Robinson v. Enking, 6480

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtAILSHIE, J.
Citation58 Idaho 24,69 P.2d 603
Decision Date02 June 1937
Docket Number6480
PartiesW. L. ROBINSON, G. W. SUPPIGER and FRANK LANGLEY, Constituting and Acting as the Industrial Accident Board of the State of Idaho, Plaintiffs, v. MYRTLE P. ENKING, State Treasurer, and HARRY C. PARSONS, State Auditor, Defendants

69 P.2d 603

58 Idaho 24

W. L. ROBINSON, G. W. SUPPIGER and FRANK LANGLEY, Constituting and Acting as the Industrial Accident Board of the State of Idaho, Plaintiffs,
v.

MYRTLE P. ENKING, State Treasurer, and HARRY C. PARSONS, State Auditor, Defendants

No. 6480

Supreme Court of Idaho

June 2, 1937


"EMPLOYMENT SERVICE FUND" - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION-APPROPRIATIONS-MANDAMUS.

1. Every reasonable presumption must be indulged in favor of validity of statute.

2. Where statute is capable of different constructions, it will be given construction which will avoid conflict with constitution and if possible give to it the effect intended.

3. Statute making appropriation for benefit of employment service fund to be expended by the Industrial Accident Board was not void on ground that title to act did not accurately express subject matter of body of act. (Sess. Laws 1937, chap. 231; Constitution, art. 3, sec. 16.)

4. The title and body of act when considered together disclosed that legislature intended to make an appropriation of $40,000 to Industrial Accident Board to be used in administering state employment service. (Sess. Laws 1937, chap. 231.)

5. The legislature has plenary power to make appropriations except as limited by constitution.

6. If uncertainty exists or inheres in facts of case so that it does not appear clear that such facts entitle plaintiff to relief by mandate, under any valid law, writ of mandate will not issue.

7. Where only doubt that clouds issue consists in construction of statute, writ of mandate will issue if court, after considering statute, concludes that it confers the right claimed or imposes duty asserted, otherwise it will be denied.

8. Industrial Accident Board was entitled to writ of mandate commanding state auditor and state treasurer to transfer on books of their respective offices $40,000 to employment service fund, where statute properly construed disclosed that legislature intended to make appropriation of $40,000 to Industrial Accident Board to be used in administering state employment service. (Sess. Laws 1937, chap. 231.) [58 Idaho 25]

APPLICATION for peremptory writ of mandate. Granted.

Peremptory writ issued.

Vestal Coffin, for Plaintiffs.

Where a statute that has been amended is later referred to by the legislature by mention of the original statute, but without mention of the amendment, the reference thus made is sufficient to cover both the original statute and the amendment so that the two must be read together in connection with the last expression of the legislature in order to fully determine the intent and meaning of the last statute. (West & Co. v. Board of Commrs., Latah County, 14 Idaho 353, 94 P. 445.)

Statutes relating to the same subject and passed at the same session of the legislature should be construed together, and should be so construed, if possible, as to harmonize and give force and effect to the provisions of each. (Peavy v. McCombs, 26 Idaho 143, 140 P. 965.)

An appropriation is authority from the legislature, expressly given in legal form, to the proper officers to pay from the public moneys a specified sum, and no more, for a specified field purpose, and no other.

J. W. Taylor, Attorney General, E. G. Elliott and Ariel L. Crowley, Assistants Attorney General, for Defendants.

The title to an act, must accurately express the subject matter of the act, and to the extent that it fails to do so the act is void. (Const., art. 3, sec. 16; Jackson v. Gallet, 39 Idaho 382, 228 P. 1068; Turner v. Coffin, 9 Idaho 338, 74 P. 962.)

Where the language of a statute is plain and unambitious, the supreme court is powerless to grant relief against its terms. (Moody v. State Highway Dept., 56 Idaho 21, 48 P.2d 1108; Oakley v. Wilson, 50 Idaho 334, 296 P. 185; State v. Maclom, 39 Idaho 185, 226 P. 1083.)

To be valid, an appropriation act must designate the fund from which the money is taken by express language. (Blaine County Inc. Co. v. Gallet, 35 Idaho 102, 204 P. 1066; Jackson v. Gallet, supra; Evans v. Huston, 27 Idaho 559, 150 P. 14.)

Mandamus will not lie in the absence of a valid appropriation. (Throop on Public Officers, sec. 824, p. 788; Woman's Adm. Law of Public Officers, sec. 40, p. 154; Davis v. Porter, 66 Cal. 658, 6 P. 746 (1885).)

That there are no lawfully appropriated funds in the treasurey out of which claims may be paid is a good defense in Mandamus against disbursing officers of the state. (Herrick v. Gallet, 35 Idaho 13, 204 P. 477; High on Ex. Rem., p. 97, sec. 106, p. 102, sec. 115, p. 104, sec. 117 and note 2; Louisiana College v. State Treasurer, 2 La. 394.)

AILSHIE, J. Holden, Budge and Givens, JJ., concur. MORGAN, C. J., Dissenting.

OPINION

[58 Idaho 26] AILSHIE, J.

--This is an application for a writ of mandate of the state auditor and state treasurer, commanding them to transfer on the books of their respective officers the sum of $ 40,000 to the "Employment Service Fund" under [69 P.2d 604] the provisions of chapter 231 of the 1937 Session Laws (1937 Sess. Laws, p. 413). An alternative writ issued and the defendants have answered, admitting their refusal to make the transfer and entries, and base their refusal on the contention that the act in question fails to make any legal or valid appropriation of any sum to or for the benefit of the employment service fund.

The defense here appears to rest on three propositions:

1. That the title to the act does not accurately express the subject matter of the act as required by section 16, article 3 of the constitution, and that therefore the act is void.

2. That the act contains no definite or certain words appropriating any sum whatever from the general funds of the state to the state employment service fund.

3. That the writ of mandate will not issue unless plaintiff's show a clear right thereto as distinguished from a doubtful or questionable right.

We enter upon the consideration of this case confronted at once with the contention that the act is invalid and void. This is true because the act does not purport to be anything but an appropriation act and if it fails to accomplish that purpose it is void in so far as the issue here presented is [58 Idaho 27] concerned. In thus considering the question, we are admonished by a well-established rule running throughout a long line of decisions from this court, to the effect that every reasonable presumption must be indulged in favor of the validity of a statute. (Noble v. Bragaw, 12 Idaho 265, 85 P. 903; Gillesby v. Board of Commrs. of Canyon County, 17 Idaho 586, 107 P. 71; Williams v. Baldridge, 48 Idaho 618, 629, 284 P. 203; State v. Johnson, 50 Idaho 363, 369, 296 P. 588.)

It is also a rule of this court that, where a statute is capable of different constructions, it will be given the construction which will avoid conflict with the constitution and if possible give to it the effect intended. (Grice v. Clearwater Timber Co., 20 Idaho 70, 117 P. 112; Continental Life Ins. etc. Co. v. Hattabaugh, 21 Idaho 285, 121 P. 81; In re Gale, 14 Idaho 761, 95 P. 679; see Oregon Short Line R. Co. v. Pfost, 53 Idaho 559, 27 P.2d 877; Garrett Transfer & Storage Co. v. Pfost, 54 Idaho 576, at 590, 33 P.2d 743.)

The title to the act (chapter 231) here in question is as follows:

"MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER EXPENSES OUT OF THE GENERAL FUND FOR THE LAND DEPARTMENT: ADMINISTRATION, BLISTER RUST, TIMBER FIRE PROTECTION, SPECIAL CRUISING, AND OUT OF THE STATE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE, FUND FOR THE PERIOD COMMENCING ON THE FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, 1937, AND ENDING ON THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER, 1938, and DECLARING AN EMERGENCY."

When we examine the body of the act itself we find that all it purports to do is to make appropriations for different bureaus of the land department and for the Industrial Accident Board, which is amply covered by the opening statement in the title that it is "making an appropriation," etc., which is not controverted by defendants. They do contend, however, that when the title and the act are read together such a state of confusion and uncertainly arises that [58 Idaho 28] no one can truly assert that an appropriation has been made for the use of the "State Employment Service Fund" to be expended by the Industrial Accident Board; and that the only reasonable conclusion that can be reached is that no such appropriation has been made. We must, therefore, examine and consider together both the title and the act to see if we can ascertain what was intended, and if we succeed in that quest, then determine whether appropriate or adequate language has been employed to accomplish such intent.

To begin with, we find the title to the act saying:

"MAKING AN APPROPRIATION . . . . OUR OF THE STATE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE FUND FOR THE STATE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE, FOR THE PERIOD COMMENCING ON THE FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, 1937, AND ENDING ON THE THIRTY-FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER, 1938."

From this title it appears that the legislature intended to make an appropriation "for the state employment service" and that such appropriation was intended to be made "out of the state employment service fund." The important and substantive thing they proposed to do was to make an appropriation for the use of the state employment service. The particular fund or account, as carried on the books of the auditor and treasurer, was of minor consequence, for the reasons that it was state money they were appropriating, no matter what its designation on the books. The act then proceeds with section 1, reading as follows:

"That, in addition to the other sums which have been heretobefore appropriated under the provisions of House [69 P.2d 605] Bill No. 21 of this session, there is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the General Fund and the State Employment Service Fund, not otherwise appropriated, the following sums of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
24 practice notes
  • Oneida County Fair Bd. v. Smylie, No. 9336
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • September 26, 1963
    ...to be constitutional and all reasonable doubt as to its constitutionality must be resolved in favor of its validity. Robinson v. Enking, 58 Idaho 24, 69 P.2d 603; Eberle v. Nielson, 78 Idaho 572, 306 P.2d 1083; Noble v. Bragaw, 12 Idaho 265, 85 P. 903; Rich v. Williams, 81 Idaho 311, 341 P.......
  • Suppiger v. Enking, 6696
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • May 25, 1939
    ...operate only if there be an appropriation, and there admittedly is one. (McConnel v. Gallet, 51 Idaho 386, 6 P.2d 143; Robison v. Enking, 58 Idaho 24, 69 P.2d 603.) Out of this appropriation, not as an attempted new or different or any appropriation, but as part of the method, manner or mea......
  • Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n (Ex parte U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n), 1120904.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • February 7, 2014
    ...’“For similar language, also see Stewart v. Wilson Printing Co., 210 Ala. 624, 627–628, 99 So. 92, 96 (1924) ; Robinson v. Enking, 58 Idaho 24, 31–32, 69 P.2d 603, 606 (1937) ; Eberhardt Construction Co. v. Board of Com'rs of Sedgwick County, 100 Kan. 394, 396, 164 P. 281, 282–283 (1917) ; ......
  • Wright v. Callahan, 6733
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 3, 1940
    ...be established beyond all reasonable doubt. (Bannock County v. Citizens B. & T. Co., 53 Idaho 159-176, 22 P.2d 674; Robinson v. Enking, 58 Idaho 24, 69 P.2d 603.) (3) Long continued acquiescence by the legislature, the executive branches, and the people in a given construction of a constitu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Oneida County Fair Bd. v. Smylie, No. 9336
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • September 26, 1963
    ...to be constitutional and all reasonable doubt as to its constitutionality must be resolved in favor of its validity. Robinson v. Enking, 58 Idaho 24, 69 P.2d 603; Eberle v. Nielson, 78 Idaho 572, 306 P.2d 1083; Noble v. Bragaw, 12 Idaho 265, 85 P. 903; Rich v. Williams, 81 Idaho 311, 341 P.......
  • Suppiger v. Enking, 6696
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • May 25, 1939
    ...operate only if there be an appropriation, and there admittedly is one. (McConnel v. Gallet, 51 Idaho 386, 6 P.2d 143; Robison v. Enking, 58 Idaho 24, 69 P.2d 603.) Out of this appropriation, not as an attempted new or different or any appropriation, but as part of the method, manner or mea......
  • Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n (Ex parte U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n), 1120904.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • February 7, 2014
    ...’“For similar language, also see Stewart v. Wilson Printing Co., 210 Ala. 624, 627–628, 99 So. 92, 96 (1924) ; Robinson v. Enking, 58 Idaho 24, 31–32, 69 P.2d 603, 606 (1937) ; Eberhardt Construction Co. v. Board of Com'rs of Sedgwick County, 100 Kan. 394, 396, 164 P. 281, 282–283 (1917) ; ......
  • Wright v. Callahan, 6733
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • February 3, 1940
    ...be established beyond all reasonable doubt. (Bannock County v. Citizens B. & T. Co., 53 Idaho 159-176, 22 P.2d 674; Robinson v. Enking, 58 Idaho 24, 69 P.2d 603.) (3) Long continued acquiescence by the legislature, the executive branches, and the people in a given construction of a constitu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT