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Lindsey v. Duncan

Supreme Court of Arizona

October 28, 1960

AL LINDSEY, Petitioner,
v.
John A. DUNCAN, Superintendent of Liquor Licenses and Control, Respondent, Peter-Yee Fai Ming et al., Intervenors.

Rehearing Denied Dec. 6, 1960.

[88 Ariz. 290] Beer, Seaman & Polley, Phoenix, for petitioner.

Wade Church, Atty. Gen., and Leslie C. Hardy, Chief Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent.

James E. Flynn, James A. Yankee, Neal T. Roberts and Harry A. Stewart, Jr., Phoenix, for intervenors.

LESHER, Justice.

Proceedings on petition to this Court for an original writ of prohibition. Petitioner is owner of an existing license for the sale of liquor in Maricopa County. He seeks to prohibit the respondent, State Superintendent of Liquor Licenses and Controls, from filing and processing, and presumably in some cases granting, applications for additional liquor licenses in Maricopa County. Intervenors are amount those whose applications would be affected.

We are met at the outset by the objection of respondent and intervenors that this Court is without jurisdiction in this matter to issue an original writ of prohibition. They base their position upon the language of the Constitution of Arizona, Article VI, Section 4, A.R.S., as follows:

' § 4. Supreme court; jurisdiction; power to issue writs

[88 Ariz. 291] 'Section 4. The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction in habeas corpus, and quo warranto and mandamus as to all State officers. It shall have appellate jurisdiction in all actions and proceedings, but its appellate jurisdiction shall not extend to civil actions at law for recovery of money or personal property where the original amount in controversy, or the

Page 393

value of the property, does not exceed the sum of two hundred dollars, unless the action involves the validity of a tax, impost, assessment, toll, municipal fine, or statute.

'The Supreme Court shall also have power to issue writs of mandamus, review, prohibition, habeas corpus, certiorari and all other writs necessary and proper to the complete exercise of its appellate and revisory jurisdiction.

'The Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all causes between counties concerning disputed boundaries and surveys thereof or concerning claims of one county against another. Such trials shall be to the court without a jury.

'Each judge of the Supreme Court shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the State upon petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody and may make such writs returnable before himself, or before the Supreme Court, or before any superior court of the State or any judge thereof.'

Power to issue original writs directed to administrative officers of the State is defined and limited by the first paragraph of the quoted section.

'* * * This same section gives this court the power to issue these and other writs in the exercise of our appellate and revisory jurisdiction, but nowhere does the Arizona Constitution give us original jurisdiction to issue writs other than mandamus, habeas corpus, and quo warranto. If petitioner's requested relief does not come within the purview of one of these writs * * * this court has no power to grant it.' Smoker v. Bolin, 85 Ariz. 171, 333 P.2d 977.

Petitioner contends that the writ he seeks is permitted by the second paragraph of Section 4; that is, that it can be issued in the exercise of the court's 'revisory and appellate jurisdiction'. It cannot. The office of the Superintendent of Liquor Licenses and Controls is not a court or tribunal over which this court has any appellate or revisory powers. The Superintendent is an administrative officer; the processing, issuing and denial of liquor licenses are administrative acts. Him [88 Ariz. 292] Poy Lim v. Duncan, 65 Ariz. 370, 181 P.2d 357. He falls within that general class of state officers to whom the three original writs specified in the first paragraph of Section 4--and no other--may issue from this court.

We are aware that an original writ of prohibition issued from this Court to a State administrative officer in City of Phoenix v. Lane,76 Ariz. 240, 263 P.2d 302. It does not appear that the question of the Court's jurisdiction to do so was raised in that case. To one extent, however, that case may ...


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