Civics U.S. Supreme Court says No License Necessary To Drive Automobile On Public Highways/Streets

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Ganado, Oct 29, 2015.


  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    U.S. Supreme Court says No License Necessary To Drive Automobile On Public Highways/Streets.

    U.S. SUPREME COURT AND OTHER HIGH COURT CITATIONS PROVING THAT NO LICENSE IS NECESSARY FOR NORMAL USE OF AN AUTOMOBILE ON COMMON WAYS


    "The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horsedrawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but a common right which he has under his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Under this constitutional guaranty one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his inclination along the public highways or in public places, and while conducting himself in an orderly and decent manner, neither interfering with nor disturbing another's rights, he will be protected, not only in his person, but in his safe conduct."

    Thompson v.Smith, 154 SE 579, 11 American Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, section 329, page 1135 "The right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, is a common right which he has under the right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right, in so doing, to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day, and under the existing modes of travel, includes the right to drive a horse drawn carriage or wagon thereon or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purpose of life and business." -

    Thompson vs. Smith, supra.; Teche Lines vs. Danforth, Miss., 12 S.2d 784 "… the right of the citizen to drive on a public street with freedom from police interference… is a fundamental constitutional right" -White, 97 Cal.App.3d.141, 158 Cal.Rptr. 562, 566-67 (1979) “citizens have a right to drive upon the public streets of the District of Columbia or any other city absent a constitutionally sound reason for limiting their access.”

    Caneisha Mills v. D.C. 2009 “The use of the automobile as a necessary adjunct to the earning of a livelihood in modern life requires us in the interest of realism to conclude that the RIGHT to use an automobile on the public highways partakes of the nature of a liberty within the meaning of the Constitutional guarantees. . .”

    Berberian v. Lussier (1958) 139 A2d 869, 872, See also: Schecter v. Killingsworth, 380 P.2d 136, 140; 93 Ariz. 273 (1963). “The right to operate a motor vehicle [an automobile] upon the public streets and highways is not a mere privilege. It is a right of liberty, the enjoyment of which is protected by the guarantees of the federal and state constitutions.”
    Adams v. City of Pocatello, 416 P.2d 46, 48; 91 Idaho 99 (1966). “A traveler has an equal right to employ an automobile as a means of transportation and to occupy the public highways with other vehicles in common use.”

    Campbell v. Walker, 78 Atl. 601, 603, 2 Boyce (Del.) 41. “The owner of an automobile has the same right as the owner of other vehicles to use the highway,* * * A traveler on foot has the same right to the use of the public highways as an automobile or any other vehicle.”

    Simeone v. Lindsay, 65 Atl. 778, 779; Hannigan v. Wright, 63 Atl. 234, 236. "The RIGHT of the citizen to DRIVE on the public street with freedom from police interference, unless he is engaged in suspicious conduct associated in some manner with criminality is a FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT which must be protected by the courts." People v. Horton 14 Cal. App. 3rd 667 (1971) “The right to make use of an automobile as a vehicle of travel long the highways of the state, is no longer an open question. The owners thereof have the same rights in the roads and streets as the drivers of horses or those riding a bicycle or traveling in some other vehicle.”

    House v. Cramer, 112 N.W. 3; 134 Iowa 374; Farnsworth v. Tampa Electric Co. 57 So. 233, 237, 62 Fla. 166. “The automobile may be used with safety to others users of the highway, and in its proper use upon the highways there is an equal right with the users of other vehicles properly upon the highways. The law recognizes such right of use upon general principles.

    Brinkman v Pacholike, 84 N.E. 762, 764, 41 Ind. App. 662, 666. “The law does not denounce motor carriages, as such, on public ways. They have an equal right with other vehicles in common use to occupy the streets and roads. It is improper to say that the driver of the horse has rights in the roads superior to the driver of the automobile. Both have the right to use the easement.”

    Indiana Springs Co. v. Brown, 165 Ind. 465, 468. U.S. Supreme Court says No License Necessary To Drive Automobile On Public Highways/Streets No License Is Necessary Copy and Share Freely YHVH.name 2 2 “A highway is a public way open and free to any one who has occasion to pass along it on foot or with any kind of vehicle.” Schlesinger v. City of Atlanta, 129 S.E. 861, 867, 161 Ga. 148, 159;

    Holland v. Shackelford, 137 S.E. 2d 298, 304, 220 Ga. 104; Stavola v. Palmer, 73 A.2d 831, 838, 136 Conn. 670 “There can be no question of the right of automobile owners to occupy and use the public streets of cities, or highways in the rural districts.” Liebrecht v. Crandall, 126 N.W. 69, 110 Minn. 454, 456 "The word ‘automobile’ connotes a pleasure vehicle designed for the transportation of persons on highways."

    -American Mutual Liability Ins. Co., vs. Chaput, 60 A.2d 118, 120; 95 NH 200 Motor Vehicle: 18 USC Part 1 Chapter 2 section 31 definitions: "(6) Motor vehicle. - The term "motor vehicle" means every description of carriage or other contrivance propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used for commercial purposes on the highways…" 10) The term "used for commercial purposes" means the carriage of persons or property for any fare, fee, rate, charge or other consideration, or directly or indirectly in connection with any business, or other undertaking intended for profit. "A motor vehicle or automobile for hire is a motor vehicle, other than an automobile stage, used for the transportation of persons for which remuneration is received."

    -International Motor Transit Co. vs. Seattle, 251 P. 120 The term ‘motor vehicle’ is different and broader than the word ‘automobile.’"

    -City of Dayton vs. DeBrosse, 23 NE.2d 647, 650; 62 Ohio App. 232 "Thus self-driven vehicles are classified according to the use to which they are put rather than according to the means by which they are propelled" - Ex Parte Hoffert, 148 NW 20 "

    The Supreme Court, in Arthur v. Morgan, 112 U.S. 495, 5 S.Ct. 241, 28 L.Ed. 825, held that carriages were properly classified as household effects, and we see no reason that automobiles should not be similarly disposed of."

    Hillhouse v United States, 152 F. 163, 164 (2nd Cir. 1907). "...a citizen has the right to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon..." State vs. Johnson, 243 P. 1073; Cummins vs. Homes, 155 P. 171; Packard vs. Banton, 44 S.Ct. 256; Hadfield vs. Lundin, 98 Wash 516, Willis vs. Buck, 263 P. l 982;

    Barney vs. Board of Railroad Commissioners, 17 P.2d 82 "The use of the highways for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common and fundamental Right of which the public and the individual cannot be rightfully deprived."

    Chicago Motor Coach vs. Chicago, 169 NE 22; Ligare vs. Chicago, 28 NE 934; Boon vs. Clark, 214 SSW 607; 25 Am.Jur. (1st) Highways Sect.163 "the right of the Citizen to travel upon the highway and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business… is the usual and ordinary right of the Citizen, a right common to all." -

    Ex Parte Dickey, (Dickey vs. Davis), 85 SE 781 “Every Citizen has an unalienable RIGHT to make use of the public highways of the state; every Citizen has full freedom to travel from place to place in the enjoyment of life and liberty.” People v. Nothaus, 147 Colo. 210. "No State government entity has the power to allow or deny passage on the highways, byways, nor waterways... transporting his vehicles and personal property for either recreation or business, but by being subject only to local regulation i.e., safety, caution, traffic lights, speed limits, etc. Travel is not a privilege requiring licensing, vehicle registration, or forced insurances."

    Chicago Coach Co. v. City of Chicago, 337 Ill. 200, 169 N.E. 22. "Traffic infractions are not a crime." People v. Battle "Persons faced with an unconstitutional licensing law which purports to require a license as a prerequisite to exercise of right... may ignore the law and engage with impunity in exercise of such right."

    Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham 394 U.S. 147 (1969). U.S. Supreme Court says No License Necessary To Drive Automobile On Public Highways/Streets No License Is Necessary Copy and Share Freely YHVH.name 3 "The word 'operator' shall not include any person who solely transports his own property and who transports no persons or property for hire or compensation."

    Statutes at Large California Chapter 412 p.83 "Highways are for the use of the traveling public, and all have the right to use them in a reasonable and proper manner; the use thereof is an inalienable right of every citizen." Escobedo v. State 35 C2d 870 in 8 Cal Jur 3d p.27 “RIGHT -- A legal RIGHT, a constitutional RIGHT means a RIGHT protected by the law, by the constitution, but government does not create the idea of RIGHT or original RIGHTS; it acknowledges them. . . “ Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1914, p. 2961. “Those who have the right to do something cannot be licensed for what they already have right to do as such license would be meaningless.”

    City of Chicago v Collins 51 NE 907, 910. “A license means leave to do a thing which the licensor could prevent.” Blatz Brewing Co. v. Collins, 160 P.2d 37, 39; 69 Cal. A. 2d 639. “The object of a license is to confer a right or power, which does not exist without it.”

    Payne v. Massey (19__) 196 SW 2nd 493, 145 Tex 273. “The court makes it clear that a license relates to qualifications to engage in profession, business, trade or calling; thus, when merely traveling without compensation or profit, outside of business enterprise or adventure with the corporate state, no license is required of the natural individual traveling for personal business, pleasure and transportation.”

    Wingfield v. Fielder 2d Ca. 3d 213 (1972). “If [state] officials construe a vague statute unconstitutionally, the citizen may take them at their word, and act on the assumption that the statute is void.” -

    Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham 394 U.S. 147 (1969). "With regard particularly to the U.S. Constitution, it is elementary that a Right secured or protected by that document cannot be overthrown or impaired by any state police authority." Donnolly vs. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 US 540; Lafarier vs. Grand Trunk R.R. Co., 24 A. 848; O'Neil vs. Providence Amusement Co., 108 A. 887. "The right to travel (called the right of free ingress to other states, and egress from them) is so fundamental that it appears in the Articles of Confederation, which governed our society before the Constitution."

    (Paul v. Virginia). "[T]he right to travel freely from State to State ... is a right broadly assertable against private interference as well as governmental action. Like the right of association, it is a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all." (U.S. Supreme Court,

    Shapiro v. Thompson). EDGERTON, Chief Judge: “Iron curtains have no place in a free world. ...'Undoubtedly the right of locomotion, the right to remove from one place to another according to inclination, is an attribute of personal liberty, and the right, ordinarily, of free transit from or through the territory of any State is a right secured by the Constitution.'

    Williams v. Fears, 179 U.S. 270, 274, 21 S.Ct. 128, 45 L.Ed. 186. “Our nation has thrived on the principle that, outside areas of plainly harmful conduct, every American is left to shape his own life as he thinks best, do what he pleases, go where he pleases.” Id., at 197.

    Kent vs. Dulles see Vestal, Freedom of Movement, 41 Iowa L.Rev. 6, 13—14. “The validity of restrictions on the freedom of movement of particular individuals, both substantively and procedurally, is precisely the sort of matter that is the peculiar domain of the courts.” Comment, 61 Yale L.J. at page 187. “a person detained for an investigatory stop can be questioned but is “not obliged to answer, answers may not be compelled, and refusal to answer furnishes no basis for an arrest.”Justice White, Hiibel “Automobiles have the right to use the highways of the State on an equal footing with other vehicles.”

    Cumberland Telephone. & Telegraph Co. v Yeiser 141 Kentucy 15. “Each citizen has the absolute right to choose for himself the mode of conveyance he desires, whether it be by wagon or carriage, by horse, motor or electric car, or by bicycle, or astride of a horse, subject to the sole condition that he will observe all those requirements that are known as the law of the road.”

    Swift v City of Topeka, 43 U.S. Supreme Court says No License Necessary To Drive Automobile On Public Highways/Streets No License Is Necessary Copy and Share Freely YHVH.name 4 Kansas 671, 674. The Supreme Court said in U.S. v Mersky (1960) 361 U.S. 431: An administrative regulation, of course, is not a "statute." A traveler on foot has the same right to use of the public highway as an automobile or any other vehicle.

    Cecchi v. Lindsay, 75 Atl. 376, 377, 1 Boyce (Del.) 185. Automotive vehicles are lawful means of conveyance and have equal rights upon the streets with horses and carriages.

    Chicago Coach Co. v. City of Chicago, 337 Ill. 200, 205; See also: Christy v. Elliot, 216 Ill. 31; Ward v. Meredith, 202 Ill. 66; Shinkle v. McCullough, 116 Ky. 960; Butler v. Cabe, 116 Ark. 26, 28-29. …automobiles are lawful vehicles and have equal rights on the highways with horses and carriages. Daily v. Maxwell, 133 S.W. 351, 354.

    Matson v. Dawson, 178 N.W. 2d 588, 591. A farmer has the same right to the use of the highways of the state, whether on foot or in a motor vehicle, as any other citizen.

    Draffin v. Massey, 92 S.E.2d 38, 42. Persons may lawfully ride in automobiles, as they may lawfully ride on bicycles. Doherty v. Ayer, 83 N.E. 677, 197 Mass. 241, 246;

    Molway v. City of Chicago, 88 N.E. 485, 486, 239 Ill. 486; Smiley v. East St. Louis Ry. Co., 100 N.E. 157, 158. "A soldier's personal automobile is part of his ‘household goods[.]’

    U.S. v Bomar, C.A.5(Tex.), 8 F.3d 226, 235" 19A Words and Phrases - Permanent Edition (West) pocket part 94. "t is a jury question whether ... an automobile ... is a motor vehicle[.]"

    United States v Johnson, 718 F.2d 1317, 1324 (5th Cir. 1983). Other right to use an automobile cases: -

    EDWARDS VS. CALIFORNIA, 314 U.S. 160 -

    TWINING VS NEW JERSEY, 211 U.S. 78 - WILLIAMS VS. FEARS, 179 U.S. 270, AT 274 - CRANDALL VS. NEVADA, 6 WALL. 35, AT 43-44 - THE PASSENGER CASES, 7 HOWARD 287, AT 492 - U.S. VS. GUEST, 383 U.S. 745, AT 757-758 (1966) -

    GRIFFIN VS. BRECKENRIDGE, 403 U.S. 88, AT 105-106 (1971) - CALIFANO VS. TORRES, 435 U.S. 1, AT 4, note 6 -

    SHAPIRO VS. THOMPSON, 394 U.S. 618 (1969) - CALIFANO VS. AZNAVORIAN, 439 U.S. 170, AT 176 (1978) Look the above citations up in American Jurisprudence. Some citations may be paraphrased.

    Has anyone else seen this ? I haven't had time to verify the citations
     
  2. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2015
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Now....what will it do to ALL those driving regulations, that tell you what you can and can not do while driving?
     
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  4. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    some no offense @kellory and I have to ask. Are you willing to engage in a discussion? or was that a rhetorical question?
     
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Conversation. If the act of driving requires no qualifier, (other than don't interfere with other folks right to travel) then speed limits, signalling, signage all go bye-bye. U-turn any place you please, not just where allowed. Fees, road taxes, gas taxes, all go away.
     
  6. Legion489

    Legion489 Shining the Light of Truth

    Try googling Larry "Liberty" Bell to see what happens to you when you actually use your GOD GIVEN RIGHTS in this country.
     
  7. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    Your right to travel on the public highways ends when it infringes upon the right of another to pursue the same activity. This is where the traffic laws can be imposed. Effectively violation of another's right to travel safely in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
     
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  8. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    I think that as long as you abide by the normal rules of the road.... you would not be subject to the authorities...hence:
     
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  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Absolutely true. I've been privy to this information for over twenty years. The only downside to it is that we live in a militarized police state, and police generally do not respond kindly to folks driving around without the proper license plate, stickers and licenses. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to count all the numerous times citizens have been murdered by police over an argument about rights while at a routine traffic stop. If people wish to chance being pulled over everywhere they go and questioned by police and risk the dangers involved, the least of which would include you going to jail until it can get sorted out and your car impounded --more power to them.

    I do agree with the LAW, that it is an inalienable RIGHT to travel freely, provided we do not interfere with others on the roadways or cause damage to property in the process, and should be left alone.
     
  10. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    I too, have known of this for decades--but like many other rights that have been run roughshod over by the State, it would be both dangerous and expensive to assert that right.

    Income tax is another example. No one living within the US is legally required to pay income taxes. But
    it's worth your life to try avoiding the "voluntary" payment.
     
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  11. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Actually, all federated people are subject to the income tax. That would be anybody employed by the federal gvmt or people receiving social security benefits as a few examples. That also includes people living in territories of the US such as DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, etc. That leaves an awful lot of people being robbed by the feds, however.

    The drivers lic situation in this country is the best example of why government is immoral & untenable. You are not free, never were, most likely never will be. It's a saddening admission but we each must come to this conclusion in our own time. Too bad so many are effectively indoctrinated into the state's power structure that they can never break the chains of their own oppression. Just another aspect of the human condition as it now stands.
     
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  12. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I've always thought fighting the driver's license and taxing was not worth the time and money you would have to spend to be right about it. Just go around it.
     
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    A good point was made by Brokor, above.... You do NOT need a License to Drive, as long as you do NOT violate an others "Similar Right".... HOWEVER, if you DO VIOLATE, a Traffic Statute, then you had better have a "License to Drive" on your Person, or the Charge of "Violating an Others Right, of Free Travel, without a License to do so" will be added to your list of Criminal Offenses.... sort of a Catch22, in the Law... If you do NOT Offend, No License is REQUIRED.... The License is REQUIRED, if you should happen TO OFFEND.... So, It isn't a License to Drive, it IS a License, to Offend, and get caught.....
     
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  14. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    The right to travel is the same as the right to bear arms...each should be done responsibly so as not to endanger the life, liberty and property of others. So just like I follow the rules of firearms safety, I follow the rules of the road. Having a right to do something is one issue...exercising that right in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others is a whole nuther enchilada.
     
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  15. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    Heh, there is the Statist Catch-22...the traffic statutes require you to have a license...so by driving without a license you are violating the statutes and thus endangering others.
     
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  16. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Yep, drivers licenses are a fairly recent document. I remember reading a 1938 owner's manual where driving and operating instructions were included...without the requirement for a license. Of course, this was also prior to the Interstate highway system, seat belts, or even turn signals and backup lights. Heck, two brake lights were a fairly new item then...
     
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  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    In 1966, seat belts were an option on my f-100 Ford p/u
     
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  18. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Looks to be a mismash of various conflicts.

    Some so old that they include the rights of Horse and Autos on the roads of the day in the early 1900s.

    If in doubt pull up each case and review the what and when. Which is what i did on a few.

    Basically, as I see it, just more BS on the net.

    Not to mention that the "courts" sourced are stated to be "US" when actually they might be a State Court decision.


    HK
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
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  19. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Look at the Date and the Court.

    HK.

    Thompson v. Smith, Chief of Police.

    Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia.
    155 Va. 367, 154 S.E. 579, 71 A.L.R. 604.
    Sept. 12, 1930.

    1. Automobile 133.
    Ordinance provision that driver's permit should be perpetual
    held not to prevent valid amendment, applicable to permits already
    issued, providing for revocations.

    The ordinance provided that a permit granted thereunder should
    be perpetual unless revoked as provided "in this chapter," but
    there was not provision made in such chapter for revocation
    thereof. Permittee contended that his permit which had been issued
    prior to the amendment could not be revoked under the amendment.

    2. Municipal corporations 661(1).
    Power to control and regulate use of streets is continuing
    power exercisable whenever city thinks proper.

    3. Automobiles 133.
    Issuance and revocation of drivers' permits is exercise of
    police power (Const. 1902, sec. 159).

    The issuance and revocation of such permit by a city is merely
    an exercise
    [580]
    of the police power of the state to regulate the use of public
    highways in the interest of public safety and welfare, delegated
    to the city. Const. 1902, sec. 159, provides that "the exercise
    of the police power of the state shall never be abridged."

    4. Automobiles 144.
    Judge of municipal court, exercising function, under
    ordinance, of passing on application for reinstatement of revoked
    driver's permit, is acting as administrative, not judicial,
    officer.

    In acting upon the application for reinstatement, the judge
    of the municipal court is acting in an administrative capacity and
    his discretionary power is the same as that of the chief of police,
    except that the exercise of his discretion may supersede that of
    the chief of police.

    5. Automobiles 133.
    Ordinance provision authorizing driver's permit reinstatement
    by municipal judge *held* void.

    6. Constitutional law 82.
    Citizen's right to travel upon public highways and transport
    his property thereon in ordinary course of life and business is
    common right.

    The right of a citizen so to do is that which he has under his
    right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire property, and to pursue
    happiness and safety.

    7. Automobiles 4.
    Highways 168.
    Citizen's right to travel upon public highways includes right
    to use usual conveyances of time, including horse-drawn carriage,
    or automobile, for ordinary purposes of life and business.

    8. Municipal corporations 703(1).
    Citizen's right to travel upon public highway and use usual
    conveyances in so doing is not mere privilege which city may permit
    or prohibit at will.

    9. Municipal corporations 703(1).
    City, in regulating, under police power, citizen's right to
    travel upon public streets, may not arbitrarily or unreasonably
    prohibit or restrict it, nor permit one, and refuse another of like
    qualifications, under like conditions, to exercise it.

    10. Automobiles 133.
    Cities may regulate exercise of right to drive private
    automobile on streets by granting, refusing, and revoking permits,
    but only under rules of general application.

    Such permits may not be arbitrarily refused or revoked or
    permitted to be held by some and refused to others of like
    qualifications, under like circumstances and conditions.

    11. Constitutional law 62.
    Legislative function to determine and declare law may not be
    delegated to executive or administrative officers.

    12. Municipal corporations 591.
    City may invest administrative officer with reasonable
    discretion, especially in carrying out police power, provided
    discretion is ministerial.

    13. Constitutional law 62.
    In regulating exercise of common right, legislative body must
    declare policy of law and fix legal principles to control in given
    cases, but administrative body may be invested with power to
    ascertain facts and conditions to which policy and principles
    apply.

    14. Municipal corporations 662.
    Portion of ordinance authorizing police chief to revoke
    driver's permit who, in his opinion, becomes unfit to drive *held*
    void.

    The term "unfit to drive an automobile on the streets of the
    city," as used in the ordinance, is clearly intended to extend
    beyond what can be said the technical knowledge or the sense and
    experience of men have rendered reasonably certain. That portion
    of the ordinance authorizing the chief of police to revoke the
    permit of any driver who, "in his opinion," becomes unfit to drive
    an automobile on the streets of the city, fails to declare the
    policy of the law and fix the legal principles which are to control
    the discretion of the chief of police in the revocation of licenses
    in determining what constitutes unfitness to drive an automobile
    on the city streets; and is void because delegating powers
    essentially legislative to an administrative officer.

    15. Injunction 77(2).
    Where ordinance provision authorizing police chief to revoke
    driver's permit was void, provision for application to municipal
    court judge for reinstatement *held* not adequate remedy at law,
    as regards injunction.

    16. Equity 3.
    Invalidity or unconstitutionality of statute or ordinance is
    not, of itself, ground of equity jurisdiction.

    A court of equity has not jurisdiction to enjoin acts simply
    because they are at-
    [581]
    tempted or threatened under color of an unconstitutional or void
    statute or ordinance. Further circumstances must be shown which
    bring the case within some recognized ground of equity
    jurisdiction.

    17. Equity 3, 46.
    Inadequacy of legal remedy and irreparable injury are
    well-recognized grounds of equity jurisdiction.

    18. Injunction 85(2).
    Injunction lies against enforcement of void statute or
    ordinance, where legal remedy is not as complete or adequate as
    injunction, or where threatened or attempted enforcement will do
    irreparable injury to person in interfering with exercise of common
    fundamental personal right

    By "irreparable injury" is meant an injury of such a nature
    that fair and reasonable redress may not be had in a court of law
    and that to refuse the injunction would be a denial of justice.

    19. Injunction 85(2).
    Injunction lies to restrain chief of police from enforcing
    invalid ordinance provision authorizing him to revoke driver's
    permit.

    The only remedies at law of the permittee were either to
    proceed by petition for mandamus to compel the police chief to
    restore his permit, or to wait until arrested upon the charge of
    driving without a permit and interpose the defense that the
    provision was void. Neither of these remedies was as complete and
    adequate as a suit for injunction to protect complainant against
    wrongful interference. The bill alleged that complainant "will
    sustain irreparable injury in his pursuance of happiness and in
    acquiring and the use of his property."

    Appeal from Corporation Court of Lynchburg.

    Bill by W. L. Thompson against D. C. Smith, Chief of Police
    of the City of Lynchburg. From a decree dismissing the bill upon
    demurrer, plaintiff appeals.
    Reversed and remanded.

    A. S. Hester, of Lynchburg, for appellant.
    T. G. Hobbs, of Lynchburg, for appellee.

    EPES, J.
    W. L. Thompson appeals from a decree entered on March 15,
    1929, by the corporation court of the city of Lynchburg dismissing
    upon demurrer a bill in chancery filed by him against D. C. Smith,
    chief of police of said city, in which he prays that said chief of
    police be enjoined from interfering with his operation of his
    private passenger automobile on the streets of Lynchburg, and that
    the chief of police be compelled to restore to him his permit to
    operate a private automobile on said streets, which permit it is
    alleged the chief of police has revoked, acting under the
    italicized provision of subsection c of section 134 of the General
    Ordinances of the City of Lynchburg below quoted.
    Section 134 of the General Ordinances of the City of
    Lynchburg, as amended by an ordinance adopted September 22, 1925,
    reads as follows:

    "(a) It shall be unlawful for any person (other than
    transients remaining in the city not exceeding seven days) to drive
    or operate any motor vehicle upon the streets of the city until a
    permit so to do has been issued to such person by the chief of
    police.
    "(b) Any person desiring to secure such permit shall apply
    in person therefor to the chief of police, who shall cause such
    applicant to be carefully examined as to his or her ability to
    safely and properly operate motor vehicles upon the streets of the
    city, and as to his or her knowledge of the traffic laws of the
    state of Virginia and City of Lynchburg. And no permit shall be
    issued to such person unless such examination shall disclose that
    he or she possesses such ability and knowledge as, in the judgment
    of the chief of police, qualifies such person to receive such
    permit. And in no event shall any such permit be issued to any
    person under the age of sixteen years. * * *
    "(c) The person to whom such permit shall be issued, shall
    pay a fee of $1.00 therefor; and such permit shall always be
    carried by such person while operating any motor vehicle upon the
    streets of the city and shall be presented by such person to any
    police officer upon request. Such permit shall be perpetual unless
    revoked as provided in this chapter. Conviction of a felony, or
    of violating the prohibition law, shall revoke such permit for a
    period of twelve months and conviction of the violations of the
    traffic laws three times within one year shall revoke such permit
    for such time as the judge of the Municipal Court may direct, not
    to exceed one year. *The Chief of Police is authorized and
    directed to revoke the permit of any driver who, in his opinion,
    becomes unfit to drive an automobile on the streets of the city,*
    with the right to the holder of such permit to apply to the judge
    of the Municipal Court to have his permit reinstated."

    Prior to said amendment of September 28, 1925, section 134
    read just as it now does, except that it did not contain the last
    two sen-
    [582]
    tences of subsection c, which were added by said amendment.
    After setting forth the said ordinance, the amendment thereof,
    and that Thompson had been issued the permit revoked by the chief
    of police prior to September 28, 1825, the bill alleges the
    following facts:
    When said permit was issued to him, Thompson then possessed,
    and has always since possessed, all the requirements, ability, and
    knowledge required by said ordinance as a prerequisite to the
    issuance of a permit to drive an automobile on the streets of
    Lynchburg. Thompson is the owner of the automobile which he was
    driving at the time his permit was revoked, and had been driving
    an automobile on the streets of Lynchburg for more than ten years
    without any complaint having been made as to his ability to drive
    an automobile safely and properly. He has not become in any way
    incapable of driving an automobile since his permit was granted.
    He has not been convicted of any offense for the conviction of
    which said ordinance authorizes the revocation of his permit.
    The circumstances of the revocation of Thompson's permit were
    these:
    Prior to the revocation of his permit he had been twice
    convicted before the judge of the municipal court of the city of
    Lynchburg of speeding on the city streets, and on each conviction
    was fined $50. He did not appear to make any defense on either
    occasion. On the second trial the judge of the municipal court at
    first ordered Thompson's permit revoked; but, when it was brought
    to his attention that the ordinance authorized him to revoke a
    permit for a conviction of violating the traffic laws only when the
    defendant has been convicted three times within one year, he so
    modified his judgment as to omit the revocation of the permit.
    Thompson continued to drive his car in the city of Lynchburg
    for some time after said conviction without any interference from
    the police; but in November, 1928, he was summoned to appear before
    the judge of the municipal court on the charge of driving a car
    without a permit. When the case was heard Thompson claimed to have
    a permit, and testified he had not received any notice from any one
    that his permit had been revoked. The chief of police testified
    that he had written Thompson that his permit had been revoked, but
    that he did not know whether Thompson had gotten the notice or not.
    The judge of the municipal court held that Thompson could not
    be convicted on this testimony of driving without a license or
    permit; but instructed the chief of police to notify him there and
    then that his permit was revoked. The chief of police then and
    there in open court notified Thompson that his permit was revoked;
    but no reason was given at the time for the revocation of his
    permit by either the judge of the municipal court or by the chief
    of police.
    The bill charges that the chief of police in revoking this
    permit acted under the italicized provision of subsection c of
    section 134 of the General Ordinances, as amended, hereinbefore
    quoted; and that the chief of police was without authority to
    revoke said permit for the following reasons:
    (1) Thompson had acquired a vested right in his permit prior
    to the time the ordinance was amended so as to provide for the
    revocation of permits; and, if this amendment is intended to apply
    to permits granted before it was adopted, it is void, because it
    violates section 58 of the Constitution of Virginia which prohibits
    the passage of ex post facto laws or laws impairing the obligation
    of contracts.
    (2) The provision authorizing the chief of police "to revoke
    the permit of any driver who, *in his opinion,* becomes unfit to
    drive an automobile on the streets of the city" is void, because
    it is a delegation of legislative power to an administrative
    officer, in that it authorizes the chief of police to revoke a
    permit whenever, *in his opinion,* the holder thereof has done or
    omitted to do something, the doing or omission of which the chief
    of police thinks renders the holder unfit to drive an automobile
    on the streets of the city, without prescribing any uniform rule,
    applicable to all persons alike, as to what constitutes unfitness
    to drive an automobile on the streets of the city, or laying down
    any rule for the guidance and control of the chief of police in
    determining what constitutes unfitness to drive an automobile on
    the streets of the city.
    The bill further alleges that, if Thompson be deprived of the
    right to drive his automobile on the streets of the city, "he will
    sustain irreparable injury in his pursuance of happiness and in
    acquiring and the use of his property."
    The sole ground of demurrer stated is that "the bill on its
    face shows that the plaintiff has a remedy at law to have his
    rights in this case determined, in that the ordinance set forth in
    said bill provides that the plaintiff shall have the right to apply
    to the judge of the Municipal Court to have his permit reinstated
    and that said plaintiff has failed to exercise his legal right and
    cannot apply for an injunction until he has exhausted his legal
    remedy." The trial court sustained this ground of demurrer and
    dismissed the bill.
    [1-3] The contention made by the appellant of the ordinance
    under which his permit was granted provided that it should "be
    perpetual unless revoked as provided in this chapter," and that,
    as no provision was made in said chapter for revocation thereof,
    there-
    [583]
    fore, the city could not thereafter by amendment of the ordinance
    provide for revocation of his permit, is not well made. The power
    of a city to control and regulate the use of its streets is a
    continuing power to be exercised as often and whenever the city may
    think proper. Washington, etc., Ry. Co. v. City Council of
    Alexandria, 98 Va. 344, 36 S.E. 385. The issuance and revocation
    of such permits by a city is merely a means of exercising the
    police power of the state delegated to the city to regulate the use
    of the public highways in the interest of the public safety and
    welfare. The Constitution of Virginia expressly provides that "the
    exercise of the police power of the State shall never be abridged."
    Const. Va. sec. 159.
    [4, 5] But the appellant contends that the provision of this
    ordinance authorizing the chief of police "to revoke the permit of
    any driver who, in his opinion, becomes unfit to drive an
    automobile on the streets of the city," is void, because it is a
    delegation of legislative power to an administrative officer. If
    this contention is good, then the ground of demurrer relied by the
    appellee is not good.
    When acting upon an application for the reinstatement of a
    permit revoked by the chief of police, the judge of the municipal
    court is acting as an administrative officer, and not in a judicial
    capacity; and his discretionary power is the same as that of the
    chief of police, except that the exercise of his discretion may
    supersede that of the chief of police. He is controlled by no more
    specific definition of what constitutes being unfit to drive an
    automobile on the streets of the city or rule for determining what
    constitutes such unfitness than is the chief of police. Therefore,
    if the provisions of the ordinance authorizing the chief of police
    to revoke a permit be void because it is a delegation of
    legislative powers to an administrative officer and vests an
    arbitrary and uncontrolled discretion in the chief of police, the
    provisions of the ordinance authorizing the exercise of the same
    discretion by the judge of the municipal court upon an application
    for reinstatement of the permit is also void (State ex rel. Makris
    v. Superior Court, 113 Wash. 296, 193 P. 845, 12 A.L.R. 1428); and
    the provision of the ordinance that the person whose permit has
    been revoked by the chief of police may apply to the judge of the
    municipal court for a reinstatement thereof cannot constitute an
    adequate remedy at law.
    [6-8] The right of a citizen to travel upon the public
    highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary
    course of life and business is a common right which he has under
    his right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess
    property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the
    right in so doing to sue the ordinary and usual conveyances of the
    day; and under the existing modes of travel includes the right to
    drive a horse-drawn carriage or wagon thereon, or to operate an
    automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purposes of life and
    business. It is not a mere privilege, like the privilege of moving
    a house in the street, operating a business stand in the street,
    or transporting persons or property for hire along the street,
    which a city may permit or prohibit at will.
    [9] The exercise of such a common right the city may, under
    its police power, regulate in the interest of the public safety and
    welfare; but it may not arbitrarily or unreasonably prohibit or
    restrict it, nor may it permit one to exercise it and refuse to
    permit another of like qualifications, under like conditions and
    circumstances, to exercise it. Taylor v. Smith, 140 Va. 217, 124
    S.E. 259; Ex parte Dickey, 76 W.Va. 576, 85 S.E. 781, L.R.A. 1915F,
    840; Hadfield v. Lundin, 98 Wash. 657, 168 P. 516, L.R.A. 1918D,
    909, Ann. Cas. 1918C, 942.
    [10] The regulation of the exercise of the right to drive a
    private automobile on the streets of the city may be accomplished
    in part by the city by granting, refusing, and revoking, under
    rules of general application, permits to drive an automobile on its
    streets; but such permits may not be arbitrarily refused or
    revoked, or permitted to be held by some and refused to others of
    like qualifications, under like circumstances and conditions.
    It has been said that, when the state or a city has the power
    to prohibit the doing of an act altogether, it has the power to
    permit the doing of the act upon any condition, or subject to any
    regulation, however arbitrary or capricious it may be; and may
    lawfully delegate to executive or administrative officers an
    uncontrolled and arbitrary discretion as to granting and revoking
    permits or licenses to do such acts. Taylor v. Smith, 140 Va. 217,
    124 S.E. 259, 263; State ex rel. Crumpton v. Montgomery, 177
    Ala.221, 59 So. 294; State v. Gray, 61 Conn. 39, 22 A. 675; City
    of St. Joseph v. Levin, 128 Mo. 588, 31 S.W. 101, 49 Am. St. Rep.
    577; Brown v. Stubbs, 128 Md. 129, 97 A. 227.
    This doctrine has been pronounced most often in cases
    involving the granting, refusing, and revoking of licenses or
    permits to sell intoxicating liquors, or to do other things which
    because of their character are, or tend to be, injurious, as, for
    instance, keeping a gambling house or a bawdyhouse, or operating
    a junk or pawn shop; and it has also been applied to cases
    involving permits or licenses to transport persons or property for
    hire along the streets. See Taylor v. Smith, supra, and cases
    there cited. But this doctrine has no application to permits
    issued for the purpose of regulating the exercise of the common
    right to operate a private automo-
    [584]
    bile on the streets of a city in the usual and ordinary way to
    transport the driver's person and property.
    [11] It is a fundamental principle of our system of
    government that the rights of men are to be determined by the law
    itself, and not by the let or leave of administrative officers or
    bureaus. This principle ought not to be surrendered for
    convenience or in effect nullified for the sake of expediency. It
    is the prerogative and function of the legislative branch of the
    government, whether state or municipal, to determine and declare
    what the law shall be, and the legislative branch of the government
    may not divest itself of this function or delegate it to executive
    or administrative officers.
    [12] This does not mean, however, that no discretion can be
    left to administrative officers in administering the law.
    Government could not be left to the judgment and discretion of
    administrative officers to accomplish in detail what is authorized
    or required by law in general terms. Without this power
    legislation would become either oppressive or inefficient. There
    would be confusion in the laws, and, in an effort to detail and
    particularize, the law would miss sufficiency both on provision and
    detail. Block v. Chicago, 239 Ill. 251, 87 N.E. 1011, 130 Am. St.
    Rep. 219; Mutual Film Corp. v. Ohio Indus. Comm., 236 U.S. 239, 35
    S.Ct. 387, 59 L.Ed. 552, Ann. Cas. 1916C, 296. This is
    particularly true where the discretion to be exercised by
    administrative officers relates to police regulations designed to
    protect the public morals, health, safety, and general welfare.
    As said by Burks, J., in Taylor v. Smith, supra: "A city may, in
    the execution of its police power, invest its administrative and
    executive officers with a reasonable discretion in the performance
    of duties devolved upon them to that end, whenever it is necessary
    for the safety and welfare of the public." But, it should be
    added, the reasonable discretion which may be vested in the
    administrative officers is limited to a discretion in its essence
    ministerial and not legislative, though it may be such as may be
    exercised by the Legislature.
    In principle, legislation and administration are quite
    distinct powers; but in practical application the line which
    separates their exercise is not clearly marked or easily defined.
    However, in their definition in practical application lies the
    difference between government by legislation and government by
    bureaucracy, which, though contrary to the genius of our
    government, some courts have gone far towards sustaining.
    The decisions of the various courts, and sometimes of the same
    court, are in conflict as to what constitutes a delegation of
    legislative power to administrative officers and bureaus. The
    majority of the cases lay down the rule that statutes or ordinances
    vesting discretion in administrative officers and bureaus must lay
    down rules and tests to guide and control them in the exercise of
    the discretion granted in order to be valid; but several courts
    apply the rule with varying degree of strictness. Other cases go
    so far in sustaining, especially in cases involving police
    regulation, grants of discretionary powers to administrative
    officers and bureaus without prescribing any definite rule or
    specified conditions to which the officers must conform, as, in
    effect, to substitute for government by legislative government by
    administrative officers and bureaus. For a collection of the cases
    on this subject, see note in 12 A.L.R. page 1435 et seq.
    [13] Where a statute or ordinance assumes to regulate the
    exercise of a common right such as that here involved, by requiring
    a permit for the exercise thereof, which is to be granted or
    refused and may be revoked by an administrative officer in his
    discretion, the correct principles for determining whether it is
    void because it delegates legislative power to the administrative
    officer are stated by the court in Mutual Film Corp. v. Ohio
    Industrial Commission, 236 U.S. 239, 35 S.Ct. 387, 392, 59 L.Ed.
    552, Ann. Cas. 1916C, 296, in the following language: "The
    legislature must declare the policy of the law and fix the legal
    principles which are to control in given cases; but an
    administrative body may be invested with the power to ascertain the
    facts and conditions to which the policy and principles apply."
    Mere matters of detail within the policy and the legal
    principles and standards established by the statute or ordinance
    may properly be left to administrative discretion; for the
    determination of such matters of detail is more essentially
    ministerial than legislative. In declaring the policy of the law
    and fixing the legal principles and standards which are to control
    in the administration of the law, general terms which get precision
    from the technical knowledge or sense and experience of men and
    thereby become reasonably certain may be used; and an
    administrative officer or bureau may be invested with the power to
    ascertain and determine whether the qualifications, facts, or
    conditions comprehended in and required by such general terms
    exist, and whether the provisions of the law so fixed and declared
    have been complied with in accordance with the generally accepted
    meaning of the words. Mutual Film Corp. v. Ohio Industrial
    Commission, supra; Yee Bow v. Cleveland, 99 Ohio St. 269, 124 N.E.
    132, 12 A.L.R. 1424; Block v. Chicago, 239 Ill. 251, 87 N.E. 1011,
    130 Am. St. Rep. 219.
    The following statutes and ordinances to which this
    last-mentioned principle is ap-
    [585]
    plicable have been upheld, though sometimes upon other grounds:
    A statute empowering a state board of censors to permit exhibitions
    of "only such films as are, in the judgment and discretion of the
    board of censors, of a moral, educational, or amusing and harmless
    character," Mutual Film Corp. v. Ohio Industrial Commission, supra;
    an ordinance empowering the chief of police to refuse permits for
    the showing of pictures which are "immoral or obscene," Block v.
    Chicago, 239 Ill. 251, 87 N.E. 1011, 1014, 130 Am. St. Rep. 219;
    a statute granting discretion to the board of dental examiners to
    determine in granting licenses to practice dentistry what
    constitutes "a reputable dental college," Ex parte Whitley, 144
    Cal. 167, 77 P. 879, 1 Ann. Cas. 13; a statute providing for
    revocation of a physician's license for fraud in obtaining the
    certificate, the commission of criminal abortion, the conviction
    of a felony involving moral turpitude, or chronic inebriety, and
    for other "grossly unprofessional or dishonorable conduct of a
    character likely to deceive or defraud the public," Forman v. State
    Board of Health, 157 Ky. 123, 162, S.W. 796, 798; a statute
    requiring the health commissioner in granting a permit to conduct
    a laundry to ascertain whether the sanitary and drainage
    arrangements were sufficient to protect the public health and
    whether adequate ventilation, plumbing, and draining facilities had
    been provided, Yee Bow v. Cleveland, 99 Ohio St. 269, 124 N.E. 132,
    12 A.L.R. 1424; an ordinance empowering officers of the police
    department "to direct all traffic in accordance with the provisions
    of this ordinance, or in emergencies as public safety or
    convenience may require," City of Chicago v. Marriotto, 332 Ill.
    44, 163 N.E. 369, 60 A.L.R. 501.
    In Hall v. Geiger-Jones Co., 242 U.S. 539, 37 S.Ct. 217, 222,
    61 L.Ed. 480, L.R.A. 1917F, 514, Ann. Cas. 1917C, 643, the court
    held an ordinance valid which required an applicant for a license
    to deal in corporate securities to satisfy the commissioner that
    he was a person of good repute, saying: "Reputation and character
    are quite tangible attributes, but there can be no legislative
    definition of them that can automatically attach to or identify
    individuals possessing them, and necessarily the aid of some
    executive agency must be invoked."
    The ordinance here in question declares the policy of the law
    and fixes the legal principles which are to control the chief of
    police in granting a driving permit. The applicant must
    demonstrate his ability to safely and properly operate motor
    vehicles upon the streets of the city, and demonstrate that he
    knows the traffic laws of the state and the city, and shall be
    sixteen years of age or over. While the ordinance provides that
    no permit shall be issued to the applicant unless his examination
    by the chief of police shall disclose that he possesses such
    ability and knowledge "*as in the judgment* of the chief of police
    qualifies such person to receive such permit," the discretion here
    vested in the chief of police is essentially ministerial and not
    legislative.
    But when we come to examine the provisions with reference to
    revocation of permits by the chief of police, the policy of the law
    and the legal principles which are to control the action of the
    chief of police are not determinable from the terms of the
    ordinance.
    The ordinance specifically provides that conviction of a
    felony or of a violation of the prohibition law shall of itself
    operate to revoke a driving permit for a period of twelve months,
    and that, if the holder of the permit shall be convicted of
    violation of the traffic laws three times within any one year, his
    permit shall be revoked for such time not exceeding one year as the
    judge of the municipal court shall determine; and it is necessarily
    implied that subsequent lack of the requisites for the issuance of
    a permit constitutes unfitness to drive on the streets of the city
    within the policy of the ordinance.
    Thus far the policy of the law may be said to be declared; but
    it is clear that it is intended by the ordinance to vest the chief
    of police with authority to revoke permits for other causes, if,
    *in his opinion,* such causes render the holder of a permit unfit
    to drive on the streets of the city. But for what other causes is
    it the policy of the law that the chief of police may revoke a
    driving permit? What legal principles shall guide and control him
    in determining what other causes, characteristics, or acts or
    things done or omitted make a man unfit to drive on the streets of
    the city of Lynchburg? To what standard of conduct must the holder
    of a permit conform to be immune from the official axe? Are the
    causes for which a permit may be revoked by the chief of police
    only those which relate to the proper use of the streets and
    highways and the safety of persons and property thereon? Or does
    the policy of the law extend so far as to authorize the revocation
    of a permit because the holder has done things which have a
    relation to the general security of the property of citizens (as,
    for instance, committed petit larceny), or to the morals of the
    community (as, for instance, transported women of bad reputation
    in his automobile)? Is it the policy of this ordinance to
    authorize the revocation of a permit because the holder is not of
    good character, or because he has had an accident which caused
    damage for which he is financially unable to pay?
    The ordinance has made conviction of any felony a cause for
    revocation. May the chief of police add thereto as cause for
    revocation the conviction of any misdemeanor? Or, if he may not
    make all misdemeanors case for
    [586]
    revocation, then what misdemeanors may he make cause for
    revocation?
    The ordinance has made conviction of the holder of a permit
    of a violation of the traffic laws three times in any one year
    cause for revocation for a period not exceeding one year. May the
    chief of police in his discretion so modify this express provision
    as to make a single violation of the traffic laws a cause for
    revocation? If so, for what period of time may he revoke the
    license for a single violation of a provision of the traffic laws?
    The ordinance has made conviction of a violation of the
    prohibition law cause for revocation for twelve months. May the
    chief of police add to this suspicion of or reputation of having
    violated the prohibition law as a cause for revocation?
    And may the chief of police and judge of the municipal court
    make the period of revocation for causes not specified in the
    ordinance much exceed a year, or indeed perpetual, by refusing to
    issue another permit or to reinstate the permit revoked?
    Certainly the ordinance itself affords no answer to these
    questions as to the scope of the policy of the law therein
    declared. It is left wide open to the uncontrolled discretion of
    the chief of police in each individual case. The principle, that
    an ordinance may use general terms in defining the declared police
    of the law and in fixing the legal principles which are to control
    the discretion of the administrative officer in administering the
    law, where the technical knowledge or sense and experience of men
    render the terms reasonably certain, has no application here; for
    the term "unfit to drive an automobile on the streets of the city"
    is clearly intended to extend beyond what can be said the technical
    knowledge or the sense and experience of men have rendered
    reasonably certain.
    While the city of Lynchburg, in the exercise of its police
    power, may revoke driving permits for some cause unrelated to the
    use of the public highways and the safety of persons and property
    thereon, it must do so by legislative enactment and not by
    administrative edict.
    [14] That portion of the ordinance here in question which
    authorizes the chief of police "to revoke the permit of any driver
    who, in his opinion, becomes unfit to drive an automobile on the
    streets of the city," fails to declare the policy of the law and
    fix the legal principles which are to control the discretion of the
    chief of police in the revocation of licenses in determining what
    constitutes unfitness to drive an automobile on the streets of the
    city; and is void because it delegates powers essentially
    legislative to an administrative officer.
    [15] This being true, the provision that the person whose
    permit is revoked by the chief of police may apply to the judge of
    the municipal court for a reinstatement thereof cannot constitute
    an adequate remedy at law.
    But it is said that a suit for injunction will not lie in the
    instant case because no property rights of the appellant have been
    invaded. Whether a right to use the public highways for the
    ordinary and usual purposes of life be a property right or not, it
    is a very valuable right, not a mere privilege.
    [16, 17] The invalidity or unconstitutionality of a statute
    or ordinance is not of itself a ground of equity jurisdiction. A
    court of equity has not jurisdiction to enjoin acts only because
    they are attempted or threatened under color of an unconstitutional
    or void statute or ordinance. Further circumstances must be shown
    which bring the case within some recognized ground of equity
    jurisdiction, 14 R.C.L. Injunctions, sec. 141; Coal & Coke Ry. Co.
    v. Conley et al., 67 W.Va. 129, 67 S.E. 613; but inadequacy of
    legal remedy or irreparable injury are well-recognized grounds of
    equity jurisdiction.
    [18] It is recognized that an injunction will lie to enjoin
    the threatened enforcement of an invalid statute or ordinance where
    the lawful use and enjoyment of private property will be
    injuriously affected by its enforcement (Bristol, etc., Co. v.
    Bristol, 97 Va. 304, 33 S.E. 588, 75 Am. St. Rep. 783; City of
    Roanoke v. Bolling, 101 Va.182, 43 S.E. 343), or where the right
    of a person to conduct a lawful business will be injuriously
    affected thereby (Parrish v. City of Richmond, 119 Va. 180, 89 S.E.
    102), unless the remedy at law be manifestly as complete and
    adequate as an injunction suit. But it has been said that it is
    beyond the scope of the powers of a court of equity to enforce
    personal rights as distinguished from property rights. 32 C.J.
    Injunction, sec. 430, p. 272.
    This distinction, we think, is not well made. Fundamental
    personal rights, such as the right of a person to travel the public
    highways of the state, are not less sacred and valuable rights, or
    less subject to the protection of a court of equity, in a proper
    case, than are property rights.
    An injunction suit is often a more appropriate and effective
    method of resisting the invasion of or interference with such a
    personal right under color of void statute or ordinance than any
    common-law remedy; and where the remedy at law is not as complete
    and as fully adequate as an injunction suit, or where the
    threatened or attempted enforcement of a void statute or ordinance
    will do irreparable injury to a person in interfering with the
    exercise of such a common fundamental personal right, a suit for
    injunction will lie. And, by irreparable injury is meant an injury
    of such a nature that fair and reasonable redress may not be had
    in a court of law, and that to refuse the injunction would
    [587]
    be a denial of justice. High on Injunctions (4th Ed.) sec. 22.
    [19] Freedom from the restraint imposed by this void
    ordinance upon the exercise of Thompson's common right to drive his
    automobile on the streets of the city of Lynchburg is the real
    object of the complainant's bill. His only remedies at law were:
    (1) To proceed by petition for mandamus to compel the chief of
    police to restore to him his driving permit, or (2) to wait until
    arrested upon the charge of driving without a permit and then
    interpose the defense that the provisions of the ordinance under
    which his permit had been taken from him were void. In the instant
    case, neither of these remedies is as complete and adequate as a
    suit for injunction to protect the complainant against the wrongful
    interference, under the color of a void ordinance, with the lawful
    exercise of his common personal right to drive an automobile; and
    the bill alleges that, unless the chief of police be restrained,
    complainant "will sustain irreparable injury in his pursuance of
    happiness and in acquiring and the use of his property."
    The court erred in dismissing the bill, and the decree of the
    court will be reversed, and the case remanded to the trial for
    further proceedings thereon.
    Reversed.

    CAMPBELL and HOLT, JJ., absent.
     
    kellory likes this.
  20. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    I must respectfully disagree.

    A driver's license is required to drive an automobile. Period.

    A person who drives without a license will be arrested (or at the very least cited) as soon as a police officer becomes aware that he is so doing. For example: At a DUI checkpoint a sober person driving without a license will almost certainly wind up in the can right along with the drunks.

    Likewise there is no such criminal offense as "Violating an Others Right, of Free Travel, without a License to do so". There's technical legal language in the way that was phrased. I think the closest thing to that on the books is "Failure to Yield"--and a person can do that with or without a license.

    A driver's license is not about a driver's rights or the rights of others. It's about the power of the State to control behavior, and to make money by doing so. Police Power + Profit. It's an effective combination to perpetuate the State.

    In the 1200's peasants had no rights of any kind that could not be simply ignored by the nobles. Most of the egregious offenses against the peasants have been carefully omitted from the history books. In our enlightened Modern Times, the situation remains exactly the same.

    Pick any right or privilege you choose: the State can and will abrogate it at any time it so elects.

    (Note: Context here: The State can do NOTHING. But the people who act in the name of the State can do as they jolly well please. The State, itself, has no objective existence. It is an idea. It is a consensual fiction that we all choose (or are forced) to comply with. It is also the best method for power-loving people to exercise power over others that has ever been invented, with the possible exception of religion. But, one might argue that a religion is a State unto itself. As with the Vatican.)

    The greatest differences between now and the 1200's are that the standard of living is higher, and the peasants can read. Life is more complicated, so the State takes more pains to pretend to
    the Rule of Law in order to minimize the effort required to keep the peasants in line.

    And that, Fellow Peasants, would be we.

    And I hope our line forms to the Right.
     
    Ganado likes this.
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