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State v. Park

December 31, 1919

STATE OF NEVADA, APPELLANT, V. THOMAS S. PARK, RESPONDENT.


Appeal from Fourth Judicial District Court, Elko County; E. J. L. Taber, Judge.

Geo. B. Thatcher, Attorney-General; Edw. T. Patrick, Deputy Attorney-General, Wm. McKnight, Deputy Attorney-General, E. P. Carville, District Attorney, and C. A. Cantwell, Deputy District Attorney, for Appellant.

Curler & Castle, for Respondent.

By the Court, Ducker, J.:

An information was filed against the respondent by the district attorney of Elko County under section 375 1/2 of an act of the legislature of this state, entitled “An act to amend an act entitled ‘An act concerning crimes and punishments, and repealing certain acts relating thereto,' approved March 17, 1911, and adding another section thereto, to be numbered 375 1/2,” approved March 15, 1915. Stats. 1915, p. 155.

The act, which consists solely of said section 375 1/2, reads:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his possession any hide of any cow, bull, steer, calf or heifer, from which hide the ears have been removed * * * or the brand obliterated, defaced, or disfigured so that same cannot be readily recognized, and any person having such hide in his possession shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for any term not less than one year nor more than five years.”

The information charges that the defendant, on the 3d day of June, A. D. 1917, or thereabouts, and before the filing of this information, at the county of Elko, State of Nevada, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession a hide of a heifer, from which said hide the ears had been removed, all of

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which is contrary to the statute in such cases made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the State of Nevada.

A demurrer was interposed to the information upon the grounds:

First, that the facts stated in said information do not constitute a public offense; and

Second, that the facts stated in said information do not constitute a public offense in this, that the act of the legislature, entitled “An act to amend an act entitled ‘An act concerning crimes and punishments, and repealing certain acts relating thereto,' approved March 17, 1911, and adding another section thereto, to be numbered 375 1/2,” is unconstitutional and void.

The district court sustained this demurrer and made an order allowing the respondent to go without bail and releasing the sureties on his bail bond from further liability.

From this order sustaining the demurrer, the state appeals. The constitutionality of the act of the legislature under which the information is drawn is thus before this court for determination.

Respondent insists that this act comes in conflict with section 1 of the fourteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States, which provides that—

“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

He asserts that the statute goes beyond the legitimate bounds of the police power of the state. He contends that the law is invalid in this respect, because it unnecessarily restricts the use of property in hides of live stock in this state to such an extent as to destroy its value for any ...


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