Keeton
v.
State

Supreme Court of Mississippi, In BancOct 9, 1944
197 Miss. 11 (Miss. 1944)
197 Miss. 1119 So. 2d 477

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No. 35603.

October 9, 1944.

CRIMINAL LAW.

Where proceeding on charge of operating a house of ill fame originated in a justice court, defendant could not appeal to Supreme Court from judgment of circuit court affirming the conviction, in absence of showing that a constitutional question was presented to circuit court, or that there was any order by circuit judge or by a judge of Supreme Court allowing the appeal (Code 1942, sec. 1617).

APPEAL from the circuit court of Jones County, HON. F.B. COLLINS, Judge.

Leonard B. Melvin, of Laurel, for appellant.

The appellant most earnestly insists that this requested peremptory instruction should have been granted by the court. Especially is this true in view of the fact that the evidence fails to show that the appellant had any knowledge that the parties who testified had committed acts of prostitution in the rooms that she had rented them, and wholly failed to show that at the time they rented the rooms they were renting them for immoral purposes, and the evidence wholly fails to show any time limit or any time specified in the affidavit. There is no evidence in the record to show that the place owned and operated by the appellant constituted a house of ill fame, or bawdy house, as charged in the affidavit, and the evidence fails to bring this place under any of the definitions that appellant has been able to find defining a bawdy house or a place of ill fame.

See 27 C.J.S. 299, Sec. 4, par. (f), p. 308, p. 312, par. 5(b), (c), note 21; 5 Words and Phrases 218.

Greek L. Rice, Attorney General, by R.O. Arrington, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

An appeal in a case originating in a justice court and appealed to county and circuit courts will be dismissed unless the appeal involves a constitutional question.

Williams v. State, 160 Miss. 489, 135 So. 199; Johnson v. City of Hattiesburg, 170 Miss. 527, 155 So. 418; Code of 1930, Sec. 705; Code of 1942, Sec. 1617.


The appellant, Mrs. Earl Keeton, was tried and convicted in the justice of the peace court on an affidavit charging her with the operation of a house of ill fame, from which conviction she appealed to the county court where she was again tried and convicted and from which she thereafter appealed to the circuit court where the judgment of the county court was affirmed, and she has now sought to prosecute an appeal to this court from the said judgment of the circuit court.

The appeal here must be dismissed, since we have no jurisdiction thereof. Section 1617, Code 1942, provides, among other things, that "there shall be no appeal from the circuit court to the Supreme Court of any case civil or criminal which originated in a justice of the peace, municipal or police court and was thence appealed to the county court and thence to the circuit court unless in the determination of the case a constitutional question be necessarily involved and then only, upon the allowance of the appeal by the circuit judge or by a judge of the Supreme Court."

No constitutional question was presented to the circuit court; nor is it contended that such a question is involved on the record before us or is there any order by the circuit judge or by any judge of this court allowing the appeal. The case is controlled by the rule announced in Williams v. State, 160 Miss. 489, 135 So. 199, and Johnson v. City of Hattiesburg, 170 Miss. 527, 155 So. 418.

The appeal must, therefore, be dismissed, and it is so ordered.

Appeal dismissed.