Pennie v. Res

Decision Date16 December 1889
Citation33 L.Ed. 426,10 S.Ct. 149,132 U.S. 464
PartiesPENNIE v. RES. 1
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

This case comes from the supreme court of the state of California. The petitioner is the administrator of one Edward A. Ward, deceased, who was a police officer of the city and county of San Francisco from the 24th of September, 1869, until his death, which occurred on the 13th of March, 1889.

On the 1st of April, 1878, an act of the legislature of California was approved, entitled 'An act to enable the board of supervisors of the city and county of San Francisco to increase the police force of said city and county, and provide for the appointment, regulation, and payment thereof.' St. Cal. 1877-78, p. 879. The first section of this act authorized the board of supervisors to increase the existing force of the police, which consisted of 150 members, not exceeding 250 more,—the whole number not to make in all more than 400,—and provided that they should be appointed and governed in the same manner as the then existing force. The second section declared that the compensation of the 250, or such part thereof as the board might allow, should not exceed $102 a month for each one, and that the compensation of those then in office should continue at the rate prescribed by the acts under which they were appointed until June 1, 1879, when their pay should be fixed by a board of commissioners created under the act; that the police officers then in office should be known as the 'old police,' and those appointed under the act as the 'new police;' and that the officers subsequently appointed to fill vacan ies on the old police should receive the same pay as the new police, subject to the condition that the treasurer of said city and county should 'retain from the pay of each police officer the sum of two dollars per month, to be paid into a fund to be known as the 'Police Life and Health Insurance Fund," to be administered as provided in the act. The mayor, auditor, and treasurer of the city and county of San Francisco were constituted a board to be known as the 'Police Life and Health Insurance Board,' and required from time to time to invest, as it might deem best, the moneys of the police life and health insurance fund in various designated securities, to be held by the treasurer, subject to the order of the board. The act declared that upon the death of any member of the police force after the 1st day of June, 1878, there should be paid by the treasurer, out of the said life and health insurance fund, to his legal representative, the sum of $1,000; that in case any officer should resign from bad health or bodily infirmity there should be paid to him from that fund the amount of the principal which he may have contributed thereto; and that, in case such fund should not be sufficient to pay the demand upon it, such demand should be registered and paid in the order Sections 12 and 13 of the act are as follows:

'Sec. 12. The board of supervisors, or other governing authority, of any county, city and county, city or town, shall, for the purposes of said 'Police Relief and Pension Fund,' hereinbefore mentioned, direct the payment annually, and when the tax levy is made, into said fund of the following moneys:

First. Not less than five nor more than ten per centum of all moneys collected and received from licenses for the keeping of places wherein spirituous, malt, or other intoxicating liquors are sold.

Second. One-half of all moneys received from taxes or from licenses upon dogs.

Third. All moneys received from fines imposed upon the members of the police force of said county, city and county, city or town, for violation of the rules and regulations of the police department.

Fourth. All proceeds of sales of unclaimed property.

Fifth. Not less than one-fourth, nor more than one-half, of all moneys received from licenses from pawnbrokers, billiard-hall keepers, second-hand dealers, and junk stores.

Sixth. All moneys received from fines for carrying concealed weapons.

Seventh. Twenty-five per centum of all fines collected in money for violation of county, city and county, city or town ordinances.

Eighth. All rewards given or paid to members of such police force, except such as shall be excepted by the chief of police. Ninth. The treasurer of any county, city and county, city or town, shall retain from the pay of each member of the police department the sum of two dollars per month, to be forthwith paid into said police relief and pension fund, and no other or further retention or deduction shall be made from such pay for any other fund or purpose whatever. Sec. 13. Any police, life, and health insurance fund, or any fund provided by law, heretofore existing in any county, city and county, city or town, for the relief or pensioning of police officers, or their life or health insurance, or for the payment of a sum of money on their death, shall be merged with, paid into, and constitute a part of the fund created under the provisions of this act; and no person who has resigned or been dismissed from said police department shall be entitled to any relief from such fund: provided, that any person who, within one year prior to the passage of this act, has been dismissed from the police department for incompetency or inefficiency, and which incompetency or inefficiency was caused solely by sickness or disability contracted or suffered while in service as a member...

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174 cases
  • Baker v. Baltimore County, Md.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maryland
    • March 26, 1980
    ...under that plan were "paid in the first place in the discretion of the Board * * *." 562 F.2d at 311. See Pennie v. Reis, 132 U.S. 464, 470-71, 10 S.Ct. 149, 151, 33 L.Ed. 426 (1889); cf. Mazor v. State of Maryland, 279 Md. 355, 369 A.2d 82 (1977). The retirement plans involved herein are, ......
  • Pineman v. Oechslin
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Connecticut
    • April 16, 1980
    ...contractual obligations. 33See Brief in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, pp. 3-5. Cf. Pennie v. Reis, 132 U.S. 464, 471, 10 S.Ct. 149, 151, 33 L.Ed. 426 (1889) (interest of police officer in employee benefit fund was "a mere expectancy, created by the law, and is liabl......
  • Taylor v. Board of Ed. of Cabell County
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • March 11, 1969
    ...292 U.S. 571, 54 S.Ct. 840, 78 L.Ed. 1434; Frisbie v. United States, 157 U.S. 160, 15 S.Ct. 586, 39 L.Ed. 657; Pennie v. Reis, 132 U.S. 464, 10 S.Ct. 149, 33 L.Ed. 426; United States v. Teller, 107 U.S. 64, 2 S.Ct. 39, 27 L.Ed. 352; MacFarland v. Bieber, 32 App.D.C. 513; Raines v. Board of ......
  • Opinion of the Justices
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • October 30, 1973
    ...fairly interpreted as involving mere gratuities or expectancies, could be whittled away by the State, see Pennie v. Reis, 132 U.S. 464, 471--472, 10 S.Ct. 149, 33 L.Ed. 426 (1889), 20 and this court took the same position in its 1951--1954 gratuity cases cited above. On the other hand, a re......
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