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GUNDLING v. CHICAGO.

decided: April 9, 1900.

GUNDLING
v.
CHICAGO.



ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS.

Author: PECKHAM

[ 177 U.S. Page 183]

 MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM delivered the opinion of the court.

The plaintiff in error was convicted in a police court of the city of Chicago of a violation of an ordinance of that city forbidding the sale of cigarettes by any person without a license, and was fined fifty dollars. From the judgment of conviction he appealed to the Criminal Court of Cook County, where it was affirmed, and thence to the Supreme Court of the State, where it was again affirmed, and he now brings the case here on writ of error.

Sections 1, 2 and 8 of the ordinance referred to read as follows:

"SEC. 1. The mayor of the city of Chicago shall from time to time grant licenses authorizing the sale of cigarettes within the city of Chicago, in the manner following and not otherwise.

"Any person, firm or corporation desiring a license to sell cigarettes shall make written application for that purpose to

[ 177 U.S. Page 184]

     the commissioner of health, in which shall be described the location at which such sales are proposed to be made. Said application shall be accompanied by evidence that the applicant, if a single individual, all the members of the firm if a copartnership, and person or persons in charge of the business, if a corporation, is or are persons of good character and reputation. The commissioner of health shall thereupon submit to the mayor the said application with the evidence aforesaid, with his opinion as to the propriety of granting such license, and if the mayor shall be satisfied that the persons before mentioned are of good character and reputation and are suitable persons to be entrusted with the sale of cigarettes, he shall issue a license in accordance with such application, upon such applicant filing a bond payable to the city of Chicago, with at least two sureties, to be approved by the mayor, in the sum of $500, conditioned that the licensed person, firm or corporation shall faithfully observe and obey all laws of the State of Illinois and ordinances of the city of Chicago now in force or which may hereafter be passed, with reference to cigarettes; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be held to authorize the sale of cigarettes containing opium, morphine, jimson weed, belladonna, glycerine or sugar.

"SEC. 2. Every person, on compliance with the aforesaid requirements and the payment in advance to the city collector, at the rate of $100 per annum, shall receive a license under the corporate seal, signed by the mayor and countersigned by the clerk, which shall authorize the person, firm or corporation therein named to expose for sale, sell or offer for sale cigarettes at the place designated in the license; provided, that no license shall be granted to sell within 200 feet of a school house.

"SEC. 8. Any person who shall hereafter have or keep for sale or expose for sale or offer to sell any cigarettes at any place within the city of Chicago without having first procured the license provided shall be fined not less than fifty dollars and not exceeding two hundred dollars for every violation of this ordinance, and a further penalty of $25 for each and every day the person, firm or corporation persists in such violation after a conviction for the first offence."

[ 177 U.S. Page 185]

     The other sections are not material to this inquiry.

The plaintiff in error made no application to the health commissioner to obtain a license from the mayor in accordance with the above mentioned ordinance. He specially set up in the courts below that the ordinance was invalid, because in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment as depriving him of his property without due process of law. He contended in the state courts that the common council of the city of Chicago had no right to pass the ordinance in question, because no such power was given to it under the general act of the State of Illinois which incorporated the city of Chicago. The Supreme Court of the State, however, in construing that act decided that it did authorize the city ...


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