Rawlings v. Ladner, 32058

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtMcGowen, J.
Citation174 Miss. 611,165 So. 427
PartiesRAWLINGS v. LADNER
Docket Number32058
Decision Date03 February 1936

165 So. 427

174 Miss. 611

RAWLINGS
v.
LADNER

No. 32058

Supreme Court of Mississippi

February 3, 1936


Division A

1. TAXATION.

Statutory public notice that equalized tax assessment rolls are ready for inspection held essential and jurisdictional (Code 1930, section 3162).

2. TAXATION.

Statute must be strictly complied with, as regards statutory public notice that equalized tax assessment rolls are ready for inspection (Code 1930, section 3162).

3. TAXATION. Under statute requiring supervisors to notify public that equalized assessment rolls are ready for inspection, notice held not defective because addressed to taxpayers rather than public; word "public" within statute meaning taxpaying public (Code 1930, section 3162).

The word "public" has been defined generally as the whole body politic or the aggregate of the citizens of a state, district, or municipality.

4. STATUTES.

Judicial decision involving notice given under statute requiring supervisors to notify public that equalized tax assessment rolls are ready for inspection held very persuasive as to meaning of statute, in view of subsequent re-enactment thereof (Code 1930, section 3162).

5. STATUTES.

In construing statute, court must seek legislative intention, and, knowing it, must adopt interpretation meeting real meaning of Legislature.

6. TAXATION.

Statute held to require public notice to state only that tax assessment [174 Miss. 612] rolls have been equalized and are ready for inspection (Code 1930, section 3162).

7. TAXATION.

Newspaper notice to taxpayers that equalized assessment rolls were open for examination held substantial compliance with statute, notwithstanding inclusion of surplusage announcing that objections must be filed on or before first Monday of August; such surplusage being in taxpayers' interest, and not concluding any taxpayer from asserting any statutory rights at August meeting of supervisors (Code 1930, sections 3162, 3164-3166).

8. TAXATION.

Supervisors, if making all corrections and disposing of objections to equalized tax assessment rolls on first Monday of August, may enter final order on same day (Code 1930, sections 3165, 3166).

9. TAXATION.

Taxpayer is concluded and prevented from filing objections to equalized tax assessment rolls only by final approval of rolls by supervisors or by operation of law (Code 1930, sections 3164-3166).

HON. BEN STEVENS, Chancellor.

APPEAL from the chancery court of Forrest county HON. BEN STEVENS, Chancellor.

Suit by A. F. Rawlings, receiver, against J. W. Ladner and another. From a decree for defendant named, complainant appeals. Reversed and rendered.

Reversed, and decree here for appellant.

Davis & Davis, of Purvis, and John A. Yeager, of Lumberton, for appellant.

The giving of the notice required by section 5, chapter 323, Laws of 1920, is necessary to confer jurisdiction upon the board of supervisors to equalize and approve the assessment rolls, and the fact that such notice was given must affirmatively appear of record in the proceedings to equalize and approve the rolls.

Henderson Molpus Co. v. Gammill, 115 So. 716, 149 Miss. 576; Gordon v. Smith, 122 So. 762, 154 Miss. 787; McDavitt v. Walls, 122 So. 766. [174 Miss. 613]

Under authority of chapter 323, Laws of 1920, the law presumes that the state tax commission furnished a stereotyped form of notice directed to be given under section 5 thereof and in support of this view the identical form of "notice to the taxpayers" seems to be an issue in each of the eighty-two counties of the state.

Knox v. Wyoming Mfg. Co., 103 So. 11, 138 Miss. 249.

If the "notice of the taxpayers" quoted in Knox v. Wyoming Mfg. Co., 138 Miss. 249, was insufficient our Supreme Court of its "own motion," as stated in Town of Lumberton v. Peyton, 109 So. 740, would have declined to entertain the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Appellee argued in the court below that the insufficiency of the notice given under section 3162, Code of 1930, is due to the fact that the notice was addressed to "the taxpayers of Forrest county, Mississippi" in lieu of being addressed to "the public." We insist that the invalidity of said notice cannot be sustained upon this contention.

The notice to the taxpayers requires objections to the assessments to be made "in writing." This affords no legal objection to the validity of the notice.

Adams County v. Bank of Commerce, 128 So. 110, 157 Miss. 249; Board of Supervisors of Adams County v. Peoples Savings Bank, 128 So. 110; Kennington v. Hemingway, 101 Miss. 259, 57 So. 809, 39 L.R.A. (N.S.) 541, Ann. Cas. 1914B, 392.

We understand the rule to be that our court in its interpretation, construction, and application of a legislative act dealing with a given subject-matter harmonizes the act as one homogeneous whole so as to carry into effect, if it can consistently do so, the intent and purpose of the Legislature.

The notice given by the board of supervisors of Forrest county, Mississippi, to "the taxpayers of Forrest county, Mississippi" meets to the fullest extent the requirements [174 Miss. 614] of the statute and satisfies the due process and requirement of the state and federal constitutions.

T. Price Dale, of Hattiesburg, for appellee.

The pertinent part of the statute under which notice was given, is section 3162, Code of 1930.

The notice as so required is jurisdictional, the said statute requiring it having superseded section 4303, Code of 1906.

Henderson Molpus Co. v. Gammill, 149 Miss. 576, 115 So. 716.

The notice as given fails in two particulars to conform to the statute requiring such notice: First, it is directed to "the taxpayers" rather than to "the public" as the statute expressly requires; and, second, it goes far beyond the requirement of the statute and gives notice that "any objection to any assessments contained in said revised rolls must be made in writing and filed with the clerk of this board on or before the first Monday of August, 1930, . . . and that any and all assessments to which no objection is then and there made will be made final."

The universal rule of law is that statutes authorizing either substituted notice or constructive notice in lieu of personal notice are to be strictly construed and complied with in order to bind the person to whom such notice is given and to preclude and conclude him.

Fatheree v. Long, 5 How. 661; Eskridge v. Jones, 1 S. & M. 595; Ford v. Coleman, 41 Miss. 651; Bustaments v. Bescher, 43 Miss. 172; Wasson v. Connor, 54 Miss. 351; Buntyn v. Shippers' Compress Co., 63 Miss. 94; Elmslie v. Thurman, 87 Miss. 537, 40 So. 67; Ligon v. Barton, 88 Miss. 135, 40 So. 555; Tinnin v. Brown, 98 Miss. 378, 53 So. 780; Planters Mercantile Co. v. Braxton, 120 Miss. 470, 82 So. 323; Mars v. Lindsey, 124 Miss. 742, 87 So. 13; Smith v. Deas, 158 Miss. 111, 130 So. 105; Wilkinson [174 Miss. 615] et al. v. Federal Land Bank of New Orleans, 168 Miss. 645, 150 So. 218, 151 So. 761; Monroe County v. Minto, 127 Miss. 702, 90 So. 443; Board of Supervisors of Forrest County v. Clark, 163 Miss. 120, 140 So. 733; City of Jackson v. Williams, 92 Miss. 301, 46 So. 551; Langstaff v. Town of Durant, 111 Miss. 918, 72 So. 236, 681; Langstaff v. Town of Durant, 122 Miss. 471, 84 So. 459; Jackson v. Mims, 123 Miss. 78, 85 So. 124; City of Jackson v. Tucker, 136 Miss. 787, 101 So. 708; Wilson v. City of Lexington, 153 Miss. 212, 121 So. 859; 21 R. C. L. 1293, sec. 36; 50 C. J. 497, sec. 106; Zecharie & Kerr v. Bowers, 1 S. & M. 584, 3 S. & M. 641; Diggs v. Ingersoll, 28 So. 825; Guess v. Smith, 100 Miss. 457, 56 So. 166; Ponder v. Martin, 119 Miss. 156, 80 So. 388; Burns v. Burns, 133 Miss. 485, 97 So. 418; Belt v. Adams, 124 Miss. 194, 86 So. 584; McCray v. McCray, 137 Miss. 160, 102 So. 174; Shelby v. White, 158 Miss. 880, 131 So. 343; Commercial Credit Co. v. Cook, 164 Miss. 725, 143 So. 863; Sellers v. Powell, 168 Miss. 882, 152 So. 492; Flynn v. State, 228 S.W. 1070; Williams v. Batten, 119 S.E. 709.

As is shown by the Mississippi cases above cited, our court throughout its entire history has carefully held to and applied the rule that statutes authorizing constructive service of process must be strictly followed.

Cameron v. Whittington, 120 Miss. 595, 82 So. 311; Smythe v. Whitehead, 133 Miss. 184, 97 So. 529; City of St. Louis v. Bell Place Realty Co., 168 S.W. 721, 259 Mo. 526; Cave v. Rhinehart, 123 P. 766; Wolf v. Wolf, 128 P. 374; Baird v. Zahl, 226 N.W. 549.

There is a wide difference between the taxpayers of a county and the public of such county. The public of a county includes the entire population--men, women and children, white and colored, the learned and the unlearned, taxpayers and those who do not pay taxes.

Knight v. Thomas, 45 A. 499; Black's Law Dictionary, page 1459, "public."

Members of the public other than taxpayers legally [174 Miss. 616] speaking are both interested and affected by the assessment rolls; and it may easily be assumed that it was for this reason that the Legislature by said section 3162 required that the public be given notice that the assessment rolls had been equalized and were ready and open for inspection and examination.

Wilkinson v....

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10 practice notes
  • Board of Mississippi Levee Com'rs v. Kellner, 34175
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 10, 1940
    ...County, 1 So. 753, 64 Miss. 534; 59 C. J. 1097, Sec. 647; 25 R. C. L. 1050; Gift v. Love, 144 So. 562, 164 Miss. 442; Rawlings v. Ladner, 165 So. 427, 174 Miss. 611; Alexander v. Graves, 173 So. 417, 178 Miss. 583; Easterling v. Howie, 176 So. 585, 179 Miss. 680; Sec. 1394, Code 1930; Oldha......
  • Mullins v. Lyle, 33343
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • October 17, 1938
    ...the fact if there is no seal, will be held bad on appeal by a defendant on whom such writ was served." In the case of Rawlings v. Ladner, 165 So. 427, complaint was made that the notice given by the board of supervisors was defective, in that it was addressed "To the taxpayers of Forrest Co......
  • Pettibone v. Wells, 33096
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 7, 1938
    ...suit--State v. Wyoming Mfg. Co., 138 Miss. 249, 103 So. 11; Henderson, etc. v. Gammill, 149 Miss. 576, 115 So. 716; Rowlings v. Ladner, 174 Miss. 611, 165 So. 427. In the case of Hemphill v. Wofford, 178 Miss. 687, 173 So. 427, our court sternly rejected the idea of "reading into a statute ......
  • Craig v. Federal Land Bank of New Orleans, 34026
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 4, 1940
    ...17; Sartin v. Prentiss Cty., 125 So. 563, 156 Miss. 46; Gift v. Love, 144 So. 562, 164 Miss. 442, 86 A. L. R. 63; Rawlings v. Ladner, 165 So. 427, 174 Miss. 611; Alexander v. Graves, 173 So. 417, 178 Miss. 583; Maris v. Lindsey, 87 So. 12, 124 Miss. 742; In re Validation of Road Protection ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Board of Mississippi Levee Com'rs v. Kellner, 34175
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 10, 1940
    ...County, 1 So. 753, 64 Miss. 534; 59 C. J. 1097, Sec. 647; 25 R. C. L. 1050; Gift v. Love, 144 So. 562, 164 Miss. 442; Rawlings v. Ladner, 165 So. 427, 174 Miss. 611; Alexander v. Graves, 173 So. 417, 178 Miss. 583; Easterling v. Howie, 176 So. 585, 179 Miss. 680; Sec. 1394, Code 1930; Oldha......
  • Mullins v. Lyle, 33343
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • October 17, 1938
    ...fact if there is no seal, will be held bad on appeal by a defendant on whom such writ was served." In the case of Rawlings v. Ladner, 165 So. 427, complaint was made that the notice given by the board of supervisors was defective, in that it was addressed "To the taxpayers of Forr......
  • Pettibone v. Wells, 33096
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 7, 1938
    ...suit--State v. Wyoming Mfg. Co., 138 Miss. 249, 103 So. 11; Henderson, etc. v. Gammill, 149 Miss. 576, 115 So. 716; Rowlings v. Ladner, 174 Miss. 611, 165 So. 427. In the case of Hemphill v. Wofford, 178 Miss. 687, 173 So. 427, our court sternly rejected the idea of "reading into a sta......
  • Craig v. Federal Land Bank of New Orleans, 34026
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • March 4, 1940
    ...17; Sartin v. Prentiss Cty., 125 So. 563, 156 Miss. 46; Gift v. Love, 144 So. 562, 164 Miss. 442, 86 A. L. R. 63; Rawlings v. Ladner, 165 So. 427, 174 Miss. 611; Alexander v. Graves, 173 So. 417, 178 Miss. 583; Maris v. Lindsey, 87 So. 12, 124 Miss. 742; In re Validation of Road Protection ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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