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State v. Czarnicki

Decided: January 10, 1940.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, COMPLAINANT-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOHN CZARNICKI, DEFENDANT-PROSECUROR



On certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Edward M. Salley (Edward A. Markley and Charles W. Broadhurst, of counsel).

For the respondent, Daniel O'Regan, prosecutor of the pleas, and Frank G. Schlosser, assistant prosecutor.

Before Justices Trenchard, Case and Heher.

Heher

The opinion of the court was delivered by

HEHER, J. This cause should be captioned as above. Rule 15 of this court directs that the parties be named in the order in which they appeared in the title below, even though the defendant be the moving party here.

Prosecutor was convicted, and adjudged to be a disorderly person, in the Hudson County Traffic Court on a complaint charging the possession on June 26th, 1939, of "lottery slips pertaining to a lottery," in contravention of section 2:202-16 of the Revised Statutes of 1937. Upon the imposition of sentence, he petitioned the Hudson Common Pleas for a summary review of the conviction. Such review was had, and the judgment was affirmed. Thereupon, he sued out this writ of certiorari; and the judgment, "together with all matters touching the same, including the testimony taken in the Hudson County Traffic Court," have been returned in obedience to its mandate.

First: The primary insistence is that section 2:229-3 of the Revision, supra, clothing the several county traffic courts with jurisdiction of the offenses denounced by sections 2:201-1, et seq., contravenes article IV, section VII, placitum 4, of the State Constitution, in that "said statute embraces more than one object and such object is not expressed in its title."

The point is not well made. It proceeds on the premise that chapter 71 of the laws of 1930 (Pamph. L., p. 300), entitled "An act relating to county traffic courts, defining their jurisdiction, powers and duties," as amended by chapter 26 of the laws of 1934 (Pamph. L., p. 78), the source of section 2:229-3 of the Revision, supra, violated the cited constitutional

precept, to the conclusion that this asserted invalidity extends to the like provisions incorporated in the revision. But such is not the case.

Granting the postulate for present purposes, the conclusion is faulty. Non sequitur. The revision is a wholly independent enactment, superseding all pre-existing general laws; and the constitutionality of its several provisions in this behalf depends upon its own title and not upon the titles of prior enactments embodied therein. It is entitled "An act to establish all the public statute law of a general nature of the State of New Jersey in the form of a revision, consolidation and compilation, to be known as the Revised Statutes." Thus, the object of the enactment is single and is expressed in its title. The stated object is the "revision, consolidation and compilation" of "all the public statute law of a general nature." The contrary view would nullify the revision; it would render a general revision impossible. The title is in no sense uncertain, misleading or deceptive. This is the general test of constitutional sufficiency in this regard. Public Service Electric, &c., Co. v. Camden, 118 N.J.L. 245; State v. Guida, 119 Id. 464.

Nor is there a plurality of objects in the constitutional sense. A revision, consolidation and compilation of all the general laws is not within the mischiefs outlawed by this constitutional edict. That constitutes a unified object, i.e., the achievement of the major advantages to be had through the revision, consolidation and compilation of the general public laws into a systematic whole. The act providing for the revision (chapter 73 of the laws of 1925, page 244) affirms the legislative concept of the benefits thus to be had; and we deem it unnecessary further to elaborate the theme. The object is single, even though statutory provisions otherwise unrelated in subject-matter are combined in one general enactment. The constitutional command thus invoked was designed "to prevent the concealment of the real object of the act and what is ...


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