Citizen Awareness Regarding Educ. v. Calhoun County Pub., Inc., No. 19898

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtNEELY
Citation185 W.Va. 168,406 S.E.2d 65
Decision Date06 June 1991
Docket NumberNo. 19898
Parties, 68 Ed. Law Rep. 912, 19 Media L. Rep. 1061 CITIZEN AWARENESS REGARDING EDUCATION, an unincorporated association registered with the Office of the Clerk of the County Commission of Calhoun County as a PAC, Appellee, v. CALHOUN COUNTY PUBLISHING, INC., a corporation, Appellant.

Page 65

406 S.E.2d 65
185 W.Va. 168, 68 Ed. Law Rep. 912,
19 Media L. Rep. 1061
CITIZEN AWARENESS REGARDING EDUCATION, an unincorporated
association registered with the Office of the
Clerk of the County Commission of
Calhoun County as a PAC, Appellee,
v.
CALHOUN COUNTY PUBLISHING, INC., a corporation, Appellant.
No. 19898.
Supreme Court of Appeals of
West Virginia.
Submitted May 15, 1991.
Decided June 6, 1991.

Page 66

[185 W.Va. 169] Syllabus by the Court

1. "This Court, in its discretion, may decide a case that is technically moot if the issue presented by the case can be repeatedly presented to the trial court yet escape review at the appellate level because of its fleeting and determinate nature." Syllabus Point 1, Means v. Sidiropolis, 184 W.Va. 514, 401 S.E.2d 447 (1990).

2. A circuit court's injunction compelling a newspaper to accept and print an advertisement that the newspaper had chosen not to print violated the guarantee of a free press contained in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and also violated the guarantee of a free press found in W.Va. Constitution, Art. III, § 7.

3. Government can never compel a private newspaper to print anything, without violating the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press.

Rebecca A. Baitty, DiTrapano & Jackson, Charleston, for appellant.

NEELY, Justice:

This is an appeal by Calhoun County Publishing, Inc. of the Calhoun County Circuit Court's injunction compelling it to accept and print a paid political advertisement submitted by a local political action committee. We hold that the lower court's injunction violated the federal guarantee of a free press contained in U.S. Const., amend. I, 1 and our own guarantee of a free press contained in W.Va. Const., art. III, § 7. 2

Appellant Calhoun County Publishing, Inc., publishes a weekly newspaper, the Calhoun Chronicle, in Calhoun County, West Virginia. Appellee Citizen Awareness Regarding Education (hereinafter [185 W.Va. 170]

Page 67

"CARE") is a political action committee formed to oppose a school bond levy that was scheduled for a vote at the 8 May 1990 primary election.

In its 12 April, 19 April, and 26 April editions, the Calhoun Chronicle published several paid political advertisements placed by CARE. However, when CARE attempted to place an advertisement in the 3 May 1991 edition, the newspaper refused to print it, because the newspaper apparently had a policy of not publishing any political advertisements in the last issue before an election.

On 1 May 1990, CARE filed a complaint and motion for mandatory injunction in the Circuit Court of Calhoun County, seeking an order compelling the newspaper to publish CARE's advertisement. Several hours after the filing of the complaint and motion, the circuit judge conducted a hearing on CARE's complaint.

The newspaper was unable to procure counsel before the proceeding. At the hearing, CARE's counsel candidly admitted that she could not cite any cases to support CARE's position:

I have brought this forward out of a gut sense, my arguments are based on decency and fair play and basic sense of Constitutional Law. I really cannot site [sic] any cases because of the shortness of notice and the pressure...

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11 practice notes
  • Ruden v. Citizens Bank and Trust Co. of Maryland, No. 967
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1993
    ...debtor's Page 622 collateral must prove that the debt exceeded the fair market value of the collateral. Bank of Chapmanville v. Workman, 406 S.E.2d at 65. The New Mexico Supreme Court handles the "rebuttable presumption" rule in precisely the same Under these decisions, where the value of t......
  • Collard v. Smith Newspapers, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:94-0771.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • February 6, 1996
    ...editorial thumb of government"); see also syl. pt. 3, Citizen Awareness Regarding Education v. Calhoun County Publishing, Inc., 185 W.Va. 168, 406 S.E.2d 65 (1991). The "marketplace of ideas" will never be free as long as a court determines what is in the public By this, the Court does not ......
  • Wheeling Park Com'n v. Hotel and Restaurant Employees, Intern. Union, AFL-CIO, AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 18, 1996
    ...164 W.Va. 736, 744-45, 266 S.E.2d 444, 449 (1980). Cf. Citizen Awareness Regarding Education v. Calhoun County Publishing, Inc., 185 W.Va. 168, 171, 406 S.E.2d 65, 68 (1991) ("W. Va. Const., art. III, § 7, was intended to provide at least as much protection to the press as the First Amendme......
  • Sostaric v. Marshall, No. 14–0143.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 14, 2014
    ...5 (C.J. Teitelman, dissenting).18 “A mobile home that a person uses as a private residence is a ‘consumer good.’ ” Bank of Chapmanville, 185 W.Va. at 168, 406 S.E.2d at 65.19 The Court in Lilly also held that “a circuit court's order granting summary judgment must set out factual findings s......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Ruden v. Citizens Bank and Trust Co. of Maryland, No. 967
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1993
    ...debtor's Page 622 collateral must prove that the debt exceeded the fair market value of the collateral. Bank of Chapmanville v. Workman, 406 S.E.2d at 65. The New Mexico Supreme Court handles the "rebuttable presumption" rule in precisely the same Under these decisions, where the value of t......
  • Collard v. Smith Newspapers, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:94-0771.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • February 6, 1996
    ...editorial thumb of government"); see also syl. pt. 3, Citizen Awareness Regarding Education v. Calhoun County Publishing, Inc., 185 W.Va. 168, 406 S.E.2d 65 (1991). The "marketplace of ideas" will never be free as long as a court determines what is in the public By this, the Court does not ......
  • Wheeling Park Com'n v. Hotel and Restaurant Employees, Intern. Union, AFL-CIO, AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 18, 1996
    ...164 W.Va. 736, 744-45, 266 S.E.2d 444, 449 (1980). Cf. Citizen Awareness Regarding Education v. Calhoun County Publishing, Inc., 185 W.Va. 168, 171, 406 S.E.2d 65, 68 (1991) ("W. Va. Const., art. III, § 7, was intended to provide at least as much protection to the press as the First Amendme......
  • Sostaric v. Marshall, No. 14–0143.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 14, 2014
    ...5 (C.J. Teitelman, dissenting).18 “A mobile home that a person uses as a private residence is a ‘consumer good.’ ” Bank of Chapmanville, 185 W.Va. at 168, 406 S.E.2d at 65.19 The Court in Lilly also held that “a circuit court's order granting summary judgment must set out factual findings s......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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