Wiggins v. Coy, 54948

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Citation462 S.W.2d 751
Docket NumberNo. 1,No. 54948,54948,1
PartiesHarry WIGGINS, Supervisor of Liquor Control, State of Missouri, Respondent, v. Elmer L. COY, d/b/a Elmer's Palce, 903 Main Street, Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, Appellant
Decision Date08 February 1971

John C. Danforth, Atty. Gen., Richard L. Wieler, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, for respondent.

John R. Martin, Joplin, for appellant.

HOUSER, Commissioner.

This is an appeal from the judgment of the Circuit Court of Jasper County affirming the dicision of the Supervisor of Liquor Control revoking the license of Elmer L. Coy to sell 5% beer by the drink. A state officer as such is a party and therefore this Court has jurisdiction to entertain this appeal.

The Supervisor of Liquor Control charged that on May 16, 1969 Elmer L. Coy sold a quantity of intoxicating liquor (one bottle of 5% beer) to Jean Delaine Riner (Asher), a person under the age of 21 years. A hearing was held before the supervisor at which Jeanie Delaine Asher testified that she went to Coy's tavern on May 16, 1969 with three other persons; that she ordered four beers from Coy; that the four people had four bottles of beer; that she paid Coy $5, received the change from him, and that she was nineteen years old. There was other evidence that the bottle of beer she was drinking was taken from her by a police officer, subjected to laboratory examination by a chemist, and that it contained 4.41% alcohol by volume and 3.51% alcohol by weight.

Error is assigned on the ground that there was no substaintial competent evidence that Mrs. Asher was a minor or that appellant sold her any beer; that her testimony as to her age was so contradictory, conflicting and self-destructive that it was without probative value. Appellant claims that the only testimony as to the age of Mrs. Asher 'came from Mrs. Asher herself' and that her testimony, considered as a whole, demonstrates the low degree of intelligence of the witness and that her testimony is unreliable, conflicting, contradictory and self-destructive. (Her examination disclosed that she did not know elementary information such as her birth date, the date of her marriage, either as to day, month or year; her house number on Pearl Street; who was President of the United States or who was the first President of the United States; how many years she attended school, etc. She cannot read or write. She admitted that on August 28, 1968 she stated to the police department that she was 21 years old. She testified that her father died in World War I and World War II and gave her mother's name first as Lulu Belle Shelly, then Mileen Shelly, and finally Meleen Dykes.) Appellant relies upon the rule that where a party relies on the testimony of a single witness to prove a given issue and the testimony of that witness is contradictory and conflicting, one version tending to prove the issue but the other tending to disprove it, and there is no other face or circumstance in the case tending to show which version of the evidence is true, no case is made and the trier of the fact will not be permitted to speculate or guess which statement of the witness should be accepted. Stephens v. Thompson, Mo.Sup., 293 S.W.2d 392, 394; In re Spencer, Mo.App., 439 S.W.2d 8, 11.

The difficulty with the contention with respect to her age is that, assuming that Mrs. Asher's testimony about her age is not to be relied upon for the reasons assigned, there was documentary evidence supporting her testimony that she was 19 years old. The State offered in evidence a birth certificate of the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the Arkansas State Board of Health, signed by Gerald K. Patton, M.D., certified as a full, true and correct copy of the original certificate on file in the office of the State Registrar. The certification, signed by J. T. Herron, M.D., State Registrar, recited that he was the legal custodian of the original certificate. The certified copy bore the imprint of the seal of the Arkansas State Board of Health, Little Rock, Arkansas. The certificate recorded the live birth of a female child named Jean Delaine Riner on November 17, 1949.

When the birth certificate, State's Exhibit B, was offered in evidence, counsel for appellant objected to its admission on the ground that it was not properly identified. The Supervisor...

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3 cases
  • Hadlock v. Director of Revenue, 75536
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 17, 1993
    ...the keeper's seal. So long as the requirements of the statute are met and the records are relevant, they are admissible. 4 Wiggins v. Coy, 462 S.W.2d 751 (Mo.1971); State v. Gray, 423 S.W.2d 776 (Mo.1968). Such statutes are desirable to eliminate the inconvenience and expense of live but ge......
  • Taylor v. Coe, 12945
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • August 9, 1984
    ...of a sister state under § 490.220 and that it was prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the certificate. See also Wiggins v. Coy, 462 S.W.2d 751, 752 (Mo.1971). Under the Uniform Simultaneous Death Law the burden of proof is on the party whose claim is dependent upon survivorship. Mat......
  • E & H ENTERPRISES, INC. v. Skaggs
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • October 21, 1980
    ...with the ordinance and the health regulations established under it. The cases cited by appellant, Crooms v. Ketchum, supra, Wiggins v. Coy, 462 S.W.2d 751 (Mo.1971) and May Department Stores, Inc. v. Supervisor of Liquor Control, 530 S.W.2d 460 (Mo.App.1975), dealt with liquor law violation......

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