James Herbert Denton filed in this court on April 22, 1957, an original petition for mandamus to be directed to the Honorable Wallace Gibson, Judge of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County. It appears that petitioner is under indictment in Jefferson County for the offense of robbery. On April 12 he was arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty and his case was set for trial on April 22. On April 18 the attorneys for petitioner notified the solicitor that they would take the depositions of certain named witnesses on April 19, under the provisions of Act No. 375, appvd. Sept. 8, 1955, Acts 1955, p. 901, Code 1940, Tit. 7, § 474(1) et seq., Cumulative Pocket Part. Subpoenas were served on the witnesses. On April 19 the solicitor moved that the subpoenas be quashed on the ground that Act No. 375 does not apply to criminal cases. This motion was granted. It was then that petitioner instituted this proceeding seeking a writ requiring the respondent-judge to vacate the order granting said motion.
There is only one question presented and that is whether Act No. 375 is applicable to criminal cases. We issued the rule nisi in order to settle the question and thus avoid any continuing doubt as to the Act's applicability. The respondent-judge made answer to the rule, taking the position that the Act is applicable only to civil cases.
The question, as we see it, is purely one of legislative intent. In other words, did the legislature in enacting Act No. 375, intend that its provisions be applicable to criminal cases? In Ex parte Rice, 265 Ala. 454, 92 So.2d 16, 17, this court said:
We find nothing indicating that Act No. 375 was intended to apply to criminal cases. Accordingly, we hold that it is not applicable to such cases.
Peremptory writ is due to be denied. So ordered.
All the Justices concur.