John Hendrick v. State of Maryland, No. 77

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMcReynolds
Citation59 L.Ed. 385,235 U.S. 610,35 S.Ct. 140
Docket NumberNo. 77
Decision Date05 January 1915
PartiesJOHN T. HENDRICK, Plff. in Err., v. STATE OF MARYLAND

235 U.S. 610
35 S.Ct. 140
59 L.Ed. 385
JOHN T. HENDRICK, Plff. in Err.,

v.

STATE OF MARYLAND.

No. 77.
Argued November 11 and 12, 1914.
Decided January 5, 1915.

Page 611

Messrs. Osborne I. Yellott, Jackson H. Balston, Clement L. Bouv e, and William E. Richardson for plaintiff in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 611-613 intentionally omitted]

Page 613

Mr. Edgar Allan Poe, Attorney General of Maryland, and Mr. Enos S. Stockbridge for defendant in error.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 613-618 intentionally omitted]

Page 618

Mr. Justice McReynolds delivered the opinion of the court:

Plaintiff in error was tried before a justice of the peace, Prince George's county, Maryland, upon a charge of violating the motor vehicle law. A written motion to quash the warrant because of conflict between the statute and the Constitution of the United States was denied; he was found quilty and fined. Thereupon an appeal was taken to the circuit court,—the highest in the state having jurisdiction,—where the cause stood for trial de novo upon the original papers. It was there submitted for determination by the court upon an agreed statement of facts grievously verbose, but in substance as follows:

The cause was originally brought July 27, 1910, before a justice of the peace for Prince George's county by the state against John T. Hendrick for violating § 133 of the motor vehicle law effective July 1, 1910. He is and then was a citizen of the United States, resident and commorant

Page 619

in the District of Columbia. On that day he left his office in Washington in his own automobile and drove it into Prince George's county, and while temporarily there was arrested on the charge of operating it upon the highways without having procured the certificate of registration required by § 133 of the motor vehicle law. He was brought before a justice of the peace and fined $15 after having been found guilty of the charge set out in a warrant duly issued,—a motion to quash having been denied. Whereupon he filed his appeal. At the time and place aforesaid he had not procured the certificate of registration for his automobile required by § 133. Upon the foregoing the court shall determine the questions and differences between the parties and render judgment according as their rights in law may appear in the same manner as if the facts aforesaid were proven upon the trial. Either party may appeal.

The Maryland legislature, by an act effective July 1, 1910 (chap. 207, Laws 1910, p. 177), prescribed a comprehensive scheme for licensing and regulating motor vehicles. The following summary sufficiently indicates its provisions:

The governor shall appoint a commissioner of motor vehicles, with power to designate assistants, who shall secure enforcement of the statute. Before any motor vehicle is operated upon the highways the owner shall make a statement to the commissioner and procure a certificate of registration; thereafter it shall bear a numbered plate. This certificate and plate shall be evidence of authority for operating the machine during the current year (§ 133). Registration fees are fixed according to horsepower—$6 when 20 or less; $12 when from 20 to 40; and $18 when in excess of 40 (§ 136). No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon the highway until he has obtained at a cost of $2 an operator's license, subject to revocation for cause

Page 620

(§ 137). Any owner or operator of an automobile, nonresident of Maryland, who has complied with the laws of the state in which he resides requiring the registration of motor vehicles, or licensing of operators thereof, etc., may, under specified conditions, obtain a distinguishing tag and permission to operate such machine over the highways for not exceeding two periods of seven consecutive days in a calendar year without paying the ordinary fees for registration and operator's license (§ 140a); but residents of the District of Columbia are not included amongst those to whom this privilege is granted (§ 132). Other sections relate to speed, rules of the road, accidents, signals, penalties, arrests, trials, fines, etc. All money collected under the provisions of the act go to the commissioner, and, except so much as is necessary for salaries and expenses, must be paid into the state treasury to be used in construction, maintaining, and repairing the streets of Baltimore and roads built or aided by a county or the state itself. Section 140a is copied in the margin.1

Page 621

Plaintiff in error maintains that the act is void because—it discriminates against residents of the District of Columbia; attempts to regulate interstate commerce; violates the rights of citizens of the United States to pass into and through the state; exacts a tax for revenue—not mere compensation for the use of facilities—according to arbitrary classifications, and thereby deprives citizens of the United States of the equal protection of the laws.

If the statute is otherwise valid, the alleged discrimination against residents of the District of Columbia is not adequate ground for us now to declare it altogether bad. At most they are entitled to equality of treatment, and in the absence of some definite and authoritative ruling by the courts of the state we will not assume that, upon a proper showing, this...

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460 practice notes
  • Mancuso v. Taft, No. 72-1180.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • March 20, 1973
    ...i. e., is within the deprived class. See Morf v. Bingaman, 298 U.S. 407, 413, 56 S.Ct. 756, 80 L.Ed. 1245 (1936); Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 621, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385 (1915); Standard Stock Food Co. v. Wright, 225 U.S. 540, 550, 32 S.Ct. 784, 56 L.Ed. 1197 (1912). 5 See, e. g......
  • Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority, Nos. 403
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 17, 1936
    ...that he is injured by its operation.6 Tyler v. Judges, etc., 179 U. Page 348 S. 405, 21 S.Ct. 206, 45 L.Ed. 252; Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 621, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385. Among the many applications of this rule, none is more striking than the denial of the right of challenge to ......
  • Hudson v. Stuart, 30434
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • January 16, 1933
    ...80 A. 453, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 237; Northern Kentucky Transp. Co. v. Bellvue, 215 Ky. 514, 285 S.W. 241; Hendricks v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 611, 59 L.Ed. 385. Senate Bill No. 201, being chapter 135 of the Laws of Mississippi, 1932 as amended by Senate Bill 528, being chapter --, Laws of Mississip......
  • Park Shuttle N Fly v. Norfolk Airport Authority, No. CIV.A. 2:03CV461.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • December 9, 2004
    ...8., CL. 3. The actions of the state are treated as correct, unless they are proven to be unreasonable and arbitrary. Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 624, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385 (1915). A government fee is reasonable if it (1) is based on some fair approximation of use of the facilit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
460 cases
  • Mancuso v. Taft, No. 72-1180.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • March 20, 1973
    ...i. e., is within the deprived class. See Morf v. Bingaman, 298 U.S. 407, 413, 56 S.Ct. 756, 80 L.Ed. 1245 (1936); Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 621, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385 (1915); Standard Stock Food Co. v. Wright, 225 U.S. 540, 550, 32 S.Ct. 784, 56 L.Ed. 1197 (1912). 5 See, e. g......
  • Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority, Nos. 403
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 17, 1936
    ...that he is injured by its operation.6 Tyler v. Judges, etc., 179 U. Page 348 S. 405, 21 S.Ct. 206, 45 L.Ed. 252; Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 621, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385. Among the many applications of this rule, none is more striking than the denial of the right of challenge to ......
  • Hudson v. Stuart, 30434
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • January 16, 1933
    ...80 A. 453, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 237; Northern Kentucky Transp. Co. v. Bellvue, 215 Ky. 514, 285 S.W. 241; Hendricks v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 611, 59 L.Ed. 385. Senate Bill No. 201, being chapter 135 of the Laws of Mississippi, 1932 as amended by Senate Bill 528, being chapter --, Laws of Mississip......
  • Park Shuttle N Fly v. Norfolk Airport Authority, No. CIV.A. 2:03CV461.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • December 9, 2004
    ...8., CL. 3. The actions of the state are treated as correct, unless they are proven to be unreasonable and arbitrary. Hendrick v. Maryland, 235 U.S. 610, 624, 35 S.Ct. 140, 59 L.Ed. 385 (1915). A government fee is reasonable if it (1) is based on some fair approximation of use of the facilit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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