Fields v. Durham City Bd. of Ed., 669

Decision Date14 January 1960
Docket NumberNo. 669,669
Citation251 N.C. 699,111 S.E.2d 910
CourtNorth Carolina Supreme Court
PartiesPaulette FIELDS, by her next friend, Odell Fields, v. DURHAM CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION.

Daniel K. Edwards, Durham, for plaintiff.

Spears, Spears & Powe and Alexander H. Barnes, Durham, for defendant.

DENNY, Justice.

Under the provisions of G.S. § 115-27, county and city boards of education are respectively created 'a body corporate,' capable of '* * * prosecuting and defending suits for or against the corporation.' This, however, does not mean that the Legislature has waived immunity from liability for torts for such boards.

Generally speaking, such an agency may sue or be sued on contracts entered into and duly executed by it. Likewise, a county or city board of education may not take private property for public use without paying just compensation therefor. Eller v. Board of Education, 242 N.C. 584, 89 S.E.2d 144.

On the other hand, such board, unless it has duly waived immunity from tort liability, as authorized in G.S. § 115-53, is not liable in a tort action or proceeding involving a tort except such liability as may be established under our Tort Claims Act. G.S. §§ 143-291 through 143-300.1; Turner v. Gastonia City Board of Education, 250 N.C. 456, 109 S.E.2d 211; Eller v. Board of Education, supra; Smith v. Hefner, 235 N.C. 1, 68 [251 N.C. 701] S.E.2d 783; Hansley v. Tilton, 234 N.C. 3, 65 S.E.2d 300; Benton v. Board of Education, 201 N.C. 653, 161 S.E. 96.

G.S. § 115-53 provides in part, 'Any county or city board of education, by securing liability insurance as hereinafter provided, is hereby authorized and empowered to waive its governmental immunity from liability for damage by reason of death or injury to person or property caused by the negligence or tort of any agent or employee of such board of education when acting within the scope of his authority or within the course of his employment. Such immunity shall be deemed to have been waived by the act of obtaining such insurance, but such immunity is waived only to the extent that said board of education is indemnified by insurance for such negligence or tort * * *.

'Except as hereinbefore expressly provided, nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive any county or city board of education of any defense whatsoever to any such action for damages, or to restrict, limit, or otherwise affect any such defense which said board of education may have at common law or by virtue of any stat...

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24 cases
  • Stevens v. Cabarrus Cnty. Bd. of Educ.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of North Carolina
    • January 22, 2021
    ...insurance to cover such alleged negligence or tort, ... such complaint does not state a cause of action." Fields v. Durham City Bd. of Educ., 251 N.C. 699, 111 S.E.2d 910, 912 (1960). Here, the Board argues that Stevens has not properly pleaded a waiver of governmental immunity. In response......
  • Foreclosure of Deed of Trust Recorded in Book 911, at Page 512, Catawba County Registry, In re
    • United States
    • North Carolina Court of Appeals
    • December 16, 1980
    ... ... , The Modern Law of Real Property § 1784 (Grimes ed. 1979). Thus, the rule is that when a husband and wife ... Bank, 249 N.C. 173, 105 S.E.2d 669 (1958), 251 N.C. 573, 111 S.E.2d 904 (1960), cannot be ... ...
  • Suarez v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of North Carolina
    • May 4, 2000
    ...For this reason alone, the Complaint clearly fails to state a claim on which relief could be granted. Fields v. Durham City Bd. of Education, 251 N.C. 699, 700, 111 S.E.2d 910, 911 (1960); Gunter v. Anders, 115 N.C.App. 331, 334, 444 S.E.2d 685, 687 (1994) (dismissing claims under Rule 12(b......
  • Wray v. City of Greensboro
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • August 18, 2017
    ...entity] does not state a cause of action" unless it alleges a waiver of governmental immunity. Fields v. Durham City Bd. of Educ. , 251 N.C. 699, 701, 111 S.E.2d 910, 912 (1960).As the Court acknowledges, a municipality can waive governmental immunity by entering into a valid express contra......
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