In re Application of Silvas

Decision Date21 May 1914
Docket NumberCriminal 364
Citation16 Ariz. 41,140 P. 988
PartiesIn the Matter of the Application of JOSE SILVAS for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. JOSE SILVAS, Appellant, v. State, Respondent
CourtArizona Supreme Court

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. J. C. Phillips, Judge. Affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Mr. J B. Woodward, for Appellant.

Mr. G P. Bullard, Attorney General, and Mr. Leslie C. Hardy Assistant Attorney General, for Respondent.



The petitioner was tried and convicted in the justice's court of Glendale precinct, Maricopa county, March 14, 1914, on four separate and distinct complaints charging him with four separate and distinct misdemeanors in selling intoxicating liquors in a local option district, to wit, Glendale. In each case he was adjudged to pay a fine of $250, and, in default of the payment of said sum of money, to be imprisoned in the county jail of Maricopa county for sixty days.

The application for writ of habeas corpus was first made to the superior court of Maricopa county, and by that court, on final hearing, dismissed as without merit. It is here on appeal.

The petition for writ assigns several reasons why petitioner's imprisonment is illegal, but he argues only three reasons in his brief: First, that the judgment of conviction is void, in that it fails to specify the number of dollars per day that defendant should be credited with for each day of his confinement; second, that the fine imposed was in the nature of a debt due from petitioner to the state, and that imprisonment therefor is in violation of section 18, article 2, Constitution, which prohibits imprisonment for debt except in cases of fraud; third, that the sentence is cruel and unusual.

It is well-settled law that the writ of habeas corpus may not be substituted for writs of error and appeals. It is not one of its functions to correct mere errors or irregularities in procedure. If a court having jurisdiction of the person and the offense charged commits errors in the procedure or the administration of the law, or if irregularities occur in the course of the trial, such errors and irregularities, if they affect the substantial rights of the prisoner to his prejudice, on appeal, under the laws of Arizona, may and should be corrected. In this proceeding, however, upon a determination that the trial court possessed jurisdiction of the person and the offense and power to inflict the particular judgment or sentence given, under the well-settled law, no relief can be afforded. We cannot correct errors or irregularities on a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. If any such occurred in the trials, an appeal was open to petitioner, and the remedy therein ample to protect his rights. Bailey on Habeas Corpus, sec. 30; Sennott's Case, 146 Mass. 489, 4 Am. St. Rep. 344, 16 N.E. 448; Ex parte Gibson, 31 Cal. 619, 91 Am. Dec. 546; State v. Klock, 48 La. Ann. 67, 18 So. 957, 55 Am. St. Rep. 259, and note [16 Ariz. 43] at pages 264-275; Savin, Petitioner, 131 U.S. 267, 33 L.Ed. 150, 9 S.Ct. 699; 21 Cyc. 285.

Section 3829, Civil Code of 1913, makes it a misdemeanor to sell, exchange or give away, with the purpose of evading the law, any intoxicating liquor whatsoever in a local option district, but affixes no punishment.

Section 19, Penal Code of 1913, provides that, in cases where no punishment is prescribed, every misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding $300, or by both. The punishment of which petitioner complains was in each of the four cases considerably less than the law permitted.

Section 1329, chapter 22, Penal Code of 1913, entitled "Proceedings in Justices', Police and Recorders' Courts...

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7 cases
  • Oswald v. Martin
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • October 2, 1950
    ...of the court. Ex parte Wilson, 140 U.S. 575, 11 S.Ct. 870, 35 L.Ed. 513; Ex parte Smith, 4 Ariz. 95, 78 P. 1035; Ex parte Silvas, 16 Ariz. 41, 140 P. 988; Crowley v. Gannon, 21 Ariz. 234, 186 P. 1117; State v. Grantham, 30 Ariz. 591, 249 P. 758; State v. Henderson, 34 Ariz. 430, 272 P. 97; ......
  • State v. Superior Court of Arizona In and For Pinal County
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • June 2, 1923
    ... ... The ... judgment not having been executed at the time originally ... fixed, because of said attempted appeal, on application of ... the county attorney of Santa Cruz county, Martinez was ... directed by the superior court of said county to be brought ... before it, and ... irregularities or mistakes cannot be reviewed or corrected by ... the writ of habeas corpus. Silvas v ... State, 16 Ariz. 41, 140 P. 988; In Re ... Gregory, 219 U.S. 210, 55 L.Ed. 184, 31 S.Ct. 143 (see, ... also, Rose's U.S. Notes). See the ... ...
  • State v. Bartos
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • February 10, 1967 controlling in holding that imprisonment for nonpayment of the fee was unconstitutional. This Court held In the Matter of Application of Silvas, 16 Ariz. 41, 44, 140 P. 988, 989: 'The prohibition in the Constitution against imprisonment for debt only applies to debts arising from contrac......
  • State ex rel. Jones v. Superior Court In and For Pinal County
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • March 1, 1955
    ...mistakes cannot be reviewed or corrected by the writ of habeas corpus. (Citing cases.)' To the same effect is the case of Application of Silvas, 16 Ariz. 41, 140 P. 988; also State ex rel. La Prade v. Grantham, 30 Ariz. 591, 249 P. 758; Oswald v. Martin, 70 Ariz. 392, 396, 222 P.2d 632. We ......
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