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Opinion of the Court.
the jury. This charge presented in a clear and, as we believe, correct light a sound view of the question of damages as it relates to this case. To it no exception was taken, nor to any part of it. On the whole, we do not find any error in the record, and the judgment of the Circuit Court is accordingly
CLAYTON V. UTAH TERRITORY.
APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF THE TERRITORY OF UTAH.
No. 143Argued December 5, 1889. – Decided January 6, 1890.
This court has jurisdiction to hear and determine, irrespective of the
amount involved, an appeal from a decree of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Utah, in which the power of the governor of the Territory, under the organic act, to appoint a person to be the auditor of public
accounts is drawn in question. Under the organic act of that Territory the power to appoint an auditor of
public accounts is vested exclusively in the governor and council. Under the power of Congress, reserved in the organic acts of the Terri
tories, to annul the acts of their legislatures, the absence of any action by Congress is not to be construed to be a recognition of the power of the legislature to pass laws in conflict with the act of Congress under
which they were created. So much of the acts of the legislature of Utah of January 20, 1852, and
February 22, 1878, as relates to the mode of appointing an auditor of public accounts, is in conflict with the organic act and is invalid; but so much as relates to the creation of the office is valid.
THERE was a motion to dismiss, and the cause was also argued on the merits. The case is stated in the opinion.
Mr. Eppa Ilunton, (with whom was Mr. Jefferson Chandler on the brief,) for appellant.
Mr. Solicitor General for appellee.
MR. JUSTICE MILLER delivered the opinion of the court.
This is an appeal from the Supreme Court of the Territory of Utah.
The action was commenced in the District Court of the
Opinion of the Court.
Third Judicial District of Utah Territory, county of Salt Lake, by a complaint in the name of the people of the Territory of Utah, by William H. Dickson, United States Attorney of said Territory, against the present appellant, then defendant, Nephi W. Clayton, under the allegation that he had usurped and intruded into the office of auditor of public accounts in and for said Territory in the year 1879, and ever since thạt time had held and does still hold and exercise the functions of said office without authority of law.
An additional allegation in the complaint is, that on the 13th day of March, 1886, and after the final expiration and adjournment of the legislative assembly and council of the Territory, Eli H. Murray, governor of said Territory, duly appointed Arthur Pratt to be auditor of public accounts of said Territory, and that thereupon said Pratt was qualified by taking the oath of office and the execution of an official bond, with sufficient sureties, as required by law, and, on the 17th of March aforesaid, was commissioned as such officer; and that, after being so appointed and commissioned, and so qualified, the said Pratt, on the day last mentioned, demanded of defendant that he surrender to him the office and the insignia thereof, which demand was then and there refused by the defendant.
The petition also states that on several occasions during the session of the legislative assembly previous to March, 1886, the governor had nominated and presented to said council the name of a fit person to fill the office of auditor of public accounts, but the council, at each of said sessions, failed and refused to take any action thereon, and that this was done with the full knowledge of said council that the defendant was then unlawfully holding the office and exercising its functions.
The defendant answered this complaint, denying almost every allegation of the petition specifically, or by stating that he is without knowledge on the subject of its averments; and then proceeded to say, that on the 1st day of August, in the year 1880, he was a citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one years, and was eligible to hold office under the laws of Utah Territory; that at the regular election of that year, on the 20 day of August, 1880, he was duly elected auditor of
Opinion of the Court.
public accounts for the Territory of Utah ; and that thereafter, to wi in September, 1880, Eli H. Murray, the governor of Utah, issued to him, under his hand and the seal of said Territory, a commission as auditor, which was also signed by the secretary of the Territory. And he further alleged, that since said election of 1880, no one had been elected to fill the office, nor had defendant resigned, and that he is by virtue of that election and the commission of the governor acting as auditor of public accounts of said Territory.
The defendant also demurred to the complaint, and the case was afterwards heard upon the demurrer of the defendant upon the pleadings on file and on the motion of plaintiff for judgment of ouster against the defendant.
In regard to the motion, the court rendered the following judgment:
“It is now ordered and adjudged that the said demurrer of the said defendant be, and the same is hereby, overruled and denied; and it is furtier ordered and adjudged that the answer of the said defendant is insufficient as a defence or justification for his holding and exercising the functions of said office; that the said defendant, Nephi W. Clayton, is guilty of usurping and unlawfully holding and exercising the said office of territorial auditor of Utah Territory, and that said defendant be, and he is hereby, excluded from the said office and from exercising any of the duties pertaining thereto."
As to the application of Pratt to be admitted into and hold the office of territorial auditor it rendered the following judgment:
" It is further considered, ordered and adjudged that the said Arthur Pratt is the lawfully appointed and commissioned auditor of said Territory, and is entitled, after taking the oath of office and executing such official bond as by law required, to use, hold and exercise the said office, and perform the duties thereof and receive the emoluments thereto belonging, until his successor is duly appointed and qualified.
“And it is further ordered and adjudged that the said defendant, Nephi W. Clayton, do forthwith yield and deliver up to the said Arthur Pratt the said office of territorial auditor,
Opinion of the Court.
and all the books, papers, keys, safes, furniture, property, moneys and records belonging or pertaining to the said office or the business thereof, and that the said plaintiff have and recover of and from said defendant the costs herein, taxed at twenty-two dollars and fifty cents."
On appeal to the Supreme Court of the Territory, taken by Clayton, both these judgments were affirmed.
The legislature of Utah, by an act approved January 20, 1852, created the offices of treasurer and auditor of public accounts, and defined the duties of each. It declared that those officers should be elected by the joint vote of both houses of the legislative assembly, and that their term of office should be four years, and until their successors were elected and qualified, unless sooner superseded by legislative election. An act of the legislature, approved February 22, 1878, declares that the territorial treasurer and auditor of public accounts shall be elected by qualified voters of the Territory at the general election in August, 1878, and biennially thereafter.
The case being tried on complaint and answer, the allegation of the defendant Clayton, that he was elected under that law in 1880 to the office of auditor of public accounts, received the commission of the governor upon that election, was duly qualified, gave bond, and entered upon the duties of his office, must be taken as true. Also the allegation that no other person has since been elected to the same place, and that he holds over under the act of 1852, is to be taken as correct. It must also be considered as established in the case that the governor undertook to exercise the power to appoint a suitable man auditor of public accounts, and that he made proper
and fit nominations to fill that office to the council of the Territory at various times, upon which they declined to act; that on the 13th of March, 1886, when such legislative body was not in session, he duly appointed Arthur Pratt to be auditor of public accounts of said Territory; that Pratt thereupon qualified by taking the proper oath and executing a sufficient official bond, and was on the 17th of March afore-, said commissioned as such officer; that he demanded of the
Opinion of the Court.
defendant that he surrender to him the said office, which demand was then and there refused.
The District Court of the Third Judicial District decided that the act of 1852, which vested the appointment of the auditor of public accounts in the legislature by a joint vote of its two branches, and the act of 1878, which transferred the power to fill this office to an election by the people of the Territory at a general election, were void, as being in conflict with the seventh section of the organic act of September 9, 1850, creating the Territory of Utab. That act is the fundamental law which confers upon the Territory, upon its legislature, and upon its territorial officers, all the powers which the government of the United States intended they should exercise. 9 Stat. 453, c. 51. The seventh section is in the following language:
“That all township, district and county officers, not herein otherwise provided for, shall be appointed or elected, as the case may be, in such manner as shall be provided by the governor and legislative assembly of the Territory of Utah. The governor shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the legislative council, appoint all officers not herein otherwise provided for; and in the first instance the governor alone may appoint all said officers, who shall hold their offices until the end of the first session of the legislative assembly, and shall lay off the necessary districts for members of the council and house of representatives and all other offices.”
This part of the statute is reproduced almost verbatim in section 1857 of the Revised Statutes of the United States as applicable to all the Territories.
1. The first question presented to us for decision concerns the jurisdiction of this court to entertain the appeal from the Supreme Court of the Territory. The law which governs that jurisdiction now, is the act of Congress of March 3, 1885, 23 Stat. 443, c. 355, and is as follows:
“ Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That no appeal or writ of error shall hereafter be allowed from any judgment or decree in any suit at law or in equity in the