Stein v. State, 18665.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtChristian
Citation104 S.W.2d 508
PartiesSTEIN v. STATE.
Docket NumberNo. 18665.,18665.
Decision Date03 February 1937
104 S.W.2d 508
No. 18665.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas.
February 3, 1937.
Rehearing Denied April 28, 1937.

Commissioners' Decision.

Appeal from Criminal District Court, Bexar County; W. W. McCrory, Judge.

Page 509

I. Stein was convicted of theft by bailee, and he appeals.


Dave Watson, of San Antonio, for appellant.

Lloyd W. Davidson, State's Atty., of Austin, for the State.


The offense is theft by bailee; the punishment, confinement in the penitentiary for five years.

It was alleged in the indictment, among other things, that appellant possessed the property in question by virtue of a contract of bailment with R. D. Coley. Appellant made a motion to quash the indictment on the ground that it failed to allege "the kind or character of bailment or contract." In Collins v. State, 92 Tex.Cr.R. 388, 244 S. W. 153, we held in an embezzlement case that the description of the accused in the indictment as bailee was sufficient. See, also, Dowdy v. State (Tex.Cr.App.) 64 S.W. 253, and Goodwyn v. State (Tex.Cr.App.) 64 S. W. 251. We quote from Malz v. State, 36 Tex.Cr.R. 447, 451, 34 S.W. 267, 37 S.W. 748, as follows:

"The contention of the appellant is that the indictment — which in this case alleges, among other things, a pledge or pawn, and which the proof establishes — is not covered by the statute; that is, that the statute specifies a hiring or borrowing, and the expression `or other bailment' does not include other offenses, where the property may be in the hands of a bailee and converted, because the statute does not define the term `bailment,' and our law requires all offenses to be defined before a conviction can be sustained, there being no offenses outside of our statute. In other words, the contention is that the word `bailment' should be specifically defined; that is, that all characters of bailment should be specified. While it is true there are a number of different sorts of bailments, which are ordinarily classed into deposits, mandates, gratuitous loans, bailments for hire, and pledges or pawns, still each of said kinds of bailment is of the same general character, and is defined `to be a delivery of personal property to another, for some purpose, upon a contract, express or implied, that such purpose shall be carried out.' See Fulcher v. State, 32 Tex. Cr.R. 621, 25 S.W. 625, citing 2 Bl.Comm. p. 451; Jones, Bailm. 117; and Story, Bailm. § 2. In 2 Am. & Eng.Ency.Law, p. 40, `bailment' is defined as follows: `A transfer of the possession of personal property from one person to another, without a transfer of the ownership of it.' These are standard definitions of the term, and are well understood, and there can be no difficulty about the meaning of the term `bailment.' It is so plain that we apprehend that no person who receives the possession merely of any character of personal property in trust, upon some contract, express or implied, that the trust shall be performed in regard thereto, but knows that the said property is received in bailment, is not his own, and is to be restored to the owner after the trust has been performed, no matter what the character of the trust may be. Indeed, under our statutes with reference to embezzlements, no question has ever been made with reference to the term `bailee,' as used in said statute, and it has been uniformly held that such term was sufficiently defined. Nor does the omission of one character of bailment, as a hiring or borrowing, restrict the meaning of the more comprehensive term `bailment.' It was a canon in the construction of criminal laws, under the common-law system, that penal statutes must be construed strictly. But our statutes authorize a liberal construction for the prevention, suppression, and punishment of crime. See Code Cr. Proc.1895, art. 25 [Vernon's Ann.C.C.P. art. 23]. It is further provided `that this Code, and every other law upon the subject of crime which may be enacted, shall be construed according to the plain import of the language in which it is written, without regard to the distinction usually made between the construction of penal laws and laws upon other subjects. And no person shall be punished for an offense which is not made penal by the plain import of the words of the law.' See Pen.Code 1895, art. 9 [Vernon's Ann.P.C. art. 7]. `Words which have their meaning specially defined shall be understood in...

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3 cases
  • Hall v. Great Nat. Lloyds, A-4653
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • February 2, 1955
    ...Tex.Cir.R. 292, 212 S.W. 494; 32 Am.Jur. 958, Larceny, Sec. 56; Id., p. 961, Sec. 57. In the case of Stein v. State, 132 Tex.Cir.R. 350, 104 S.W.2d 508, 510, Stein was convicted of the offense of felony theft by bailee of shelled pecans received from one Coley to be cleaned by Stein for a c......
  • Blake v. State, 22777.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • April 5, 1944 give the accused proper notice of the crime with which he was charged. The trial court followed Stein v. State, 132 Tex. Cr.R. 350, 104 S.W.2d 508 and Bell v. State, 132 Tex.Cr.R. 81, 104 S.W.2d 511, each holding against that It is quite correct that this court has on more than one occas......
  • Smith v. State, 21335.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • January 8, 1941
    ...bailee. See Section 2522, Branch's Ann.Tex.P.C.; McCarty v. State, 45 Tex.Cr.R. 510, 512, 78 S.W. 506; Stein v. State, 132 Tex.Cr.R. 350, 104 S.W.2d 508. However, in the Stein case, supra, Judge Hawkins With reference to the want of consent of the alleged owners, it will be observed that it......

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