272 S.E.2d 878 (N.C.App. 1980), 8024SC427, Appeal of Land and Mineral Co.

Docket Nº:8024SC427.
Citation:272 S.E.2d 878, 49 N.C.App. 608
Party Name:In the Matter of the Appeal of LAND AND MINERAL COMPANY from the Valuation of Certain of Its Property, To Wit: 9,000 Acres of Mineral Rights By the Avery County County Board of Equalization and Review For 1978.
Case Date:December 02, 1980
Court:Court of Appeals of North Carolina
 
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Page 878

272 S.E.2d 878 (N.C.App. 1980)

49 N.C.App. 608

In the Matter of the Appeal of LAND AND MINERAL COMPANY from

the Valuation of Certain of Its Property, To Wit: 9,000

Acres of Mineral Rights By the Avery County County Board of

Equalization and Review For 1978.

No. 8024SC427.

Court of Appeals of North Carolina.

December 2, 1980

Page 879

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 880

Adams, Hendon, Carson & Crow by Philip G. Carson, Asheville, for petitioner-appellee.

William B. Cocke, Jr., Newland, for respondent-appellant.

MORRIS, Chief Judge.

In this case we are asked to determine whether the Superior Court correctly determined that the evidence presented to the State Board did not support its conclusions.

Here, we must review the actions of a State administrative agency, and of the Superior Court which determined that the agency's conclusions were in error. When reviewing an order of a State agency such as the State Board, the Superior Court may not make findings contrary to the State Board's when the findings of the State Board are supported by "competent, material, and substantial evidence". In re Appeal of Amp, Inc., 287 N.C. 547, 561, 215 S.E.2d 752, 761 (1975), and cases cited therein.

G.S. 150A-51 specifies the scope of review and the power of the courts in disposing of a case appealed from the decision of a State [49 N.C.App. 611] agency. The statute provides in part:

The court may affirm the decision of the agency or remand the case for further proceedings; or it may reverse or modify the decision if the substantial rights of the petitioners may have been prejudiced because the agency findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions are:

(5) Unsupported by substantial evidence admissible under G.S. 150A-29(a) or G.S. 150A-30 in view of the entire record as submitted; or

(6) Arbitrary or capricious.

Upon considering the judicial rule of Amp in conjunction with G.S. 150A-51 the standard of review derived therefrom, which we must apply in this case, is whether the decision of the State Board was supported by "competent, material, and substantial evidence".

The scope of judicial review of agency decisions required by G.S. 150A-51 has been construed by the Supreme Court in Thompson v. Board of Education, 292 N.C. 406, 233 S.E.2d 538 (1977). There the Court stated:

This standard of judicial review is known as the "whole record" test and must be distinguished from both de novo review and the "any competent evidence" standard of review. Universal Camera Corp. v. N.L.R.B., 340 U.S. 474, 71 S.Ct. 456, 95 L.Ed. 456 (1951); Underwood v. Board of Alcoholic Control, 278 N.C. 623, 181 S.E.2d 1 (1971); Hanft, Some Aspects of Evidence in Adjudication by Administrative Agencies in North Carolina, 49 N.C.L.Rev. 635, 668-74 (1971); Hanft, Administrative Law, 45 N.C.L.Rev. 816, 816-19 (1967). The "whole record" test does not

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allow the reviewing court to replace the Board's judgment as between two reasonably conflicting views, even though the court could justifiably have reached a different result had the matter been before it de novo. Universal Camera Corp., supra. On the other hand, the "whole record" rule requires the court, in determining the...

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