therefore, the fine had been paid and the period covered by the sentence of imprisonment had expired.

Standing alone the foregoing admitted facts establish a prima facie case in favor of the contestant and point to the ineligibility of the contestee to hold the office. Section 60, Alabama Constitution 1901; State ex rel. v. Blake, 225 Ala. 124, 142 So. 418; Title 17, § 16, Code 1940; Title 41,§ 5, Code 1940; Finklea v. Farish, 160 Ala. 230, 49 So. 366.

But these facts do not stand alone. Contestee offered as a complete answer the order of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles restoring to said Hartwell "all Alabama Civil and Political Rights" of which he was "by law deprived upon his conviction in said Federal Court". Before becoming a candidate, Hartwell made application to the State Board and received and accepted the above order restoring his civil and political rights.

It appears also without dispute no other proceedings had ever been brought against Hartwell in the Federal Court. There was but one indictment containing three counts and contestant makes the point that the order of the State Board makes reference only to a violation of Section 1731(a), Title 12, United States Code Annotated, omitting reference to the third and last count charging a use of the mails to defraud in violation of Section 338, Title 18, United States Code Annotated. But the verdict of the jury was general in character and without reference to any particular count in the indictment. Undisputedly this was the only judgment of conviction ever entered against the contestee. The preliminary statements contained in the order indicate the conviction to which reference is made, and the intent and purpose of the order are clear beyond dispute.

A pardon is to be construed as a whole to carry out the general intent and is to be liberally construed in favor of the person pardoned. 46 C.J. 1192. The following illustrative cases are here much in point: Ex parte Eggleston, 118 Kan. 381, 234 P. 970; Ex parte Stanley, 120 Kan. 1, 241 P. 685, and Redd v. State, 65 Ark. 475, 47 S.W. 119. Contestant's contention would too narrowly interpret the order and is not here accepted as well founded.

But coming to matters of substance, contestant insists the order is without force and that only the President of the United States could issue any effective order of [7 So.2d 891] that character, citing Section 2, Art. II, United States Constitution, and Harrison v. Snook, D.C., 22 F.2d 169. But there is here involved no matter of remission of fine or release from imprisonment. The fine has long since been paid and the time of sentence long since expired. The only matter, therefore, in which Hartwell was interested bears relation to the restoration of his civil rights. This was originally a function of the Governor under Section 124, Constitution 1901. This duty (death sentences excepted) now devolves upon the State Board of Pardons and Paroles as authorized under Amendment 38, Constitution 1901, as found on page 332, Title 1, Code 1940, and as set forth in Title 42, § 16, Code 1940. In this latter section it is provided that "no pardon shall relieve from civil and political disabilities unless specifically expressed in the pardon".

True only the President could grant a pardon for remission of the fine and release from imprisonment. But no official of the Federal government would have interest in the matter of restoration of civil rights tending to the qualifications of the convicted person for an office under State authority.

Speaking of the provision of our Federal Constitution, and with particular reference to Section 2, Article 4, the authorities [242 Ala. 650] are generally...

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21 cases
  • Winkler v. Spinnato
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • December 28, 1987
    ...). In other words, the right to hold a state office is not a "privilege" protected by this constitutional provision (Hogan v. Hartwell, 242 Ala. 646, 7 [134 A.D.2d 79] So.2d 889, 891; Shaw v. City Council of Marshalltown, 131 Iowa 128, 104 N.W. 1121, More recent cases from the Supreme Court......
  • People ex rel. Keenan v. McGuane, 34774
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 21, 1958
    ...throughout the United States, a few of which are hereafter cited: State v. Redman, 183 Ind. 332, 109 N.E. 184; Hogan v. Hartwell, 242 Ala. 646, 7 So.2d 889; State ex rel. Anderson v. Fousek, 91 Mont. 448, 8 P.2d 791, 84 A.L.R. 303; State ex rel. McElliott v. Fousek, 91 Mont. 457, 8 P.2d 795......
  • Payne v. Fawkes, Civil Action No. 2014-053
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of the Virgin Islands
    • September 24, 2014
    ...(Ill. App. 1970) (pardon issued before public office holder was ousted from office restored his right to hold office); Hogan v. Hartwell, 7 So. 2d 889 (Ala. 1942) (pardon restored candidate's right to run for office in upcoming election). 8. The only official objection that was made to Sena......
  • Casey v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 16, 2001
    ...by the Alabama Pardons and Paroles Board, concerns the restoration of a defendant's civil and political rights. In Hogan v. Hartwell, 242 Ala. 646, 7 So.2d 889, 891 (1942), the Alabama Supreme Court held that a full and unconditional pardon from the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles reli......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • The Legal Rights of Prisoners
    • United States
    • ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, The No. 293-1, May 1954
    • May 1, 1954
    ...this 42 See Charles Gordon, "The Writ of Habeas power in the governor. See Hogan v. Hart- Corpus in Deportation Proceedings," in well, 242 Ala. 646, and Arnett v. Stumbo, Monthly Review (Department of Justice Im- Ky. 433. migration and Naturalization Service), Vol. 3, 39 U. S. C., tit. 8, &......

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