Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies Inc. v. Beckwith

PETITIONER: Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies Inc.
RESPONDENT: Beckwith
LOCATION: 1980 Democratic National Convention, Madison Square Garden

DOCKET NO.: 79-1033
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: Florida Supreme Court

CITATION: 449 US 155 (1980)
ARGUED: Oct 14, 1980 / Oct 15, 1980
DECIDED: Dec 09, 1980

ADVOCATES:
Harvey M. Alper - on behalf of the Appellants
Harry A. Stewart - on behalf of the Appellees

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies Inc. v. Beckwith

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 14, 1980 in Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies Inc. v. Beckwith
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 15, 1980 in Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies Inc. v. Beckwith

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - December 09, 1980 in Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies Inc. v. Beckwith

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in United States against DiFrancesco, and the judgment and opinion of the Court in Webb's Fabulous Pharmacy against Beckwith, the Clerk of the Court of Seminole County will each be announced by Mr. Justice Blackmun.

Harry A. Blackmun:

No. 79-1033, Webb's against Beckwith comes to us on appeal from the Supreme Court of Florida and the issue is whether it is constitutional for a county to take as its own under the authority of a state statute the interest accruing on an interpleader fund deposited in the registry of the county court when at the same time a fee prescribed by another state statute is also charged for the clerk's services in receiving the fund into the registry.

The statute which is the subject of the constitutional challenge here is Section 28.33 of the Florida statutes.

In an opinion filed with the clerk today, we unanimously hold that the county's taking was violative of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Neither the Florida legislature by statute nor the Florida courts by judicial decree may accomplish the result they sought simply by recharacterizing the principal of the deposited and concededly private fund as public money because it was held temporarily by the court.

And the earnings of the fund are incidents of ownership of the fund itself and are property just as the fund itself is property.

And so the judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is reversed.