Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, Inc., No. 1

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtBILLINGS; PREWITT, P. J., MAUS, C. J., and HOGAN
Citation630 S.W.2d 225
Decision Date05 February 1982
Docket NumberR,No. 1,No. 12256
Parties3 Ed. Law Rep. 779 John W. ALLEN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SALINA BROADCASTING, INC., et al., Defendant, and Dallas County School Districtespondent.

Page 225

630 S.W.2d 225
3 Ed. Law Rep. 779
John W. ALLEN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SALINA BROADCASTING, INC., et al., Defendant,
and
Dallas County School District No. 1, Respondent.
No. 12256.
Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, Division Two.
Feb. 5, 1982.
Motion for Rehearing Overruled and to Transfer to Supreme
Court Denied Feb. 26,
1982.
Application to Transfer Denied April 13, 1982.

Page 226

Richard D. Bender, Sherwood, Honecker & Bender, Springfield, for plaintiff-appellant.

Andrew K. Bennett, Freeman, Fredrick, Bennett & Rogers, P. C., Springfield, for respondent.

BILLINGS, Judge.

Defendant School District No. 1, Dallas County, was granted summary judgment on Count II of plaintiff John W. Allen's four-count amended petition in which he sought damages against five defendants for alleged defamatory statements.

Initially, we are confronted with the School District's motion to dismiss this appeal as premature because the summary judgment did not dispose of all parties and all issues. We find no merit in this contention. The trial court's docket sheet clearly shows the order granting summary judgment for the School District was made final for purpose of appeal. An order granting summary judgment may properly be designated by the trial court as final for purposes of appeal pursuant to Rule 81.06, V.A.M.R.; Kaufman v. Bormaster, 599 S.W.2d 35 (Mo.App.1980). Dismissal of a claim against one party in a multiple-party suit may also be designated final for purposes of appeal under Rule 81.06. Spires v. Edgar, 513 S.W.2d 372 (Mo. banc 1974). School District's motion to dismiss the appeal is denied.

Plaintiff's suit charges four counts of defamation based upon separate publication in 1975, by three of the defendants, including the School District, of a report written by a fourth defendant claiming the plaintiff was "starving his cattle to death." The fifth defendant, Wayne Lemmons, is an employee of the School District. In an original proceeding in prohibition, our Supreme Court ruled that plaintiff be allowed to amend his petition to aver sufficient facts to prosecute his claim against the School District within the proprietary function exception to the doctrine of sovereign immunity. State ex rel. Allen v. Barker, 581 S.W.2d 818 (Mo. banc 1979).

The single issue presented in this appeal is whether or not the School District is shielded by sovereign immunity. Resolution of this question turns on whether or not plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts to bring this suit within the exception to the general doctrine of immunity. More narrowly, do the facts alleged show the School District's operation of a radio station to be a proprietary function, rather than a governmental function?

"A school district is a 'public corporation' forming an integral part of the State and constituting that instrumentality of the State utilized by the State in discharging its constitutionally invoked governmental function of imparting knowledge to the States youth." (citations omitted). Kansas City v. School District of Kansas City, 356 Mo. 364, 201 S.W.2d 930, 933 (1947). Because a school district is an arm of the state, the Missouri Supreme Court, in Rennie v. Belleview School District, 521 S.W.2d 423 (Mo. banc 1975) refused to "enter the maze of the 'governmental-proprietary' dichotomy" in this area. The Court reaffirmed

Page 227

this position in Beiser v. Parkway School District, 589 S.W.2d 277 (Mo. banc 1979).

The prevailing view was that the school district existed " '... for one single and noble purpose, viz., to educate the children of the district.' " Kansas City v. School District of Kansas City, supra, at 933. However, as State ex rel. Allen v. Barker, supra, rules, those functions of a school district that do not serve this "noble purpose" are proprietary functions and are not given immunity.

"Charitably it has been said that the line between the functions is not clearly defined. The underlying test is whether the particular act performed is for the common good of all or whether the act can be performed adequately only by government and...

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8 practice notes
  • Counts v. Morrison-Knudsen, Inc., MORRISON-KNUDSE
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 16, 1983
    ...by Rule 81.06. 1 The order is appealable. Spires v. Edgar, 513 S.W.2d 372, 377 (Mo. banc 1974); Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, Inc., 630 S.W.2d 225, 226 (Mo.App.1982). Plaintiffs Plaintiffs assert that the petition did state a claim upon which relief can be granted against the city and that ......
  • State ex rel. New Liberty Hosp. Dist. v. Pratt, No. 66481
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 2, 1985
    ...v. Board of Regents, 637 S.W.2d 352 (Mo.App.1982); Johnson v. Carthell, 631 S.W.2d 923, 926 (Mo.App.1982); Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, 630 S.W.2d 225, 227 (Mo.App.1982). However, in this situation, we need not address either the existence or the propriety of such a deviation from the trad......
  • Joske Corp. v. Kirkwood School Dist. R-7, R-7
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 6, 1990
    ...District, 671 S.W.2d 415 (Mo.Ct.App.1984); Johnson v. Carthell, 631 S.W.2d 923 (Mo.Ct.App.1982); and Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, Inc., 630 S.W.2d 225 (Mo.Ct.App.1982). However, the Missouri Supreme Court recently stated, in a non-school district case, "A school district enjoys sovereign i......
  • Delmain v. Meramec Valley R-III School Dist., R-III
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 22, 1984
    ...State ex rel. Allen v. Barker, 581 S.W.2d 818 (Mo. banc 1979). Cases following this decision include Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, Inc., 630 S.W.2d 225 (Mo.App.1982); Johnson v. Carthell, 631 S.W.2d 923 (Mo.App.1982); Fowler v. Board of Regents, 637 S.W.2d 352 School district in the present......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Counts v. Morrison-Knudsen, Inc., MORRISON-KNUDSE
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 16, 1983
    ...by Rule 81.06. 1 The order is appealable. Spires v. Edgar, 513 S.W.2d 372, 377 (Mo. banc 1974); Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, Inc., 630 S.W.2d 225, 226 (Mo.App.1982). Plaintiffs Plaintiffs assert that the petition did state a claim upon which relief can be granted against the city and that ......
  • State ex rel. New Liberty Hosp. Dist. v. Pratt, No. 66481
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 2, 1985
    ...v. Board of Regents, 637 S.W.2d 352 (Mo.App.1982); Johnson v. Carthell, 631 S.W.2d 923, 926 (Mo.App.1982); Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, 630 S.W.2d 225, 227 (Mo.App.1982). However, in this situation, we need not address either the existence or the propriety of such a deviation from the trad......
  • Joske Corp. v. Kirkwood School Dist. R-7, R-7
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 6, 1990
    ...District, 671 S.W.2d 415 (Mo.Ct.App.1984); Johnson v. Carthell, 631 S.W.2d 923 (Mo.Ct.App.1982); and Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, Inc., 630 S.W.2d 225 (Mo.Ct.App.1982). However, the Missouri Supreme Court recently stated, in a non-school district case, "A school district enjoys sovereign i......
  • Delmain v. Meramec Valley R-III School Dist., R-III
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 22, 1984
    ...State ex rel. Allen v. Barker, 581 S.W.2d 818 (Mo. banc 1979). Cases following this decision include Allen v. Salina Broadcasting, Inc., 630 S.W.2d 225 (Mo.App.1982); Johnson v. Carthell, 631 S.W.2d 923 (Mo.App.1982); Fowler v. Board of Regents, 637 S.W.2d 352 School district in the present......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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