Holcombe v. Pierce, 1 Div. 394.

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtFOSTER, Justice.
Citation43 So.2d 640,253 Ala. 173
PartiesHOLCOMBE, Sheriff, v. PIERCE.
Docket Number1 Div. 394.
Decision Date22 December 1949

43 So.2d 640

253 Ala. 173

HOLCOMBE, Sheriff,


1 Div. 394.

Supreme Court of Alabama.

December 22, 1949

[43 So.2d 641]

[253 Ala. 174] A. A. Carmichael, Atty. Gen., and M. Roland Nachman, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellant.

Outlaw, Seale & Kilborn, Mobile, for appellee.

FOSTER, Justice.

This case comes to us on appeal from a final declaratory judgment of the Circuit Court, in Equity, of Mobile County, wherein that court held that Act No. 199 of the Legislature of 1949, approved July 8, 1949, is unconstitutional insofar as it undertakes to amend section 201, Title 15 of the 1940 Code of Alabama.

The particular ground upon which this result was reached is that it violates section 45 of the Constitution, for that such amendment was not germane to the subject matter of section 201, supra, as the same appears in the Code. The aprticular matter added to section 201 by the amendment is the following:

'Provided however that each person, engaged in the business of making bonds and charging therefor, except corporations qualified to do a bonding business in this State, shall in addition to all other requirements of this section, be required as a part of the qualifications of bail to furnish bond with a corporate surety authorized to act as surety on bonds in this State in the amount of ten thousand dollars to be approved by the probate judge of the county in which such person is to engage in the business of so making bonds, said bond to be conditioned to guarantee the payment of all sums of money that may be due to the State of Alabama or any political subdivision thereof by virtue of any judgment absolute being rendered against said person or persons as surety on said bond or bonds.'

The title to the Act is 'To amend Chapter 9, Title 15, Code of Alabama 1940, relating to bail.' That chapter contains six articles extending from section 185 to 218, inclusive. The Act No. 199 undertakes to rewrite and re-enact that whole chapter. Each section in that chapter is included in the enactment.

The only changes made in the law as it appears in the Code are the amendment to section 201 by adding the provision which we have copied and by adding article 4-A consisting of four sections from 207 to 210, inclusive. Sections 207 to 210, supra, as they appear in the Code are brought forward in the Act as sections 211, 212, 213 and 214 without change in them.

By the addition of the fur sections under article 4-A, the last four sections of Chapter 9 were renumbered by the Act No. 199 so that they are sections 219, 220, 221 and 222, inclusive. Therefore under the amendment, Chapter 9 of Title 15 has four sections numbered from 219 to 222, inclusive, and Chapter 10 of Title 15 likewise has four sections numbered from 219 to 222, inclusive.

The only substantial amendment to chapter 9 by the Act in question is the addition of the new matter to section 201, supra, and the addition of the four sections under article 4-A, thus adding other new matter under the four section numbers which in the Code had referred to different matter but which was retained in chapter 9 under sections numbered from 211 to 214, inclusive.

The trial court in its decree did not determine the effect of the Act to the extent that it thereby gives the same numbers to different sections of the Code, so that sections 219 to 222, inclusive, of Title 15, thereby have two applications, one being in chapter 9 and the other in chapter 10. The court based its ruling entirely upon the proposition that the feature added to section 201, supra, was not germane to section 201 as that section appears in the Code of 1940, upon the theory that section 201 as it appears in the Code provides for the qualifications of the bondsmen who execute bail. Whereas the court found that the additions to section 201 by Act No. 199 do not relate to the qualifications of the bail bondsmen but to the conditions upon which such bail bondsmen may do that sort of business, and therefore that such additions are not germane to the qualifications of the bondsmen, to [43 So.2d 642] which alone section 201, supra, had application. That is dependent upon the theory [253 Ala. 176] that the title of the Act in question was as if it were to amend section 201 of Title 15 of the Code.

But such is not the title of the Act. The title is 'To amend chapter 9, Title 15, Code of Alabama 1940 relating to bail.' So that the question is primarily not whether the matter added to section 201 is germane to section 201 but whether it is germane to chapter 9 of Title 15 relating to bail. The rule in that respect was stated at an early period in the judicial history of Alabama that 'when the subject is expressed in general terms, everything which is necessary to make a complete enactment in regard to it, or which results in a complement of the thought contained in the general expression, is included in, and authorized by it.' Opinion of the...

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