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Due Process Clause - Protected Interests in Property

Due Process Clause - Protected Interests in Property

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Published by: Sui on Aug 10, 2008
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consti part 5: protected interests in property
TAKING via the power of EMINENT DOMAIN
(1915) Trent J 
 Plaintiffs put up a billboard on private land in RizalProvince "quite a distance from the road and stronglybuilt". Some residents (German and British Consuls) findit offensive. Act # 2339 allows the defendent, theCollector of Internal Revenue, to collect taxes from suchproperty and to remove it when it is offensive to sight.Court of first Instance prohibited the defendant to collector remove the billboard. 
 1.May the courts restrain by injunction the collection of taxes? 2.Is Act # 2339 unconstitutional because it deprivesproperty without due process of law in allowing CIR toremove it if it is offensive? 
 1.an injunction is an extraordinary remedy and not to beused if there is an adequate remedy provided by law;here there is an adequate remedy, therefore court maynot do so. 2.unsightly advertisements which are offensive to thesight are not dissociated from the general welfare of thepublic, therefore can be regulated by police power, andact is constitutional. 
 1.Writ of injunction by the courts is an extraordinarypreventive remedy. Ordinary (adequate) remedies are inthe law itself. Sections 139 and 140 of the Act forbidsthe use of injunction and provides a remedy for any wrong. _Plaintiffs say that those sections areunconstitutional because by depriving taxpayers remedy,it also deprives them of property without due process of law and it diminishes the power of the courts_. Taxes, whether legal or illegal, cannot be restrained by thecourts by injunction. There must be a further showingthat there are special circumstances such as irreparableinjury, multiplicity of suits or a cloud upon title to realestate will result. Practically, if the courts can do so thenthere will be an insane number of suits enjoining thecollection of taxes by tax avoiders. The state will notfunction since taxes are not paid (and judges will becomeunpaid!). There is, of course, no law nor jurisprudencethat says it is not allowed to sue after having paid thetax, and such is the usual course in bringing suitsagainst illegal(?) taxes. Pay it under protest. As to thediminishment of power of the courts, the Philippinecourts never had the power to restrain the collection of taxes by injunction. It is said par 2 sec 56 Act 136confers original jurisdiction upon CFI to hear anddetermine all civil actions but civil actions at that timehad a well-defined meaning. The legislature had alreadydefined the only action previously and that is thepayment of the tax under protest then suit. Civil actionslike injunction suits are of a special extraordinarycharacter. Section 139 also does not diminish power of the courts because the power is still there if there is noadequate remedy available but sec 140 gives anadequate remedy. 2.sec 100 of act 2339 gives power to the CIR to removeoffensive billboards, signs, signboards after dueinvstigation. The question becomes is that a reasonableexercise of police power affecting the advertisingindustry? Police power is reasonable insofar as itproperly considers public health, safety, comfort, etc. If nothing can justify a statute, it's void. State mayinterfere in public interest but not final. Court is final.Police power has been expanding. blahblahblah(consti1). The basic idea of civil polity in US is gov'tshould interfere with individual effort only to the extentnecessary to preserve a healthy social and economiccondition of society. State interferes with privateproperty through, taxation, eminent domain and policepower. Only under the last are the benefits derived fromthe maintenance of a healthy economic standard of society and aka damnum absque injuria. Once policepower was reserved for common nuisances. Nowindustry is organized along lines which make it possiblefor large combinations of capital to profit at the expenseof socio-economic progress of the nation by controllingprices and dictating to industrial workers wages andconditions of labor. It has increased the toll on life andaffects public health, safety and morals, also generalsocial and economic life of the nation, as such statemust necessarily regulate industries. Various industrieshave regulated and even offensive noises and smellscoming from those industries. Those noises and smellsthough ostensibly regulated for health reason areactually regulated for more aesthetic reasons. What ismore aesthetic than sight which the ad industry is wooing us with. Ads cover landscapes etc. The success of billboards lie not upon the use of private property but onchannels of travel used by the general public. Billboardthat cannot be seen by people are useless. Billboards arelegitimate, they are not garbage but can be offensive incertain circumstances. Other courts in US hold the viewthat police power cannot interfere with private propertyrights for purely aesthetic purposes. But this court is of the opinion that unsightly advertisements which areoffensive to the sight are not dissociated from the general welfare of the public.
 judgment reversed  _motion for a rehearing_  
trent j:
 we were right the first time
consti 2 all stars1
consti part 5: protected interests in property
Luis Toribio slaughtered for humanconsumption a Carabao without a permit fromthe municipal treasurer violating Act 1147
Act 1147, Sec. 30. “No large cattle shallbe slaughtered or killed for food
at themunicipal slaughterhouse
except uponpermit secured from the municipaltreasurer…”
Act 1147, Sec. 31. No permit toslaughter carabaos shall be granted bythe municipal treasurer unless suchanimals are
unfit for agricultural workor for draft purposes
Application of Toribio for apermit was denied since animal was not found to be unfit foragricultural work or draftpurposes.
It is contended by Toribio that statute isapplicable only to slaughter done in a municipalslaughterhouse and that the statute isunconstitutional sine it penalizes the slaughterof carabaos without a permit amounting to ataking by the government of the right of theperson over his property amounting to anexercise of eminent domain without justcompensation or an undue exercise of policepower by the State.
1.W/N the statute is applicable only to slaughter donein a municipal slaughterhouse
 The statute seeks to protect the large cattleof the Philippines from theft and to makeeasy their recovery by providing an elaborateand compulsory system of branding andregistration
By limiting the application of the statue tothose done only in the municipalslaughterhouse, the purpose of the article isgreatly impaired if not totally destroyedsince these animals could now beslaughtered for human consumption without need of showing proof of ownership.
Statute should be construed so as to giveeffect to the manifest intent of the lawmakerand promote the object for which the statue was enacted.
Statute therefore prohibits and penalizesthe slaughter of large cattle for humanconsumption anywhere without thepermit provided for in the Act.
2.W/N the statute is unconstitutional
Because of the statue the use andenjoyment of the owners over their cattle arein a way impaired… therefore it is not ataking but a
 just restraint of injuriousprivate use of property
police power of the State.
“Rights of property, like all other social andconventional rights, are subject to suchreasonable limitations in their enjoyment asshall prevent them from being injurious (tothe equal enjoyment of others having anequal right to the enjoyment of theirproperty or to the rights of the community),and to such reasonable restraints andregulations established by law, as thelegislature, under the governing andcontrolling power vested in them by theconstitution, may thing necessary andexpedient.”
Disease threatened the total extinction of carabaos in the Philippines resulting infamine from the insufficiency of workanimals to cultivate the fields.
Given these circumstances andconditions, the general welfarenecessitated the enactment of thestatute
 To justify the exercise of police power of the state:first, that the interests of those of a particular classrequire such interference;and second, that the meansare reasonably necessary forthe accomplishment of thepurpose and not undulyoppressive uponindividuals.
CONSTI Art. III sec 9
Private property shall not betaken for public use without just compensation.
Appeal from the decision of the CFI convicting Juan F.Fajardo and Pedro Babilonia of a violation of OrdinanceNo. 7, Series of 1950, of the Municipality of BaaoCamarines Sur, for having constructed without a permitfrom the municipal mayor a building that destroys theview of the public plaza.
During the incumbency of defendant-appellant Juan F.Fajardo as mayor of the municipality of Baao, CamarinesSur, the municipal council passed the ordinance inquestion providing as follows:"SECTION 1. Any person or persons who will constructor repair a building should, before constructing orrepairing, obtain a written permit from the MunicipalMayor.SEC. 2. A fee of not less than P2.00 should be chargedfor each building permit and P1.00 for each repairpermit issued.
consti 2 all stars2
consti part 5: protected interests in property
After the term of Fajardo as mayor had expired, he andhis son-in-law, appellant Babilonia, filed a writtenrequest with the incumbent municipal mayor for apermit to construct a building adjacent to their gasolinestation on a parcel of land registered in Fajardo's name,located along the national highway and separated fromthe public plaza by a creek. The request was denied, forthe reason among others that the proposed building would destroy the view or beauty of the public plaza.Defendants reiterated their request for a building permit,but again the request was turned down by the mayor.Appellants proceeded with the construction of thebuilding without a permit, because they needed a placeof residence very badly, their former house having beendestroyed by a typhoon and they had been living onleased property.On February 26, 1954, appellants were charged beforeand convicted by the justice of the peace court of Baao,Camarines Sur, for violation of the ordinance inquestion. Defendants appealed to the Court of FirstInstance, which affirmed the conviction, and sentencedappellants to pay a fine of P35 each and the costs, as well as to demolish the building in question. From thisdecision, the accused appealed to the Court of Appeals,but the latter forwarded the records to us because theappeal attacks the constitutionality of the ordinance inquestion.
WON the assailed municipal ordinance was valid.WON the conviction was valid.
No, the regulation in question, Municipal Ordinance No.7, Series of 1950 was beyond the authority of saidmunicipality to enact, and is therefore null and void.No, The appealed conviction can not stand. Theconviction is reversed, and said accused are acquitted.
(as a consequence of the first issue) 
A first objection to the validity of the ordinance inquestion is that under it the mayor has absolutediscretion to issue or deny a permit.
The ordinance fails to state any policy, or to set up any standard to guide or limit the mayor's action. No purpose to be attained by requiring the permit is expressed; no conditions for its grant or refusal are enumerated. It is not merely a case of deficient standards; standards are entirely lacking.
 Theordinance thus confers upon the mayor arbitrary andunrestricted power to grant or deny the issuance of building permits, and it is a settled rule that such anundefined and unlimited delegation of power to allow orprevent an activity, per se lawful, is invalid (People vs.Vera, 65 Phil)  The ordinance in question in no way controls or guidesthe discretion vested thereby in the respondents. Itprescribes no uniform rule upon which the specialpermission of the city is to be granted. Thus the city isclothed with the uncontrolled power to capriciouslygrant the privilege to some and deny it to others; torefuse the application of one landowner or lessee and togrant that of another, when for all material purposes, thetwo are applying for precisely the same privileges underthe same circumstances.
The danger of such an ordinance is that it makes possible arbitrardiscriminations and abuses in its execution, dependinupon no conditions or qualifications whatever, other than the unregulated arbitrary will of the city authorities as the touchstone by which its validity is to be tested.Fundamental rights under our government do not depend  for their existence upon such a slender and uncertain thread. Ordinances which thus invest a city council with a discretion which is purely arbitrary, and which may be exercised in the interest of a favored few, arunreasonable and invalid. The ordinance should havestablished a rule by which its impartial enforcement could be secured.
It is contended, on the other hand, that the mayor canrefuse a permit solely in case that the proposed building"destroys the view of the public plaza or occupies anypublic property"; and in fact, the refusal of the Mayor of Baao to issue a building permit to the appellant waspredicated on the ground that the proposed building would "destroy the view of the public plaza" bypreventing its being seen from the public highway. Eventhus interpreted, the ordinance is unreasonable andoppressive, in that it operates to permanently depriveappellants of the right to use their own property; hence,it oversteps the bounds of police power, and amounts toa taking of appellants property without justcompensation. We do not overlook that the moderntendency is to regard the beautification of neighborhoodsas conducive to the comfort and happiness of residents.But while property may be regulated in the interest of the general welfare, and in its pursuit, the State mayprohibit structures offensive to the sight (Churchill and Tait vs. Rafferty, 32 Phil. 580),
the State may not, under the guise of police power, permanently divest owners of the beneficial use of their property and practically confiscate them solely to preserve or assure the aesthetic appearance of the community. As the case now stands,every structure that may be erected on appellants' land,regardless of its own beauty, stands condemned under the ordinance in question, because it would interfere with the view of the public plaza from the highway. Thappellants would, in effect, be constrained to let their land remain idle and unused for the obvious purpose for which it is best suited, being urban in character. To legallachieve that result, the municipality must give appellants  just compensation and an opportunity to be heard.
 The validity of the ordinance in question was justifiedby the court below under section 2243, par. (c), of theRevised Administrative Code, as amended. This sectionprovides:SEC. 2243. Certain legislative powers of discretionarycharacter.-The municipal council shall have authority toexercise the following, discretionary powers:* * * To establish fire limits in populous centers, prescribe thekinds of buildings that may be constructed or repaired
consti 2 all stars3

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