« PreviousContinue »
government act of 1883 relating to fees of officers in counties of the thirty-fifth class, reducing the salaries, and the act was made to take effect from and after April 1, 1891. At the same session [Stats. 1891, p. 295] an entirely new county government act was passed and provided for fees greatly in excess of those prescribed in the act of March 14; but section 234 of the same act read: "The provisions of this act, unless otherwise herein provided, so far as it relates to fees and salaries of all officers named, except justices of the peace and constables, shall not affect the present incumbents." By reason of this provision it was held that the act of March 14th, remained in force as to salaries of officers in counties of the thirty-fifth class; and the court quotes as follows from People v. Henshaw, 76 Cal. 444, to distinguish this ruling from that in Miller v. Kister, supra. "The
distinction attempted to be made by the statute under consideration in that case is not found here. It dealt with forty-eight classes of officers, and was to take effect as to all of them except three classes, upon the expiration. of the terms of the incumbents. It was a general law, applying alike to all classes, but took effect at different times upon different classes." "A law applicable to all counties of a class as made or authorized by the constitution is neither a local or special law. If it applies to all the counties of a class authorized by the constitution to be made, it is a general law; and whether there be few or many counties to
which its provisions will apply, is a matter of no consequence." Cody v. Murphy, 89 Cal. 524.
Section 211 of the county government act of 1883, was amended in 1887 [Stats. p. 207] in a manner to authorize the supervisors in counties of the third, fourth, fifth, (and several other) classes to allow deputies to officers in their counties whenever in the opinion of the board the salaries provided for such officers were insufficient to pay a reasonable compensation for the services required to be performed, and providing that such deputies should be paid at the times and in the manner that the principals were paid. This provision was held unconstitutional because it resulted in an increase of salary and because it destroyed uniformity in the operation of the general law, as in Miller v. Kister [Sec. 11, Art. I, Const.], and also because section 5, article XI, constitution, fixes the duty of regulating compensation of officers upon the legislature, and such power of regulation cannot be delegated to the supervisors. Dougherty v. Austin, 94 Cal. 603. Upon the subject of allowance of deputy, see Welch v. Bramlett, 98 Cal. 220, where a provision of the county government act of 1891 as to assistant district attorney in counties of the eighth class was held unconstitutional, and to same effect Walser v. Austin, 104 Cal. 129. And see Farnum v. Warner, 104 Cal. 677, where it is held that the provisions of section 182 of the act of 1891, as to clerk of auditor in counties of the 20th class do not regulate the salary of the auditor
in an unconstitutional or objectionable man
Section 179 of the county government act [amendment of 1885, p. 176, of section 179], fixed the salary of superintendent of schools in counties of the seventeenth class at $1800 per annum. In March, 1889, section 1552 of of the Political Code was amended so as to allow each county superintendent his actual and necessary traveling expenses, and postage and expressage. Held, the amendment did not increase the salary of the officer and was not a violation of section 9, article XI, constitution, Kirkwood v. Soto, 87 Cal. 395.
Under the classification of counties for the purpose of regulating compensation of officers the act of 1891 [Stats. 397, section 195.] Stanislaus was a county of the 33rd class, and the clerk was given a salary of $3000 per annum, and among the fees authorized to be collected and paid by him into the county treasury were the following: "For filing papers and issuing letters testamentary or of administration, guardianship, or special administration in any case, two dollars. For services up to and including the final settlement of the case, in which the estate does not exceed five thousand dollars, except as hereinafter provided, ten dollars, and one dollar for each additional one thousand dollars in value, as shown by the inventory." Of this provision it is said: "But the constitution (Art. XI, section 5) authorizes a classification of counties only for the purpose
of regulating the compensation of county officers according to duties; which purpose is not promoted nor affected in any degree by the provision in question." The charge of one dollar on the one thousand was held a violation of several of the provisions of the constitution. Bloss v. Lewis, 109 Cal. 494.
In the more recent case of Fatjo v. Pfister, [S. F. 378], decided May 22, 1897, it is held that the provision of section 1 of the fee bill of 1895 [Statutes 1895, page 268, Palm ed.], requiring graduated fee in probate and guardianship cases according to the value shown in the inventory and appraisement, is an extraordinary tax, and violative of several provisions of the constitution.
An attempt to fix salaries of policemen in cities, by a special act purporting to apply to cities having a population between 10,000 and 25,000 is unconstitutional. [Citing Dougherty v. Austin, 94 Cal. 601.] Darcey v. Mayor, etc.,
of San José, 104 Cal. 644.
The right of an officer to the salary fixed by law for that office is not impaired by any change that may be made in the duties of the Voffice, or even by an entire cessation of those duties, so long as the office itself remains in existence. Marquis v. City of Santa Ana, 103 Cal. 666.
The provision that in counties of the twenty-eighth class alone, witnesses in a criminal case shall receive the same compensation, per diem and mileage as jurors, is unconstitutional as local and special legislation. The
county government act must have a uniform operation. Counties can only be classified for the purpose of fixing compensations of officers. Turner v. County of Siskiyou, 109 Cal. 333.
Commenting on section 70 of the county government act of 1891, it is said, the county treasurer would appear to be the proper custodian of moneys received by the county clerk as deposits at the commencement of civil actions, where the clerk was a salaried officer, and where the amounts paid in exceeded the amount chargeable as fees the surplus belonged to the depositor. The clerk was under no obligation to turn over such surplus to his successor in office. People v. Hamilton, 103 Cal. 492.
When Orange county was formed it was declared by the act providing for its formation that it should be a county of the fifteenth class. The legislature having constitutional power to organize a new county by special act, may make all special provisions which are incident to its complete organization, and which do not extend in their operation beyond the time when the organization shall become complete and subject to the operation of general laws; and the legislature could classify the county, according to the best information it could command, until the next census. People v. McFadden, 81 Cal. 500.
In Sanders v. Sehorn, 98 Cal. 228, it is said: "The power of the legislature to classify counties for the purpose of regulating the compen