The State ex rel. Wiles v. Williams

Decision Date31 December 1910
Citation133 S.W. 1,232 Mo. 56
PartiesTHE STATE ex rel. W. E. WILES, Appellant, v. SAMUEL H. WILLIAMS
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Appeal from Nodaway Circuit Court. -- Hon. Alvin Bingaman, Special Judge.


L. C Cook, W. H. Crawford, W. W. Ramsay and W. E. Wiles for appellant.

A. F Harvey and T. A. Cummins for respondent.


In Banc.


This is a petition for mandamus, instituted by the relator as prosecuting attorney of Nodaway county against the respondent, as treasurer thereof, seeking to compel the latter to pay a warrant for $ 208.33, drawn by the clerk of the circuit court of said county in favor of the former for his salary as such attorney for the month of April, 1909, as provided for by the Act of March 29, 1907, Laws 1907, p. 274. An alternative writ of mandamus was issued by the circuit court, and in due time the respondent filed his return thereto. A trial was had before a special judge, selected according to law, which resulted in a finding for respondent and a judgment denying the peremptory writ. From that judgment the relator appealed.

The legal propositions presented for adjudication will better appear by a presentation of the alternative writ, and the respondent's return thereto. The former reads as follows (formal parts omitted):

"To Samuel H. Williams, Treasurer of Nodaway County, Greeting:

"Whereas, It has been represented to the judge of the circuit court of Nodaway county, in the State of Missouri, by the petition of W. E. Wiles, as follows, to-wit:

"Your petitioner, W. E. Wiles, respectfully represents that he is the duly elected, qualified and acting prosecuting attorney, within and for the county of Nodaway and State of Missouri; that on the 1st day of January, 1909, he entered upon the duties of said office and has ever since and to this date has performed the duties and services of such officer; that he was elected to said office on the 3d day of November, 1908, and duly commissioned by the Governor of said State to hold said office for a period of two years, beginning on the first day of January, 1909.

"Your petitioner further represents that Eugene Rathbun and Samuel H. Williams are respectively the duly elected, qualified and acting clerk of the circuit court, and treasurer of said Nodaway county.

"Your petitioner further states that under and by the provisions of the law of the State of Missouri, as contained in sections numbered 3237 and 4949, Revised Statutes of 1899, and section numbered 3237a, Laws of 1907, page 274, the salary of the prosecuting attorney in all counties in said State, having a population of 32,000 or over and less than 50,000 inhabitants, as ascertained by the United States census of 1900, is fixed at $ 2500 per year, to be paid monthly by warrants drawn by the circuit clerk upon the county treasurer; that said Nodaway county has a population of more than 32,000 inhabitants and less than 50,000 inhabitants, as is required by the aforesaid sections, and your petitioner as such prosecuting attorney is entitled thereunder to the sum of $ 2500 per year as his salary for the performance of the duties of his said office.

"Your petitioner further represents that on the 1st day of May, 1909, he filed with the said Eugene Rathbun, circuit clerk as aforesaid, a statement showing the amount due him as his salary aforesaid for the month of April, 1909; that thereupon the said Eugene Rathbun, as said circuit clerk, issued and delivered to petitioner a warrant drawn on the treasurer of said county in the sum of $ 208.33, the same being the amount due petitioner as his salary for said month of April, and which said warrant is in words and figures as follows:

No. 4. $ 208.33. Treasurer of Nodaway County, Missouri. Pay to W. E. Wiles, two hundred eight and 33/100 dollars. For one month's salary as prosecuting attorney from April 1, 1909, to May, 1909. Out of money in the treasury appropriated for Salary Fund. Given at my office in Maryville, Missouri, this first day of May, 1909.
(Seal) EUGENE RATHBUN, Circuit Clerk.

"Your petitioner further presents that on the 3d day of May, 1909, he presented said warrant to the said Samuel H. Williams, in the office of the said treasurer, and demanded of the said Samuel H. Williams, as treasurer aforesaid, the payment thereof; but that the said Samuel H. Williams, as such treasurer, refused to pay the same or any part thereof to petitioner; that at the time petitioner presented said warrant to said treasurer as aforesaid, there was and now is in said treasury in the keeping of said treasurer sufficient money belonging to said county and duly appropriated to the salary fund, to pay said warrant; that said Williams refused to pay said warrant and declares an intention to continue to refuse to pay the same, so that petitioner has been and is unable to secure his aforesaid salary for the said month of April, as is justly due him and evidenced by said warrant.

"Your petitioner further states that he is remediless in the premises by or through ordinary process of proceedings at law.

"The judge of said court, being willing that due and speedy justice be done to the said W. E. Wiles in this behalf, commands you that immediately after the receipt of this writ you do, without further excuse or delay, upon the presentation of the aforesaid warrant, pay the same to the said W. E. Wiles, in full amount as is represented by the said warrant, or show cause before the circuit court of Nodaway county, Missouri, held at Maryville in said county on Monday, the 21st day of June, next ensuing, why you should not do so.

"Herein fail not at your peril, and have you then and there this writ."

The return of respondent is as follows (formal parts omitted):

"Comes now Samuel H. Williams and for return to the alternative writ of mandamus issued in the above entitled cause, says that said writ should not be awarded against him for the following reasons:

"1st. Respondent denies that he is now or was at any time the county treasurer of Nodaway county, but avers that he is now and has since April 1, 1909, been the duly elected, qualified and acting county treasurer and ex-officio collector of the revenue in and for said Nodaway county, which office respondent says is another and different office to that of county treasurer; that Nodaway county is now and was at all times hereinafter mentioned under and governed by chapter 168 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri of 1899, known as the township organization laws, which was on the day of November, 1906, adopted in said county.

"2d. Respondent says that relator is now and has been since January 1, 1909, the duly elected, qualified and acting prosecuting attorney in and for said county, having been elected in November, 1906, and that Eugene Rathbun is the clerk of the circuit court of said county, and that Nodaway county had a population of more than 32,000 and less than 50,000 according to the United States census of 1900; that on the 3d day of May, 1909, relator presented to said Samuel H. Williams a purported warrant for the sum of $ 208.33, alleging on its face to be the salary of the prosecuting attorney from April 1, 1909, to May 1, 1909, which purported warrant was dated May 1, 1909, requesting said treasurer to pay to relator out of the salary fund of said Nodaway county said sum, and was signed by Eugene Rathbun, circuit clerk, and that payment thereof was refused.

"3d. Respondent denies that under the provisions of sections 3237 and 4949, 3237a, Laws of 1907, page 274, or under any other sections or any law or statute of the State of Missouri, the relator as such prosecuting attorney is entitled to a salary of $ 2500 per annum, or that the same should be paid monthly by warrants drawn on the county treasurer or any other person, or drawn by the circuit clerk of said county or any other person, or paid monthly or at any other time.

"4th. Respondent denies that there was in the treasury of said county on said 3d day of May, 1909, or at any time, any money or funds whatever subject to or which had been lawfully appropriated for the payment of the alleged warrant aforesaid or any money or funds of said Nodaway county in his possession or control which could be lawfully used for such purpose.

"5th. Respondent says that as such county treasurer and ex-officio county collector of said Nodaway county he has in his charge, possession and control the moneys and funds belonging to and the property of said county collected by taxation from its taxpayers; that he holds and retains the same and pays out said funds as the agent and trustee of said county and its taxpayers, and as such officer he has no right and is not permitted by law to pay out or disburse any of said money or funds to any person or for any purpose except upon an order of record of the county court first had and obtained, and upon a warrant therefor drawn and signed by the presiding judge and clerk of said county court and in the manner and form provided by article 4, chapter 97, of the Revised Statutes of 1899.

"6th. Respondent further says that the county court of said county by its order of record duly made on April 26, 1909, ordered and directed this respondent not to pay any warrant drawn by said Eugene Rathbun out of any fund belonging to said Nodaway county, which order is in words and figures as follows:

Whereas the Attorney-General of this State has advised this court, and this court after due consideration has found and adjudged, that the act of the General Assembly of Missouri, approved March 29, 1907, entitled, Fees -- Prosecuting Attorneys, found on page 274 of the Laws of Missouri of 1907, is void, unconstitutional and of no effect, it is therefore ordered and adjudged by the court...

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11 cases
  • The State ex rel. Dunn v. Coburn
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • July 2, 1914
    ... ... entitled to have his name appear upon the ballot, in the ... group headed by the name of each party. Williams v ... Dalrymple, 132 Mo. 62; State ex inf. v. Bland, 144 Mo ... 553. A political party is not a favorite of the law. It is a ... trust, or ... ...
  • State ex rel. Daily Record Company v. Hartmann
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    ...being the last United States census taken prior to the enactment of said proviso). State ex rel. v. Turner, 210 Mo. 83; State ex rel. v. Williams, 232 Mo. 56, 72; ex rel. v. Messerly, 198 Mo. 354; State ex rel. v. County Court, 89 Mo. 237. (3) There is nothing in the Constitution which requ......
  • Forgrave v. Buchanan County
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • June 2, 1920
    ...The act is applicable to all townships now or hereafter having the required population, and is not a special or local law. State ex rel. v. Williams, 232 Mo. 76; State rel. v. Fort, 210 Mo. 531; State ex rel. v. Wofford, 121 Mo. 368; Ex Parte Loving, 178 Mo. 211; Humes v. Railway, 82 Mo. 22......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Executive review in the fragmented executive: state constitutionalism and same-sex marriage.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 154 No. 3, January 2006
    • January 1, 2006
    ...all mentally competent adults are equally possessed of the capacity to tell right from wrong."). (163) See, e.g., Wiles v. Williams, 133 S.W. 1, 6-7 (Mo. 1910) (acknowledging the right of the State Treasurer to refuse compliance with a statute where the Attorney General had advised the Trea......

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