Page images
PDF
EPUB

General Assembly. What legislation is reasonable is a question for that body and not for the courts."

As thus boldly set out, the two statements are in flat conflict. In fact, however, the cases in which the respective statements appear were decided according to rules of law which are in harmony, and the cases themselves are in harmony. And the only occasion for magnifying these two statements thus is to illustrate where the practice leads of quoting and relying upon sentences or passages snatched at random from reported cases.

The passage first quoted has reference to an ordinance alleged to be an improper exercise of the police power. And the court was correct in its statement that in the exercise of police power, ordinances, and statutes as well, must be reasonable (People v. Wilson 249 Ill. 200; City of Zion v. Behrens 262 Ill. 612; People v. Weiner 271 Ill. 77; Stewart v. Brady 300 Ill. 435, 436). “Reasonable,” as thus used, must be considered in its sense as an antonym of “arbitrary” (Stewart v. Brady 300 III. 435, 436). Thus it is for the legislature to say when an emergency exists for the exercise of the police power, but for the courts to say what is a proper subject for its exercise (East Side Dist. v. E. St. L. & C. R. Co. 279 Ill. 131). Fraud being a proper subject, the reasonableness and necessity of particular legislation is for the legislature (Johnson Co. v. Belowsky 263 Ill. 367).

The principal case (Chicago v. Green Mills Gardens 305 Ill. 95) contains also this language:

"The ordinance aforesaid is plainly sustainable under sections 41 and 58. It may also be sustained under subsections 66 and 78. The police power extends to the protection of the lives, limbs, health, comfort and quiet of all persons and the protection of all property within the state.

As against that, note the language in City of Chicago v. M. & M. Hotel Co. 248 Ill. 271:

“Clause 66, which purports to delegate general police power to cities, must be construed in connection with other clauses of said section 62 which specifically enumerate the various subjects in reference to which the police control is given. Thus construed, the general language of clause 66 to 'pass and enforce all necessary police ordinances,' means that this power can only be exercised in reference to such subjects and occupations as are enumerated in other specific clauses of the section.

To the same effect are City of Chicago v. Pettibone 267 111. 576 and Stoessand v. Frank 283 ill. 275, in the latter of which cases sub-section 78 is also considered. Taking the language in the Green Mills Gardens case, thus quoted, apart from the subject matter of the case itself, it would seem it is susceptible of the meaning that cities have a general police power, not confined to the specifically enumerated powers; and in the experience of the writer, such contention has in fact been seriously made in a litigated case, in which

a the Green Mills Gardens case was relied upon in support of that

[ocr errors]

conclusion. It must be evident, of course, that the court in the Green Mills Gardens case had no intention of overruling the three cases last above cited, as must necessarily be the effect of the decision were it to be given such a construction.

E. M. L.

REVENUE ACT-ASSESSMENTS—EQUALIZATION-NOTICE.-Confusion has often been experienced in knowing when notice to an individual taxpayer is required of an increase in an assessment, and when not. It must appear that the first movement in the operation of the taxation machinery is that of ascertaining the valuation of the individual taxpayer's property. The law requires that the taxpayer furnish a schedule of this (People v. I. C. R. Co. 273 Ill. 260; People v. Kent 300 III, 333, 334), and it is no defense that the assessor failed to call for a schedule (Du Page Co. v. Jenks 65 Ill. 287) or ignored a schedule that was unsworn (M. W. P. Co. v. Cox 252 Ill. 360).

If the property owner submits a schedule properly sworn to, he is still not entitled to notice of a change in the valuation he specifies in that schedule unless he demands a copy of the schedule with the valuations made by the assessor, in which event the assessor cannot alter those amounts without notice (People v. Morton Salt Co. 285 Ill. 182; San. Dist. v. Young 285 Ill. 367).

However, once the valuation gets beyond the jurisdiction of the assessor and reaches the board of review, a different rule applies. If the board of review wishes to alter any individual's assessment, it must give notice thereof to the individual (People v. E. St. L. Bridge Co. 281 Ill. 470, 471; People v. Merchants Bridge Co. 282 Ill. 414; People v. Casey 286 111. 90; People v. Abraham 295 111. 585, 586). The board has power to make an original assessment where none was made by the assessor, and as to such, also, notice is required (People v. Shirk 252 Ill. 97, 98).

The board of review also has power to equalize assessments, and as to such the statute requires only notice to not less than fifty taxpayers of the taxing district under consideration. That distinction was under review in the late case of People v. Orvis 301 Ill. 350, 133 N. E. 787, and the statutory exception relative to notice just adverted to criticized as unconstitutional. But the court sustains the distinction made by the statute in that in case of an equalization it is the whole community that is affected and not any individual taxpayer. In the principal case, the equalization took the form of a horizontal raise in the valuation of all the assessments in the district of thirty per cent and notice of it had been given to 169 taxpayers.

E. M. L.

WORKMAN'S COMPENSATION_ENTERPRISE.-In ILLINOIS LAW REVIEW XVI 389, 390, reference was made to the construction of the term "enterprise" as it appears in the Workman's Compensation Act. The term as there used was defined to mean an undertaking of hazard, and it was suggested in the comment referred to, that the same employer might be engaged in a business of various enterprises, and that one enterprise might be within the Workman's Compensation Act and another, not, and in that connection attention was called to the frame of section three of that act, in its use of the terms "business" and "enterprise" in the introduction to that section, and the use of the term "enterprise" only, in the clause relative to statutory and municipal ordinance regulations (Clause 8).

The application of the apparent distinction between the two terms finds what would seem to be a real field for discussion when one considers a law office, in a window of which, for example, is an electrically propelled exhaust fan. Are lawyers within the purview of the Workmen's Compensation Act because of this exhaust fan, which, let it be conceded, the statute requires to be guarded? Upon that it should be noted that section three reads that the act shall apply automatically and without election to "ALL EMPLOYERS and THEIR EMPLOYEES ENGAGED in

any enterprise in which statutory or municipal ordinance regulations are now, or shall hereafter be, imposed.” It would seem first, that the particular line of activity of the employer must be an enterprise, and second, that the imposition of the regulation must be identified with the particular enterprise as a part of it, such as a tool or appliance. Upon such construction (and the construction is always strict against too wide an application of the Act, for the Act is derogatory of the common law) it would seem that the law office above supposed is not an enterprise, for it is not an undertaking of hazard, nor is the exhaust fan a tool or appliance of the law business, and therefore, the lawyers are not within the Act.

It would appear that the recent case of Board of Education v. Industrial Commission 301 Ill. 611, 134 N. E. 70, is confirmatory of the view thus expressed :

"When in the conduct of that enterprise the employees are required to engage in the handling and operation of machinery so dangerous that the statute requires for the protection of employees that it shall be so guarded and located as not to injure them, it may also be regarded as attended with some degree of hazard” (301 Ill. 614).

E. M. L.

[blocks in formation]

During the last decade the American bar has watched with interest, and sometimes with apprehension, the rapid rise and spread of administrative tribunals and administrative officials. For many years we have had administrative bureaus and officers, as the pension office, immigration bureau, licensing boards, county commissioners—who performed their functions quietly, attracted almost no attention from the bar, and seldom had their proceedings reviewed by the courts. The new development is radically different in that it represents an extension of the administrative method of adjudicating controversies into fields which have for generations been regarded as the exclusive jurisdiction of our traditional common law system of judicial justice. For the administrative arm to reach out and concern itself with such matters as personal injuries and wage claims is, in a real sense, usurpation.

This trenching on common law territory has in it the elements of a challenge to the hitherto invincible common law system. The growing complexity of our law and the difficulties of its administration under modern conditions of life have brought on something in the nature of a race between the new method which we may call administrative justice and the time-honored common law method of securing justice.

In some respects this race for public approval is not altogether fair. Our judicial institutions are shackled by difficulties of organization, procedure, and power which the legislatures have refused to remove, while, on the other hand, the industrial accident commissions have been set free. Their power to make rules and ordain their own procedure is familiar. It is less well known that the

1. [Of the Boston bar.)

2

industrial accident boards of the United States and Canada have formed an International Association, meeting annually, thereby gaining all the benefits of exchange of opinion and experience and the advantages of concerted action which the courts have never had.? Such handicaps are perhaps offset by the fact that as to many differences between the newer conception and the traditional conception of justice the courts have the last word. This prerogative has already been invoked in many cases involving questions of evidence and the commissions have been confined within straighter limits. Despite legislative declarations that rules of evidence should not be binding, the weight of authority imposes on the commissions the necessity of resting their decisions in last analysis on a "residuum of legal evidence," that is, evidence admissible according to the rules of evidence.3

The contest between the two systems of securing justice involves other elements which, to my mind, are more fundamental than this skirmish about rules of evidence and which, so far as I can ascertain, have not been called to the attention of the bar. The purpose of this article is to outline those other elements as they are manifested by (1) industrial accident commissions and (2) those officials who are being given a certain jurisdiction over claims for wages.

[ocr errors]

ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTICE IN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS

The impetus that enacted compensation statutes in forty-three states originated in a general conviction, shared by judges themselves, that the substantive law was unfair to injured workmen. Had the statutes merely substituted for ordinary trial courts administrative courts having substantially identical rules of procedure, the shift of jurisdiction would not have been significant because only the substantive law would really have been changed. What strikes deeper is that our traditional method whereby cases are brought into court and adjudicated in court impressed the legislators as so ineffective, so productive of delay and expense, that they frankly tried to supplant it. Court costs and fees paid to

2. The Judicial Section of the American Bar Association is an attempt to meet this need.

3. For a full discussion and summary of the cases see F. A. Ross "Rules of Evidence before Commissions” Harv. L. Rev. XXXVI 263 (January 1923) and J. H. Wigmore "Administrative Board Evidence Rules" ILLINOIS Law Rev. XVII 263 (December 1922).

4. See statement by Chief Justice Winslow of Wisconsin qurtel in Journal American Bar Association VIII 394 (July 1922).

1

« PreviousContinue »