Nelson v. State ex rel. Quigg

Decision Date24 July 1945
Citation23 So.2d 136,156 Fla. 189
CourtFlorida Supreme Court
PartiesNELSON v. STATE ex rel. QUIGG.

Rehearing Denied Sept. 10, 1945.

Appeal from Circuit Court Dade County; Ross Williams Judge.

J. W Waston, Jr., Franklin Parson, and John M. Murrell, all of Miami, for appellant.

G. A Worley, Jack Kehoe, and E. F. P. Brigham, all of Miami, for appellee.

HOBSON, Circuit Judge.

This case had its inception strictly as a judicial proceeding in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in an action initiated by the filing of an information in quo warranto in the name of the State of Florida on relation of H. Leslie Quigg, relator and against Charles O. Nelson, respondent. Its true genesis however, was in a hearing before the City Commission of the City of Miami. This hearing was inaugurated by the City Manager and had as its purpose the determination, as a matter of fact, of whether the charges filed against Quigg, the then Chief of Police of Miami, were true and required Quigg's removal from office. The City Charter of Miami authorizes such action and prescribes the procedure to be followed. We find that there was a legally sufficient compliance with statutory requirements in every particular in connection with the hearing before the City Commission. As a result of this full and complete hearing, the City Commission removed Mr. Quigg from the office of Chief of Police. Thereafter Charles O. Nelson was installed as Guigg's successor. The Circuit Judge in effect reversed the action of the City Commission by the entry of a judgment of ouster against the Respondent Nelson in the quo warranto proceedings.

Many questions have been posed for our consideration and to aid us in a proper determination of this controversy. We deem it sufficient to say that the answer to one of these questions is determinative of the case. As to all other assignments of error and questions presented, we find, upon an examination of the entire record, no harmful or prejudicial error.

The question which is determinative of this case on appeal (and it was before the Circuit Court in a proceeding in the nature of an appeal) may be stated in more than one form. We prefer to pose the query in the following verbiage--does a consideration of the record in its entirely disclose the ruling of the City Commission to be sustained by substantial evidence? We have held, and it seems to be an almost universal rule, that the findings of fact made by an administrative board, bureau, or commission, in compliance with law, will not be disturbed on appeal if such findings are sustained by substantial evidence. Hammond v. Curry, 153 Fla. 245, 14 So.2d 390; Jenkins v. Curry, Fla., 18 So.2d 521; Callahan v. Curry, 153 Fla. 744, 15 So.2d 668; Marshall v. Pletz, 317 U.S. 383, 63 S.Ct. 284, 87 L.Ed. 348; Virginia Electric & Power Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 319 U.S. 533, 63 S.Ct. 1214, 87 L.Ed. 1568. The underlying and salient reasons for this safe and sane rule need not be repeated here. The fact that it is not the province of an appellate court to try cases de novo on a cold typed transcript is too elementary to require emphasis. This rule finds its counterpart in, if indeed it is not the twin brother of, the rule which requires an appellate court to give great weight to the findings of fact made by a jury or a chancellor and to sustain such findings unless there is no substantial evidence to support them. See Broxson v. State, 99 Fla. 1187, 128 So. 628; Smith v. Midcoast Inv. Co., 127 Fla. 455, 173 So. 348; Marcus v. Hull, 142 Fla. 306, 195 So. 170.

The rule invoked herein is salutary and founded in good common sense and irrefutable logic. It should be adhered to religiously. The advent of the talking moving picture probably has given us a preview of a sound reason for its ultimate abolition. However, until this possible avenue of escape has been made adaptable to, and a requirement in, judicial proceedings, the rule should remain inviolate.

Upon a careful consideration of the complete record, we find that the ruling of the City Commission is sustained by substantial evidence. It was the failure of the learned Circuit Judge to apply the rule which we invoke herein which caused him to fall into error. It is not difficult, however, to understand how a Circuit Judge, whose daily work is predominantly fact finding in character, might easily overlook this rule.

It is unnecessary to a proper determination of this controversy to detail the evidence which was before the City Commission. It is appropriate, nevertheless, at this moment, when the members of our armed forces dice with death on the farflung battle fronts and our form of government, indeed our very existence, is being challenged by a large portion of the peoples of the earth, to refer as briefly as possible to the unbelievable situation which developed and was attendant upon the Miami bus drivers' unwarranted, unofficial and unlawful strike. This incident, coupled with its ramifications as disclosed by the evidence, presented ample justification for the ruling made by the City Commission. The congregation of buses about the Court House in downtown Miami, which was brought about by the unauthorized orders and directions of certain leaders of the bus drivers' union, created a figurative coronary thrombosis at the very heart of the metropolitan area. All parties to this controversy agree that a grave situation existed. Counsel for Quigg contend that he exercised his discretion and best judgment and should not have been removed even if his course had not been productive of satisfactory results. This was Quigg's position before the City Commission.

But what course of conduct did Chief Quigg pursue? At the time of this strike he was the principal law enforcement officer of the City of Miami. Almost without exception every child of school age in America knows what the words 'law...

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33 cases
  • City of Meridian v. Davidson
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 14, 1951
    ...a matter of law that its action should be sustained, the same as on appeals from our Public Service Commission. In Nelson v. State ex rel. Quigg, 156 Fla. 189, 23 So.2d 136, the Court, in reviewing the action of the City Commission of Miami, said: 'We have held, and it seems to be an almost......
  • Tamiami Trail Tours v. Carter
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • October 26, 1954
    ...is in any respect illegal or unauthorized. It is not our function to examine and weigh the evidence in detail. In Nelson v. State ex rel. Quigg, 156 Fla. 189, 23 So.2d 136, we said, and now repeat: 'We have held, and it seems to be an almost universal rule, that the findings of fact made by......
  • Greyhound Corp., Southeastern Greyhound Lines Division v. Carter
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • October 21, 1960
    ...is in any respect illegal or unauthorized. It is not our function to examine and weigh the evidence in detail. In Nelson v. State ex rel. Quigg, 156 Fla. 189, 23 So.2d 136, we said, and now "We have held, and it seems to be an almost universal rule, that the findings of fact made by an admi......
  • Pawley v. Pawley
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • April 6, 1950
    ...under our adjudications if there had never been a Cuban divorce. Close v. Close, 158 Fla. 636, 29 So.2d 625; Nelson v. State ex-rel. Quigg, 156 Fla. 189, 23 So.2d 136, and cases therein cited; City of Miami v. Huttoe, Fla., 38 So.2d 819; and Blanchard v. McCord, Fla., 40 So.2d 457. See also......
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