State ex rel. Atty. Gen. v. Jennings

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Ohio
Citation49 N.E. 404,57 Ohio St. 415
Decision Date26 January 1898

49 N.E. 404

57 Ohio St. 415



Supreme Court of Ohio.

January 26, 1898

Petition for writ of quo warranto by the state, on the relation of the attorney general, against James Jennings and others. Writ refused and petition dismissed.

Syllabus by the Court

1. An office created by an ordinance is abolished by the repeal of the ordinance, and the incumbent thereby ceases to be an officer.

2. To constitute a public office, against the incumbent of which quo warranto will lie, it is essential that certain independent public duties, a part of the sovereignty of the state, should be appointed to it by law, to be exercised by the incumbent in virtue of his election or appointment to the office thus created and defined, and not as a mere employé, subject to the direction and control of some one else.

3. Where, in pursuance of an ordinance, a fireman is employed by the council, to perform the usual duties of a fireman, who has no control of the fire department or its property, other than in the use of it, performs his duties subject to the chief of the department and the city council, and is paid by the month for his services, he is not a public officer, and cannot be ousted from his employment by a proceeding in quo warranto on the ground that he should have been appointed by the mayor, with the advice and consent of the council.

F. S. Monnett, Atty. Gen., J. A. Flory, S. L. James, and B. G. Smythe, for plaintiff.

[57 Ohio St. 418] Thos. B. Fulton, City Sol., J. B. Jones, and S. M. Hunter, for defendants.

[57 Ohio St. 422] MINSHALL, J.

It is averred by the attorney general, in the petition, that James Jennings and others, specifically named, have been, and are now, unlawfully usurping and holding the offices of firemen in the fire department of the city of Newark, this state; and he asks that they be ousted therefrom, and that Frank Alexander and others, specifically named, and entitled thereto, be inducted into the offices so usurped. The case has been submitted to the court on an agreed statement of facts, from which it appears that in 1895 the city council of Newark passed an ordinance organizing its fire department, and by which it was provided that it should consist of ten firemen, one of whom should be elected as chief by the appointment of the mayor with the advice and [57 Ohio St. 423] consent of the council; and it provided for their compensation. The persons whose induction is asked for were appointed under the provisions of this ordinance. [49 N.E. 405] The chief is not included in the number, and all were simply appointed as ‘firemen.’ On June 23, 1897, the council adopted an ordinance repealing the former one, and providing for the employment of the firemen by the council; the chief, however, being appointed as formerly. The section as to the firemen is as follows: ‘The said council shall employ as many assistant firemen, from time to time, as to them may seem necessary, who shall receive for their services not to exceed $50.00 per month.’ Afterwards the firemen appointed under the former ordinance were discharged by resolution of the council, and by another resolution the defendants were employed.

The contention of the relator is that a fireman is an officer, and therefore, under section 1711, Rev. St., which requires all officers of the municipality not elected by the people to be appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council, the defendants, not being so appointed, have no right to the office, and should be ousted, and the former incumbents inducted, as officers holding over until their successors are duly appointed and qualified. We do not adopt this view. There is no question but that the council had the power to repeal the former ordinance; and this being so, and all the offices created by it, whatever they were, being thus abolished, the incumbents ceased to be officers, for there can be no incumbent...

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2 cases
  • State ex rel. Attorney Gen. v. Jennings
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • January 26, 1898
    ...57 Ohio St. 41549 N.E. 404STATE ex rel. ATTORNEY GENERALv.JENNINGS et al.Supreme Court of Ohio.Jan. 26, Petition for writ of quo warranto by the state, on the relation of the attorney general, against James Jennings and others. Writ refused and petition dismissed.Syllabus by the Court 1. An......
  • Pittinger v. Wellsville
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • February 5, 1907
    ......Bohl et al., 13 Ohio Dec., 569;. State, ex rel., v. City of Massillon, 24 C. C. R., 249; City. of ... the departments. State, ex rel., v. Jennings et al., 57 Ohio. St. 415. . .          If ......

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