164 S.E.2d 775 (W.Va. 1968), 12761, State ex rel. West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission v. Oakley
|Citation:||164 S.E.2d 775, 152 W.Va. 533|
|Party Name:||STATE ex rel. WEST VIRGINIA SECONDARY SCHOOL ACTIVITIES COMMISSION et al., etc. v. The Honorable Harvey OAKLEY, etc., Judge, et al., Edward Lee, etc., et al.|
|Case Date:||December 17, 1968|
|Court:||Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia|
Submitted Oct. 29, 1968.
Syllabus by the Court
1. 'Moot questions or abstract propositions, the decision of which would avail nothing in the determination of controverted rights of persons or of property, are not properly cognizable by a court.' Pt. 1, syllabus, State ex rel. Lilly v. Carter, 63 W.Va. 684 (60 S.E. 873).
2. As a general rule courts should not interfere with the internal affairs of school activities commissions of associations.
3. 'The writ of prohibition lies as a matter of right when the inferior court does not have jurisdiction of the subject matter in controversy, or having such jurisdiction, exceeds its legitimate powers.' Pt. 6, syllabus, W.Va. Sec. School Activities Comm. v. Wagner, Judge, 143 W.Va. 508 (102 S.E.2d 901).
4. In the absence of statutory power or of circumstances such as fraud, a court has no jurisdiction to determine a controversy regarding the eligibility of an athlete suspended from competition under rules promulgated by an association to which the secondary school in which he was a student at the time of suspension voluntarily belonged.
Jack L. Miller, Parkersburg, Jackson, Kelly, Holt & O'Farrell, John L. McClaugherty, Louis S. Southworth, II, Charleston, for relators.
W. Bernard Smith, Logan, for respondents.
This is an original proceeding in prohibition instituted in this Court September 3, 1968, in which the petitioners, the [152 W.Va. 534] West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission and the officers and members of the Board of Appeal and Board of Review, individually and as members of the Boards seek to prohibit the respondents who are a judge and two litigants from proceeding with and from hearing and considering a purported appeal from an order of the 'Board of Appeals' of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission finding that the respondent Edward Lee was ineligible to play football for the Logan Senior High School because of his age, in which appeal a stay was granted against both the 'Board of Appeals' and the 'Board of Review' of said Commission and to prohibit the respondent the Honorable Harvey Oakley, the duly elected and acting judge of the Circuit Court of Logan County, West Virginia, from hearing any matters in connection with this purported appeal and from continuing in any way to prosecute contempt proceedings against the executive 'secretary' of the Commission and 'members' of its Board of Appeals, which had grown out of the stay granted in the lower court.
No evidence was taken in this proceeding but voluminous pleadings were filed consisting of a petition, a demurrer to the petition, an answer by respondents, a demurrer to the answer, and a replication to the answer, with numerous exhibits attached and made a part of the pleadings.
A rule was issued September 3, 1968, returnable October 8, 1968, and continued to October 29, 1968, at which time the case was submitted on briefs for the decision of this Court during the September 1968 Regular Term.
Inasmuch as the respondent Edward Lee was graduated from the Logan Senior High School at Logan, West Virginia, in June, 1968, the question attempted to be submitted by him to the Circuit Court of Logan County on appeal is moot. However, the contempt proceeding instituted by the Circuit Court of Logan County for an alleged failure to comply with the...
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