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Frazier v. Terrill

Supreme Court of Arizona

December 9, 1946

FRAZIER, Justice of the Peace, et al.
v.
TERRILL

Appeal from Superior Court, Cochise County; Frank E. Thomas, Judge.

Proceeding in prohibition by A. J. Terrill against L. T. Frazier, Justice of the Peace, Precinct Number One, Cochise County, State of Arizona, and another, to prevent further proceedings in a criminal case against plaintiff being tried in justice court. From a judgment granting a peremptory writ of prohibition, defendants appeal.

Judgment reversed with direction to quash the peremptory writ of prohibition, defendants appeal.

John L. Sullivan, Atty. Gen., John W. Rood, Chief Asst. Atty. Gen., and William P. Mahoney, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellants.

W. E. Polley, of Bisbee, for appellee.

La Prade, Judge. Stanford, C. J., and Morgan J., concur.

OPINION

La Prade, Judge.

Page 439

[65 Ariz. 132] The appeal in this case is taken from an order for a peremptory writ of prohibition granted February 15, 1946 by the Superior Court of Cochise County, directing the Justice Court, Precinct Number One, Cochise County, and L. T. Frazier as judge thereof, to refrain from any further proceedings in a criminal case being tried before him in which A. J. Terrill, appellee, was defendant and the state plaintiff.

Appellee, A. J. Terrill, was charged with violating Section 57-126, A.C.A. 1939, as amended by Chapter 52, Laws 1945. The specific charge was for unlawfully having in possession about sixty pounds of deer [65 Ariz. 133] meat. Defendant moved to quash the complaint upon the ground that the justice court did not have jurisdiction of the alleged offense. The motion being denied, defendant sought and secured the peremptory writ of prohibition. The judge of the superior court found that the justice court did not have jurisdiction to try the offense punishable under the provisions of Section 57-126, A.C.A. 1939, as amended by Chapter 52, Laws 1945, for the reason that the penalty exceeds that which a justice of the peace is authorized to impose. The applicable portion of said section reads as follows:

"Any person who takes, possesses, transports, buys, sells, or offers for sale, any deer, wapiti (elk), antelope, beaver, bison (buffalo), mountain sheep, or peccary or javelina, or wild turkey, or any part of any such animal, or bird, in violation of this act, * * * shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than three months nor more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment; and in addition thereto, is liable to an additional penalty of fifty dollars for each animal or part thereof, or fish, or bird, taken, destroyed, possessed, transported, bought, sold, or offered for sale in violation of this Act." (Emphasis supplied)

By section 9 of Article 6 of the State Constitution "* * * The powers, duties, and jurisdiction of justices of the peace, shall be provided by law: * * *." The statutory provision conferring jurisdiction on justice courts reads in part as follows:

"Jurisdiction of justices' courts. -- The justices' courts have jurisdiction of the following offenses committed within their respective precincts in which such courts are established, subject to ...


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