Morgan v. Cherokee County Bd. of Ed., 7 Div. 71

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtLAWSON; LIVINGSTON
Citation58 So.2d 134,257 Ala. 201
Docket Number7 Div. 71
Decision Date10 April 1952

Page 134

58 So.2d 134
257 Ala. 201
MORGAN et al.
7 Div. 71.
Supreme Court of Alabama.
April 10, 1952.

Page 135

Roy D. McCord, Gadsden, for appellants.

[257 Ala. 202] Keener & Keener, Centre, for appellee.

LAWSON, Justice.

This is a statutory action in the nature of ejectment filed in the Cherokee Law and Equity Court of Cherokee County by the Cherokee County Board of Education against Hattie West, her husband, John West, and Barney Morgan. There was a verdict for the plaintiff and judgment was in accord with the verdict. From such judgment the defendants have appealed to this court.

The suit property is school building, the land on which it is situated and which has been used in connection therewith as a part of the Round Mountain School in Cherokee County. Approximately three acres of land are involved. The building and most of the land is situated in the extreme SE corner of the SW 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of Section 27, Township 9, Range 9 East in Cherokee County. A small part of the school grounds is located in the NE corner of the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 34 in the same township and range.

It was admitted by the defendant on the trial below that for a period of forty years prior to the summer of 1947 the suit property had been used as a part of the public school system of Cherokee County, and there was evidence to the effect that it had been so used for a considerably longer period of time. In the summer of 1947 the Round Mountain School was discontinued and since that time the suit property has not been used for school purposes. The seats and other equipment have been removed from the building.

In the late summer or early fall of 1947 the defendant Barney Morgan began to occupy the school building, with the permission of the defendants Hattie West and

Page 136

John West, who at that time claimed ownership of the suit property. The defendants Hattie West and John West have also used the school building for the purpose of storing cottonseed and fertilizer.

This suit was filed in August, 1948, with Barney Morgan as the only defendant. Hattie and John West were brought in later as parties defendant by amendment.

On February 19, 1932, Hattie West secured a deed to the SW 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of Section 27 where, as we have shown above, most of the suit property is situated. The suit property was not excepted from the deed. This deed also conveyed land in the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 34, but did not purport to convey that part of the suit [257 Ala. 203] property situated in said Section 34. On August 21, 1935, John West and Hattie West obtained a deed to certain described land in the NE corner of the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 34, but that part of the school property situated in that 'forty' was expressly excepted. We note that in certain conveyances executed a number of years prior to the time Hattie West secured her deed purporting to convey to her all of the SW 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of Section 27, the suit property situated therein was excepted from the conveyances. But we are not concerned primarily in this suit with the weakness of the title of the defendants.

In a suit of this kind plaintiff can recover only on the strength of his own title and not on the weakness of the defendant's title. Millican v. Mintz, 251 Ala. 358, 37 So.2d 425; Darby v. Jones, 249 Ala. 104, 29 So.2d 879.

Before treating of the plaintiff's evidence going to show title to the suit property, we pause to observe that a county board of education is a quasi corporation, an independent agency of the state, which can sue or be sued as to matters within the scope of its corporate power. § 99, Title 52, Code 1940; Turk v. Board of Education of Monroe County, 222 Ala. 177, 131 So. 436. Clearly a suit to recover school property to which it has title is within the corporate power of the county board of education.

Plaintiff introduced in evidence a deed from the State of Alabama executed on June 17, 1948, purporting to...

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15 cases
  • First Nat. Bank of Birmingham v. Brown, 6 Div. 828
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 29 Julio 1971
    ...assignment of error as required by Supreme Court Rule 9. Holley v. Josey, 263 Ala. 349, 82 So.2d 328; Morgan v. Cherokee Co. Bd. of Educ., 257 Ala. 201, 58 So.2d 134; Alsup v. Southern Mfg. Co., 248 Ala. 405, 27 So.2d 781. The assignment of error likewise alleged a failure to prove each and......
  • McKee v. Goldthwaite, 3 Div. 471
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 20 Mayo 1971
    ...Court has previously decided that a school board can acquire title to land by adverse possession, Morgan v. Cherokee Co. Bd. of Educ., 257 Ala. 201, 58 So.2d 134 (1952), Fudge v. County Bd. of Educ. of Wilcox, 272 Ala. 521, 133 So.2d 38 (1961); therefore, the sole question remaining is whet......
  • Sims v. Etowah County Bd. of Ed.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 1 Octubre 1976
    ...(1920), but only upon such matters as are within the scope of its corporate power. Morgan et al. v. Cherokee County Board of Education, 257 Ala. 201, 58 So.2d 134 (1952). Thus our cases recognize that a county board of education may be sued on its contracts. The restriction on contracts mad......
  • Ala. Lockers, LLC v. Jefferson Cnty. Bd. of Educ. (Ex parte Jefferson Cnty. Bd. of Educ.), 1200230
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 3 Septiembre 2021 not one of those matters within the scope of its corporate power." 337 So. 2d at 1316 (quoting Morgan v. Cherokee Cnty. Bd. of Educ., 257 Ala. 201, 203, 58 So. 2d 134, 136 (1952) ). Thus, the Court concluded that the board had immunity regarding the negligence claims but did not have imm......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
    • United States
    • Washington University Law Review Vol. 97 Nbr. 5, June 2020
    • 1 Junio 2020
    ...private land); Johnson v. City of Mt. Pleasant, 713 S.W.2d 659, 664 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1985) (same); Morgan v. Cherokee Cty. Bd. of Educ., 58 So. 2d 134, 135 (Ala. 1952) (school building); Roche v. Town of Fairfield, 442 A.2d 911, 917 (Conn. 1982) (allowing for adverse possession of a beach, b......

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