Farley v. Buckalew, No. 20529

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtNEELY
Citation186 W.Va. 693,414 S.E.2d 454
PartiesG.K. FARLEY, Petitioner, v. J.R. BUCKALEW, Superintendent of the West Virginia Department of Public Safety, and the West Virginia Department of Public Safety, Respondents.
Decision Date06 February 1992
Docket NumberNo. 20529

Page 454

414 S.E.2d 454
186 W.Va. 693
G.K. FARLEY, Petitioner,
v.
J.R. BUCKALEW, Superintendent of the West Virginia
Department of Public Safety, and the West Virginia
Department of Public Safety, Respondents.
No. 20529.
Supreme Court of Appeals of
West Virginia.
Submitted Jan. 28, 1992.
Decided Feb. 6, 1992.

Page 455

[186 W.Va. 694] Syllabus by the Court

1. A statute that is ambiguous must be construed before it can be applied.

2. "The primary object in construing a statute is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the Legislature." Syllabus Point 1, Smith v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, 159 W.Va. 108, 219 S.E.2d 361 (1975).

3. "Statutes which relate to the same subject matter should be read and applied together so that the Legislature's intention can be gathered from the whole of the enactments." Syllabus Point 3, Smith v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, 159 W.Va. 108, 219 S.E.2d 361 (1975).

4. Under W.Va.Code, 15-2-6 [1984] and W.Va.Code, 15-2-20 [1977], orders transferring members of the Department of Public Safety may be appealed to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County only after appeal to the Department's board of appeals.

Meris E. Ketchum, John H. Bickwell, Greene, Ketchum, Bailey & Tweel, Huntington, for the petitioner.

Mario Palumbo, Atty. Gen., Teresa L. Sage, Asst. Atty. Gen., South Charleston, for respondents.

NEELY, Justice:

G.K. Farley, a corporal in the West Virginia Department of Public Safety, filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County appealing his transfer orders. The Department of Public Safety denied the allegations in Cpl. Farley's petition and moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss, but certified the following question to this Court:

When a member of the West Virginia Department of Public Safety is transferred from one detachment to another detachment, may an appeal of the transfer decision be taken directly to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, pursuant to W.Va.Code § 15-2-6, and § 15-2-20?

We answer the certified question in the negative.

I.

Col. J.R. Buckalew, Superintendent of the West Virginia Department of Public Safety, issued Special Order Number 356 on 3 December 1990, by which he sought to transfer five members of the Department to meet its operational needs. As a part of this order, Cpl. Farley was transferred from Company B stationed in Wayne County to Company D stationed in Logan County. The circuit court has entered a preliminary injunction against Cpl. Farley's transfer until this case is decided.

II.

The sole question before the Court is the meaning of W.Va.Code, 15-2-20 [1977] and W.Va.Code, 15-2-6 [1984]. Cpl. Farley contends that he has the right to appeal his transfer directly to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County. The Department of Public Safety maintains, however, that Cpl. Farley must first exhaust his administrative remedies before appealing to the circuit court.

W.Va.Code, 15-2-20 [1977] provides in pertinent part:

Page 456

[186 W.Va. 695] The superintendent may transfer members to meet the operational needs of the department. A transfer may not be made as a disciplinary measure.

Whenever any member of the department is to be transferred from one station to another station, for a period of time in excess of sixty days, the superintendent shall give written notice of such proposed transfer to such member at least fifteen days in advance of such transfer. The superintendent...

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110 practice notes
  • In re Abbigail Faye B., No. 33716.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 23, 2008
    ...courts, and in such case it is the duty of the courts not to construe but to apply the statute."). But see Syl.pt. 1, Farley v. Buckalew, 186 W.Va. 693, 414 S.E.2d 454 (1992) ("A statute that is ambiguous must be construed before it can be applied."); Syl. pt. 1, Ohio County Comm'n v. Manch......
  • Cox v. Amick, No. 22799
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 11, 1995
    ...410 S.E.2d 413 (1991). 10. " 'A statute that is ambiguous must be construed before it can be applied.' Syl. pt. 1, Farley v. Buckalew, 186 W.Va. 693, 414 S.E.2d 454 (1992)." Syl. pt. 1, State ex rel. Water Development Authority v. Northern Wayne County Public Service District, 195 W.Va. 135......
  • Banker v. Banker, No. 22166
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 17, 1996
    ...rel. Water Dev. Auth. v. Northern Wayne County Public Serv. Dist., 195 W.Va. 135, 464 S.E.2d 777 (1995); Syl. Pt. 2, Farley v. Buckalew, 186 W.Va. 693, 414 S.E.2d 454 (1992); Syl. Pt. 1, Smith v. State Workmen's Compensation Comm'r, 159 W.Va. 108, 219 S.E.2d 361 (1975). "In ascertaining leg......
  • West Virginia Div. of Environmental Protection v. Kingwood Coal Co., No. 23876
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 16, 1997
    ...Point 1, Smith v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, 159 W.Va. 108, 219 S.E.2d 361 (1975)." Syl. pt. 2, Farley v. Buckalew, 186 W.Va. 693, 414 S.E.2d 454 2. Appeals of a final agency decision issued by the director of the division of environmental protection shall be heard de novo b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
110 cases
  • In re Abbigail Faye B., No. 33716.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 23, 2008
    ...courts, and in such case it is the duty of the courts not to construe but to apply the statute."). But see Syl.pt. 1, Farley v. Buckalew, 186 W.Va. 693, 414 S.E.2d 454 (1992) ("A statute that is ambiguous must be construed before it can be applied."); Syl. pt. 1, Ohio County Comm'n v. Manch......
  • Cox v. Amick, No. 22799
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 11, 1995
    ...410 S.E.2d 413 (1991). 10. " 'A statute that is ambiguous must be construed before it can be applied.' Syl. pt. 1, Farley v. Buckalew, 186 W.Va. 693, 414 S.E.2d 454 (1992)." Syl. pt. 1, State ex rel. Water Development Authority v. Northern Wayne County Public Service District, 195 W.Va. 135......
  • Banker v. Banker, No. 22166
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 17, 1996
    ...rel. Water Dev. Auth. v. Northern Wayne County Public Serv. Dist., 195 W.Va. 135, 464 S.E.2d 777 (1995); Syl. Pt. 2, Farley v. Buckalew, 186 W.Va. 693, 414 S.E.2d 454 (1992); Syl. Pt. 1, Smith v. State Workmen's Compensation Comm'r, 159 W.Va. 108, 219 S.E.2d 361 (1975). "In ascertaining leg......
  • West Virginia Div. of Environmental Protection v. Kingwood Coal Co., No. 23876
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 16, 1997
    ...Point 1, Smith v. State Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, 159 W.Va. 108, 219 S.E.2d 361 (1975)." Syl. pt. 2, Farley v. Buckalew, 186 W.Va. 693, 414 S.E.2d 454 2. Appeals of a final agency decision issued by the director of the division of environmental protection shall be heard de novo b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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