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State v. Cole

December 31, 1915

STATE OF NEVADA, EX REL. W. K. FREUDENBERGER, PETITIONER V. GEORGE A. COLE, AS CONTROLLER OF THE STATE OF NEVADA, RESPONDENT.


William Forman, for Petitioner.

Geo. B. Thatcher, Attorney-General, and William H. McKnight, for Respondent.

By the Court, Coleman, J.:

The legislature, at its session in 1911, passed an act, the title of which reads as follows:

“An act making the Railroad Commission of Nevada ex officio a public service commission for the regulation and control of certain public utilities, prescribing the manner in which such public utilities shall be regulated and controlled, requiring such public utilities to furnish reasonably adequate service and facilities, prohibiting unjust and unreasonable charges for services rendered by such public utilities, providing penalties for violation of the provisions of this act, authorizing such public service commission to appoint an expert engineer and to employ clerks and assistants, and making an appropriation for carrying out the provisions of this act.” (Approved March 23, 1911. Revised Laws 1912, p. 1283.)

Section 16 of said act provides that said commission shall have authority to employ an expert engineer at a salary of $3,600 per annum and necessary traveling expenses. The petitioner was so employed by the commission, and has been, and is now, acting as expert engineer for said commission.

The legislature, at its session in 1913, passed an act, the title of which reads as follows:

“An act regulating the salaries of certain state officers of the State of Nevada.” (Approved March 26, 1913. Stats. 1913, p. 404.)

By the terms of the act of 1913 alluded to it is provided that the annual salary of the chief engineer of the public service commission shall be $2,500. Since the first Monday of January, 1915, the respondent, as state controller, has refused to draw his warrant in favor of petitioner at the rate of $3,600 per year, as fixed by the public service

[38 Nev. 488, Page 491]

act of 1911, but has drawn his warrant in favor of petitioner at the rate of $2,500 per year, as provided in the act of 1913.

[1-2] The petition recites the passage of the two acts, the employment of relator, the official capacity of respondent, and the refusal of respondent to draw his warrant except as herein stated. It also sets out section 17 of article 4 of the constitution of the State of Nevada, which reads as follows:

“Each law enacted by the legislature shall embrace but one subject, and matter properly connected therewith, which subject shall be briefly expressed in the title; and no law shall be revised or amended by reference to its title only; but, in such case, the act as revised, or section as amended, shall be reenacted and published at length.”

Petitioner prays that a peremptory writ of mandamus issue to respondent ordering him to draw his warrant in favor of relator on the basis of a yearly salary of $3,600.

To the petition the respondent demurred upon the ground that the petition did not state facts sufficient to ...


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