State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Williams, No. 36718.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtDouglas
Citation144 S.W.2d 98
PartiesSTATE OF MISSOURI on the information of ROY McKITTRICK, Attorney General, Relator, v. JAMES L. WILLIAMS, Sheriff of Jackson County.
Docket NumberNo. 36718.
Decision Date09 November 1940
144 S.W.2d 98
STATE OF MISSOURI on the information of ROY McKITTRICK, Attorney General, Relator,
v.
JAMES L. WILLIAMS, Sheriff of Jackson County.
No. 36718.
Supreme Court of Missouri.
Court en Banc, November 9, 1940.

[144 S.W.2d 100]

Quo Warranto.

OUSTER ORDERED AND A FINE OF ONE DOLLAR FOR USURPATION.

[144 S.W.2d 101]

Roy McKittrick, Attorney General, J.E. Taylor and Robert L. Hyder, Assistant Attorneys General, for relator.

(1) A sheriff may be ousted under the provisions of Section 11202, Revised Statutes 1929, for failure to perform any duty imposed on him by law. Secs. 11202, 11206, R.S. 1929; State ex inf. McKittrick v. Wymore, 119 S.W. (2d) 947. (a) The duties of a sheriff are clearly defined in Missouri. Secs. 11516, 11518, R.S. 1929; Laws 1935, p. 279; 24 R.C.L., sec. 6, pp. 916, 917; 57 C.J., sec. 135, p. 779; Farmers' Mutual Fire Assn. v. Hunolt, 81 S.W. (2d) 981. (2) Section 10, Article IX of the Missouri Constitution does not prohibit the Legislature from declaring a forfeiture of the office of sheriff for failure to perform the duties of the office. (a) Section 10, Article IX is a limitation on the right of a sheriff to the office and not a limitation on the powers of the Legislature to provide for his removal. Bryan v. Landis, 106 Fla. 19; Benson v. People, 10 Colo. App. 175; 22 R.C.L., sec. 268, p. 563; State ex rel. Henson v. Sheppard, 192 Mo. 506; Sec. 7, Art. XIV, Mo. Const.; State ex inf. v. Brunk, 34 S.W. (2d) 94; Sec. 10, Art. IX, Mo. Const.; State ex rel. O'Connor v. Riedel, 46 S.W. (2d) 131, 329 Mo. 627; Laws 1907, p. 367. (b) The doctrine expressio unius est exclusio alterius does not apply to the Constitution. McGrew v. Railroad, 132 S.W. 1076, 230 Mo. 525. (3) Section 7, Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution provides for the removal of all officers not subject to impeachment for wilful violation or neglect of official duty. Sec. 10, Art. IX, Mo. Const.; Sec. 7, Art. XIV, Mo. Const.; State v. Dearing, 253 Mo. 604; State ex inf. v. Ellis, 325 Mo. 154, 28 S.W. (2d) 363; State ex inf. v. Wymore, 119 S.W. (2d) 948; Page 160, R.S. 1929; Sec. 11202, R.S. 1929. (a) All constitutional provisions should be harmonized and effect given to the whole. State ex rel. Crutcher v. Koeln, 61 S.W. (2d) 755; Sec. 18, Art. II, Sec. 13, Art. XIV, Sec. 24, Art. XIII, Mo. Const. (4) A constitutional question, to be considered by this court, must be raised at the earliest opportunity. Sec. 11202, R.S. 1929; Sec. 10, Art. IX, Mo. Const.; Magill v. Boatmen's Bank, 250 S.W. 42; Lohmeyer v. Cordage Co., 113 S.W. 1108, 214 Mo. 690; Schildnecht v. Joplin, 327 Mo. 126, 35 S.W. (2d) 36; Wabash Railroad Co. v. Flannigan, 218 Mo. 566; First Natl. Bank v. Foster, 271 S.W. 536. (5) The respondent was not entitled to a trial by jury. State ex rel. Ewing v. Townsley, 56 Mo. 107; Young v. Powell, 87 Mo. 128; State ex inf. v. Arkansas Lbr. Co., 169 S.W. 145, 260 Mo. 276; State ex inf. Otto v. Kansas City College of Medicine & Surgery, 315 Mo. 101, 285 S.W. 980; 96 A.L.R., p. 237, sec. 2. (6) This proceeding is not in conflict with any provisions of the State or Federal Constitution with regard to due process or property rights. State ex rel. Kansas City v. Coon, 296 S.W. 90, 316 Mo. 542; Taylor v. Beckham, 178 U.S. 549, 44 L. Ed. 1200; Guillermo Alvarez Y Sanchez v. United States, 216 U.S. 167, 56 L. Ed. 435. (7) The evidence in the instant case shows overwhelmingly that respondent wilfully neglected to enforce the criminal laws in Jackson County. 57 C.J., sec. 37, p. 745; 40 C.J., sec. 16, p. 1221; State v. Yager, 157 S.W. 557, 250 Mo. 388; State v. Reichman, 135 Tenn. 653, 188 S.W. 232; State v. Martin, 87 Kan. 817, 126 Pac. 1080; Barbee v. McMurphy, 149 Va. 406, 141 S.W. 237; State v. Teeters, 112 Kan. 70, 209 Pac. 818; Reeves v. Texas, 258 S.W. 577; State v. Dyson, 106 Neb. 277, 183 N.W. 298; Freas v. State, 109 Okla. 205, 235 Pac. 227; Holliday v. Fields, 210 Ky. 179, 275 S.W. 642; In re Sulzman, 125 Ohio St. 594, 183 N.E. 531; Mays v. Robertson, 172 Ark. 279, 288 S.W. 382; Sec. 10335, Arkansas Digest; State ex inf. v. Wymore, 132 S.W. (2d) 987; Young v. Powell, 87 Mo. 130.

Waldo Edwards and J. Francis O'Sullivan for respondent.

(1) The sheriff is a constitutional officer and can be removed only on the ground provided in the Constitution. Sec. 10, Art. IX, Mo. Const.; State ex rel. v. Finn, 4 Mo. App. 352; State ex inf. v. Brunk, 326 Mo. 1181, 34 S.W. (2d) 95; Throop, Public Officers, sec. 362; Mechem, Public Officers, secs. 447, 448; Bryan v. Landis, 106 Fla. 19, 142 So. 650; Lynch v. Chase, 55 Kan. 367, 40 Pac. 666; Kendrick v. Nelson, 13 Idaho, 244, 89 Pac. 755; Benson v. People, 10 Colo. App. 175, 50 Pac. 212; Schaffer v. Jackson, 106 Okla. 194, 255 Pac. 961; Norton v. Adams, 24 R.I. 97, 52 Atl. 688; 22 R.C.L. sec. 268, p. 563. Public officers cannot be removed except on definite charges constituting the offense defined in the governing law. State ex rel. Dewald v. Matia, 125 Ohio St. 487, 181 N.E. 901; 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 only. Sec. 10, Art. IX, Mo. Const.; State ex inf. v. Brunk, 326 Mo. 1181, 34 S.W. (2d) 95; State ex rel. Hardie v. Coleman, 115 Fla. 119, 150 So. 129, 92 A.L.R. 988; Orcutt v. Century Bldg. Co., 201 Mo. 424, 99 S.W. 1062; State ex rel. Cardin v. McClellan, 113 Tenn. 616, 85 S.W. 267, 3 Ann. Cas. 992; Bell v. Josselyn, 3 Gray, 309, 63 Am. Dec. 741; Olmstead v. Dennis, 77 N.Y. 378; Clark v. Miller, 54 N.Y. 528; Keith v. Howard, 24 Pick. 292; Amy v. Barkholder, 11 Wall. 136, 20 L. Ed. 101; Coite v. Lynes, 33 Conn. 115; Mineter v. State, 14 Neb. 181, 15 N.W. 331; Dudley v. Flemingsburg, 72 S.W. 327; Stokes v. Stokes, 48 N.Y. Supp. 722; State ex rel. Atty. Gen. v. Lazarus, 39 La. Ann. 142, 1 So. 376; 20 A.L.R. 108; 99 A.L.R., 410; Art. IX, Mo. Const.; Laws of Mo. Territory, sec. I, p. 372; Art. IV, Sec. 23, Mo. Const. 1820; Art. V, Sec. 22, Mo. Const. 1865; Art. IX, Sec. 10, Mo. Const. 1875; Art. IX, Sec. 10, Mo. Const. as amended 1905. The meaning of constitutional provisions should be determined in the light of historical changes and the character of the office in question. (b) The information charged and the evidence submitted tended only to prove nonfeasance and the commissioner so found. (c) The attempt of the relator and the commissioner to apply the statutory provisions enacted under Section 7, Article XIV, deprives respondent of his constitutional rights and guarantees under Section 10, Article IX of the Missouri Constitution. Sec. 11202, R.S. 1929; Sec. 10, Art. IX, Sec. 7, Art. XIV, Mo. Const.; State v. Imel, 242 Mo. 293, 146 S.W. 783; Lowe v. Summers, 69 Mo. App. 637; Colland v. Springfield, 264 Mo. 296, 174 S.W. 396; McGrew v. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 230 Mo. 496, 132 S.W. 1085. The Legislature must obey the constitutional mandate of limitation. State ex rel. v. Pub. Serv. Comm., 270 Mo. 429, 192 S.W. 958; 16 C.J.S., sec. 62, p. 122; State ex rel. v. Koeln, 332 Mo. 1229, 61 S.W. (2d) 750; State ex rel. v. Gordon, 329 Mo. 1053, 49 S.W. (2d) 146; State ex rel. v. St. Louis, 319 Mo. 497, 5 S.W. (2d) 1080; State ex rel. v. St. Louis, 11 S.W. (2d) 1010. (d) This court will determine its own jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of the subject matter is never waived. Affirmative plea of Section 10, Article IX of the Constitution is not required. This court will consider the inherent constitutional questions sua sponte and determine its own jurisdiction. Ex parte Bass, 328 Mo. 195, 40 S.W. (2d) 459; State ex rel. v. Walker, 134 S.W. (2d) 124; State ex rel. v. Nolte, 315 Mo. 91; Syz v. Milk Drivers Union, 323 Mo. 137, 18 S.W. (2d) 444; Schildnecht v. Joplin, 327 Mo. 126, 35 S.W. (2d) 35; State v. Mansfield, 41 Mo. 475; State v. Talken, 316 Mo. 600, 292 S.W. 32; State ex rel. v. Hyde, 317 Mo. 714, 296 S.W. 776. Jurisdiction of the subject matter is never waived, and cannot be conferred by consent, acquiscence or silence. Bash v. Truman, 335 Mo. 1077, 75 S.W. (2d) 840; State ex rel. v. Douglas, 339 Mo. 187, 95 S.W. (2d) 1179; United Cemetery Co. v. Strother, 342 Mo. 1155, 119 S.W. (2d) 762; Denny v. Guyton, 327 Mo. 1030, 40 S.W. (2d) 562; Curry v. Dahlberg, 341 Mo. 897, 110 S.W. 742; Finley v. Williams, 325 Mo. 688, 29 S.W. (2d) 103; Pipes v. Mo. Pac. Ry. Co., 267 Mo. 393, 184 S.W. 81; Lohmeyer v. St. Louis Cordage Co., 314 Mo. 685, 113 S.W. 1108. (2) For this court to entertain or assume jurisdiction and attempt to render a judgment removing from office the respondent sheriff would be violative of the constitutional rights guaranteed him under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution and those granted him by Section 30, Article II of the Missouri Constitution. Amends. 5, 14, Fed. Const.; Sec. 30, Art. II, Sec. 10, Art. IX, Sec. 1, Art. IV, Mo. Const. The sheriff, being a constitutional officer, has a property right in his office and the emoluments therefrom. State ex rel. v. Sheppard, 192 Mo. 497, 91 S.W. 481; State ex rel. Hatton v. Joughin, 103 Fla. 877, 138 So. 392, rehearing denied, 107 Fla. 850, 145 So. 174. The aforesaid provisions of the State and Federal Constitutions are designated to exclude arbitrary power from every branch of the government, including the judiciary. Clark v. Mitchell, 64 Mo. 564; State v. Jones, 306 Mo. 437, 268 S.W. 83; Ex parte Nelson, 251 Mo. 63, 157 S.W. 808. "Due process of law" requires the judicial determination of the issue by an impartial tribunal competent by the law of its creation to pass upon the subject matter of the suit. Sheldon v. Sheldon, 134 Mo. App. 904, 100 N.J. Eq. 134. No waiver or consent can cure a want of jurisdiction of the subject matter. Sinsheiner v. Simmonson, 107 Fed. 898, affirmed, 184 U.S. 18, 46 L. Ed. 413. (3) The respondent was and is...

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16 practice notes
  • Rathjen v. Reorganized School Dist. R-II of Shelby County, R-II
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 14, 1955
    ...rel. Russell v. State Highway Com., Banc, 328 Mo. 942, 42 S.W.2d 196, 203; State on Inf. of McKittrick v. Williams, Banc, 346 Mo. 1003, 144 S.W.2d 98, 103. And, accordingly, a construction which renders any words or any phrase meaningless should be avoided, if possible, (id). Certainly scho......
  • State v. Winne, No. A--107
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • March 30, 1953
    ...Graves (State ex inf. McKittrick v. Graves, 346 Mo. 990, 144 S.W.2d 91) and Williams (State ex inf. McKittrick v. Williams, 346 Mo. 1003, 144 S.W.2d 98 (Sup.Ct.1940)) cases involved continuous long existing conditions of flagrant, open and notorious gambling, prostitution and illegal sale o......
  • Pollard v. Board of Police Com'rs, Nos. 64637
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 15, 1984
    ...1946); State ex inf. McKittrick v. Graves, 346 Mo. 990, 144 S.W.2d 91 (banc 1940); State ex inf. McKittrick v. Williams, 346 Mo. 1003, 144 S.W.2d 98 (banc 1940); and United States v. Pendergast, 28 F.Supp. 601 (W.D.Mo.1939) for a discussion of the then existing political conditions in the K......
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Graves, No. 36717.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 9, 1940
    ...to notorious law violations. It is true that the statutes of this State permit a private individual and by inference a police officer 144 S.W.2d 98 to file a formal sworn complaint charging the violation of the criminal laws. The filing of such a complaint, which may be the basis of an info......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Rathjen v. Reorganized School Dist. R-II of Shelby County, R-II
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 14, 1955
    ...rel. Russell v. State Highway Com., Banc, 328 Mo. 942, 42 S.W.2d 196, 203; State on Inf. of McKittrick v. Williams, Banc, 346 Mo. 1003, 144 S.W.2d 98, 103. And, accordingly, a construction which renders any words or any phrase meaningless should be avoided, if possible, (id). Certainly scho......
  • State v. Winne, No. A--107
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • March 30, 1953
    ...Graves (State ex inf. McKittrick v. Graves, 346 Mo. 990, 144 S.W.2d 91) and Williams (State ex inf. McKittrick v. Williams, 346 Mo. 1003, 144 S.W.2d 98 (Sup.Ct.1940)) cases involved continuous long existing conditions of flagrant, open and notorious gambling, prostitution and illegal sale o......
  • Pollard v. Board of Police Com'rs, Nos. 64637
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 15, 1984
    ...1946); State ex inf. McKittrick v. Graves, 346 Mo. 990, 144 S.W.2d 91 (banc 1940); State ex inf. McKittrick v. Williams, 346 Mo. 1003, 144 S.W.2d 98 (banc 1940); and United States v. Pendergast, 28 F.Supp. 601 (W.D.Mo.1939) for a discussion of the then existing political conditions in the K......
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Graves, No. 36717.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 9, 1940
    ...to notorious law violations. It is true that the statutes of this State permit a private individual and by inference a police officer 144 S.W.2d 98 to file a formal sworn complaint charging the violation of the criminal laws. The filing of such a complaint, which may be the basis of an info......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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