Board of Ed. of Green Mountain Independent School Dist. v. Iowa State Bd. of Public Instruction, No. 52870

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtLeGRAND
Citation157 N.W.2d 919,261 Iowa 1203
PartiesBOARD OF EDUCATION OF the GREEN MOUNTAIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, Richard Rasmussen and Robert Hilsabeck, Appellants, v. IOWA STATE BOARD OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 52870
Decision Date09 April 1968

Page 919

157 N.W.2d 919
261 Iowa 1203
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the GREEN MOUNTAIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, Richard Rasmussen and Robert Hilsabeck, Appellants,
v.
IOWA STATE BOARD OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, Appellee.
No. 52870.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
April 9, 1968.

[261 Iowa 1205]

Page 920

Haupert, Robertson & Johnson, and Mote, Wilson & Welp, Marshalltown, for appellants.

David B. Hendrickson, and Elizabeth Nolan, Asst. Attys. Gen., Des Moines, for appellee.

LeGRAND, Justice.

We are required by this appeal to determine the propriety of certain acts of defendant in connection with proceedings affecting Marion Independent School District #4, Green Mountain Independent School District, and Marshalltown Independent School District, all in Marshall County, Iowa. The governing statute is 275.1, Code, 1966, the pertinent part of which provides, '* * * It is further declared to be the policy of the state that all the area of the state shall be in a district maintaining twelve grades by July 1, 1966. If any area of the state is not a part of such a district by April 1, 1966, or is not included in a reorganization petition filed in accordance with section 275.12 on or before April 1, 1966, the area shall be attached by the county board of education to a district, or districts maintaining twelve grades, such attachment to become effective July 1, 1966, and provided such attachment has the approval of the state board of public instruction. Any such district or part thereof attached by the county board of education, with the approval of the state board of public instruction, shall have the right to appeal this attachment to a court of record in the county in which said district or [261 Iowa 1206] part thereof is located within twenty (20) days after the date of the approval by the state board of public instruction.'

Prior to April 1, 1966 an attempt to merge the Marion district with the Marshalltown district as provided in chapter 275 had failed, and on that date the Marion district neither maintained 12 grades, nor was it included as part of any reorganization petition filed upon section 275.12, Code, 1966. It was therefore within the

Page 921

statutory directive requiring the Marshall County Board of Education to attach it to a 12-grade district by July 1, 1966. The parties have been unable to agree which district that shall be, Green Mountain Independent School District or Marshalltown Independent School District. Pending the outcome of this appeal, it stands attached to Marshalltown Independent School District.

For convenience the school districts involved are hereafter referred to simply as Marion, Green Mountain, and Marshalltown.

I. Plaintiffs brought this district court action in certiorari to challenge the legality of defendant's order of June 28, 1966, rescinding its previous order of June 16, 1966. The June 16th order approved attachment of Marion to Green Mountain; the June 28th order withdrew that approval. Plaintiffs attack both the authority of defendant to take this action and the manner in which it did so. The district court found against plaintiffs and dismissed their petition. If defendant had jurisdiction and did not exceed its statutory power, the trial court must be affirmed. The function of certiorari is to test the authority of an inferior tribunal, not the correctness of its findings. Rule 306, Rules of Civil Procedure; Hohl v. Board of Education, 250 Iowa 502, 508, 94 N.W.2d 787; Iowa-Illinois Gas & Electric Company v. Gaffney, 256 Iowa 1029, 1041, 129 N.W.2d 832. Certiorari is a law action and this appeal is not de novo. We are bound by the trial court's findings if they have substantial support in the evidence. Rule 318, Rules of Civil Procedure; 14 C.J.S. Certiorari § 172, p. 311; Grant v. Norris, 249 Iowa 236, 253, 85 N.W.2d 261; Hubka v. County Board of Education, 251 Iowa 659, 664, 102 N.W.2d 167; Iowa-Illinois Gas & Electric Company v. Gaffney, supra.

[261 Iowa 1207] Plaintiffs allege two assignments of error: (1) The defendant's order of June 16, 1966, approving the attachment of Marion to Green Mountain was a finality and defendant had no authority thereafter to rescind it; (2) Even if such authority did exist, defendant acted in such a capricious, arbitrary and illegal manner that its subsequent order of June 28, 1966 is void and cannot stand.

II. Before discussing plaintiffs' first assignment of error, we briefly outline the background of this dispute. Prior to April 1, 1966, a merger of Marion and Marshalltown was attempted under section 275.40, Code, 1966. This merger failed. On April 11, 1966, the Marshall County Board of Education voted to attach part of Marion to Marshalltown, and part to Green Mountain. The defendant, whose approval to any attachment between districts is required by section 275.1, refused to sanction this split plan. Therefore, it too failed On June 14, 1966, the Marshall County Board considered a motion to attach Marion to Marshalltown. This proposal was defeated by a three-to-two vote. It next considered attaching Marion to Green Mountain; this was adopted by a three-to-two vote. On June 16th, acting under the authority of 275.1, defendant approved the attachment of Marion to Green Mountain. However, this by no means ended the matter. Almost immediately defendant had misgivings about its approval. On the very next day a proposal to reconsider barely failed by a four-to-four vote. Then on June 28th, perilously close to the July 1st date upon which the attachment of Marion to Green Mountain would have become effective under section 275.1, defendant rescinded its approval of June 16th and returned the problem to the Marshall County Board of Education 'to re-evaluate, reaffirm * * * or re-assign.' On June 30th the Marshall County Board of Education, reversing its own June 14th decision, voted unanimously to attach Marion to Marshalltown. There the dispute rests. Pending outcome of this appeal, defendant has neither approved hor disapproved this last attachment resolution.

The parties agree our determination is not controlled by the statutory...

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16 practice notes
  • Johnson v. Board of Adjustment, City of West Des Moines, No. 2-57317
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 17, 1976
    ...or regulations, the presumption of regularity applies until clearly rebutted. As observed in Board of Education v. State Bd. Pub. Instn., 261 Iowa 1203, 1210, 157 N.W.2d 919, 923 '(A)ll inferences in favor of the legality of official steps will be observed, and only where it clearly appears......
  • Cedar Rapids Human Rights Commission v. Cedar Rapids Community School Dist., in Linn County, No. 56066
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 16, 1974
    ...hearing must be conducted in such a way so as to safeguard the rights of interested parties. Board of Education v. State Bd. Pub. Instn., 261 Iowa 1203, 1211, 157 N.W.2d 919, 923--924 and Zwingle Ind. Sch. Dist. v. State Board of Public Instrn., 160 N.W.2d 299, 302 (Iowa The foregoing autho......
  • Stanley v. Southwestern Community College Merged Area (Merged Area XIV), in Counties of Adair, et al., No. 54181
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 9, 1971
    ...160 N.W.2d 299, 302; Board of Education of Green Mountain Independent School District v. Iowa State Board of Public Instruction (1968), 261 Iowa 1203, 1211--1212, 157 N.W.2d 919, There is no constitutional requirement for a hearing under the facts of this case. 'It is too clear for argument......
  • Eden Tp. School Dist. v. Carroll County Bd. of Ed., No. 53986
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 10, 1970
    ...party' contained in 275.8 whereas section 275.1 does not. In Board of Education of Green Mountain v. Iowa State Bd. Pub. Instn., 261 Iowa 1203, 1208--1211, 157 N.W.2d 919, 922--923, a certiorari proceeding, attention was called to the fact statutory requirements for attachments under sectio......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Johnson v. Board of Adjustment, City of West Des Moines, No. 2-57317
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 17, 1976
    ...or regulations, the presumption of regularity applies until clearly rebutted. As observed in Board of Education v. State Bd. Pub. Instn., 261 Iowa 1203, 1210, 157 N.W.2d 919, 923 '(A)ll inferences in favor of the legality of official steps will be observed, and only where it clearly appears......
  • Cedar Rapids Human Rights Commission v. Cedar Rapids Community School Dist., in Linn County, No. 56066
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • October 16, 1974
    ...hearing must be conducted in such a way so as to safeguard the rights of interested parties. Board of Education v. State Bd. Pub. Instn., 261 Iowa 1203, 1211, 157 N.W.2d 919, 923--924 and Zwingle Ind. Sch. Dist. v. State Board of Public Instrn., 160 N.W.2d 299, 302 (Iowa The foregoing autho......
  • Stanley v. Southwestern Community College Merged Area (Merged Area XIV), in Counties of Adair, et al., No. 54181
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 9, 1971
    ...160 N.W.2d 299, 302; Board of Education of Green Mountain Independent School District v. Iowa State Board of Public Instruction (1968), 261 Iowa 1203, 1211--1212, 157 N.W.2d 919, There is no constitutional requirement for a hearing under the facts of this case. 'It is too clear for argument......
  • Eden Tp. School Dist. v. Carroll County Bd. of Ed., No. 53986
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 10, 1970
    ...party' contained in 275.8 whereas section 275.1 does not. In Board of Education of Green Mountain v. Iowa State Bd. Pub. Instn., 261 Iowa 1203, 1208--1211, 157 N.W.2d 919, 922--923, a certiorari proceeding, attention was called to the fact statutory requirements for attachments under sectio......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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