State v. West, No. 20378.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtFaris
Citation272 Mo. 304,198 S.W. 1111
Decision Date01 December 1917
Docket NumberNo. 20378.
PartiesSTATE ex rel. CLARKE et al. v. WEST et al.
198 S.W. 1111
272 Mo. 304
STATE ex rel. CLARKE et al.
v.
WEST et al.
No. 20378.
Supreme Court of Missouri. In Banc.
December 1, 1917.

Original mandamus proceedings by the State, on the relation of E. R. Clarke and others against C. S. West and others. Alternative writ quashed.

[198 S.W. 1112]

This is an original proceeding by mandamus, whereby relators seek to compel respondents, as judges of the county court of Cass county, to make an order organizing certain lands of relators and others situate in Cass county into a drainage district, under the provisions of article 4 of chapter 41, Revised Statutes of Missouri of 1909, as amended by an act approved March 27, 1913. Laws 1913, pp. 271-281. This is the county court act, so called to distinguish it from a similar but procedurally different proceeding whereof the jurisdiction lies in the circuit courts. Upon the issuance of our alternative writ respondents demurred, thus in effect confessing, for the purpose of this inquiry, the truth of all allegations contained therein. The facts in the case are therefore to be found in the alternative writ. This writ is lengthy, and since no point is made touching its form, we may more briefly state the facts by epitomizing it and making excerpts from it. Reached in this way, the facts run thus: Petitioners are the owners of certain swamp and overflowed lands situate on and along Big creek, in Cass county, Mo., desiring to ditch and drain said lands, and having in contemplation the construction of ditches and improvements more than five miles in length, petitioners to the number of more than five, being the owners of a majority in acreage of the lands in the proposed district, filed with respondents, as members of the county court of Cass county, a petition with the necessary allegations touching the nature of the proposed improvements and the route and termini of the same. They likewise filed a proper bond, which was approved by respondents. Respondents thereupon, as such court, appointed three disinterested freeholders, and an engineer, who properly qualified and proceeded to view the lands proposed to be embraced in the district. Said viewers and engineer found, and so reported to the respondents, that the proposed improvement was necessary, practicable, and would be of public utility, and conducive to the public health, convenience, and welfare. The viewers and engineer also indicated in and by their report the character, dimensions, location, and probable cost of the drainage necessary to accomplish the objects of the petition.

After the filing of the report of the viewers and engineer, respondents made the proper orders of record, and caused a proper notice to be given by publication in a newspaper of the pendency of said petition, together with such other facts as are required in that behalf by the statute, and fixed a day at which the petition and the report of the viewers would be heard. Upon the day so fixed for the hearing of the petition "a remonstrance was filed by persons interested in land that would be affected by said proposed ditch and improvement, in which said remonstrance it was admitted that the proposed improvement contained swamp and overflowed land," but said remonstrance objected to the location of the improvements, as fixed by the petition and viewers' report, and set forth other grievances. Respondents thereupon proceeded to hear both the petitioners and the remonstrators, and at the conclusion of the hearing dismissed the petition, as will appear by their order made in the premises, which in full reads thus:

"Now on this 6th day of December, 1916, the day set for the hearing of the petition the report of the viewers heretofore appointed thereon and any objections on the part of any of the landowners within the boundaries of the proposed drainage district who might remonstrate or object to the proposed improvement and report of viewers, and it appearing to the court that due notice of the filing of said report was given according to law, and come now the petitioners and also T. J. George, W. W. Linn, N. Mickelson, T. W. Dean, Clara Reed, Addie Harris, C. L. Harris, M. Gray, Mark H. Beamer, N. N. Mills, G. W. Everett, H. K. Templeton, J. A. James, S. A. Thompson, Edna and W. E. Templeton, H. H. Sides, O. T. Souther, as remonstrators, and filed herein their remonstrances and objections to the formation and incorporation of said proposed improvements, and thereupon this cause is by the court now taken up for hearing, and the court having heard the pleadings, evidence, and arguments of counsel, and being fully advised in the premises, doth find that the petitioners and those joining by motion in the prayer of said petition, own a majority of the acreage of the lands within the boundaries of said proposed district, and the court doth further find by the great preponderance of the evidence adduced that the proposed ditch, levee, and other improvements are not necessary for sanitary or agricultural purposes, nor would they be of public utility, nor conducive to the public health, convenience, or welfare, nor are they practicable, and the court doth find against such proposed improvements, and doth dismiss the said petition and proceedings at the cost of the petitioners. It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court that the petition and proceedings be and the same are hereby dismissed, and that remonstrators go hence without day and have and recover from and against the petitioners as follows: E. R. Clark, L. W. Bixler, S. R. Sankey, James S. Gosnell, Louise Naden, H. H. Hodgson, E. S. Burroughs, Ema Schappert, G. W. Lightner, U. J. Groves, M. E. Seaton, J. R. Beasley, Mable Beasley, S. V. Tobin, Nellie Tobin, O. H. Beasley, D. E. Nichols, Mary Nichols, Geo. Dahman, John T. McDaniel, Pearl McDaniel, L. B. Singleton, O. E. Burris, H. J. Dahman, Millie Schmoll, Geo. W. Davis, Essie B. Hodgson, S. N. Mills, S. J. Mills, W. C. Johnson, R. B. Bronough, Independence Hunting Club, by Sam'l H. Woodson, Pres. Attest: H. A. Major, Secretary, Jessie L. Kerr, by Chas. C. Clasby, with power of attorney, all costs and charges herein laid out and expended, and that due process issue in this behalf."

Thereupon E. R. Clark and 37 others averring that it is the bounden duty of respondents, as judges of the county court of Cass county aforesaid, upon the showing by them made to make an order organizing the proposed drainage district as a body corporate, and that they are remediless in the premises by and through any ordinary process or proceeding at law, prayed our writ of mandamus commanding respondents to find in favor of making the improvements, and in favor of incorporating said proposed district as a

[198 S.W. 1113]

body corporate. Upon filing the above petition we issued our alternative writ, to which, as stated, respondents have duly demurred, and therefore this case is here for determination upon the law applicable to the facts averred in the alternative writ. To the law of the case then we will address ourselves.

N. M. Bradley, of Warrensburg, and W. D. Summers, of Harrisonville, for relators. J. R. Nicholson, A. A. Whitsitt, J. S. Brierly, and T. N....

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22 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lucas, No. 35701.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 8, 1941
    ...v. Speer, 284 Mo. 45; State ex rel. v. St. Louis School Board, 131 Mo. 505; State ex rel. v. Oliver, 116 Mo. 188; State ex rel. v. West, 272 Mo. 304; State ex rel. Dilliner v. Cummins, 338 Mo. 609; State ex rel. v. Hudson, 226 Mo. 239; School District No. 1 v. Board of Education, 73 Mo. 627......
  • State ex rel. Becker v. Wellston Sewer Dist., No. 31656.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 21, 1933
    ...of drainage districts is a judicial question. Sec. 21, Art. II, Const. of Mo.; Thurston v. St. Joseph, 51 Mo. 510; State ex rel. v. West, 272 Mo. 304; Smith v. Sedalia, 152 Mo. 283; State ex rel. v. McKelvey, 301 Mo. 1; McGrew v. Ry. Co., 230 Mo. 496. (4) It is invalid because it violates S......
  • State Ex Rel. Harrell v. Cone
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • October 6, 1937
    ...him to obey it may challenge the constitutional validity of the construction placed on it by the relator. State ex rel. Clark v. West, 272 Mo. 304, 198 S.W. 1111. There is another line of cases which hold that since an unconstitutional act binds no one a ministerial officer affected by it m......
  • Crabtree v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., No. 34871.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 17, 1937
    ...166 Mo. 561, 66 S.W. 361; State ex rel. Currier v. Falkenhainer, 283 Mo. 209, 223 S.W. 100; State ex rel. Clarke v. West, 272 Mo. 314, 198 S.W. 1111. (3) The judgment should be set aside for failure to give notice of the hearing on the motion to stay and application for default judgment. Ru......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • State ex rel. Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lucas, No. 35701.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 8, 1941
    ...v. Speer, 284 Mo. 45; State ex rel. v. St. Louis School Board, 131 Mo. 505; State ex rel. v. Oliver, 116 Mo. 188; State ex rel. v. West, 272 Mo. 304; State ex rel. Dilliner v. Cummins, 338 Mo. 609; State ex rel. v. Hudson, 226 Mo. 239; School District No. 1 v. Board of Education, 73 Mo. 627......
  • State ex rel. Becker v. Wellston Sewer Dist., No. 31656.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 21, 1933
    ...of drainage districts is a judicial question. Sec. 21, Art. II, Const. of Mo.; Thurston v. St. Joseph, 51 Mo. 510; State ex rel. v. West, 272 Mo. 304; Smith v. Sedalia, 152 Mo. 283; State ex rel. v. McKelvey, 301 Mo. 1; McGrew v. Ry. Co., 230 Mo. 496. (4) It is invalid because it violates S......
  • State Ex Rel. Harrell v. Cone
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • October 6, 1937
    ...him to obey it may challenge the constitutional validity of the construction placed on it by the relator. State ex rel. Clark v. West, 272 Mo. 304, 198 S.W. 1111. There is another line of cases which hold that since an unconstitutional act binds no one a ministerial officer affected by it m......
  • Crabtree v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., No. 34871.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 17, 1937
    ...166 Mo. 561, 66 S.W. 361; State ex rel. Currier v. Falkenhainer, 283 Mo. 209, 223 S.W. 100; State ex rel. Clarke v. West, 272 Mo. 314, 198 S.W. 1111. (3) The judgment should be set aside for failure to give notice of the hearing on the motion to stay and application for default judgment. Ru......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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