Union Cemetery Association v. Kansas City

Decision Date24 November 1913
PartiesUNION CEMETERY ASSOCIATION et al., Appellants, v. KANSAS CITY et al
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Appeal from Jackson Circuit Court. -- Hon. O. A. Lucas, Judge.

Reversed (with directions).

Albert R. Strother, Hunter M. Meriwether, Denham & Denham and Gage Ladd & Small for appellants.

(1) The ordinance is unreasonable and therefore void. Corrigan v Gage, 68 Mo. 541; Skinker v. Heman, 148 Mo 355; St. Louis v. Russell, 116 Mo. 257; Cape Girardeau v. Riley, 72 Mo. 220; Tarkio v. Cook, 120 Mo. 9; Zumault v. Air Line, 71 Mo.App. 671; White v. Railroad, 44 Mo.App. 540; Halpin v. Campbell, 71 Mo. 493; Hannibal v. Tel. Co., 31 Mo.App. 33; Dillon, Mun. Corp. (5 Ed.), secs. 589-93. (2) The ordinance, while in the guise of an exercise of the police power, is not so in fact, but is really a blow at vested rights of property, to accomplish an unlawful purpose and is therefore void. State ex rel. v. Ashbrook, 154 Mo. 385; Kansas City v. Hyde, 196 Mo. 506; Lawton v. Steele, 152 U.S. 137; Dobbins v. Los Angeles, 195 U.S. 235; Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 661; Railroad v. People, 200 U.S. 592; Reduction Co. v. Reduction Works, 126 F. 35; Richmond v. Tel. Co., 85 F. 26; Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 591; Cooley, Const. Lim. (7 Ed.), pp. 291-2, 837-8; Matter of Jacobs, 98 N.Y. 110; Watertown v. Mayo, 109 Mass. 319; Austin v. Murray, 16 Pick. 126; Helena v. Dwyer, 64 Ark. 424; People v. Ringe, 197 N.Y. 149; Hume v. Cemetery, 142 F. 552. (3) The council had no power to pass the ordinance; the power to regulate does not include the power to oppress, prohibit or destroy. Allowing to the testimony offered in support of the ordinance as a health measure, all the weight which may be claimed for it, the passage of the ordinance was an arbitrary exercise of power far beyond any possessed by the council. State v. Clarke, 54 Mo. 20; State v. DeBar, 58 Mo. 397; State ex rel. v. McCammon, 111 Mo.App. 632; Allison v. Richmond, 51 Mo.App. 136; Ex parte Kelso, 147 Cal. 609; Ex parte Dickey, 144 Cal. 236; Reduction Co. v. Sanitary Works, 199 U.S. 318; People v. Gadway, 61 Mich. 285; In re Hauck, 70 Mich. 396; Town of Cantril v. Sainer, 59 Iowa 26; Miller v. Jones, 80 Ala. 89; Joseph v. Randolph, 71 Ala. 507; Emporia v. Volmer, 12 Kan. 630; Bronson v. Oberlin, 41 Ohio St. 476; State v. Mott, 61 Md. 297; Reduction Co. v. Sanitary Works, 126 F. 35; Safety Gate Co. v. Ashbridge, 116 F. 221; Sings v. Joliet, 237 Ill. 311; State v. Marshall, 50 La. Ann. 1166; Frazee's Case, 63 Mich. 396; Freund, Police Power, secs. 517, 521, 525, 530; Babcock v. Buffalo, 1 Sheldon (N.Y.), 317, 56 N.Y. 268; Bridge Co. v. Paige, 83 N.Y. 188; Lawton v. Steele, 119 N.Y. 238; Ex parte Patterson, 42 Tex. Crim. 256; Wyeth v. Board of Health, 200 Mass. 478; Bonnet v. Vallier, 136 Wis. 193; Hume v. Cemetery, 142 F. 552; McConvill v. Mayor, 39 N.J.L. 38. (4) The ordinance absolutely prohibits the plaintiff from using its property for the purposes authorized and required by the law of the State, namely, its charter, and is inconsistent with such law and is, therefore, void. Constitution of 1875, art. 9, secs. 16, 17; Hannibal v. Guyott, 18 Mo. 521; Paris v. Graham, 33 Mo. 94; Westport v. Mulholland, 159 Mo. 93; Wood v. Kansas City, 162 Mo. 303; St. Louis v. Meyer, 185 Mo. 583; Carthage v. Garner, 209 Mo. 702; St. Louis v. Klausmeier, 213 Mo. 129; St. Louis v. Wortman, 213 Mo. 143; State ex rel. v. McCammon, 111 Mo.App. 626. (5) The ordinance is discriminatory in that it does not apply to other cemeteries within the city limits and is therefore in violation of the Constitution of this State and of the United States and void for that reason. Hannibal v. Tel. Co., 31 Mo.App. 23; St. Louis v. Spiegel, 90 Mo. 587; St. Louis v. Russell, 116 Mo. 248; State v. Julow, 129 Mo. 163; State v. Walsh, 136 Mo. 400; State v. Thomas, 138 Mo. 95; State v. Miksicek, 225 Mo. 561; Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27; Yick Wo. v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356; Crowley v. West, 52 La. Ann. 526; Mayor v. Thorne, 7 Paige, 261; Sanitary Co. v. Health Dep., 61 App.Div. (N.Y.) 106; In re Hong Wah, 82 F. 623; People v. Wilber, 198 N.Y. 1; In re Van Horne, 74 N.J.Eq. 600; Lake View v. Tate, 130 Ill. 247; Philadelphia v. Westminster Cemetery Co., 162 Pa. St. 105. (6) The evidence is wholly inadequate to support the ordinance as a measure necessary for the preservation of the public health. Braasch v. Cemetery Assn., 69 Neb. 200; Cemetery Assn. v. McAttee, 27 Okla. 160; Kingsbury v. Flowers, 65 Ala. 479; Dunn v. Austin, 77 Tex. 139; Morton v. St. Patrick's Society, 105 N.Y.S. 1100. (7) The charter of the Union Cemetery Association is a valid act of the Legislature of this State, and constitutes a contract with the State, which Kansas City cannot violate. State ex rel. v. Adams, 44 Mo. 570; Scotland County v. Railroad, 65 Mo. 123; Bank v. Kansas City, 73 Mo. 555; College v. Schaefer, 104 Mo. 261; State ex rel. v. Convent, 116 Mo. 575; State ex rel. v. College, 175 Mo. 52; Barry v. Cemetery Assn., 10 Mo.App. 587; State ex rel. v. Cemetery Assn., 11 Mo.App. 570; Home of the Friendless v. Rouse, 75 U.S. 430; University v. Rouse, 75 U.S. 439; Lake View v. Cemetery, 70 Ill. 191. (8) There is in the charter of Kansas City no express power to pass the ordinance in question. That ordinance is in violation of an express statute of the State. It cannot, therefore, be upheld. St. Louis v. King, 226 Mo. 334; St. Louis v. Pub. Co., 227 Mo. 146; St. Louis v. Packing Co., 141 Mo. 383; Allison v. Richmond, 51 Mo.App. 133; Sings v. Joliet, 237 Ill. 300; Knapp v. Kansas City, 48 Mo.App. 485.

John G. Park, Henry S. Conrad, A. F. Evans and Francis M. Hayward for respondents.

(1) Under the far-reaching grants of power, Kansas City had authority to prohibit further interments in Union Cemetery. This is an authority conceded to the cities by all the courts of highest rank. Campbell v. Kansas City, 102 Mo 344, 10 L.R.A. 593; Laurel Hill Cem. v. San Francisco, 152 Cal. 464, 14 Am. & Eng. Ann. Cas. 1080, 27 L.R.A.(N.S.) 260; Laurel Hill Cem. v. San Francisco, 216 U.S. 358; Odd Fellows Cem. v. San Francisco, 140 Cal. 226; Kincaid's Appeal, 66 Pa. St. 423; People ex rel. v. Pratt, 129 N.Y. 72; Coates v. New York, 7 Cow. 604; Young v. Board of Comrs., 51 F. 592; Board of Comrs. v. Young, 59 F. 109; Charleston v. Baptist Church, 4 Strob. L.(S.C.) 310; Commonwealth v. Fahey, 5 Cush. (Mass.) 411; Iuszkewiez v. Luther, 30 R.I. 570; Humphrey v. Church, 109 N.C. 138; Page v. Symonds, 63 N.H. 20; Craig v. Pres. Church, 88 Pa. St. 52; 5 Am. & Eng. Ency. Law (2 Ed.), 793. The age of the cemetery and the length of time during which it has been used are wholly immaterial. Coates v. New York, 7 Cow. 604; Iuszkewiez v. Luther, 30 R. I. 570. (2) The general welfare clause justifies all proper and necessary police regulations. It must be general, because it cannot be determined in advance what is necessary. St. Louis Gunning Co. v. St. Louis, 235 Mo. 99. The Legislature must determine what police regulations are necessary. Ib. All property is held under the implied obligation that its use shall not be injurious to the community. Ibid. Police regulations enacted in good faith and having appropriate and direct connection with the protection of life, health and property must be upheld. Ibid. Where an ordinance is fair on its face, proof of extrinsic facts is not admissible to show motive. Cem. Assn. v. San Francisco, 140 Cal. 226. (3) Neither the State Legislature nor the municipality can bargain away the police power. St. Louis Gunning Co. v. St. Louis, 235 Mo. 99; Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623; Slaughter House Cases, 111 U.S. 746. Neither can by any means preclude itself from enacting legislation forbidding burials in populous communities. Pres. Church v. New York, 5 Cow. 538; Board of Comrs. v. Young, 59 F. 96. All contracts for burial and conveyances for cemeteries are subject to the exercise of the police power. Page v. Symonds, 63 N.H. 17; Sohier v. Trinity Church, 109 Mass. 22. (4) After the enactment of an ordinance forbidding burials, the only interest of lot owners is to care for the graves and maintain in dignity the monuments of their dead. Campbell v. Kansas City, 102 Mo. 350; Iuszkewiez v. Luther, 30 R.I. 575. The interest of the lot owner is not an estate in the land. It is a right of limited use for interment only. It is analagous to pew tenancy. Page v. Symonds, 63 N.H. 17; Craig v. First Pres. Ch., 88 Pa. St. 51; Windt v. Ref. Ch., 4 Sandf. Ch., 471. Every lot owner is bound to know that the use of the cemetery may become offensive, and his right of interment must yield to laws for the suppression of nuisances. Went v. Meth. Ch., 80 Hun, 267, 150 N.Y. 577; Coates v. New York, 7 Cow. 585; Kincaid's Appeal, 66 Pa. St. 411; Sohier v. Trinity Church, 109 Mass. 21; Humphrey v. Meth. Ch., 109 N.C. 132; 5 Am. & Eng. Ency. Law (2 Ed.), 791. (5) No other cemetery in Kansas City is situated similarly to Union Cemetery. No attack of fraud or corrupt influence is made upon the Common Council in the passage of said ordinance. This is a complete answer to the charge of discrimination. State ex rel. v. Gates, 190 Mo. 556; State ex rel. v. Neosho, 203 Mo. 84. The courts will not interfere except in those cases where the ordinance is grossly unjust and oppressive and the result of mere caprice. St. Louis v. Weber, 44 Mo. 550; Skinner v. Herman, 148 Mo. 350; Heman v. Schulte, 166 Mo. 417; St. Louis v. Spiegh, 8 Mo.App. 482; St. Louis v. Liessing, 190 Mo. 464; Darlington v. Ward, 48 S.C. 570. The power to prohibit includes the power to say whether there may be exceptions, and whether permission may be granted to some to exercise the right. St. Louis v. Fischer, 167 Mo. 654; Fischer v. St. Louis, 194 U.S. 361; Commonwealth v. Davis, 162 Mass. 510; Davis v....

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