State ex rel. Penal Institutions v. Becker, No. 31674.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtGantt
Citation47 S.W.2d 781
Decision Date15 March 1932
Docket NumberNo. 31674.
PartiesSTATE OF MISSOURI, at the Relation of the DEPARTMENT OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS of the State of Missouri; STRATTON SHARTEL, Attorney-General of the State of Missouri, and DELPH C. SIMONS, LESLIE RUDOLPH, DWIGHT H. BROWN, J.H.H. MOTE and E.B. JULIAN, the Members Composing the Commissioners of the DEPARTMENT OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS of the State of Missouri, Relators, v. CHARLES U. BECKER, Secretary of State of the State of Missouri; O.G. STEININGER, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of the State of Missouri, and S.G. ADAMS COMPANY, a Corporation.
47 S.W.2d 781
STATE OF MISSOURI, at the Relation of the DEPARTMENT OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS of the State of Missouri; STRATTON SHARTEL, Attorney-General of the State of Missouri, and DELPH C. SIMONS, LESLIE RUDOLPH, DWIGHT H. BROWN, J.H.H. MOTE and E.B. JULIAN, the Members Composing the Commissioners of the DEPARTMENT OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS of the State of Missouri, Relators,
v.
CHARLES U. BECKER, Secretary of State of the State of Missouri; O.G. STEININGER, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of the State of Missouri, and S.G. ADAMS COMPANY, a Corporation.
No. 31674.
Supreme Court of Missouri.
Court en Banc, March 15, 1932.

Mandamus.

PEREMPTORY WRIT DENIED.

Stratton Shartel, Attorney-General, Edward G. Robison and Henry H. Stern, Assistant Attorney-Generals, for relators.

(1) The respondents attack the constitutionality of the provision of Sec. 7760, R.S. 1929, that provides: "The commissioner shall advertise for bids for the manufacture of number plates and chauffeurs' badges in at least two (2) daily papers published in the State and shall let the contract therefor to the lowest bidder; the commissioner may reserve the right to reject any and all bids: Provided, however, the commissioner shall contract with the Prison Board for the manufacture of such plates and badges whenever the Prison Board is equipped with the necessary machinery for the manufacture of such plates, provided the said Board will make the same at a cost equal or less than the best obtainable prices from other sources." The above section was first passed at the First Extra Session of the Legislature in 1921, page 76. It was amended in 1927, page 314, section 4. The amendment made in 1927 had nothing to do with the matter under consideration. It is mentioned for the reason that the respondents attacked the sufficiency of the title of the act of 1921 and 1927. (2) Every reasonable intendment should be made to sustain the legislative enactment. No act should be declared unconstitutional unless it appears very clearly so. State v. Ward, 40 S.W. (2d) 1076. (3) The title to the act of which Section 7760, supra, is a part is more definite than many acts that have been held good in this State. (4) The title contains a single subject which is clearly expressed in the title of the act. "The object and purpose of Section 28 of Article IV of the Missouri Constitution was to kill `log-rolling' and to prevent incongruous, disconnected matters which had no relation to each other from being joined in one bill. However, it has always been recognized that all matters that are germane to the principal subject might properly be incorporated in the same bill." State v. Brodnax, 228 Mo. 54; O'Connor v. Transit Co., 198 Mo. 633; State v. Miller, 45 Mo. 498. "It is a fixed rule that where all the provisions of a statute fairly relate to the same subject, have a natural connection with it, are the incidents or means of accomplishing it then the subject is single, and if it is sufficiently expressed in the title, the statute is valid." Ewing v. Hoblitzelle, 85 Mo. 71; State v. Ward, 40 S.W. (2d) 1076. "The Supreme Court of Missouri has uniformly given a broad and liberal construction to said section of our Constitution relating to the subject-matter and title of an act." State v. Ward, 40 S.W. (2d) 1076; Star Square Auto Supply Co. v. Gerk, 30 S.W. (2d) 453; State ex rel. v. Terte, 324 Mo. 405; State v. Mullinix, 301 Mo. 390; State ex rel. v. Miller, 100 Mo. 444. "The `subject' of an act, in the constitutional sense, is the matter to which the act relates and which forms the groundwork of the act." 25 R.C.L. sec. 90, p. 844; 25 R.C.L. sec. 88, p. 842; 36 Cyc. 1022; Lewis, Sutherland on Statutory Construction (2 Ed.) sec. 116; McNeely v. Oil Co., 52 W. Va. 616, 44 S.E. 508, 62 L.R.A. 576. "The matter to which the act at bar relates and which forms the groundwork of said act is `Motor Vehicles,' and the act wholly relates to that one subject. Its provisions set up the complete machinery to carry it into effect among which is the duty of commissioner of motor vehicles. These matters are phases of the one general subject `motor vehicles.' This fact constitutes no constitutional objection to the act, when it as an entirety relates to but one subject." State ex rel. v. Miller, 33 S.W. (2d) 124; State ex rel. v. Gordon, 261 Mo. 639; Ex parte Loving, 178 Mo. 204. "The requirement that the subject must be `clearly expressed' in the title of an act, does not mean that the subject must be specifically stated, but it is sufficient if the subject is stated in general terms, and the title fairly embraces the subject matter covered by the act." In re Burris, 66 Mo. 446; State v. Burgdoerfer, 107 Mo. 29; State ex rel. v. Miller, 100 Mo. 445; State ex rel. v. Terte, 324 Mo. 406. "The courts, in determining what is the subject of an act, are bound to accept what either is expressly stated or is spelled out by the details expressed. The title is sufficient if the general subject can be inferred from the details set out therein. State v. Smith, 233 Mo. 255." (5) Sec. 7760, R.S. 1929, enacted at the First Extra Session, 1921, page 76, and re-enacted at the Session of 1927, page 314, expressly provides that the prison board shall have the right to manufacture said number plates and chauffeurs' badges whenever the prison board is equipped with the necessary machinery for the manufacture of such plates, provided the said board will make the same at a cost equal or less than the best obtainable price from other sources. By this later enactment the right to so manufacture said articles was expressly given to the prison board, and if not already conferred by Sec. 8340, it is expressly conferred by subsequent legislation and to that extent broadened the powers of Sec. 8340, if said section did not expressly give this right. This right given by subsequent legislation, if the same power did not already exist by Sec. 8340 (which the relators contend did exist), also broadened the exception as set forth in Sec. 8343 so as to permit the prison board to manufacture these articles. It is a general rule of statutory construction that where a statute passed at a later date is in conflict with a prior statute to the extent of such conflict, the prior statute is repealed by implication. State ex rel. v. Clayton, 226 Mo. 320; State ex rel. v. Shields, 230 Mo. 102; County v. Gordon, 241 Mo. 582. (6) The Legislature, in providing for the manufacture of auto license plates and chauffeurs' badges, acted within its powers, and said act does not conflict with any of the provisions of the Constitution of the State of Missouri or the Constitution of the United States. A State Constitution is not a grant but a limitation on legislative powers. The United States Constitution is a grant of power. This is the distinction between a State Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. The General Assembly of the State of Missouri can pass any law not forbidden by the Constitution of the State of Missouri or the Constitution of the United States to this extent. All of the residuary powers are vested in the Legislature of the State of Missouri. Wire Co. v. Wallbrick, 275 Mo. 350 (cases cited); 12 C.J. 742, sec. 156. The State of Missouri through its General Assembly has power to enact all laws not denied it by its Constitution or surrendered to and forbidden by the Constitution of the United States, and the General Assembly needs no express constitutional authority to pass any law it sees fit. It need only inquire whether it is forbidden to pass it. Arnold v. Hanna, 295 S.W. 425 (par. 18). (7) The Department of Penal Institutions or the Prison Board is but an agency of the State composed of certain officials for the conduct and management of the state penitentiary. It is a legal entity created by the State, with all the power and obligations of a corporation, for the purpose of carrying out a public enterprise. State ex rel. Highway Commission v. Bates, 317 Mo. 704; Jove v. Urquhart, 136 S.W. 664.

P.H. Cullen, Charles L. Moore and Conway Elder for respondent.

(1) Where the title of an act descends to particulars and details the act must conform to the title as thus limited by the particulars and details. State ex rel. v. Edwards, 241 S.W. 950; State ex rel. v. Hackmann, 292 Mo. 32; State v. Rawlings, 232 Mo. 558; State v. Sloan, 258 Mo. 314; Booth v. Scott, 276 Mo. 23; Hardware Co. v. Fisher, 269 Mo. 278; State v. Crites, 277 Mo. 194. (2) The object of Sec. 28, Art. IV, of the Constitution of Missouri is to have the title of an act to indicate its general contents. State ex rel. v. Roach, 258 Mo. 541; St. Louis v. Wortman, 213 Mo. 131; State ex rel. v. Vandiver, 222 Mo. 206; State ex rel. v. Wiethaupt, 231 Mo. 449; State v. Mullinix, 301 Mo. 385; Bottling Co. v. Mosby, 289 Mo. 462. (3) The requirement of said Sec. 28 is that matters which are incongruous, disconnected and without natural relation to each other must not be joined in one bill, and the title must be a fair index of the matters in the bill. State ex rel. v. Hackmann, 292 Mo. 27; State v. Price, 229 Mo. 670; State ex inf. v. Borden, 164 Mo. 221; State ex rel. v. Miller, 100 Mo. 439. (4) The provisions of said section relating to the subject-matter and the title of an act should be construed so as to prevent trickery, surprise, or fraud on the legislators. State ex inf. v. Imhoff, 291 Mo. 603; State ex rel. v. Hedrick, 294 Mo. 21; Asel v. City, 287 Mo. 195; Booth v. Scott, 276 Mo. 1; State ex rel. v. Guinotte, 275 Mo. 298; State ex rel. v. Thomas, 313 Mo. 160; Bottling Co. v. Mosby, 289 Mo. 462. (5) An amendment engrafting upon the original act matters not germane thereto requires specific mention of such purpose in the title of the act. State ex rel. v. Gideon, 277 Mo. 356; State ex rel. v. Gordon, 233 Mo. 383; Vice v. Kirksville, 280 Mo. 348. (6) If a section is to be amended the title should give notice of the amendment, and if a new...

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