Liberty Coal Co v. Bassett, (Nos. 6637, 6637-A.)

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtHATCHER
Citation150 S.E. 745
PartiesLIBERTY COAL CO. et al. v. BASSETT et al.(two cases).
Decision Date03 December 1929
Docket Number(Nos. 6637, 6637-A.)

150 S.E. 745

LIBERTY COAL CO. et al.
v.
BASSETT et al.(two cases).

(Nos. 6637, 6637-A.)

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Dec. 3, 1929.


[150 S.E. 745]
(Syllabus by the Court.)

Appeal from Circuit Court, Marshall County.,

Proceeding by the Liberty Coal Company and others against C. E. Bassett, chairman, and others, constituting the Board of Equalization and Review, and the State of West Virginia, to review valuation of their property by such board. From an order of the cir cuit court, the applicants and the State appeal. Appeal dismissed as to Bertha and Adaline Coal Companies, and affirmed as to the others.

Everett F. Moore, of Moundsville, Conaway, & Conaway, of Fairmont, and Allan D. Williams, of Uniontown, Pa., for Liberty Coal Company and others.

Lloyd Arnold, Pros. Atty., of Moundsville, for the State and Marshall County.

HATCHER, J. This is a joint proceeding by twelve landowners of Marshall county, who appealed to the circuit court from the valuation of their property by the board of equalization and review. The proceeding is now mere upon the appeal of the state as well as the applicants from the order of the circuit court, by virtue of Acts of 1929, c. 55, amending Code, c. 29, § 129, which provides: "The state or any taxpayer shall have an appeal as a matter of right to the supreme court of appeals where the value of the property Is fifty thousand dollars or more." The value of the property of one of the appellants, Bertha Coal & Coke Company, as fixed by the circuit court is $12,125. The value of the property of another, Adaline Coal Company, as so ascertained, is $25,300. As neither of these values is as much as $50,000, the appeal is dismissed as to these two companies.

The applicants are the owners of undeveloped coal land. It was proved at the hearing before the board of equalization and review that the coal in question is not of as high grade as much of the coal now produced in West Virginia and cannot be profitably mined at the present time. The witnesses divided the property into two groups. The land proximate to river or railroad was termed "front land"; that remote from transportation facilities, "back land." In the opinion of the witnesses, the actual value of the "front land" was $15 and of the "back land" $10 an acre. The circuit court determined the value of the "front land" to be $25 and the "back land" to be $15 an acre. The landowners contend that there is no evidence justifying the values found by the lower court

In this proceeding it Is not of consequence that another court could fairly arrive at a different conclusion from the one herein, or that the weight of evidence is against the finding. It is our duty to uphold the lower tribunal if there is substantial evidence for the foundation of its judgment unless it is plainly wrong. United Fuel Gas Co. v. Pub. Service Comm., 73 W. Wa. 571, 581-583, 80 S. E. 931.

The trial court took the view that It was not bound by the opinions of the witnesses as to the land values. We concur in that view. It is well settled that the unanimous judgments of expert witnesses on a subject such as this, which requires no special knowl-

[150 S.E. 746]

edge in order to form an opinion from the

facts, may be disregarded. "In many cases, expert evidence, though all tending one way, is not conclusive upon the court and jury, but the latter, as men of affairs, may draw their own inferences from the facts, and accept or reject the statements of experts; but such cases are where the subject of discussion is on the border line between the domain of general and expert knowledge, as for instance, where the value of land is involved, or where the value of professional services is in dispute. There the mode of reaching conclusions from the...

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18 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Smith v. Boles, No. 12485
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • January 12, 1966
    ...as required by law. Adkins v. State Compensation Director, W.Va., 142 S.E.2d 466, 469; Liberty Coal Co. et. al. v. Bassett, 108 W.Va. 293, 150 S.E. 745. Then, too, the affidavit of the petitioner's attorney at the time of his original trial, submitted for consideration, states that the info......
  • Kline v. McCloud, No. 16042
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 14, 1984
    ...683 (1942)." See also Application of Sprinkle, 122 W.Va. 611, 11 S.E.2d 757 (1940); Liberty Coal Co. v. Bassett, 108 W.Va. 293, 150 S.E. 745 (1929). In this case the lower court has acted under an erroneous conception of the law, i.e., that property cannot be appraised at a value great......
  • Bankers Pocahontas Coal Co. v. County Court of McDowell County, No. 10248
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 19, 1950
    ...Norfolk & W. Railway Co. v. Board of Public Works, supra. A similar rule is stated in Liberty Coal Co. v. Bassett, 108 W.Va. 293, 150 S.E. 745, where it is said that an order of the circuit court entered on an appeal in a proceeding of this nature will not be reversed 'when supported by......
  • Stepp v. State Rd. Comm'n, (No. 6344.)
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 10, 1929
    ...but not being before us we can know nothing of the contents or returns thereon. Liberty Coal Co. et al. v. C. E. Bassett et al. (W. Va.) 150 S. E. 745, handed down December 3, 1929; Robinson v. Mays, 76 Va. 708. This suit is to set aside a decree for want of jurisdiction to pronounce it bec......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • State ex rel. Smith v. Boles, No. 12485
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • January 12, 1966
    ...as required by law. Adkins v. State Compensation Director, W.Va., 142 S.E.2d 466, 469; Liberty Coal Co. et. al. v. Bassett, 108 W.Va. 293, 150 S.E. 745. Then, too, the affidavit of the petitioner's attorney at the time of his original trial, submitted for consideration, states that the info......
  • Kline v. McCloud, No. 16042
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 14, 1984
    ...21 S.E.2d 683 (1942)." See also Application of Sprinkle, 122 W.Va. 611, 11 S.E.2d 757 (1940); Liberty Coal Co. v. Bassett, 108 W.Va. 293, 150 S.E. 745 (1929). In this case the lower court has acted under an erroneous conception of the law, i.e., that property cannot be appraised at a value ......
  • Bankers Pocahontas Coal Co. v. County Court of McDowell County, No. 10248
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 19, 1950
    ...Norfolk & W. Railway Co. v. Board of Public Works, supra. A similar rule is stated in Liberty Coal Co. v. Bassett, 108 W.Va. 293, 150 S.E. 745, where it is said that an order of the circuit court entered on an appeal in a proceeding of this nature will not be reversed 'when supported by sub......
  • Stepp v. State Rd. Comm'n, (No. 6344.)
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 10, 1929
    ...but not being before us we can know nothing of the contents or returns thereon. Liberty Coal Co. et al. v. C. E. Bassett et al. (W. Va.) 150 S. E. 745, handed down December 3, 1929; Robinson v. Mays, 76 Va. 708. This suit is to set aside a decree for want of jurisdiction to pronounce it bec......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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