Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hadacheck v. Sebastian case brief

Hadacheck v. Sebastian case brief summary
239 U.S. 394 (1915)

On a writ of habeas corpus, petitioner, a brickyard owner, challenged an order of the Supreme Court of the State of California, which upheld petitioner's misdemeanor conviction for violation of a city ordinance that proscribed the operation of his business within city limits. Petitioner had fired bricks from the clay-rich soil at this location for years before the ordinance was enacted. Defendant in error was the police chief for Los Angeles.

Petitioner was convicted of a misdemeanor under an ordinance that was enacted by the City of Los Angeles.  The ordinance prohibited the operation of brick yards within the city limits.
On the petitioner's writ of habeas corpus that was filed against defendant in error (the police chief for the city), the state supreme court upheld the ordinance as a good faith police measure and the court declined to find that the ordinance discriminated against petitioner.

  • On appeal, the Court affirmed and dismissed the writ. 
  • Even though operation of a brickyard was not a nuisance per se, operation was within the city's police power to regulate brickyard operation so long as the resulting ordinance was not arbitrary or discriminatory. 
  • Petitioner claimed that the ordinance resulted in a taking under the state's power of eminent domain. 
  • But the Court noted that petitioner was not deprived of the use of the property's unique soil, ideal for making high-quality bricks. 
  • What was prohibited was the firing of the bricks at the current location. 
  • That the ordinance might have been crafted differently did not make it an abuse of the state's police power, which was accorded a presumption of good faith absent a contrary showing.

The Court upheld the state supreme court's order and dismissed the writ of habeas corpus by petitioner, a brickyard owner, against the defendant in error, the police chief for the City of Los Angeles. The Court found that the City of Los Angeles did not act arbitrarily when it used its police power to enact an ordinance that prohibited the operation of a brick kiln within the city limits.

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