Norland v. Worth County Compensation Bd., No. 67399

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtConsidered by REYNOLDSON; LARSON
Citation323 N.W.2d 251
PartiesPhillip N. NORLAND, Worth County Attorney, Appellant, v. WORTH COUNTY COMPENSATION BOARD, and Gene Mueller, Larry Shopshire, Clayton Rye, Dick Worsley, and Mary Ellen Orth, individual members thereof, Appellees.
Decision Date25 August 1982
Docket NumberNo. 67399

Page 251

323 N.W.2d 251
Phillip N. NORLAND, Worth County Attorney, Appellant,
v.
WORTH COUNTY COMPENSATION BOARD, and Gene Mueller, Larry Shopshire, Clayton Rye, Dick Worsley, and Mary Ellen Orth, individual members thereof, Appellees.
No. 67399.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Aug. 25, 1982.

Page 252

Phillip N. Norland, Northwood, pro se.

John H. Greve, Northwood, for appellees.

Considered by REYNOLDSON, C. J., and HARRIS, McCORMICK, LARSON, and SCHULTZ, JJ.

LARSON, Justice.

In this certiorari action, Phillip Norland challenges the legality of proceedings by defendant Worth County Compensation Board and its five individual members (herein referred to as the "board") in determining his salary as county attorney, asserting the board (1) failed to comply with Iowa Code section 340A.6 (1979); (2) acted in an unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious manner; and (3) failed to base its decision on competent and substantial evidence. The district court annulled the writ and we affirm.

On December 3, 1980, as required by Iowa Code section 340A.6, the board met to review the compensation paid county officials and to prepare a compensation schedule. All county officials were notified of the meeting; plaintiff, however, did not attend. Following discussion the board made recommendations for the 1981 salaries of county officials, including the county attorney, whose recommended salary was $14,500.

On December 18, a second meeting was held to prepare a final compensation schedule. Plaintiff appeared and told the board his proposed salary was unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious and not based on a review of compensation paid comparable offices of the federal government and other states. (Iowa Code section 340A.6, provides that the board "shall review the compensation paid for comparable offices in other counties of the state, other states, private enterprise, and the federal government....") Plaintiff told the board that if his salary was not substantially increased he would begin legal action.

At both meetings the board considered salaries of local educators, industrial and postal employees; recent employment of an assistant county attorney, who had reduced the plaintiff's workload; the nature of plaintiff's duties; newspaper articles regarding salary adjustments by other compensation boards; the cost of living; other county attorneys' salaries; and the "replacement" cost for "securing another county attorney." The board, however, did not consider compensation paid comparable offices in the federal government or other states.

I. Scope of review.

Appeal to this court from a certiorari judgment of a district court is treated as an ordinary action, Iowa R.Civ.P. 318, and will be affirmed if supported by competent and substantial evidence. Carstensen v. Board of Trustees, 253 N.W.2d 560, 561 (Iowa 1977); Giesey v. Board of Adjustment, 229 N.W.2d 258, 260 (Iowa 1975).

Page 253

Certiorari is appropriate where an inferior board, exercising judicial functions, acts illegally. Iowa R.Civ.P. 306; see Iowa R.Civ.P. 316. An illegality is established if a board has not acted in accordance with a statute, see Iowa Loan and Trust Co. v. District Court, 149 Iowa 66, 70, 127 N.W. 1114, 1116 (1910); if its decision was not supported by...

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18 practice notes
  • Burroughs v. City of Davenport Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, No. 17-0752
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 25, 2018
    ...arbitrary, or capricious." Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors , 636 N.W.2d 58, 64 (Iowa 2001) (quoting Norland v. Worth Cty. Comp. Bd. , 323 N.W.2d 251, 253 (Iowa 1982) ). "Evidence is substantial ‘when a reasonable mind could accept it as adequate to reach the same findings.’ " City of Cedar Ra......
  • Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors, No. 99-0583.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 15, 2001
    ...by substantial evidence; or if its actions were unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious." Norland v. Worth County Compensation Bd., 323 N.W.2d 251, 253 (Iowa 1982). We are bound by findings of the trial court if they are supported by substantial evidence in the record. Iowa R.App. P. 14(f)(1......
  • Bontrager Auto v. Iowa City Bd. of Adjust., No. 05-1064.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 7, 2008
    ...testimony concerning reduced property values be presented at hearing before the board). See generally Norland v. Worth County Comp. Bd., 323 N.W.2d 251, 253 (Iowa 1982) (noting determination of a prevailing wage is not an exact science, and there was no statutory constraint on the type of e......
  • Geisler v. City Council of Cedar Falls, No. 07-0474.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • July 10, 2009
    ...or capricious.'" Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors, 636 N.W.2d 58, 64 (Iowa 2001) (quoting Norland v. Worth County Compensation Bd., 323 N.W.2d 251, 253 (Iowa 1982)). In U.S. Cellular, we found that the application was denied without any legal justification even though it met all of the require......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Burroughs v. City of Davenport Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, No. 17-0752
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 25, 2018
    ...arbitrary, or capricious." Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors , 636 N.W.2d 58, 64 (Iowa 2001) (quoting Norland v. Worth Cty. Comp. Bd. , 323 N.W.2d 251, 253 (Iowa 1982) ). "Evidence is substantial ‘when a reasonable mind could accept it as adequate to reach the same findings.’ " City of Cedar Ra......
  • Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors, No. 99-0583.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 15, 2001
    ...by substantial evidence; or if its actions were unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious." Norland v. Worth County Compensation Bd., 323 N.W.2d 251, 253 (Iowa 1982). We are bound by findings of the trial court if they are supported by substantial evidence in the record. Iowa R.App. P. 14(f)(1......
  • Bontrager Auto v. Iowa City Bd. of Adjust., No. 05-1064.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 7, 2008
    ...testimony concerning reduced property values be presented at hearing before the board). See generally Norland v. Worth County Comp. Bd., 323 N.W.2d 251, 253 (Iowa 1982) (noting determination of a prevailing wage is not an exact science, and there was no statutory constraint on the type of e......
  • Geisler v. City Council of Cedar Falls, No. 07-0474.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • July 10, 2009
    ...or capricious.'" Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors, 636 N.W.2d 58, 64 (Iowa 2001) (quoting Norland v. Worth County Compensation Bd., 323 N.W.2d 251, 253 (Iowa 1982)). In U.S. Cellular, we found that the application was denied without any legal justification even though it met all of the require......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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