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RULING CASE LAW

VOLUME XXVIII

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

1. INTRODUCTORY
II. PUBLIC OFFICIALS, INSPECTION AND FEES
III. PARTICULAR LEGISLATION
IV. VIOLATION OF STATUTE OR ORDINANCE AS AN OFFENSE

I. Introductory 1. Constitutionality and Construction of Regulatory Statutes Generally, 2. Purpose of Acts 3. Federal and State Powers 4. Municipal Powers

II. Public Officials, Inspection and Fees 5. State Legislation 6. Municipal Powers 7. Inspection and Sealing 8. Certificate or Sworn Statement as Evidence 9. Fees

III. Particular Legislation

10. Labels Indicating Weight of Goods, Capacity of Container, eta
11. Weighing Coal at Mines
12. Deductions from Actual Weights

IV. Violation of Statute or Ordinance as an Offense

13. In General
14. Knowledge or Intent as Element of Offense

I. INTRODUCTORY

1. Constitutionality and Construction of Regulatory Statutes Generally.-Grievances owing to differences in weights and measures led to the declaration in Magna Charta that there should be but "one weight and measure throughout the kingdom,"1 and resulted in early legislation in England for the prevention of fraud in regard thereto.? Statutes regulating the weighing or measuring of commodities, and requiring that all persons whose business transactions involve the use of weights and measures shall conform to the regulations prescribed, have also been enacted in most of the states of this country, and such statutes have generally been sustained as constitutional, and a valid exercise of the police power. Such acts when otherwise valid can

1. Harris v. Rutledge, 19 Ia. 388, N. E. 631, 57 Am. Rep. 869; Chicago 87 Am. Dec. 441 and note.

v. Bowman Dairy Co., 231 Ill. 291, 84 2. State v. Armour, 27 N. D. 177, N. E. 913, 123 A. S. R. 100, 14 Ann. 145 N. W. 1033, Ann. Cas. 1919B 1149, Cas. 700 and note, 17 L.R.A.(N.S.) L.R.A.1916E 380 and note, affirmed 684; Chicago v. Schmidinger, 243 II. in 240 U. S. 510, 36 S. Ct. 440, 60 167, 90 N. E. 369, 17 Ann. Cas. 614, U. S. (L. ed.) 771, Ann. Cas. 1916D 44 L.R.A.(N.S.) 632 and note; Shel548.

labarger Elevator Co. v. Illinois Cent. 3. Śtate v. Belle Springs Creamery R. Co., 278 Ill. 333, 116 N. E. 170, Co., 83 Kan. 389, 111 Pac. 474, L.R.A. L.R.A.1917E 1011; Harris v. Rut1915D, 515; State v. Merchants Exch., ledge, 19 Ia. 388, 87 Am. Dec. 441 and 269 Mo. “346, 190 S. W. 903, Ann. note; State v. Wilson, 61 Kan. 32, 58 Cas. 1917E 871 and note; State v. Pac. 981, 47 L.R.A. 71; State v. Belle Armour, 27 N. D. 177, 145 N. W. Springs Creamery Co., 83 Kan. 389, 1033, Ann. Cas. 1916B 1149, L.R.A. 111 Pac. 474, L.Å.A.19151 515; Peo1916E 380 and note, affirmed in 240 ple v. Wagner, 86 Mich. 594, 49 N. W. U. S. 510, 36 S. Ct. 440, 60 U. S. 609, 24 A. S. R. 141 and note, 13 (L. ed.) 771, Ann. Cas. 1916D 548; L.R.A. 286 and note; State v. Eck, Weaver v. Fegely, 29 Pa. St. 27, 70 121 Minn. 202, 141 N. W. 106, Ann. Am. Dec. 151 and note.

Cas. 1914C 678 and note; State v. 4. House v. Mayes, 219 U. S. 270, Merchants' Exch., 269 Mo. 316, 190 31 S. Ct. 234, 55 U. S. (L. ed.) 213; S. W. 903, Ann. Cas. 1917E 871 and Schmidinger v. Chicago, 226 U. S. note; Freadrich v. State, 89 Neb. 343, 578, 33 S. Ct. 182, 57 U. S. (L. ed.) 131 N. W. 618, 34 L.R.A.(N.S.) 650; 364, Ann. Cas. 1914B 284; McLean v. State v. Armour, 27 N. D. 177, 145 State, 81 Ark. 304, 98 S. W. 729, 126 N. W. 1033, Ann. Cas 1916B 1149 apd A. S. R. 1037 and note, 11 Ann. Cas. pote, L.R.A.1916E 380 and note, af72, affirmed in 211 U. S. 539, 29 S. firmed in 240 U. S. 510, 36 $. Ct. 440, Ct. 206, 53 U. S. (L. ed.) 315; Car- 60 U. S. (L. ed.) 771, Ann. Cas. 19161) tersville v. McGinnis, 142 Ga. 71, 82 548; Williams v. Sandles, 93 Ohio St. S. E. 487, Ann. Cas. 19151 1067 and 92, 112 N. E. 206, Ann. Cas. 1918D note; Millett v. People, 117 Ill. 294, 7 154 and note; Weaver v. Fegely, 29 not be impeached merely on the ground that they were unwise, but instances are not wanting in which legislative acts relating to weights and measures have been held invalid on the ground that they were mere arbitrary restrictions on the rights, privileges and legal capacities of a particular class. The word “person” as used in a statute relating to the sale of commodities by weight or measure and imposing a penalty on any person violating its provisions has been construed as including a corporation as well as a natural person.?

2. Purpose of Acts.The general object or purpose of acts for the regulation or standardization of weights and measures is the prevention of fraud, and to provide a method by which the purchasers of commodities may protect themselves from short weights and measures and be enabled to obtain the quantity of property bought and paid for, which has always been recognized as a proper subject for the exercise of the police power.

3. Federal and State Powers.-Congress is given power by the United States Constitution, art. 1, $ 8, to "fix the standard of weights and measures." In the absence, however, of the exercise by the national legislative body of the power thus conferred the states may fix the standard of their own weights and measures, 11 on the theory

10

Pa. St. 27, 70 Am. Dec. 151 and note; Note: Ann. Cas. 1912C 232. O'Maley v. Freeport, 96 Pa. St. 24, And see infra, par. 11, 12. 42 Am. Rep. 527; State v. Peel Splint 7. State v. Belle Springs Creamery Coal Co., 36 W. Va. 802, 15 S. E. Co., 83 Kan. 389, 111 Pac. 474, L.R.A. 1000, 17 L.R.A. 365.

19151 515. Generally as to the appliNotes: L.R.A.1916E 380; Ann. Cas. cation of the term “person” to corpo1912C 251.

rations, see CORPORATIONS, vol. 7, pp. 5. McLean v. State, 211 U. S. 539, 31-35, 767. 29 S. Ct. 206, 53 U. S. (L. ed.) 315; 8. McLean v. State, 81 Ark. 304, Mobile v. Yuille, 3 Ala. 137, 36 Am. 98 S. W. 729, 126 A. S. R. 1037 and Dec. 441, overruled on another point note, 11 Ann. Cas. 72, affirmed in 211 by Huntsville v. Phelps, 27 Ala. 55. U. S. 539, 29 S. Ct. 206, 53 U. S. As to the general principle involved, (L. ed.) 315; State v. Belle Springs see CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, vol. 6, pp. Creamery Co., 83 Kan. 389, 111 Pac. 107-108.

474, L.R.A.19151 515; State v. Eck, 6. Millett v. People, 117 III. 294, 7 121 Minn. 202, 141 N. W. 106, Ann. N. E. 631, 57 Am. Rep. 869; Harding Cas. 1914C 678; State v. Armour, 27 v. People, 160 NI. 459, 43 N. E. 624, N. D. 177, 145 N. W. 1033, Ann. Cas. 52 A. S. R. 341 and note, 32 L.R.A. 1916B 1147, L.R.A.1916E 380 and 445; Vega Steamship Co. v. Consoli- note, affirmed in 240 U. S. 510, 35 S. dated Elevator Co., 75 Minn, 308, 77 Ct. 410, 60 U. S. (L. ed.) 771, Ann. N. W. 973, 74 A. S. R. 434 and note, Cas. 1916D 548; State v. Co-operative 43 L.R.A. 843; In re Preston, 63 Store Co., 123 Tenn. 399, 131 S. W. Ohio St. 428, 59 N. E. 101, 81 A. S. 867, Ann. Cas. 1912C 248 and note. R. 642 and note; In re Steube, 91 9. State v. Eck, 121 Minn. 202, 141 Ohio St. 135, 110 N. E. 250, L. R. A. N.: W. 106, Ann. Cas. 1914C 678. 1916E 377 and note; State v. Great 10. See ConsTITUTIONAL LAW, vol. Northern R. ('o., 13 Wash. 658, 86 6, p. 208 et seq. . Pac. 1056, 117 A. S. R. 1084, 6 L.R.A. 11. Harris v. Rutledge, 19 Ia. 388, (N.S.) 908 and note.

87 Am. Dec. 441 and note; Parker v.

that the states may exercise powers granted to Congress where Congress fails to exercise them, 19 except when the grant is in express terms exclusive or coupled with a prohibition to the states, or where the grant to the one would make the exercise by the other absolutely and totally repugnant.13 Legislation of this character is not regarded as in conflict with the power given to Congress to regulate interstate commerce, the latter power in no way preventing a state from enacting statutes regulating commerce solely between citizens and residents of that state. 14

4. Municipal Powers.—A state legislature may expressly confer on a municipal corporation the power to enact ordinances relating to weights and measures, and to make reasonable provisions for their cnforcement,15 and it is generally held that even in the absence of an express grant of authority, the enactment and enforcement of such ordinances are a valid exercise of the general police powers of a municipal corporation, provided the regulations imposed are reasonable and not in conflict with the constitution or statutes of the state.16

Austin, 156 Mich. 573, 121 N. W. 322, 130 Mo. 323, 32 S. W. 649, 51 A. S. 23 L.R.A.(N.S.) 266 and note; Wil- R. 566 and note; Phillips v. Allen, 41 liams v. Sandles, 93 Ohio St. 92, 112 Pa. St. 481, 82 Am. Dec. 486 and N. E. 206, Ann. Cas. 1918D 154 and note. note; Weaver v. Fegely, 29 Pa. St. Notes: L.R.A.1916E 379; Ann. Cas. 27, 70 Am. Dec. 151 and note.

1912C 252. Notes: 70 Am. Dec. 154; Ann. Cas. And see Food, vol. 11, p. 1116; 1912C 251.

MARKETS, vol. 18, p. 372. Generally 12. Williams v. Sandles, 93 Ohio as to the powers which may constituSt. 92, 112 N. E. 206, Ann. Cas. 1918D tionally be given to a municipal cor154 and note.

poration, see MUNICIPAL CORPORANote: 70 Am. Dec. 154.

TIONS, vol. 19, p. 706 et seq. 13. Weaver v. Fegely, 29 Pa. St. 16. Mobile v. Yuille, 3 Ala. 137, 36 27, 70 Am. Dec. 151 and note. Am. Dec. 441, overruled on another

Notes: 70 Am. Dec. 154; Ann. Cas. point by Huntsville v. Phelps, 27 Ala. 1912C 251.

55; Cartersville v. McGinnis, 142 Ga. And see CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, vol. 71, 82 S. E. 487, Ann. Cas. 19150 6, p. 141 et seq.

1067 and note; Chicago v. Bow14. State v. Merchants’ Exch., 269 man Dairy Co., 234 Ill. 294, 84 Mo. 346, 190 S. W. 903, Ann. Cas. N. E. 913, 123 A. S. R. 100, 14 Ann. 1917E 871 and note; Charleston v. Cas. 700 and note, 17 L.R.A.(N.S.) Rogers, 2 McCord L. (S. C.) 495, 13 684; Chicago v. Schmidinger, 213 Ill. Am. Dec. 751.

167, 90 N. E. 369, 17 Ann. Cas. 614, 15. Mobile v. Yuille, 3 Ala. 137, 36 44 L.R.A.(N.S.) 632 and note; State Am. Dec. 441, overruled on another point by Huntsville v. Phelps, 27 Ala. S. W. 903, Ann. Cas. 1917E 871 and

v. Merchants Exch., 269 Mo. 346, 190 55; People v. Wagner, 86 Mich. 594, 49' N. W. 609, 24 A. S. R. 141 note; O'Maley v. Freeport, 96 Pa. St. and note, 13 L.R.A. 286 and note; 24, 42 Am. Rep. 527. Parker v. Austin, 156 Mich. 573, 121

Notes: 13 L.R.A. 286; 23 L.R.A.

732; N. W. 322, 23 L.R.A.(N.S.) 266 and (N.S.) 267; 51 L.R.A.(N.S.) note; State v. Eck, 121 Minn. 202, 141 Ann. Cas. 1912C 252. N. W. 106, Ann. Cas. 1914C 678 and And see MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS, uote; Sylvester Coal Co. v. St. Louis, vol. 19, pp. 798, 863.

Such an ordinance is not void as in restraint of trade, if it but relate to the regulation of the trade, and the regulation is for the good of the inhabitants of the city, or for the advantage of the trade and improvement of the commodity sold.1: Where an ordinance of the kind now under consideration is clearly within the powers granted to a municipality, the question whether the municipal authorities have selected the best means to accomplish the purpose is a matter with which the courts are not concerned.18 The wisdom of legislation within the power of the municipality to enact is to be decided by the proper municipal authorities, and the fact that one may suffer in his business by the enforcement of an ordinance relating to weights and measures where passed under the power conferred on the municipality does not deprive a city of its right to a proper exercise of it. Nor is the situation affected by the fact that the enforcement of such an ordinance may cause some inconvenience. 19

II. PUBLIC OFFICIALS, INSPECTION AND FEES 5. State Legislation.-In order to provide for the proper enforcement of statutes relating to weights and measures, provisions are frequently inserted therein creating certain oflices and imposing on the incumbents thereof certain specified duties. Legislation of this character, as for instance where it requires commodities to be weighed by the public weigher, is regarded as within the police power of the state 20 and as not violating any common right. So it has been decided that a viatute providing for the weighing of grain by a state weighmaster and making it unlawful for any private individual to issue a weight certificate is a valid exercise of the legislative power." The purpose of such legislation is to secure fair weights for all parties concerned and to protect both the seller and the public.3

6. Municipal Powers. In some states the legislatures have delegated to municipalities the power of determining the necessity of local legislation in regard to the creation of offices in connection with measures having for their object the protection of the public in respect to weights and measures, and such ordinances have been held not to be

17. Mobile v. Yuille, 3 Ala. 137, 36 Notes: 51 L.R.A.(N.S.) 731; Ann. Am. Dec. 441, overruled on another Cas. 1912C 256; Ann. Cas. 1918D 157. point by Huntsville v. Phelps, 27 Ala. 1. State v. Merchants' Exch., 269 55.

Mo. 346, 190 S. W. 903, Ann. Cas. 18. Sylvester Coal Co. v. St. Louis, 1917E 871 and note. 130 Mo. 323, 32 S. W. 649, 51 A. S. Note: Ann. Cas. 1912C 255. R. 566 and note.

2. State v. Merchants' Exch.. 269 19. Cartersville v. McGinnis, 142 Mo. 346, 190 S. W. 903, Ann. Cas. Ga. 71, 82 S. E. 487, Ann. Cas. 19151 1917E 871 and note. 1067 and note.

3. State v. Merchants' Exch., 269 20. State v. Merchants' Exch., 269 Mo. 346, 190 S. W. 903, Ann. Cas. Mo. 346, 190 S. W. 903, Ann. Cas. 1917E 871 and note. 1917E 871 and note.

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