Stanton v. Superior Court of Arizona In & for Graham County, Civil 4223

Decision Date01 July 1940
Docket NumberCivil 4223
Citation103 P.2d 952,55 Ariz. 514
PartiesALFRED C. STANTON and FILMORE C. STANTON, Doing Business as CLIFTON ICE COMPANY, a Copartnership, and ARIZONA BEVERAGE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC., a Corporation, Petitioners, v. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF ARIZONA IN AND FOR GRAHAM COUNTY; JESSE A. UDALL, Judge of Said Court; C. C. FAIRES, Presiding Judge of Said Court; CLEVE CURTIS, Clerk of Said Court; J. P. METZ, Superintendent of Liquor Licenses and Control of the State of Arizona; and M. R. PATTON, Doing Business as VALLEY DISTRIBUTING COMPANY, Respondents
CourtArizona Supreme Court

Original proceeding in Certiorari. Writ quashed.

Mr Frank W. Beer and Mr. Wm. G. Christy, for Petitioners.

Mr Benjamin Blake for Respondent Patton.



On September 26, 1939, M. R. Patton, hereinafter called respondent, doing business as the Valley Distributing Company in Safford, Arizona, filed with J. P. Metz, superintendent of liquor licenses and control of the state of Arizona hereinafter called the superintendent, an application for a wholesale liquor license permitting him to establish a place of business for the sale of distilled liquors, wines and beers in Safford, Arizona; also permitting him to sell them throughout Arizona.

A hearing on the application was held, respondent being present in person and by counsel, and Alfred C. Stanton and Filmore C. Stanton, doing business as Clifton Ice Company, a copartnership, and Arizona Beverage Industries Association, Inc., a corporation, hereinafter called petitioners, also being present in person and by counsel, resisting the granting of such application on the ground, among others, that it would not serve public convenience or necessity. Witnesses were sworn and testified on behalf of both petitioners and respondent, and eventually the superintendent granted the application. Within ten days after such granting petitioners filed an appeal to the superior court of Graham county, and evidence being introduced, the matter was then taken under advisement. Judgment was finally entered affirming the action of the superintendent, whereupon it was brought before this court for review on certiorari.

The question before us is as to the extent of the right of the superintendent to grant licenses for the sale of intoxicating liquor. It is agreed that so far as this case is concerned, it is governed by section 8, chapter 64, Session Laws of 1939. This chapter is an attempt to establish a complete general code regulating the sale of intoxicating liquor in Arizona. The particular portion of the section involved reads as follows:

"Sec. 4c. Issuance Of Licenses. (a) The superintendent shall issue a spirituous liquor license only upon satisfactory showing of the capability, qualifications, and reliability of the applicant, and that the public convenience requires and will be substantially served by such issuance. " (Italics ours.)

Petitioners argue both extensively and intensively that the state has very broad powers in the regulation of the sale of liquor, and this is not disputed by respondent. The general rule on this subject was laid down fifty years ago by the Supreme Court of the United States, in Crowley v. Christensen, 137 U.S. 86, 11 S.Ct. 13, 15, 34 L.Ed. 620, as follows:

" It is a question of public expediency and public morality, and not of federal law. The police power of the state is fully competent to regulate the business, to mitigate its evils, or to suppress it entirely. There is no inherent right in a citizen to thus sell intoxicating liquors by retail. It is not a privilege of a citizen of the state or of a citizen of the United States. As it is a business attended with danger to the community, it may, as already said, be entirely prohibited, or be permitted under such conditions as will limit to the utmost its evils. The manner and extent of regulation rest in the discretion of the governing authority. That authority may vest in such officers as it may deem proper the power of passing upon applications for permission to carry it on, and to issue licenses for that purpose. It is a matter of legislative will only. As in many other cases, the officers may not always...

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8 cases
  • Mayor & Common Council of City of Prescott v. Randall
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • July 15, 1948
    ... ... RANDALL No. 5053 Supreme Court of Arizona July 15, 1948 ... Appeal ... from Superior Court, Yavapai County; M. T. Phelps, Judge ... state-wide concern. In Stanton v. Superior Court, 55 ... Ariz. 514, 103 P.2d ... ...
  • Mendelsohn v. Superior Court in and for Maricopa County, 5803
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • October 7, 1953
    ...than a pedantic construction of two adjectives and one noun. Analysis of Previous Decisions In the case of Stanton v. Superior Court, 55 Ariz. 514, 103 P.2d 952, the facts were that one M. R. Patton had applied to the superintendent of liquor licenses and control for a license for the whole......
  • Kaufman v. City of Tucson
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • November 9, 1967
    ...intoxicants, in any such sense as to remove the liquor traffic from the legitimate sphere of legislative control. (Stanton v. Superior Court, 55 Ariz. 514, 103 P.2d 952 (1940)). The sale of intoxicating liquors is in a class by itself, since it is effected with the public interest; (Mendels......
  • Hooper v. Duncan
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • February 26, 1964
    ...must meet the requirements set forth in A.R.S. § 4-201. See Clark v. Tinnin, 81 Ariz. 259, 304 P.2d 947 (1956) and Stanton v. Superior Court, 55 Ariz. 514, 103 P.2d 952 (1940). Appellant contends, however, that a liquor license, once acquired, is a property right with a peculiar and special......
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