Ridgway v. City of Fort Worth, (No. 9967.)

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtConner
Citation243 S.W. 740
PartiesRIDGWAY v. CITY OF FORT WORTH et al.
Decision Date06 May 1922
Docket Number(No. 9967.)
243 S.W. 740
RIDGWAY
v.
CITY OF FORT WORTH et al.
(No. 9967.)
Court of Civil Appeals of Texas. Fort Worth.
May 6, 1922.
Rehearing Denied July 1, 1922.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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Appeal from District Court, Tarrant County; Bruce Young, Judge.

Application for writ of mandamus, brought to the county court of Tarrant county, on the relation of R. Bonna Ridgway, against the City of Fort Worth and others, to compel the board of commissioners of the city to restore him to office. Upon issues joined and a trial upon the merits, judgment was rendered denying the relief sought, from which relator appeals. Judgment reversed, and cause remanded, with instructions to issue the writ as prayed.

Ocie Speer, of Fort Worth, for appellant.

Rhineheart Rouer, Gillis Johnson, Miller & Miller, and Rowland & Brown, all of Fort Worth, for appellees.

CONNER, C. J.


This is an appeal from a judgment denying the prayer of R. Bonna Ridgway for the issuance of a writ of mandamus against the board of commissioners of the city of Fort Worth to restore him to office. In his petition for the writ it was alleged, and the facts so show, that the relator R. Bonna Ridgway had been legally appointed, on the 16th day of April, 1921, to the office of corporation counsel for the city of Fort Worth; that he duly qualified as such and entered upon the duties of such office; that afterwards, on or about July 9, 1921, the board of commissioners of said city, composed of respondents E. R. Cockrell, mayor, W. B. Townsend, Paul Gilvin, J. C. Lord, R. A. Hunter, and John Alderman, commissioners, passed a resolution removing the relator from office. The resolution so passed will be found in the trial court's conclusions of fact hereinafter copied.

It was further alleged by the relator that he was in all things competent to fill his said position and capable of performing the duties thereof satisfactorily, and that said order was induced by the personal ill will of the members of said board; that at and prior to the passage of said resolution no charges other than as presented in the resolution had been filed before the board of commissioners, nor had relator been served with a copy of any charge, nor was there any setting of the case, nor any opportunity given to relator for a hearing; that there was no trial of any sort and no evidence heard, but that the board attempted to remove the relator under what they contend to be a discretion lodged with them by the terms of the charter of the city of Fort Worth.

It was further alleged that from and after the passage of the resolution above mentioned the board of commissioners had refused to recognize the relator as corporation counsel for the city of Fort Worth, and he accordingly prayed for the issuance of the writ of mandamus to compel his restoration to office.

The respondents above named appeared and answered, expressly admitting the corporate existence of the city, the election and qualification of the respondents as mayor and commissioners, and also admitted the relator's appointment and qualification as corporation counsel, as alleged by him, and the passage of the removal order. The respondents denied, however, that the order of removal was dictated by any personal ill will or spite, but alleged that it had been so made and entered in good faith, and because of the relator's incompetency in particulars specifically set forth in the answer.

Upon the issues thus joined, a trial upon the merits was regularly had before the court, and judgment was entered, denying the relief sought, from which judgment, as already stated, the relator has duly prosecuted this appeal.

There is no statement of facts, and the case is submitted to us upon the court's written findings of fact and conclusions of law, which read as follows:

"Upon request of the relator, R. Bonna Ridgway, the court files the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

"(1) The court finds that the defendant city of Fort Worth is a municipality existing under and by virtue of an act passed by the Thirty-First Legislature of the state of Texas in A. D. 1909, and approved March 10, A. D. 1909, by the Governor of the state of Texas, which said act of the Legislature constitutes the charter of the city of Fort Worth, and by and through and under which the city of Fort Worth and its officers provided for in said charter are vested with such powers and authority as said act of the Legislature provides.

"(2) That the defendants W. B. Townsend, J. C. Lord, Paul Gilvin, R. A. Hunter, and John Alderman are at this time, and have been since the 16th day of April, A. D. 1921, the duly elected, qualified, and acting commissioners of and for the city of Fort Worth, which are provided for in the said charter, and that the defendant E. R. Cockrell, is now, and has been at all times since the 16th day of April, A.

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D. 1921, the duly elected, qualified, and acting mayor of and for the said municipal corporation, as is provided for in the said charter.

"(3) The court finds that the mayor, and board of commissioners of the said city of Fort Worth were empowered with the authority to, and acting under such authority did, appoint the relator, R. Bonna Ridgway, on, to wit, April 16, 1921, corporation counsel in and for the said city of Fort Worth; that the said relator is an appointive officer of said city, and that under the charter provisions the term of the office of the said corporation counsel is and was for a period of two years from and after the day of his appointment, unless sooner removed in accordance with the provisions of the said charter; that the said relator took the oath of office and entered into the office of corporation counsel in and for said city on April 16, A. D. 1921. That the facts alleged in relator's petition and specifically admitted in respondents' answer are true.

"(4) The court finds that section 30 of chapter 11 of the charter of said city provides as follows: `The board of commissioners shall have the power by majority vote of all members, to remove any appointive officer at their discretion; provided, however, that the term of office of the corporation counsel shall be for a period of two years, and such officer shall not be removed, except for such causes as would occasion removal of a member of the board of commissioners.'

"The court further finds that the members of the board of commissioners are elective officers under the provisions of said charter, and the court further finds that section 12 of chapter 2 of the charter of the city of Fort Worth provides that the board of commissioners shall have the power to remove any elective officer for incompetency, corruption, malconduct, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office, or such other causes as may be prescribed by ordinance, after notice in writing and opportunity to be heard in his defense, under the rules and regulations herein set forth, and that said section 12 provides the manner of trial.

"(5) The court finds that no formal charges were filed by any person with the board of commissioners of the city of Fort Worth against the relator, R. Bonna Ridgway, but that a resolution in writing was filed with the city secretary of the city of Fort Worth declaring that the relator is incompetent to fill the position of corporation counsel in and for said city, providing for his removal from such office and declaring said office vacant from and after the passage of such resolution; that on or about the 8th day of July, A. D. 1921, the respondents, said board of commissioners and the mayor, called the relator before them, advised him of the fact that they did not desire his services further as corporation counsel, requested that he tender his resignation to them as such; that the relator declined to do so, and requested that no action be taken until 10 o'clock on the following day, to wit, July 9, A. D. 1921, and that on or about 10 o'clock a. m. July 10, A. D. 1921, the relator presented himself before said defendants, mayor, and board of commissioners, and was again requested to tender his resignation as corporation counsel, and the resolution referred to was read to him; that the relator then and there refused to tender his resignation as such officer; that then the mayor and five commissioners were duly and lawfully assembled in the regular meeting place in the city hall of the city of Fort Worth for the purpose of taking up and disposing of matters properly coming before them for attention, and that the relator was present; that in the course of business the duly appointed city secretary presented and read the resolution above referred to; that commissioner R. A. Hunter moved the adoption of the resolution, and Commissioner Paul Gilvin seconded the motion for such action; that thereupon the mayor put the question of the adoption or the rejection of the resolution declaring the relator incompetent to discharge the duties of corporation counsel and removing him from office as such, and declaring such office vacant from and after the passage of such resolution, whereupon Commissioners Lord, Gilvin, Alderman, and Hunter voted for the adoption and passage of the aforesaid resolution, and Commissioner Townsend voted against the adoption of the said resolution; that the resolution was adopted by a four-fifths majority of the entire board of commissioners of the city of Fort Worth.

"(6) The court finds that from official and personal association and contact with the relator, since his appointment by them as corporation counsel, and from the conduct and acts of the relator while acting as corporation counsel, all of which were fully known to the board of commissioners and mayor, and each of them, that the said commissioners who voted to remove the relator as corporation counsel were capable of and warranted in arriving at a judgment and conclusion in their discretion as to the competency or incompetency of the relator; that the majority...

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22 practice notes
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Williams, No. 36718.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 9, 1940
    ...Bregel v. Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Armstrong v. Civil Service Commrs., 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W. (2d) 1055; Ridgway v. Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740; Sharp v. Jones, 100 W. Va. 662, 131 S.E. 463. (a) The Missouri Constitution provides for the removal on the ground of malfeasance in office ......
  • Rockefeller v. Hogue, No. 5--4594
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • May 27, 1968
    ...necessary to effectuate the power. State v. Walbridge, 119 Mo. 383, 24 S.W. 457, 41 Am.St.Rep. 663 (1893); Ridgway v. City of Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740 (Tex.Civ.App.1922); Dullam v. Willson, 53 Mich. 392, 19 N.W. 112, 51 Am.Rep. 128 One other argument of appellees that deserves consideration......
  • Tarrant County v. Ashmore, No. C-985
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • June 23, 1982
    ...in the conventional sense, is a recognizable interest for purposes of procedural due process analysis. See Ridgway v. City of Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740, 745 (Tex.Civ.App.-Fort Worth 1922, writ dism'd); Paris v. Cabiness, 98 S.W. 925, 927 (Tex.Civ.App. 1906, no writ). See also Howard v. Bell ......
  • Baird v. School District No. 25, Fremont County, 1609
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • April 29, 1930
    ...power may adopt its own procedure. 46 C. J. 993; State v. Walbridge, 119 Mo. 383, 24 S.W. 457; Ridgway v. Fort Worth, (Tex. Civ. App.) 243 S.W. 740; Bourbon [287 P. 314] County School District v. McCoy, 30 Kan. 268, 1 P. 97; 24 R. C. L. 619. We need not mention the point as to whether or no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Williams, No. 36718.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 9, 1940
    ...Bregel v. Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Armstrong v. Civil Service Commrs., 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W. (2d) 1055; Ridgway v. Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740; Sharp v. Jones, 100 W. Va. 662, 131 S.E. 463. (a) The Missouri Constitution provides for the removal on the ground of malfeasance in office ......
  • Rockefeller v. Hogue, No. 5--4594
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • May 27, 1968
    ...necessary to effectuate the power. State v. Walbridge, 119 Mo. 383, 24 S.W. 457, 41 Am.St.Rep. 663 (1893); Ridgway v. City of Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740 (Tex.Civ.App.1922); Dullam v. Willson, 53 Mich. 392, 19 N.W. 112, 51 Am.Rep. 128 One other argument of appellees that deserves consideration......
  • Tarrant County v. Ashmore, No. C-985
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • June 23, 1982
    ...in the conventional sense, is a recognizable interest for purposes of procedural due process analysis. See Ridgway v. City of Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740, 745 (Tex.Civ.App.-Fort Worth 1922, writ dism'd); Paris v. Cabiness, 98 S.W. 925, 927 (Tex.Civ.App. 1906, no writ). See also Howard v. Bell ......
  • Baird v. School District No. 25, Fremont County, 1609
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • April 29, 1930
    ...power may adopt its own procedure. 46 C. J. 993; State v. Walbridge, 119 Mo. 383, 24 S.W. 457; Ridgway v. Fort Worth, (Tex. Civ. App.) 243 S.W. 740; Bourbon [287 P. 314] County School District v. McCoy, 30 Kan. 268, 1 P. 97; 24 R. C. L. 619. We need not mention the point as to whether or no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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