State v. I-90 TRUCK HAVEN SERVICES, INC., No. 22215

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Citation662 N.W.2d 288,2003 SD 51
Decision Date07 May 2003
PartiesSTATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. I-90 TRUCK HAVEN SERVICE, INC., Licensee, Defendant and Appellee.
Docket Number No. 22215, No. 22228.

662 N.W.2d 288
2003 SD 51

STATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
I-90 TRUCK HAVEN SERVICE, INC., Licensee, Defendant and Appellee

Nos. 22215, 22228.

Supreme Court of South Dakota.

Considered on Briefs August 26, 2002.

Reassigned November 20, 2002.

Decided May 7, 2003.


662 N.W.2d 289
David R. Nelson, Minnehaha County State's Attorney, Colleen Moran, Deputy Minnehaha County State's Attorney, Sioux Falls, for plaintiff and appellant

Mark E. Salter, Michael D. Bornitz of Cutler & Donahoe, LLP, Sioux Falls, for defendant and appellee.

GILBERTSON, Chief Justice (on reassignment).

[¶ 1.] An employee of I-90 Truck Haven Services, Inc. (Truck Haven), pled guilty to selling alcohol to a minor. Several months later, the State requested that the magistrate court impose an administrative sanction or fine on Truck Haven. Truck Haven filed a motion to dismiss. Although the magistrate court refused to dismiss the case against Truck Haven, the circuit court later reversed the magistrate court's order and found that an administrative fine could not be imposed on a licensee pursuant to SDCL 35-4-78 through SDCL 35-4-78.4. We reverse.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

[¶ 2.] On March 30, 2000, an employee of Truck Haven, Donald Soulek (Soulek), sold alcohol to a person under the age of twenty-one.1 This was in violation of SDCL 35-9-1.1.2 Soulek pled guilty to this offense and received a criminal fine and a suspended jail sentence. Eight months later, in magistrate court, the State filed an application and order to show cause, requesting that the court impose an administrative fine under SDCL 35-4-78.3 on Truck Haven, the employer of Soulek. Truck Haven filed a motion to dismiss, which the magistrate court denied. Truck Haven appealed the magistrate court's order to the circuit court. The circuit court dismissed the State's case against Truck

662 N.W.2d 290
Haven, finding that a fine was not statutorily authorized. State appeals, raising the following issue for our review
Whether SDCL 35-4-78.2 allows for the imposition of administrative fines against Truck Haven.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶ 3.] This appeal involves the interpretation of a statute. In Martinmaas v. Engelmann, 2000 SD 85, ¶ 49, 612 N.W.2d 600, 611, we stated:

Questions of law such as statutory interpretation are reviewed by the Court de novo.... The purpose of statutory construction is to discover the true intention of the law which is to be ascertained primarily from the language expressed in the statute. The intent of a statute is determined from what the legislature said, rather than what the courts think it should have said, and the court must confine itself to the language used. Words and phrases in a statute must be given their plain meaning and effect. When the language in a statute is clear, certain and unambiguous, there is no reason for construction, and the Court's only function is to declare the meaning of the statute as clearly expressed. Since statutes must be construed according to their intent, the intent must be determined from the statute as a whole, as well as enactments relating to the same subject. But, in construing statutes together it is presumed that the legislature did not intend an absurd or unreasonable result. When the question is which of two enactments the legislature intended to apply to a particular situation, terms of a statute relating to a particular subject will prevail over the general terms of another statute.

(citing Moss v. Guttormson, 1996 SD 76, ¶ 10, 551 N.W.2d 14, 17) (citing U.S. West Communications, Inc. v. Public Util. Comm'n, 505 N.W.2d 115, 122-23 (S.D. 1993) (citations omitted)).

ANALYSIS AND DECISION

[¶ 4.] Whether SDCL 35-4-78.2 allows for the imposition of administrative fines against Truck Haven.

[¶ 5.] The relevant statutes at issue in this appeal are SDCL 35-4-78 through SDCL 35-4-78.4. The starting point is SDCL 35-4-78, which provides, in relevant part:

No licensee3 may sell any alcoholic beverage: (1) To any person under the age of twenty-one years[.]...
A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

[¶ 6.] The express words of this statute clearly state that a licensee can be criminally charged with selling alcohol to a person under the age of twenty-one. However, SDCL 35-4-78.1 provides the licensee a defense to criminal charges. Specifically, this statute provides:

A licensee ... is not in violation of § 35-4-78, and no criminal penalty may be imposed on the licensee if:
(1) The person making the sale in violation of § 35-4-78 is an employee or agent of the licensee;
(2) The employee or agent does not own a controlling interest in the licensee; and
(3) The licensee or person having a controlling interest in the licensee is not present at the time of the sale.

[¶ 7.] Although SDCL 35-4-78.1 provides a defense to the licensee in the context

662 N.W.2d 291
of criminal charges, the next statute in this section, SDCL 35-4-78.2, provides for an imposition of a civil or administrative fine, even if no criminal penalty can be imposed
If a sale is in violation of § 35-4-78 and does not constitute a criminal offense against the licensee, the state's attorney for the county in which the sale took place may as part of any proceeding against the person making the sale request that the court require the licensee to pay a fine in accordance with §§ 35-4-78.1 to 35-4-78.4, inclusive.

[¶ 8.] SDCL 35-4-78.3 provides:

Upon a request from the state's attorney and notice to the licensee, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine if the licensee is liable under §§ 35-4-78.1 to 35-4-78.4, inclusive, and upon a finding that the licensee is liable, the court may order the licensee to pay a fine not to exceed:
(1) Five hundred dollars upon the first violation within two years;
(2) Seven hundred fifty dollars upon the second violation within two years; and
(3) One thousand dollars for the third violation within two years.

We stated in Faircloth v. Raven Industries, Inc:

Ultimately, the purpose of statutory interpretation is to fulfill the legislative dictate. Intent is ordinarily ascertained by examining the express language of the statute. We therefore defer to the text
...

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16 practice notes
  • Sanford v. Sanford, No. 23175
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 9 Marzo 2005
    ...and effect, and read statutes as a whole, as well as enactments relating to the same subject. State v. I-90 Truck Haven Service, Inc., 2003 SD 51, ¶ 3, 662 N.W.2d 288, 290 (citing Martinmaas, 2000 SD 85, ¶ 49, 612 N.W.2d at 611) (additional citations ANALYSIS AND DECISION [¶ 14.] 1. Whether......
  • Hanig v. City of Winner, No. 23208.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 19 Enero 2005
    ...program for the regulation and control of the sale of alcoholic beverages within its boundaries. In State v. I-90 Truck Haven Service, 2003 SD 51, ¶ 8, 662 N.W.2d 288, 291, we set forth the standard for statutory construction of alcoholic beverage Ultimately, the purpose of statutory interp......
  • Leader v. Hagen, No. 24191.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 11 Septiembre 2007
    ...the application of the statute." State v. Wilson, 2004 SD 33, ¶ 9, 678 N.W.2d 176, 180 (quoting State v. I-90 Truck Haven Service, Inc., 2003 SD 51, ¶ 3, 662 N.W.2d 288, 290) (citing Martinmaas, 2000 SD 85, ¶ 49, 612 N.W.2d at 611)). Argus Leader dismisses this argument by maintaining that ......
  • State v. Wilson, No. 22655.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 10 Marzo 2004
    ...legislature did not intend an absurd or unreasonable result" from the application of the statute. State v. I-90 Truck Haven Service, Inc., 2003 SD 51, ¶ 3, 662 N.W.2d 288, 290 (citing Martinmaas v. Engelmann, 2000 SD 85, ¶ 49, 612 N.W.2d 600, ANALYSIS AND DECISION [¶ 10.] 1. Where a vehicle......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Sanford v. Sanford, No. 23175
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 9 Marzo 2005
    ...and effect, and read statutes as a whole, as well as enactments relating to the same subject. State v. I-90 Truck Haven Service, Inc., 2003 SD 51, ¶ 3, 662 N.W.2d 288, 290 (citing Martinmaas, 2000 SD 85, ¶ 49, 612 N.W.2d at 611) (additional citations ANALYSIS AND DECISION [¶ 14.] 1. Whether......
  • Hanig v. City of Winner, No. 23208.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 19 Enero 2005
    ...program for the regulation and control of the sale of alcoholic beverages within its boundaries. In State v. I-90 Truck Haven Service, 2003 SD 51, ¶ 8, 662 N.W.2d 288, 291, we set forth the standard for statutory construction of alcoholic beverage Ultimately, the purpose of statutory interp......
  • Leader v. Hagen, No. 24191.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 11 Septiembre 2007
    ...the application of the statute." State v. Wilson, 2004 SD 33, ¶ 9, 678 N.W.2d 176, 180 (quoting State v. I-90 Truck Haven Service, Inc., 2003 SD 51, ¶ 3, 662 N.W.2d 288, 290) (citing Martinmaas, 2000 SD 85, ¶ 49, 612 N.W.2d at 611)). Argus Leader dismisses this argument by maintaining that ......
  • State v. Wilson, No. 22655.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 10 Marzo 2004
    ...legislature did not intend an absurd or unreasonable result" from the application of the statute. State v. I-90 Truck Haven Service, Inc., 2003 SD 51, ¶ 3, 662 N.W.2d 288, 290 (citing Martinmaas v. Engelmann, 2000 SD 85, ¶ 49, 612 N.W.2d 600, ANALYSIS AND DECISION [¶ 10.] 1. Where a vehicle......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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