State ex Inf. Ellis v. Ferguson, No. 32395.

CourtMissouri Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHays
Citation65 S.W.2d 97
PartiesSTATE OF MISSOURI on the Information of ROYLE ELLIS, Prosecuting Attorney of Barry County, at the Relation of CHARLES PATTERSON and CHARLES VAUGHN, Relators, v. DR. L.H. FERGUSON, Mayor of the City of Monett.
Decision Date19 October 1933
Docket NumberNo. 32395.
65 S.W.2d 97
STATE OF MISSOURI on the Information of ROYLE ELLIS, Prosecuting Attorney of Barry County, at the Relation of CHARLES PATTERSON and CHARLES VAUGHN, Relators,
v.
DR. L.H. FERGUSON, Mayor of the City of Monett.
No. 32395.
Supreme Court of Missouri.
Division One, October 19, 1933.

Quo Warranto.

WRIT OF OUSTER ISSUED.

A.R. Dunn for relator.

(1) This court has held in a number of cases that, aside from the city of St. Louis, cities of this State are not political subdivisions of the State for the purpose of conferring appellate jurisdiction in the Supreme Court, citing, Kansas City v. Neal, 122 Mo. 232; City of Tarkio v. Loyd, 179 Mo. 604, and a number of other cases cited therein, but those cases have no application to cases of the nature of the present one. Outside of the jurisdictional question above referred to, this court has repeatedly held that cities, school districts, drainage districts, etc., are political subdivisions of the State. Morrison v. Morey, 146 Mo. 543; State ex rel. v. Drainage District, 192 Mo. 517; Wilson v. King's Lake Drainage & Levee Dist., 237 Mo. 39, 139 S.W. 136; State ex rel. Stotts v. Wall, 153 Mo. 216; Carder v. Drainage Dist., 262 Mo. 556; Birmingham Drainage Dist. v. Railroad Co., 202 S.W. 407. It will also be noted that the language used in Section 12, Article VI of the Constitution, as it refers to political subdivisions of the State, is entirely different from that of the amendment relating to nepotism, the language in the former being as follows: "In cases where a county or other political subdivision of the State... is a party." While in the nepotism amendment, being Section 13, Article XIV, reads as follows: "Of this State or of any political subdivision thereof." It will be seen that there is a distinct difference in the reading of these two sections, the one section using the term, "other political subdivision," and the nepotism section using the term, "any political subdivision." (2) A city is only a political subdivision of the State. Jefferson City Gas Light Co. v. Clark, 95 U.S. 654; Worchester v. Railroad Co., 196 U.S. 549; Johnson v. San Diego, 109 Cal. 474, 42 Pac. 249; Guthrie v. New Viena Bank, 4 Okla. 197; Mount v. State, 90 Ind. 32; State v. Aberdeen, 34 Wash. 68; Commonwealth v. City of Covington, 128 Ky. 40, 107 S.W. 231; Wooster v. Plymouth, 62 N.H. 208; 43 C.J. 70, sec. 5, notes 88, 94.

L.W. Eubanks and D.S. Mayhew for respondent.

A relator's interest must be a private interest. If he has no special interest he is not entitled to maintain this action. State ex rel. Picket v. Carnies, 265 S.W. 527. The information in the above case was filed by the prosecuting attorney at the relation of a private individual and not ex officio. The proceeding therefor is controlled by statute. The two elements of that construction which exert a controlling influence in this case are, that the relator in such case must have an interest in the subject and the prosecution peculiar to him as it is to that of the general public. State v. Lawrence, 38 Mo. 536; State v. Boal, 46 Mo. 528; State v. Vale, 53 Mo. 97; State v. Berkeley, 140 Mo. 184; State v. McLain, 187 Mo. 409; State v. Heffernan, 243 Mo. 442. And leave of course must be obtained for the filing of the information for the institution of the suit. State v. Ins. Co., 8 Mo. 330; State v. Stone, 25 Mo. 555; State v. Stewart, 32 Mo. 379; State v. Buskirk, 43 Mo. 112; State v. Rose, 84 Mo. 198; State v. Railroad, 176 Mo. 687, 63 L.R.A. 761; State v. Becher, 160 Mo. 78; State v. Jobe, 205 Mo. 26; State v. Heffernan, 243 Mo. 442. When the relator is a proper person and will be allowed to file such proceeding is a preliminary inquiry for the court and on that inquiry, whether made before or after the information is filed, the court will ascertain what interest the relator has in the information.

HAYS, J.


Royle Ellis, Prosecuting Attorney of Barry County, by information in the nature of a quo warranto, at the relation of two other individuals designated, invokes the original jurisdiction of this court and seeks thereby to oust the respondent from the office of mayor of the city of Monett, a city of the third class, and from the exercise of the franchises and privileges of said office. To our alternative writ the respondent for his return demurred.

65 S.W.2d 98

The cause was by stipulation of the parties submitted on said writ and return.

The charges in the information are that respondent is the duly elected, qualified and acting incumbent of said office and by virtue thereof has full charge and management of the city waterworks system of said city, with authority to employ and appoint the ordinary employees to operate said system; that by virtue of his said office respondent is authorized to vote for and appoint the city collector of said city and did, in the exercise of such authority, in April, 1932, employ and appoint to the position of pumper for said water system one Carrol Cox, who was at said time a first cousin of respondent; that said Cox has retained said position since the date of his...

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8 practice notes
  • Marshall v. Kansas City, No. 48419
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 9, 1962
    ...state established for the convenient administration of local government. State ex inf. Ellis ex rel. Patterson v. Ferguson, 333 Mo. 1177, 65 S.W.2d 97, 99, cert. den. 291 U.S. 682, 54 S.Ct. 559, 78 L.Ed. 1070; District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co., Inc., 346 U.S. 100, 73 S.Ct. 1007, ......
  • City of Albuquerque v. Campbell, No. 6684
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • December 29, 1960
    ...a political subdivision under the nepotism section of its constitution. State ex inf. Ellis ex rel. Patterson v. Ferguson, 333 Mo. 1177, 65 S.W.2d 97. There are numerous cases in other jurisdictions holding cities to be political subdivisions of states under various types of statutes and co......
  • State ex inf. Graham v. Hurley, No. 59330
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • September 13, 1976
    ...representative of the state and for the protection of a public interest.' State ex inf. Ellis ex rel. Patterson v. Ferguson, 333 Mo. 1177, 65 S.W.2d 97, 98 (1933). There is no reason to treat this case The next issue we address is whether appellant Hurley named or appointed his son-in-law i......
  • Kimball v. State, No. 10-98-205-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • July 12, 2000
    ...on the minds of the jury." Waldo v. State, 746 S.W.2d 750, 754 (Tex. Crim. App. 1988) (citing Hatcher v. State, 43 Tex. Crim. 237, 65 S.W.2d 97, 98 (1901); Veteto v. State, 8 S.W.3d 805 (Tex.App.--Waco 2000, no pet. h.). The effectiveness of a curative instruction is determined on a case-by......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Marshall v. Kansas City, No. 48419
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 9, 1962
    ...state established for the convenient administration of local government. State ex inf. Ellis ex rel. Patterson v. Ferguson, 333 Mo. 1177, 65 S.W.2d 97, 99, cert. den. 291 U.S. 682, 54 S.Ct. 559, 78 L.Ed. 1070; District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co., Inc., 346 U.S. 100, 73 S.Ct. 1007, ......
  • City of Albuquerque v. Campbell, No. 6684
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • December 29, 1960
    ...a political subdivision under the nepotism section of its constitution. State ex inf. Ellis ex rel. Patterson v. Ferguson, 333 Mo. 1177, 65 S.W.2d 97. There are numerous cases in other jurisdictions holding cities to be political subdivisions of states under various types of statutes and co......
  • State ex inf. Graham v. Hurley, No. 59330
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • September 13, 1976
    ...representative of the state and for the protection of a public interest.' State ex inf. Ellis ex rel. Patterson v. Ferguson, 333 Mo. 1177, 65 S.W.2d 97, 98 (1933). There is no reason to treat this case The next issue we address is whether appellant Hurley named or appointed his son-in-law i......
  • Kimball v. State, No. 10-98-205-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • July 12, 2000
    ...on the minds of the jury." Waldo v. State, 746 S.W.2d 750, 754 (Tex. Crim. App. 1988) (citing Hatcher v. State, 43 Tex. Crim. 237, 65 S.W.2d 97, 98 (1901); Veteto v. State, 8 S.W.3d 805 (Tex.App.--Waco 2000, no pet. h.). The effectiveness of a curative instruction is determined on a case-by......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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