Arms v. Minnehaha Co., 8543

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtROBERTS, P.J.
Citation69 S.D. 164,7 N.W.2d 722
Docket Number8543
Decision Date01 February 1943
PartiesVIOLA ARMS, Appellant, v. MINNEHAHA COUNTY, and James Anderson, Respondents.
69 SD 164, 7 NW2d 722 (1943)

VIOLA ARMS,
Appellant,
v.
MINNEHAHA COUNTY,

and James Anderson,
Respondents.


South Dakota Supreme Court
Appeal from Circuit Court, Minnehaha County, SD
Hon. John T. Medin, Judge
#8543—Affirmed.

Louis H. Smith, Sioux Falls, SD
Attorney for Appellant.

Verne H. Jennings, N. A. Boe, John R. McDowell, Sioux Falls, SD
Attorney for Respondent.

Opinion filed February 1, 1943

[69 SD 165]

ROBERTS, P.J.


The plaintiff Viola Arms commenced this action against Minnehaha County and James Anderson. The case was tried before a jury. The jury returned a verdict for plaintiff and defendant county moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict upon the ground that the defendants were engaged in the exercise of a governmental function and that the defendant county was not liable for the negligence of its employee. This motion was granted by the trial court and plaintiff appeals from the judgment entered thereon.

Plaintiff sustained injuries as the result of a collision between an automobile driven by her husband and a snowplow owned by Minnehaha County and driven by defendant Anderson an employee of the county. It appears without dispute that defendant Anderson at the time of the accident was not engaged in work upon a county highway, but was

[69 SD 166]

returning from work over U. S. Highway 77 to the county garage in Sioux Falls. The statute under which the county is sought to be held liable is SDC 44.0333. This section was a part of the Uniform Motor Vehicle Act, § 33, ch. 251, Laws 1929. That section reads as follows: “The provisions of this chapter, applicable to the drivers of vehicles upon the highways, shall apply to the drivers of all vehicles owned or operated by this state or any county, city, town, district or any other political subdivision of the state subject to such specific exceptions as are set forth in this chapter. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to persons, teams, motor vehicles and other equipment while actually engaged in work upon the surface of a highway but shall apply to such persons and vehicles when traveling to or from such work.”

It is well settled that no action lies against a county, in the absence of statute to the contrary, to recover damages for the negligence of its officers, agents or employees. Bailey v. Lawrence County, 5 SD 393, 59 NW 219, 49 AmStRep Am; Hanigan v. Minnehaha County et al., 47 SD 606, 201 NW 522; Brown v. Roberts County, 49 SD 173, 206 NW 479; Cain v. Meade County, 54 SD 540, 223 NW 734; Robinson v. Minnehaha County, 65 SD 628, 277 NW 324; Vesely v. Charles Mix County et al., 66 SD 570, 287 NW 51. The county contends that this common law immunity has not been abrogated by the provisions of the statute on which plaintiff relies.

The section above quoted makes the provisions of SDC 44.03 regulating the operation of vehicles on the highways applicable “to the drivers of all vehicles owned or operated” by any county “subject to such specific...

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9 practice notes
  • L.R. Foy Const. Co., Inc. v. South Dakota State Cement Plant Com'n, No. 15000
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • January 14, 1987
    ...Merrill v. Birhanzel, 310 N.W.2d 522 (S.D.1981); High-Grade Oil Co., Inc. v. Sommer, 295 N.W.2d 736 (S.D.1980); Arms v. Minnehaha County, 69 S.D. 164, 7 N.W.2d 722 The only statutory provision the present majority cites as supporting its tort immunity erasure is SDCL 57A-2-701. This UCC pro......
  • Wulf v. Senst, No. 22428
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 27, 2003
    ...highway repair and maintenance functions are discretionary or ministerial in nature on prior occasions. See Arms v. Minnehaha County, 69 S.D. 164, 7 N.W.2d 722 (1943) (governmental immunity applied to an accident involving a snow plow); High-Grade Oil Co., Inc. v. Sommer, 295 N.W.2d 736 (S.......
  • Arcon Const. Co., Inc. v. South Dakota Cement Plant, Nos. 14139
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • May 2, 1984
    ...Merrill v. Birhanzel, 310 N.W.2d 522 (S.D.1981); High-Grade Oil Co., Inc. v. Sommer, 295 N.W.2d 736 (S.D.1980); Arms v. Minnehaha County, 69 S.D. 164, 7 N.W.2d 722 The cement plant is clearly an arm of the state. Article XIII, section 10 of the South Dakota Constitution declares that the ma......
  • Conway v. Humbert, No. 10286
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • October 21, 1966
    ...be a departure from the rule the policy should be declared and the extent of liability fixed by the legislature. Arms v. Minnehaha County, 69 S.D. 164, 7 N.W.2d 722. In a recent case, Jerauld County v. St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co., supra, we recognized that the doctrine had been subjected......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • L.R. Foy Const. Co., Inc. v. South Dakota State Cement Plant Com'n, No. 15000
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • January 14, 1987
    ...Merrill v. Birhanzel, 310 N.W.2d 522 (S.D.1981); High-Grade Oil Co., Inc. v. Sommer, 295 N.W.2d 736 (S.D.1980); Arms v. Minnehaha County, 69 S.D. 164, 7 N.W.2d 722 The only statutory provision the present majority cites as supporting its tort immunity erasure is SDCL 57A-2-701. This UCC pro......
  • Wulf v. Senst, No. 22428
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 27, 2003
    ...highway repair and maintenance functions are discretionary or ministerial in nature on prior occasions. See Arms v. Minnehaha County, 69 S.D. 164, 7 N.W.2d 722 (1943) (governmental immunity applied to an accident involving a snow plow); High-Grade Oil Co., Inc. v. Sommer, 295 N.W.2d 736 (S.......
  • Arcon Const. Co., Inc. v. South Dakota Cement Plant, Nos. 14139
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • May 2, 1984
    ...Merrill v. Birhanzel, 310 N.W.2d 522 (S.D.1981); High-Grade Oil Co., Inc. v. Sommer, 295 N.W.2d 736 (S.D.1980); Arms v. Minnehaha County, 69 S.D. 164, 7 N.W.2d 722 The cement plant is clearly an arm of the state. Article XIII, section 10 of the South Dakota Constitution declares that the ma......
  • Conway v. Humbert, No. 10286
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • October 21, 1966
    ...be a departure from the rule the policy should be declared and the extent of liability fixed by the legislature. Arms v. Minnehaha County, 69 S.D. 164, 7 N.W.2d 722. In a recent case, Jerauld County v. St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co., supra, we recognized that the doctrine had been subjected......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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