Constitution of the State of California, 1849

Article I

Sec. 1.

All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending  life and liberty: acquiring, possessing and  protecting property: and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

        This is PROPERTY:

        The following is what is not taught to anyone forced to go to skool for the 12 years that mom & dad are forced to pay for.   Mom & dad deserve a refund.   Everybody knows what one of these types of things (property) are:

        But while being forced to go to skool for 12 years no one was ever taught the history about the development of the rules that apply to the use of one of those things.   But everybody PRESUMES to know what the rules are.   That's a really big mistake. 

        The following information is located in Volume 5 of American Jurisprudence.   American Jurisprudence is a law encyclopedia.  The volumes comprising the series contains information about pretty much every topic you can think of.  

        Before there were machines like that VW, there were no rules concerning their regulation because such machines didn't exist.   Once a certain number of those things were invented, law makers developed rules applicable to their use.   Checking the historical record of those machines and the rules applicable to them is an advantage when it comes to licensing and getting stopped by a law enforcement employee for violating a rule in the Vehicle Code. 

5 Am. Jur.

Copyright 1936




3. Generally.  – The term “automobile” has its derivation in the Greek “autos,” meaning “self,” and the Latin “mobiles,” meaning “movable.”  “automobile,” therefore, means “self – moving.”   It may be defined as a wheeled vehicle propelled by steam, electricity, or gasoline, and used on highways and streets for the transportation of persons or merchandise.   The courts, without making clear distinctions, have generally use the terms “automobile,” “motor vehicle,” “motor car,” – and, in the earlier cases “horseless carriage,” – as synonyms.   Questions frequently arose as to whether statutes regulating the use of various classes of vehicles, and not directly referring to automobiles, were brought enough to apply to such machines, which, in numerous instances, were unknown at the time of the passage of the law.  The better view seems to be that an automobile is to be classed as a vehicle, and may properly be considered as being a vehicle for hire, under the terms of ordinances prohibiting the standing of such vehicle in the streets elsewhere than at public hack stands.   The term “motor vehicle” is not, however, comprehensive enough to include a boy’s sled.

4. Automobile as “Carriage” or “Wagon.” –  Whether or not an automobile falls within the meaning of the word “carriage” as used in a statute depends somewhat upon the nature of the statute.   In a penal statute, in a proper case, it may not be so included, while in a statute which should receive a liberal construction, it will be.   An automobile is a “carriage” within the broad meaning of that term.  Thus, a motorcar is a “carriage” within the meaning of a grant of a lot which is part of a tract purchased for a public park, conveyed to the purchasers, “together with the right of carriage, horse, and foot way through the park when laid out.”   But it is been held not to be a carriage, within the meaning of a statute requiring towns and cities to keep their highways “reasonably safe and convenient for travelers with their horses, teams, and carriages.”   Generally speaking, an automobile is not a wagon, although it has been held that it is a wagon within the meaning of ordinances prohibiting the presence of “advertising trucks, vans, or wagons” upon certain streets.

8. Public Conveyances.  –  Taxicabs vehicle propelled by electric or gas power, held for public hire.   It is sometimes noted in the definitions of the charges or upon a time or distance basis, and also that the vehicle is held for public hire at designated places subject to municipal control.  

        A jitney as a vehicle of motor class, the charges of which are much lower than that of a taxicab, the stipulated fair usually being five or ten cents, directly in competition with street cars.

Fn. 11 - Taxicabs are the modern development of the old hackney coach.  Park Hotel Co. v. Kechum, 184 Wis. 182


        Let's have a look at how the Legislature classified "things", "stuff", "possessions", or "property":




California Commercial Code 9109

Classification of Goods: "Consumer Goods"; "Equipment"; "Farm Products"; "Inventory"

Goods are

(1) "Consumer goods" if they are used or bought for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes;

(2) "Equipment" if they are used or bought for the use primarily in business (including farming or a profession) or by a debtor who is a nonprofit organization or a government subdivision or agency or if the goods are not included in the definitions of inventory, farm products, or consumer goods.

California Code Comment

By John A. Bohn and Charles J. Williams

Prior California Law

1. The classification of goods in this section is new statutory law. The significance of this classification is described in Official Comment 1.

Although goods cannot belong to more than one category at any time, they may change their classification depending upon who holds them and for what reason. Each classification is mutually exclusive but the four classifications described are intended to includeall goods.
Official Comment 2.


1791.  As used in this chapter:

    (a) "Consumer goods" means any new product or part thereof that is used, bought, or leased for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, except for clothing and consumables. "Consumer goods" shall include new and used assistive devices sold at retail.


481.100.  "Equipment" means tangible personal property in the possession of the defendant and used or bought for use primarily in the defendant's trade, business, or profession if it is not included in the definitions of inventory or farm products.

        So according to the Legislature, which is the law making branch of government, even though those Volkswagan vans are similar in design, HOW THEY'RE USED is very different.  One USE is for commercial or business purposes, or for HIRE, and the other isn't.  The other is arguably USED for personal pleasure, household and nonCOMMERCIAL/BUSINESS purposes, hence it properly belongs in the CONSUMER GOODS category.

        Now let's check what more than a few courts have held concerning "CONSUMER GOODS":

“Automobile owned by individual not in business is ‘consumer goods’”. 
In re Rave, 7 UCC rep. Serv 258.
“An automobile purchased for personal and family use was ‘consumer goods’”. 
Bank of Boston v. Jones, 4 UCC Rep. Serv. 1021, 236 A.2d. 484

“The use of an automobile by its owner for purposes of traveling to and from his work is a personal, as opposed to a business use as that term is defined in the California Commercial Code 9109(1), and the automobile will be classified as ‘consumer goods’ rather than equipment.  The phraseology of 9102(2) defining goods used or bought for use primarily in business seems to contemplate a distinction between the collateral automobile ‘in business’ and the mere use of the collateral automobile for some commercial, economic or income producing purpose by one not engaged in ‘business’”.
In re Barnes, 11 UCC rep. Serv. 697 (1972)                   
“So long as one uses his private property  for private purposes and does not devote it to the public use, the public has no interest in it and no voice in its control. 
Associated Pipe v. Railroad Commission (1920) 176 Cal. 518.
“Under the UCC 9-109 there is a real distinction between goods purchased for personal use and those purchase for business use.  The two are mutually exclusive and the principal use to which the property is put should be considered as determinitive”.
James Talcott, Inc. v. Gee, 5 UCC rep. Serv. 1028, 266 Cal.App.2d. 384, 72 Cal.Reptr. (1968).
“The use to which an item is put rather than its physical characteristics determine whether it should be classified as ‘consumer goods’ under UCC 9-109(1) or ‘equipment’ under UCC 9-109(2)”. 
Grimes v. Massey Ferguson, Inc., 23 UCC Rep. Serv. 655, 355 So. 2d. 338 (Ala., 1978)
“The classification of goods in UCC 9-109 are mutually exclusive”. 
McFadden v. Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co., 8 UCC Rep. Serv. 766, 260 Md. 601, 273, A.2d. 198 (1971)

“The term ‘household goods’..includes everything about the house that is usually held and enjoyed therewith and that tends to the comfort and accommodation of the household”. 
Lawwill v. Lawwill, 515 P.2d. 900, 903, 21 Ariz.App.75 , 19A Words and Phrases - Permanent Edition (West) pocket part 94.           
“Automobile purchased for the purpose of transporting buyer to and from his place of employment was ‘consumer goods’ as defined in UCC 9-109". 
Mallicoat v. Volunteer Finance & Loan Corp., 3 UCC Rep. Serv.  1035, 415 S.W.2d. 347 (Tenn.App., 1966)   
“A carriage is peculiarly a family or household article.  It contributes in a large degree to the health, convenience, comfort and welfare of the householder or of the family”. 
Arthur v. Morgan., 113 U.S. 495, 500, 5 S.Ct. 241, 243 (S.D.Ny 1884)
Courts have no right, no power, to extend statute by construction, so as to dispense with any conditions legislature has seen fit to impose.  Gassner v. Patterson, (1863) 23 C. 299; likewise, the Courts must take the statute as they find it.   It is their duty to construe it as it stands enacted.  Callahan v. San Francisco, (1945) 68 CA2d. 286, 156 P.2d. 479; Santa Clara County Dist. Atty.
Investigators Asso. v. Santa Clara County, (1975) 51 Cal.App.3d. 255, 124 Cal.Rptr. 115.
Courts are not at liberty to extend application of law to subjects not included within it.
Spreckles v. Graham (1924) 194 C. 516


Commercial Vehicle

260.  (a) A "commercial vehicle" is a motor vehicle of a type required to be registered under this code used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit or designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
        (b) Passenger vehicles and house cars that are not used for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit are not commercial vehicles. This subdivision shall not apply to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 6700) of Division 3.

        Arguably, any machine used as defined by (b) is not required to be registered.  And according to the California Supreme Court in the Spreckles v. Graham decision, the courts can not extend Vehicle Code sec. 260(a) to those machines NOT FOR HIRE ie:



9. Streets and Highways. – The problem frequently arises as to whether or not the term “Highway” as used in the statutory provision relating to vehicle traffic includes “street.”   This problem cannot be regarded as entirely settled.   The legislative intent, as indicated by the wording of the various statutes, determines the scope of the term.

        Let's take a look at what a few courts have held about the use of the streets and highways:

The state has the authority to regulate the use of public highways for business purposes.
Morel v. Railroad Commission of California (1938) 11 Cal.2d 488

“Whatever natural right the citizen may have to traverse the streets of his city with a motor vehicle for the conveyance of his family or his friends, no inherent right to exist to devote his vehicle to the public use of carrying passengers for hire, and to appropriate to himself the use of all streets for the purpose of profit.   Beyond question, the city could vacate one or more of the streets over which he might desire to operate.   It cannot only require him to pay a license tax, but it may also regulate the manner of his carrying on his enterprise.   Why may it not classify motor vehicles by themselves, and refused to permit them to crowd congested portions of the business streets where patrons of another class of vehicles – streetcars – must the light and take passage?   Suppose, indeed, a company or corporation owning motor vehicles had the facilities and the desire to occupy all the streets to the utter destruction of the streetcar business.   Would the city have nothing to say?   Is a municipality mere automation, helpless in the presence of crowding and conflicting enterprises and scrambles for business which involve the comfort, the convenience, and the safety of the traveling public?   Not so.”
Dresser v. Wichita, 96 Kan. 820 (1915)

"'The right of a citizen to travel upon the highway and transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business differs radically and obviously from that of one who makes the highway his place of business and uses it for private gain,... The former is the usual and ordinary right of a citizen, a right common to all; while the latter is special, unusual and extraordinary.
Frost v. Railroad Commission (1925) 197 Cal. 230

"…the right of the citizen to drive on a 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..."
People v. Horton (1971) 14 Cal.App.3d 930

"It is settled that the streets of a city belong to the people of a state and the use thereof is aninalienable right of every citizen of the state."
Whyte v. City of Sacramento (1924) 65 Cal. App. 534
Escobedo v. State Dept. of Motor Vehicles (1950) 35 Cal.2d 870

The right of a citizen to teavel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by horse-deawn carriage or wagon or automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may permit or prohibit at will, but a common right, which he has under his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thompson v. Smith, 155 Va. 367, Supreme Court of Virginia, (1930)

In the matter of Ex parte Dickey, 76 W.Va. 567 (1940), the West Virginia Supreme Court held, wherein it appeared that a city passed an ordinance regulating the use of jitney’s on the streets, the ordinance to be valid, saying: “the right of a citizen to travel upon the highway and transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, differs radically and obviously from that of one who makes the highway his place of business and uses it for private gain, in the running of a stagecoach or omnibus.   The former is the usual and ordinary right of a citizen, a common right, a right common to all, while the latter is special, unusual but, as to the latter, its power is broader, – the right may be wholly denied, or it may be permitted to some and denied others, because of its extraordinary nature.   This distinction, elementary and fundamental and character, is recognized by all the authorities.”

        Clearly the courts have distinguished between the COMMERCAIL and NONCOMMERCIAL use of the streets and highways, one being privileged and the other an unalienable right.   Regarding the Morel citation, what evidence would the State issue to distinguish COMMERCIAL from NONCOMMERCIAL use of the streets and highways so law enforcement employees didn't inadvertently stop someone who's not engaged in COMMERCE/BUSINESS?



10.  Generally; Right to Use Highways. –  Obviously, the use of the highways by automobiles is lawful.   The owners and operators thereof have the right to use the highways of the state on an equal footing with the drivers of other vehicles, unless the size and character of the vehicle is restricted by the legislature.   The fact that vehicles are heavier than those customarily used does not give the court, or anyone else, an action for such use.   A county can neither restrain an owner from using the public roads and bridges because of the size of his vehicles, nor collect damages for their reasonable use.   But this equality or right imposes the reciprocal duty of managing one’s vehicle, whatever its character, with care and caution to avoid causing injury to others with equal right.

        In early cases it was declared that where highways had not been restricted by dedication to some particular motive use, they were open to all suitable methods of transportation, and a new means of making the way useful cannot be excluded merely because it’s introduction might tend to the inconvenience, or even to the injury, of those who continue to use road after the same manner as formerly; and although travel upon the public roads had, until a comparatively recent date, chiefly been by means of horses, persons making use of these animals for purposes of travel had no prescriptive rights or privileges superior to those who had recourse to other methods of locomotion upon the public thoroughfares.   The automobile was considered in ordinary vehicle for pleasure or business, furnishing a convenient and useful mode of travel and transportation not necessarily inconsistent with the proper use of the highways by others, and while it was generally recognized that motor vehicles had introduced a new element of danger to travelers on the highway, necessarily exacting a degree of care commensurate with their use, yet such vehicles had rights upon the public roads and streets equal to those of horses, carriages, and other vehicles.

11. Automobile as Dangerous Instrumentality. – Although there is some authority to the contrary, it is a principle of law well established by the great weight of authority that an automobile – at least an automobile and proper repair – or motorcycle is not inherently a dangerous agency so as to render the owner or operator thereof liable as an insurer for injuries caused thereby.   Liability, if any, must rest upon negligence.   The rules requiring extraordinary care of dangerous instrumentality’s do not apply to automobiles.   In other words, automobiles are not to be regarded in the same category with locomotives, ferocious animals, dynamite, and other dangerous contrivances and agencies.

        In accordance with these principles, and owner of an automobile is not responsible for injuries which may be sustained by strangers from its careless and wrongful use while in the possession of another who is using it without his consent.   Nor can he be held responsible for the acts of his servant in operating the machine without authority, although he knew that the servant was unskillful and careless.   An automobile in good condition is not a dangerous instrument that one letting it for hire must test the competency and skill of a customer before intrusting him with it, under penalty of liability for injuries done by the hirer’s negligence.

12. – Apparent Limitations Upon Dangerous Agency Rule. – Although, as shown above, it is a well established principle that an automobile is not inherently a dangerous machine, this principle must be considered in the light of other principles affecting it.   For example, it is the general rule in the law of negligence at the care to be exercised in the use of any instrumentality is proportionate to the possibilities of injury from its careless use; and in a number of cases the courts have referred to the automobile as a dangerous instrumentality in the sense that a high degree of care must be exercised by the person operating it.   This “high degree” of care may be regarded as by ordinary care under the circumstances, the fact that the instrumentality used is an automobile constituting one of the circumstances.   It is been asserted that the automobile is a dangerous instrumentality “when driven upon the highways in the careless and negligent manner,” and that an automobile is a machine of such “dangerous potentialities” that it is negligence for the owner to intrusted to an incompetent or inexperienced person.

13. Automobile as a Nuisance. – Since he use the highways by automobiles is lawful, the motor vehicle cannot be regarded as a nuisance per se.   There is a difference of opinion upon the question whether an automobile is an attractive nuisance.   The general view is that it is not, although under certain circumstances the automobile has been held to be such a nuisance.   Where the owner finds an infant of tender years in his car he is not absolving of liability by driving it from the car, but is required to exercise reasonable care to avoid injury to the child thereafter.

14. Automobile as Tool or Implement of Trade. – The question occasionally arises as to whether or not an automobile is a “tool,” “implement,” “instrument,” “utensil,” or “apparatus” within the meaning of the debtors exemption laws.   Obviously, the determination of this question depends to a large extent upon the wording of the statute and upon the specific factual situation involved.   An automobile has been held not to be a tool or implement of trade within the meaning of the exemption laws.   A truck in an automobile owned by a farmer and used by them for general farm purposes, including the marketing of farm produce, have been held not to be farm “tools” or “instruments” within the meaning of an exemption statute but are to be classed as “vehicles,” where the statute contains the further classification of “the wagon or other vehicle, etc.,” of a farmer as being exempt.   It is also been held that an automobile of a licensed professional chauffeur is not within a statute exempting “the tools and necessary implements to the extent of $200, used by the execution debtor in the practice of his trade or profession.”



15. Federal Government. – The power of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce gives control over motor vehicles engaged in business between one state and another in the same degree as such control exists as to any other class of vehicles engaged in the same occupation.   However, as to what constitutes “commerce” of an interstate character, the United States Supreme Court has given a definition which fails to include pleasure vehicles engaged in interstate travel.   Concerning police regulations within state limits, the United States government, under ordinary circumstances, has no constitutional authority.   The power to regulate commerce among the states has always been understood as limited by its terms and as a virtual denial of any power to interfere with the internal trade and business of the several states.

23. Class Legislation. - A licensing ordinance applying only to those who use their automobiles for merely private business or pleasure has, been considered invalid.

50.  Limitations upon Use of Streets by Motor Vehicles for Hire. - Under the well-settled rule that a municipality having the power to regulate the use of its streets may pass any reasonable ordinance within its delegated powers governing automobile traffic on the streets, it has been generally held that a municipality has a right to pass an ordinance prohibiting or limiting the use of certain streets by motor vehicles operated for hire.   Thus, an ordinance prohibiting chimneys from using public streets, unless they paid additional license tax, was held reasonable and valid, as was an ordinance prohibiting jitney buses from operating within certain designated zones.   Likewise, where a motor bus line running between two cities was prohibited by virtue of an ordinance in one of the cities, from using certain streets when running through that city, it was held that the ordinance was reasonable because it tended to relieve the congested traffic conditions of the city.   It has, however, been held that an ordinance for bidding duly licensed cabdrivers to operate their vehicles on the principal streets of the city between certain points, except to discharge and take up passengers on prior calls, in which case the vehicle must enter and leave the street at the point nearest the place where the passenger is to be taken or discharge, is an unconstitutional interference with the rights of such drivers.

        Note that section 50 has to do with COMMERCE/BUSINESS.   Note the terms used that apply to COMMERCE/BUSINESS:
        What class license is issued to a cab driver?   If you don't know then simply call your local cab company and ask what class license is required to be hired as a cab driver.   In California the class is Class C, which is the the class license issued to nearly everyone who wants to use a car, truck, or van.

        Predicated on the foregoing information, we've been mislead.   Everyone who's got a Class C license is PERMITTED to use the streets and highways for COMMERCIAL/BUSINESS = TRAFFIC purposes, however that same license is NOT REQUIRED to travel by car, truck or van for NONCOMMERCIAL household purposes or for the common purpose of NONCOMMERCIAL travel.   The Class C license PERMITS the use of a "motor vehicle" to deliver/carrry/haul passengers or merchandise from Point A to Point B for compensation or hire.

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