555 N.E.2d 931 (Ohio 1990), 89-632, Union Title Co. v. State Bd. of Educ.

Docket Nº:89-632.
Citation:555 N.E.2d 931, 51 Ohio St.3d 189
Opinion Judge:HOLMES, J.
Party Name:UNION TITLE CO., Appellant, v. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION et al., Appellees.
Attorney:Dennis R. Clunk, Alliance, for appellant. Dennis R. Clunk, for appellant., Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., attorney general, and Christopher M. Culley, for appellee State Board of Education., Rankin M. Gibson, for appellee Bd. of Edn. of Harlington Local School District.
Judge Panel:MOYER, C.J., and WRIGHT, HERBERT R. BROWN and RESNICK, JJ., concur. SWEENEY and DOUGLAS, JJ., dissent.
Case Date:June 13, 1990
Court:Supreme Court of Ohio
 
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Page 931

555 N.E.2d 931 (Ohio 1990)

51 Ohio St.3d 189

UNION TITLE CO., Appellant,

v.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION et al., Appellees.

No. 89-632.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

June 13, 1990

Submitted March 14, 1990.

Syllabus by the Court

The act of the State Board of Education disapproving a transfer of territory request pursuant to R.C. 3311.06 is a quasi-judicial act and, as such, is appealable under R.C. 119.12, where the affected parties are provided with notice, a hearing, and the opportunity to present evidence pursuant to Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 3301-89. (Bd. of Edn. of Marion v. Bd. of Edn. of Elgin [1981], 66 Ohio St.2d 152, 20 O.O.3d 165, 420 N.E.2d 990, syllabus, distinguished and limited.)

On December 23, 1986, appellant, Union Title Co. ("Union"), purchased approximately 29.876 acres of land located in the city of Alliance, Ohio. Then, on January 9, 1987, Union petitioned appellee Board of Education of the Alliance City School District to make an application with the appellee State Board of Education ("State Board") in order to transfer Union's land from the Marlington Local School District to the Alliance City School District. 1

In response to Union's request the Alliance school board passed a resolution formally requesting that the State Board transfer the land to the Alliance City School District pursuant to R.C. 3311.06. On February 1, 1987, specific administrative rules governing transfer requests pursuant to R.C. 3311.06 went into effect.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction formally notified both school districts of the State Board's intent to consider the transfer of territory. Next, a public hearing was held on June 30, 1987 Before a referee. On October 6, 1987, the referee filed his report and recommendation against the transfer of territory from the Marlington Local School District to the Alliance City School District. Ultimately, the State Board passed a resolution on November 9, 1987 adopting the recommendation of the referee and denying the request to transfer territory.

Union brought an appeal pursuant to R.C. 119.12 from the State Board's resolution. The appellee Board of Education of the Marlington Local School District and the State Board moved to dismiss the appeal on the grounds that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and Union lacked [51 Ohio St.3d 190] standing to bring the appeal. The court held that pursuant to R.C. 3311.06, the decision of the State Board was a legislative act; therefore, it was not appealable under R.C. 119.12. Further, the court chose not to reach the issue of Union's

Page 932

standing to bring the appeal, since the court determined it already lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

The court of appeals affirmed the trial court decision, and cited Bd. of Edn. of Marion v. Bd. of Edn. of Elgin (1981), 66 Ohio St.2d 152, 20 O.O.3d 165, 420 N.E.2d 990, as controlling. The court stated that the failure of R.C. 3311.06 to impose on the State Board any guidelines or standards of procedure was the reason the State Board's power was perceived as legislative and not quasi-judicial. Furthermore, the court noted that although the State Board fashioned procedural rules since the decision in Marion, supra, it could not create its own jurisdiction or alter its power by its own act.

The cause is now before this court upon the allowance of a motion to certify the record.

Dennis R. Clunk, Alliance, for appellant.

Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Atty. Gen., and Christopher M. Culley, for appellee State Bd. of Educ.

Rankin M. Gibson, Columbus, for appellee Bd. of Educ. of Marlington Local School Dist.

HOLMES, Justice.

The sole issue presented in this case is whether an order issued by the State Board of Education disapproving the transfer of certain school district territory pursuant to R.C. 3311.06 may be appealed to the court of common pleas pursuant to R.C. 119.12. For the reasons which follow, we hold that such an order may be appealed.

Section 4, Article VI of the Ohio Constitution mandates the creation of a State Board of Education and requires the General Assembly to prescribe its powers and duties. One of the powers and duties of the State Board pursuant to the constitutional mandate is found in R.C. 3311.06, which relates to the transfer of school territory following municipal annexations. Further, R.C. 3301.13 provides that "[i]n the exercise of any of its functions or powers, including the power to make rules and regulations and to prescribe minimum standards[,] the department of education, and any officer or agency therein" is subject to R.C. Chapter 119. And, R.C. 119.12 provides that "[a]ny party adversely affected by any order of an agency issued pursuant to any other adjudication may appeal to the court of common pleas of Franklin county." 2

Thus, it appears that an order of the State Board denying a transfer of certain school district territory under R.C. 3311.06 is appealable by a party adversely affected by that order. However, there are further considerations necessary when construing an administrative order, such as whether the order is quasi-judicial or quasi-legislative in character. In M.J. Kelley Co. v. Cleveland (1972), 32 Ohio St.2d 150, 61 O.O.2d 394, 290 N.E.2d 562, paragraph one of the syllabus, this court held: "The review of proceedings [51 Ohio St.3d 191] of administrative officers and agencies, authorized by Section 4(B), Article IV of the Ohio Constitution, contemplates quasi-judicial proceedings only, and administrative actions of administrative officers and agencies not resulting from...

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