Kincaid v. Mangum

Decision Date10 June 1993
Docket NumberNo. 21505,21505
Citation189 W.Va. 404,432 S.E.2d 74
CourtWest Virginia Supreme Court
PartiesRichard Lee KINCAID and Aaron Bolen, on Behalf of Themselves and all Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs, v. R. Michael MANGUM, Sheriff of Raleigh County; Thomas Scott, Chief Correctional Officer of the Raleigh County Jail; and Paul Flanagan, Vernon Barley, and Jack MacDonald, County Commissioners of Raleigh County, Defendants.

Syllabus by the Court

1. "While the Legislature has the power to void or to amend administrative rules and regulations, when it exercises that power it must act as a legislature, within the confines of the enactment procedures mandated by our constitution. It cannot invest itself with the power to act as an administrative agency in order to avoid those requirements." Syl. pt. 2, State ex rel. Barker v. Manchin, 167 W.Va. 155, 279 S.E.2d 622 (1981).

2. If there is a reasonable basis for the grouping of various matters in a legislative bill, and if the grouping will not lead to logrolling or other deceiving tactics, then the one-object rule in W.Va. Const. art. VI, § 30 is not violated; however, the use of an omnibus bill to authorize legislative rules violates the one-object rule found in W.Va. Const. art. VI, § 30 because the use of the omnibus bill to authorize legislative rules can lead to logrolling or other deceiving tactics.

3. When a certified question is not framed so that this Court is able to fully address the law which is involved in the question, then this Court retains the power to reformulate questions certified to it under both the Uniform Certification of Questions of Law Act found in W.Va.Code, 51-1A-1, et seq. and W.Va.Code, 58-5-2 [1967], the statute relating to certified questions from a circuit court of this State to this Court.

4. "In determining whether to extend full retroactivity, the following factors are to be considered: First, the nature of the substantive issue overruled must be determined. If the issue involves a traditionally settled area of law, such as contracts or property as distinguished from torts, and the new rule was not clearly foreshadowed, then retroactivity is less justified. Second, where the overruled decision deals with procedural law rather than substantive, retroactivity ordinarily will be more readily accorded. Third, common law decisions, when overruled, may result in the overruling decision being given retroactive effect, since the substantive issue usually has a narrower impact and is likely to involve fewer parties. Fourth, where, on the other hand, substantial public issues are involved, arising from statutory or constitutional interpretations that represent a clear departure from prior precedent, prospective application will ordinarily be favored. Fifth, the more radically the new decision departs from previous substantive law, the greater the need for limiting retroactivity. Finally, this Court will also look to the precedent of other courts which have determined the retroactive/prospective question in the same area of the law in their overruling decisions." Syl. pt. 5, Bradley v. Appalachian Power Co., 163 W.Va. 332, 256 S.E.2d 879 (1979).

5. When this Court issues an interpretation of the W.Va. Const. which was clearly not foreshadowed, and when retroactive application of the new interpretation would excessively burden the government's ability to carry out its functions, then the new constitutional interpretation will apply prospectively.

Daniel F. Hedges, Charleston, Robert M. Bastress, Morgantown, for plaintiffs.

Steven P. McGowan, George E. Carenbauer, Steptoe & Johnson, Charleston, for defendants, R. Michael Mangum and J.R. Lilly.

Michele Grinberg, Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso, Charleston, for defendants, Paul Flanagan, Vernon Barley and Jack MacDonald.

McHUGH, Justice:

This case is before the Court upon the certified question of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The plaintiffs, Richard Lee Kincaid and Aaron Bolen, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, are inmates in the Raleigh County Jail. The defendants are the Sheriff of Raleigh County, R. Michael Mangum; the Chief Correctional Officer of Raleigh County, Thomas Scott; and the County Commissioners of Raleigh County, Paul Flanagan, Vernon Barley, and Jack MacDonald.

I.

The plaintiffs filed a civil rights action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia alleging that the conditions of their confinement violated the United States Constitution and certain state regulations. The district court certified the case as a class action.

Eventually, the parties agreed to settle seventeen out of nineteen areas of concern raised by the plaintiffs. However, two issues remained: the overcrowding of the jail and the adequacy of the jail's outdoor exercise facilities. The plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction seeking relief on those two matters. The district court granted the injunction by relying on regulations issued by the West Virginia Jail and Prison Standards Commission set forth in 95 West Virginia Code of State Rules § 1-1.1, et seq.

The defendants moved for reconsideration, arguing that the regulations upon which the district court relied were promulgated in a manner which violated the West Virginia Constitution and the State Administrative Procedures Act set forth in W.Va.Code, 29A-1-1, et seq. 1 Pursuant to the defendants' argument the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia certified the following question to this Court by an order dated December 3, 1992:

Does the West Virginia Legislature's authorization of the 'West Virginia Minimum Standards for Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Jails' through the use of an omnibus bill, which authorized numerous legislative rules unrelated to one another, contravene:

(a) Article VI, Section 30 of the West Virginia Constitution [providing that no act may embrace more than one object];

(b) Article VII, Section 14 of the West Virginia Constitution [providing the Governor's veto power]; or

(c) Article 3, Chapter 29A of the West Virginia Code [the State Administrative Procedures Act]?

II.

The first portion of the certified question in this case pertains to whether or not the legislature's use of an "omnibus bill" to authorize the legislative rules written by various executive and administrative agencies violates W.Va. Const. art. VI, § 30 which provides, in pertinent part: "No act hereafter passed, shall embrace more than one object, and that shall be expressed in the title." 2 We are concerned with the portion of art. VI, § 30 which is known as the one-object or subject rule. 3 For reasons set forth below, we find that the use of the omnibus bill to authorize legislative rules violates the one-object rule expressed in W.Va. Const. art. VI, § 30.

We note that although the certified question specifically pertains to the legislature's authorization of the "West Virginia Minimum Standards for Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Jails" (hereinafter Minimum Jail Standards rule), we find that the legislature's authorization of all of the state agencies' regulations through the use of an omnibus bill to be at issue. 4

A.

Initially, however, a brief examination of the legislative history of the Minimum Jail Standards rule is necessary as an example of how the legislature is authorizing our state agencies' rules and regulations. Before the Minimum Jail Standards rule was introduced in the legislature, the procedures outlined in the State Administrative Procedures Act, W.Va.Code, 29A-1-1, et seq., were followed. 5 Although the Minimum Jail Standards rule was originally introduced in 1988 as S.B. 426, Journal of the Senate, Second Regular Session of the 68th Legislature, February 4, 1988, p. 279, and H.B. 4345, Journal of the House of Delegates, Second Regular Session of the 68th Legislature, February 3, 1988, p. 316, neither of those bills made it to the floor of the Senate or of the House of Delegates. Instead, the Minimum Jail Standards rule became part of S.B. 397 when the House of Delegates amended the bill. S.B. 397 was originally introduced to authorize the Racing Commission to promulgate a rule relating to thoroughbred racing. However, after the bill was amended it was an omnibus bill which encompassed authorization for all agency rules considered that year. Journal of the House of Delegates, 2d Reg.Sess., March 8, 1988, pp. 1279-1313.

S.B. 397 was eventually passed on March 12, 1988. 6 Acts of the Legislature of West Virginia, Second Regular Session of the 68th Legislature, 1988, chapter 112. The omnibus bill authorized 44 rules of many different agencies including the Minimum Jail Standards rule. 7 The following is an excerpt from the omnibus bill concerning the Minimum Jail Standards rule: "s 64-2-31(20)(9). Jail and prison standards commission. The legislative rules filed in the state register on the fifth day of November, one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven, relating to the jail and prison standards commission (West Virginia minimum standards for construction, operation, and maintenance of jails) are authorized." Acts of the Legislature, 2d Reg.Sess., 1988, chapter 112, at 805. Therefore, the members of the legislature did not have the actual rule before them when voting on the omnibus bill. Instead, the omnibus bill referred the members of the legislature to the state register for the contents of the rule.

Furthermore, when the agency's rule was to be amended, the omnibus bill simply referred the members of the legislature to a page and section number of the state register and explained the deletions or additions without giving the entire text of the rule. For example, the following is from a rule regarding the Attorney General:

§ 64-2-47(14)(5). Attorney general.

The legislative rules filed in the state...

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