Lamar County School Bd. of Lamar County v. Saul, 50428

Decision Date31 May 1978
Docket NumberNo. 50428,50428
Citation359 So.2d 350
PartiesLAMAR COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD OF LAMAR COUNTY, Mississippi v. Ola SAUL.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

William L. Ducker, Purvis, for appellant.

Rex K. Jones, Hattiesburg, for appellee.

Before SMITH, SUGG and BROOM, JJ.

SUGG, Justice, for the Court:

The Lamar County School Board appealed from a final decree of the Chancery Court of Lamar County setting aside an order of the School Board which rescinded its previous order reemploying appellee as principal of the Baxterville Attendance Center over the objection of the Superintendent of Education of Lamar County. We affirm.

Appellee was notified that she would not be recommended for reemployment as principal of the Baxterville Attendance Center. Following this notification, appellee requested a hearing before the school board. The request was granted and a hearing was held on March 10, 1977. Following presentation of evidence at the March 10 hearing the school board recessed until March 16 and at that time voted to reemploy appellee over the objection of the superintendent by a vote of three to two. Appellee was notified in writing on March 17 of the action of the board. On March 21 the board met with four members present and by a vote of three to one rescinded its action of March 16. Appellee was notified in writing on March 22 of the latter action of the board.

On appeal to the chancery court, the chancellor held that the provisions of the Public School Fair Dismissal Act 1 requiring the board to notify the employee in writing of the decision of the board within seven days after the date of completion of the hearing was mandatory. He further held that the rescission order of March 21 was arbitrary and capricious because it violated the mandatory notice required by the act. He set aside the order of March 21 and reinstated the March 16 order.

The only evidence heard by the board was at its March 10 hearing. This was a completed hearing and the board was required to notify appellee within seven days of the date of the completion of the hearing. The board complied, but later rescinded its order more than seven days following the March 10 hearing. We affirm the chancellor's holding that the notice requirement of the statute is mandatory and the board was without power to rescind its order more than seven days following the March 10 hearing.

The school board assigns as error the following:

1. The constitutional question That the Public School Fair Dismissal Act violates the due process clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Section 24 of Article 3 of the Mississippi Constitution with regards to the right of recommendation of the County Superintendent of Education in Section 37-9-15 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, annotated, as amended.

2. That the act is unconstitutionally vague and without merit because it contradicts another statute.

With respect to the claim of due process violation, it is sufficient to note that the statute affords ample opportunity to the superintendent to present evidence in support of his decision not to reemploy a principal. In our view this satisfies due process to the superintendent.

The board further argues that the due process of the superintendent is violated because section 37-9-15 Mississippi Code Annotated (1972) provides for the superintendent of each school district to recommend the person who shall be employed as principal. The board argues that, under our holding in Lott v. State ex rel. Kelly, 239 Miss. 97, 121 So.2d 402 (1960), the county superintendent has the exclusive right to recommend the principal; therefore, the school board is without authority to appoint any principal who has not been recommended by the county superintendent. Lott, was decided before the Public School Fair Dismissal Act was adopted in 1974. The Public School Fair Dismissal Act provides that an employee of a school district who has been employed by the district during the entirety of the preceding school year may request a public hearing before the school board; the employee shall receive a fair and impartial hearing before the board within fourteen days from the date of receipt of the notice from the employee requesting the hearing; and, following the hearing, the board shall notify the employee in writing of its decision within seven days after the date of completion of the hearing.

The Public School Fair Dismissal Act did not specifically amend section 37-9-15 Mississippi Code Annotated (1972) but authorized the school board to render a decision following the hearing. In our view this authorizes the school board to override the recommendation of the superintendent not to reemploy a principal; otherwise, a hearing would be an exercise in futility. We do not perceive that the conflict between section 37-9-15 and the Public School Fair Dismissal Act rises to constitutional dimensions, but the conflicting statutes should be construed in accordance with the following rules of statutory construction:

(1) In construing statutes, all statutes in pari materia are taken into consideration, and the legislative intent deduced from a consideration as a whole. Jackson County v. Worth, 127 Miss. 813, 90 So. 588 (1921). Statutes in pari materia, although apparently conflicting should, if possible, be construed in harmony with each other to give effect to each. Greaves v. Hinds County, 166 Miss. 89, 145 So. 900 (1933). See cases annotated in Mississippi Digest, Statutes, k223.2(1).

(2) Repeal by implication is not favored but where there is an irreconcilable conflict between two statutes, the latter statute repeals the former insofar as it is in conflict. Jackson Municipal Airport Authority v. Shivers, 206 So.2d 190 (Miss.1968). Repeals by implication are not favored and are seldom...

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23 cases
  • Wilbourn v. Hobson, 92-CA-0325
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 29 Julio 1992
    ...conflicting, they should, if possible, be construed in harmony with each other to give effect to each."); Lamar Cty. Sch. Bd. of Lamar Cty. v. Saul, 359 So.2d 350, 353 (Miss.1978). To this principle is also added the principle that a specific statute will control over a general one. Andrews......
  • City of Belmont v. Miss. State Tax Comm'n
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 27 Marzo 2003
    ...affirmed the statute and the administration thereof. This Court has held a statute may be amended by implication. Lamar County Sch. Bd. v. Saul, 359 So.2d 350, 353 (Miss. 1978). "Section 61 of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 has no reference to amendment by implication when the amendin......
  • Roberts v. Mississippi Republican Party State Executive Committee, 55619
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 6 Marzo 1985
    ...conflict, should if possible be construed in harmony with each other to give effect to each. In Lamar County School Board of Lamar County v. Saul, 359 So.2d 350, 353 (Miss.1978), the Court In construing statutes, all statutes in pari materia are taken into consideration, and a legislative i......
  • Mississippi Employment Sec. Com'n v. Philadelphia Mun. Separate School Dist. of Neshoba County
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 7 Septiembre 1983
    ...order to sustain a decision not to reemploy. See, e.g., Calhoun County Board of Education v. Hamblin, supra; Lamar County School Board v. Saul, 359 So.2d 350, 353-354 (Miss.1978); Tanner v. Hazlehurst Municipal Separate School District, 427 So.2d 977, 979-980 (Miss.1983); and see particular......
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