172 S.E.2d 384 (W.Va. 1970), 12844, Crockett v. Andrews

Docket Nº:12844.
Citation:172 S.E.2d 384, 153 W.Va. 714
Opinion Judge:CAPLAN, Judge.
Party Name:Jennings C. CROCKETT and Tommy E. Young v. Larry W. ANDREWS et al., Members of the Police Civil Service Commission of theCity of Charleston, etc., et al.
Attorney:Paul J. Kaufman, Stanley H. Sergent, Jr., Charleston, for appellant., Bernard D. Horan, Cleo S. Jones, Charleston, for appellees. Paul J. Kaufman, Stanley H. Sergent, Jr., Charleston, for appellant. Bernard D. Horan, Cleo S. Jones, Charleston, for appellees.
Case Date:February 24, 1970
Court:Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
 
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Page 384

172 S.E.2d 384 (W.Va. 1970)

153 W.Va. 714

Jennings C. CROCKETT and Tommy E. Young

v.

Larry W. ANDREWS et al., Members of the Police Civil Service

Commission of theCity of Charleston, etc., et al.

No. 12844.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

February 24, 1970

Submitted Feb. 3, 1970.

Page 385

Syllabus by the Court

1. Rules and regulations promulgated and adopted by a police civil service commission pursuant to statutory authority have the force and effect of law and are therefore subject to the usual rules of statutory construction.

[153 W.Va. 715] 2. Where the language of a statute is free from ambiguity, its plain meaning is to be accepted and applied without resort to interpretation.

3. While long standing interpretation of its own rules by an administrative body is ordinarily afforded much weight, such interpretation is impermissible where the language is clear and unambiguous.

Paul J. Kaufman, Stanley H. Sergent, Jr., Charleston, for appellant.

Bernard D. Horan, Cleo S. Jones, Charleston, for appellees.

CAPLAN, Judge.

This is an appeal from a final judgment of the Circuit Court of Kanawha County in a declaratory judgment proceeding instituted by Jennings C. Crockett, a sergeant in the Charleston Police Department, against the members of the Police Civil Service Commission and the Mayor of the City of Charleston. In that action the petitioner sought a construction of certain provisions of the Police Civil Service Laws of West Virginia and the Rules and Regulations of the Police Civil Service Commission of the City of Charleston and a declaration of his rights thereunder. The petition was subsequently amended to add Tommy E. Young as a petitioner. Also, certain members of the police department were impleaded as defendants in their individual rights and as representatives of a class composed of members of the department who had participated in the examination held by the Police Civil Service Commission for promotion to the positions of sergeants, lieutenants and captain of the Charleston Police Department.

[153 W.Va. 716] The latter defendants filed a motion for summary judgment which motion was granted and the petition was dismissed. It is from this judgment that this appeal is prosecuted. Petitioner Crockett is not involved in this appeal, it having been determined in the trial court that even with the requested relief he would not have been eligible for promotion.

The appellant, Tommy E. Young, is a patrolman in the Charleston Police Department, having been originally appointed in November, 1949. He served with the police department continously from the date of his appointment until September 16, 1963, when he voluntarily resigned. On October 23, 1963, approximately five weeks after his resignation, he applied for and was granted reinstatement in the police department. He has served continuously as a patrolman since that time.

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