State ex rel. Field v. Smith, No. 31347.

CourtMissouri Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtRagland
Citation49 S.W.2d 74
Decision Date15 March 1932
Docket NumberNo. 31347.
PartiesSTATE OF MISSOURI, at the relation of RUSSELL FIELD ET AL., Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri, Relators, v. BRYCE B. SMITH ET AL.
49 S.W.2d 74
STATE OF MISSOURI, at the relation of RUSSELL FIELD ET AL., Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri, Relators,
v.
BRYCE B. SMITH ET AL.
No. 31347.
Supreme Court of Missouri, Court en Banc.
March 15, 1932.

Mandamus.

ALTERNATIVE WRIT QUASHED.

Frank Schibsby for relators; Henry M. Beardsley of counsel.

(1) Article 3 of the Constitution is relied upon. But these relators are purely an administrative body. They have not been granted, nor exercise, either legislative or judicial powers. This identical point was settled against the respondents in the St. Louis police case (State ex rel. v. Mason, 153 Mo. 47). And again in the Jost case, 265 Mo. 51, 175 S.W. 596, where the court said: "This statute places a limit upon every act of the commissioners, save and except the number of police districts, and as to that nothing is said. In every other respect there is a limit beyond which the board of police commissioners cannot go. The number of the patrolmen is the real basis of the force. That is definite which can be made definite. The utmost limit of patrolmen is one for every 700 inhabitants; the population from time to time to be determined by the board of police commissioners. The Legislature has thus fixed a limit beyond which the board of police commissioners cannot go in establishing the force. The salaries of each class is fixed. It is true that it is left to the commissioners to determine the population, but this does not invalidate the act. It may also be true that such commissioners are left to fix the number of police districts; and, if they increase or decrease the number, it makes but little change in the force. The basis of the force, under the statute, is the number of patrolmen, and that number cannot exceed one for every 700 population. To add a district would only add one captain, one lieutenant, and four sergeants. To cut off a district would only cut off these six men. The law was intended to be flexible, and rightfully so, but this does not make it violative of any constitutional provision." In the Library case, State v. St. Louis, 318 Mo. 870, 2 S.W. (2d) 725, 726, the court said: "The rule is without exception that the legislative power vested in the lawmaking body of the State cannot be delegated. Yet, under modern conditions, in the many ramifications of modern life in which affairs are brought under legislative regulation, the necessity of conferring upon administrative bodies and officers the authority to ascertain facts, or perform conditions, under which a law may be brought into effect, are so numerous and varied that the difficulty is not in announcing the principle that legislative power may not be delegated, but in the application of the rule to specific cases." (2) It is asserted that the police laws violate Section 43 of Article IV of the Constitution. This is in no manner or degree the case. These statutes constitute a continuing appropriation for Kansas City police purposes. They are essentially replicas of the St. Louis laws passed upon in the Mason case, supra. "If we are right in our previous declaration that the State in the exercise of a state function can constitutionally require one of its cities, towns or counties to levy and collect a tax to further and support a state purpose in that city, town or county, and may even require such municipality to use revenue collected for one purpose for a different purpose, without the charge of disturbing vested rights, certainly the Legislature could lawfully make this appropriation directly, and the only question is, did it do so, and we think it did." Mason Case, 153 Mo. 58. (3) The Kansas City police laws do no violence to Secs. 45 and 46 of Art. IV of the Constitution. Under those sections neither the State's credit nor its funds may be given to any individual, association of individuals, corporation or municipal corporation. These relators are not within those classes, and these sections were not aimed at such as they. The relators are state officers, an agency of the State, required to perform within Kansas City some of the most important duties of the State Government. The funds they demand are devoted solely to carrying out those public duties; they are expended for state purposes. Hence, these provisions of the Constitution have no bearing here (State v. Gordon, 261 Mo. 631). These sections seek the same general end as Sec. 47, Art. IV; State v. St. Louis, 1 S.W. (2d) 1021-1026. (4) The Kansas City police law is not in conflict with either paragraphs 2 or 33 of Section 53 or with Section 54 of Article IV, of the Missouri Constitution. All of these provisions are directed against special or local laws, and this law is not of that kind. The same contention was made in relation to the St. Louis police laws in State v. Mason, 153 Mo. l.c. 52. There the law provided for a metropolitan police force in "all cities having three hundred thousand inhabitants and over." (5) There was no delegation of legislative or taxing powers granted the relators by these police laws. State ex rel. v. Mason, 153 Mo. 23; State ex rel. v. Jost, 265 Mo. 51; State ex rel. v. Field, 119 Mo. 593; State ex rel. v. Knott, 212 Mo. 616; In re Birmingham Drainage District, 274 Mo. 153; Schwab v. St. Louis, 310 Mo. 116; State ex rel. Rhodes v. Commissioner, 270 Mo. 547; Lock's Appeal, 72 Pa. St. 491; Terre Haute v. Railway, 40 Ind. 174; Blue v. Beach, 155 Ind. 121; Wiggins v. City of Manchester, 72 N.H. 576; Craig v. Orear, 199 Ky. 553; Cincinnati, etc., Ry. v. Commissioners, 1 Ohio St. 88; 12 C.J. 859; McElderry v. Abercrombie, 213 Ala. 289; Ryan v. Riley, 65 Cal. App. 181; State v. Turner, 37 N.D. 635. (6) There was no delegation of judicial power granted the relators by the police laws. Pub. Serv. Comm. v. Kansas City, etc., Co., 31 S.W. (2d) 67. (7) The duties placed upon the relators by the terms of Section 7508 are all such as are matters of State concern. State ex rel. v. Mason, 153 Mo. 23; State ex rel. v. Jost, 265 Mo. 51; American Fire Alarm Co. v. Commissioners, 285 Mo. 581; State v. St. Louis, 1 S.W. (2d) 1026. (8) The Kansas City police statutes are not in conflict with Article X of the Missouri Constitution. Strother v. Kansas City, 283 Mo. 283; State ex rel. v. Mason, 153 Mo. 23; State ex rel. v. Jost, 265 Mo. 51; State v. St. Louis, 318 Mo. 870. (9) Section 9 of Article X of the Constitution is not involved here.

George Kingsley, Marcy K. Brown, Jr., and Joshua Barbee for respondents.

(1) The police statutes applicable to Kansas City are in violation of Sec. 1, Art. X and Sec. 1, Art. IV of the Missouri Constitution in that they delegate the taxing power to relators without limitation and without any maximum limit within which relators' power must be exercised, and are hence void. 12 C.J. 839; Sec. 1, Art. IV, Constitution; Sec. 1, Art. X, Constitution; Board of Commrs. v. Peters, 253 Mo. 533; Merchants Exchange v. Knott, 212 Mo. 616; State ex rel. v. Ashbrook, 154 Mo. 389; Cavanaugh v. Gerk, 280 S.W. 51; St. Louis v. Polar Wave Ice & Fuel Co., 296 S.W. 993; 1 Cooley on Taxation (4 Ed.) 185; Inhabitants of Twp. of Bernard v. Allen, 39 Atl. 716; School, City of Marion v. Forrest, 78 N.E. 187; Davis v. McLean Co., 204 N.W. 459; Lipscomb v. Dean, 1 Lea. (Tenn.) 546; Reelfoot Lake Levy Dist. v. Dawson, 36 S.W. 1047; American Fire Alarm Co. v. Board of Police Commrs., 285 Mo. 581; Livingston v. Wider, 53 Ill. 302; Metropolitan Utilities Dist. v. Omaha, 198 N.W. 858; Van Cleve v. Passiac Valley Sewerage Commrs., 60 Atl. 214; State ex rel. v. Field, 119 Mo. 593; State ex rel. v. Jost, 265 Mo. 51; People v. Mahoney, 13 Mich. 481; State v. Fowler, 114 So. 435; Vallelly v. Board, 111 N.W. 615; Morgan v. Simpson, 81 N.E. 814; People ex rel. McCogg v. Chicago, 51 Ill. 17; State ex rel. Bixby v. St. Louis, 241 Mo. 231; State ex rel. Zoological Board v. St. Louis, 318 Mo. 901; State ex rel. Carpenter v. St. Louis, 318 Mo. 870. (2) The Kansas City police statutes are in violation of Article III of the Constitution of Missouri in that they delegate to an executive administrative board, judicial power and legislative power which cannot be exercised by relators and are hence void. (a) As to delegation of judicial powers: Secs. 7508, 7515, 7524, 7525, R.S. 1929; State ex rel. Publishing Co. v. Hackman, 314 Mo. 33; O'Donnell v. Wells, 21 S.W. (2d) 762; State ex rel. Telegraph Co. v. Atkinson, 271 Mo. 195; Abbott v. Lindenbower, 42 Mo. 162; Allen v. Armstrong, 16 Iowa, 508; Railway Co. v. Simonson, 62 Kan. 802, 68 Pac. 653; Railway Co. v. Minnesota, 131 U.S. 418; Cooley on Constitutional Limitations (5 Ed.) 453. (b) As to delegation of legislative powers: State ex rel. v. Mason, 153 Mo. 58; Merchants Exchange v. Knott, 212 Mo. 616; State ex rel. v. St. Louis, 318 Mo. 870, 2 S.W. (2d) 725. (3) The pleadings admitting that 50 per cent of relators' estimate will be used to perform purely local functions in which the State has no possible interest, the police statutes are in violation of Section 10, Article 10, of the Constitution in that they constitute the imposition of a local tax for local purposes by the Legislature upon Kansas City. State ex rel. v. Owsley, 122 Mo. 76; American Fire Alarm Co. v. Board of Police Commrs. of Kansas City, 227 S.W. 114; Sec. 8, Art. X, Constitution; Sec. 10, Art. X, Constitution; Charter of Kansas City. (4) The police statutes applicable to Kansas City must either be in violation of Section 8, Article X of the Constitution, in that the estimate of relators constitutes the levy of a state tax on property in an amount in excess of the constitutional limitations, or, in violation of Section 10, Article X of the Constitution, in that said estimate constitutes the levying of a tax by the General Assembly upon Kansas City for municipal purposes. Sec. 8, Art. X, Constitution; Sec. 1, Art. X, Constitution; Sec. 10, Art. X, Constitution; 19 R.C.L. 945, par. 245; People v. Chicago, 51 Ill. 7; Water Co....

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12 practice notes
  • Vill. of Waterbury v. Melendy, No. 1646.
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • May 3, 1938
    ...v. Montgomery, 22 Ala.App. 620, 119 So. 599; Schireson v. Walsh, 354 Ill. 40, 187 N.E. 921; State ex rel. Field v. Smith, 329 Mo. 1019, 49 S.W.2d 74; State ex rel. Srigley v. Woodworth, 33 Ohio App. 406, 169 N.E. 713; Gulf Ref. Co. v. Dallas, Tex.Civ.App., 10 S.W.2d 151; Thompson v. Smith, ......
  • State ex rel. Spink v. Kemp, No. 44534
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • September 29, 1955
    ...See State ex rel. Reynolds v. Jost, 265 Mo. 51, 67, et seq., 175 S.W. 591, 593, et seq.; State ex rel. Field v. Smith, 329 Mo. 1019, 49 S.W.2d 74, 76, 78; Laws 1939, pp. 558, 559; Sec. 7676, RSMo The Special Commissioner came to the conclusion that the term 'general revenue fund', as used i......
  • Pollard v. Board of Police Com'rs, Nos. 64637
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 15, 1984
    ...providing for state control of the Kansas City Police Department were unconstitutional. State ex rel. Field v. Smith, 329 Mo. 1019, 49 S.W.2d 74 (banc 1932). After control reverted to the city the police department became heavily politicized. Policemen who belonged to the party out of power......
  • State ex rel. Sayad v. Zych, No. 64264
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 3, 1982
    ...Board was also a state agency. Id. 285 Mo. at 589-92, 227 S.W. at 116-17; see also State ex rel. Field v. Smith, 329 Mo. 1019, 1026, 49 S.W.2d 74, 76 (1932) (where the Court accepted the proposition that the Kansas City Police Board was "a state agency, a department of the state Several cas......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Vill. of Waterbury v. Melendy, No. 1646.
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • May 3, 1938
    ...v. Montgomery, 22 Ala.App. 620, 119 So. 599; Schireson v. Walsh, 354 Ill. 40, 187 N.E. 921; State ex rel. Field v. Smith, 329 Mo. 1019, 49 S.W.2d 74; State ex rel. Srigley v. Woodworth, 33 Ohio App. 406, 169 N.E. 713; Gulf Ref. Co. v. Dallas, Tex.Civ.App., 10 S.W.2d 151; Thompson v. Smith, ......
  • State ex rel. Spink v. Kemp, No. 44534
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • September 29, 1955
    ...See State ex rel. Reynolds v. Jost, 265 Mo. 51, 67, et seq., 175 S.W. 591, 593, et seq.; State ex rel. Field v. Smith, 329 Mo. 1019, 49 S.W.2d 74, 76, 78; Laws 1939, pp. 558, 559; Sec. 7676, RSMo The Special Commissioner came to the conclusion that the term 'general revenue fund', as used i......
  • Pollard v. Board of Police Com'rs, Nos. 64637
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • February 15, 1984
    ...providing for state control of the Kansas City Police Department were unconstitutional. State ex rel. Field v. Smith, 329 Mo. 1019, 49 S.W.2d 74 (banc 1932). After control reverted to the city the police department became heavily politicized. Policemen who belonged to the party out of power......
  • State ex rel. Sayad v. Zych, No. 64264
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 3, 1982
    ...Board was also a state agency. Id. 285 Mo. at 589-92, 227 S.W. at 116-17; see also State ex rel. Field v. Smith, 329 Mo. 1019, 1026, 49 S.W.2d 74, 76 (1932) (where the Court accepted the proposition that the Kansas City Police Board was "a state agency, a department of the state Several cas......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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