State Ex Rel. Heironimus v. Town Of Davis

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtROBINSON
Citation76 W.Va. 587,85 S.E. 779
PartiesSTATE ex rel. HEIRONIMUS. v. TOWN OF DAVIS et al.
Decision Date22 June 1915

85 S.E. 779
76 W.Va.
587

STATE ex rel. HEIRONIMUS.
v.
TOWN OF DAVIS et al.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

June 22, 1915.


(Syllabus by the Court.)

Error to Circuit Court, Tucker County.

Proceedings for mandamus by the State, on the relation of R. D. Heironimus, against the Town of Davis and others. Judgment denying relief, and relator brings error. Reversed, and peremptory writ issued.

R. D. Heironimus, of Davis, for plaintiff in error.

Frank C. Reynolds, of Keyser, for defendants in error.

ROBINSON, P. The Town of Davis is a municipal corporation under Code 1913, ch. 47. By that statute, sec. 17, the officers of the town "shall be elected on every first Thursday of January, at such place in the town * * * and under such supervision, rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the laws regulating district elections, as the council may prescribe." An ordinance of the town made in keeping with this statutory provision, provides "that the annual town election shall be held on the first Thursday in January, at such place, or places, as the council may designate." Thus we see that the law fixes a time for the holding of the general town election annually, and provides virtually that the council shall provide for the holding of the same. Moreover, certain provisions of the general election laws are applicable to the holding of municipal elections. By those provisions it is the duty of the council to prepare for the holding of the town election by the appointing of election officers, the furnishing of the election paraphernalia, and the doing of other necessary things. While the law itself calls the election and does not provide for a special proclamation by the mayor or council to call the same, yet the law provides in effect that the council shall cause the election to be held by making all the preparations for it which are essential to its holding. The town officers must open the polls. They must see that the electorate are given the opportunity to vote. In a sense the council must hold the election which the law calls. In many towns it is usual for the mayor or council to emphasize the coming of the election, and to call attention to the preparations made for it, by published notice proclaiming the time and places for its holding and other things in connection therewith. The doing of this, though not specially provided for, is perhaps incidental to the provisions of the law for the holding of town elections. It is at least good practice. That practice had generally been observed in the town of Davis until the instance out of which arises this case.

For the annual town election which the law prescribed to be held on the first Thursday in January, 1915, the council of the Town of Davis made no preparation whatever. No election was held. The members of the council for the preceding year continued to hold over. More than this, the record of the council shows that "in view of the fact that no election was held" the members of the council declared themselves "elected to their respective positions for the ensuing year, " and issued certificates of election to themselves. After they so declared themselves elected and entitled to hold for another year, Heironimus, a citizen, voter, and taxpayer in the town, sought the writ of mandamus to compel them to cause to be held the annual election which he avers they neglected to bring about as the law enjoined them to do. The circuit court, upon returns of the town and its officers to the alternative writ, denied the relief sought. To such judgment Heironimus prosecutes writ of error.

[85 S.E. 780]

The substance of the returns to the alternative writ is that Heironimus allowed the day fixed by law to go by without demanding an election to be held, that he is acting not in good faith and for ulterior motives in now demanding an election, and that it was...

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20 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Zickefoose v. West, No. 12039
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 18 Octubre 1960
    ...the board to discharge their duty lawfully. Frantz v. County Court, 69 W.Va. 734, 73 S.E. 328; State ex rel. Heironimus v. Town of Davis, 76 W.Va. 587, 85 S.E. 779; State ex rel. Lamb v. Board of Ballot Commissioners, 97 S.E. 284, decided at this 'But can the board of ballot commissioners b......
  • Daily Gazette Co., Inc. v. Committee on Legal Ethics of the West Virginia State Bar, No. 16403
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 11 Diciembre 1984
    ...must be shown. State ex rel. Barker v. Manchin, 279 S.E.2d 622 (W.Va.1981); Myers v. Barte, 279 S.E.2d 406 (W.Va.1981); State v. Davis, 76 W.Va. 587, 85 S.E. 779 Second, on the question of the existence of a legal duty on the part of the respondent, we note that we have consistently held th......
  • Rogers v. Hechler, No. 16884
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 9 Julio 1986
    ...other grounds, Syl. pt. 12, State ex rel. Booth v. Board of Ballot Commissioners, supra; Syl., State ex rel. Heironimus v. Town of Davis, 76 W.Va. 587, 85 S.E. 779 (1915). This special public concern with the integrity of the electoral process is also reflected in West Virginia Code § 3-1-4......
  • Harrison v. Barksdale
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • 30 Marzo 1920
    ...the county court of a county to perform a ministerial duty imposed by statute of causing an election to be held. State v. Town of Davis, 76 W. Va. 587, 85 S. E. 779, 7S0;[102 S.E. 792] Frantz v. Wyoming County, 69 W. Va. 734, 73 S. E. 328; and other West Virginia cases therein cited. In opp......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • State ex rel. Zickefoose v. West, No. 12039
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 18 Octubre 1960
    ...the board to discharge their duty lawfully. Frantz v. County Court, 69 W.Va. 734, 73 S.E. 328; State ex rel. Heironimus v. Town of Davis, 76 W.Va. 587, 85 S.E. 779; State ex rel. Lamb v. Board of Ballot Commissioners, 97 S.E. 284, decided at this 'But can the board of ballot commissioners b......
  • Daily Gazette Co., Inc. v. Committee on Legal Ethics of the West Virginia State Bar, No. 16403
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 11 Diciembre 1984
    ...must be shown. State ex rel. Barker v. Manchin, 279 S.E.2d 622 (W.Va.1981); Myers v. Barte, 279 S.E.2d 406 (W.Va.1981); State v. Davis, 76 W.Va. 587, 85 S.E. 779 Second, on the question of the existence of a legal duty on the part of the respondent, we note that we have consistently held th......
  • Rogers v. Hechler, No. 16884
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 9 Julio 1986
    ...other grounds, Syl. pt. 12, State ex rel. Booth v. Board of Ballot Commissioners, supra; Syl., State ex rel. Heironimus v. Town of Davis, 76 W.Va. 587, 85 S.E. 779 (1915). This special public concern with the integrity of the electoral process is also reflected in West Virginia Code § 3-1-4......
  • Harrison v. Barksdale
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • 30 Marzo 1920
    ...the county court of a county to perform a ministerial duty imposed by statute of causing an election to be held. State v. Town of Davis, 76 W. Va. 587, 85 S. E. 779, 7S0;[102 S.E. 792] Frantz v. Wyoming County, 69 W. Va. 734, 73 S. E. 328; and other West Virginia cases therein cited. In opp......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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