Powell v. Brown, No. 13955

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtHARSHBARGER
Citation160 W.Va. 723,238 S.E.2d 220
PartiesWillis D. POWELL, Jr. v. James R. BROWN, Superintendent Ritchie County Schools.
Docket NumberNo. 13955
Decision Date18 October 1977

Page 220

238 S.E.2d 220
160 W.Va. 723
Willis D. POWELL, Jr.
v.
James R. BROWN, Superintendent Ritchie County Schools.
No. 13955.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Oct. 18, 1977.

Syllabus by the Court

1. An administrative body must abide by the remedies and procedures it properly establishes to conduct its affairs.

2. Failure to renew a probationary teacher's employment contract is an administrative act that entitles the teacher to a [160 W.Va. 724] grievance procedure hearing, where such procedure has been adopted by the employer board of education and made applicable to all school employees. The fact that the procedure may be generous beyond statutory or constitutional requirements does not preclude the teacher from availing himself of the rights provided by the procedure.

M. E. Mowery, Jr., Parkersburg, for relator.

Richard A. Hayhurst, Pros. Atty., Ritchie County, Harrisville, for respondent.

HARSHBARGER, Justice:

In this original proceeding in mandamus the question presented is whether, under the pertinent statutes, a probationary 1 teacher who was not rehired for the ensuing year and was not given any reason therefor has the right to avail himself of grievance procedures of the county board of education for the purpose of learning the reasons for nonrenewal of his teaching contract.

Page 221

The petitioner, William D. Powell, was a probationary teacher employed by the Ritchie County Board of Education. James R. Brown, the respondent, was the Superintendent[160 W.Va. 725] of Schools of Ritchie County. At a regular meeting of the Ritchie County Board of Education on May 2, 1977, Brown did not recommend Powell for reemployment and shortly thereafter so notified Powell without giving reasons for the action. Powell attempted to initiate a grievance procedure and made several requests therefor of Brown. Brown claims that Powell has no right to grievance hearings; that the failure of the board to renew his contract, he being a probationary teacher, is not a proper matter for grievance and he so informed Powell. The petitioner then instituted this mandamus proceeding praying that Brown be compelled to permit him to avail himself of the grievance procedure that had been adopted by the county board of education and was in effect at the time.

Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 92 S.Ct. 2701, 33 L.Ed.2d 548 (1972), establishes that a nontenured teacher, in general, has no property interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and is not entitled to a hearing, under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, if school officials do not rehire him. See also, Perry v. Sindermann, 408 U.S. 593, 92 S.Ct. 2694, 33 L.Ed.2d 570 (1972); Satterfield v. Edenton-Chowan Board of Education, 530 F.2d 567 (4th Cir. 1975); Sheppard v. West Virginia Board of Regents, 516 F.2d 826 (4th Cir. 1975); Orr v. Trinter, 444 F.2d 128 (6th Cir. 1971); Drown v. Portsmouth School District, 435 F.2d 1182 (1st Cir. 1970); Johnson v. Branch, 364 F.2d 177 (4th Cir. 1966); Shields v. Watrel, 333 F.Supp. 260 (W.D.Pa.1971). 2

[160 W.Va. 726] These holdings indicate that Powell has no constitutional right to a hearing. But we do not believe the case is disposed of so easily.

In West Virginia the State Board of Education has adopted Regulation 5300 which applies to every local board. Regulation 5300 (6) through (7) are set forth below:

(6) (a) Every employee is entitled to know how well he is performing his job, and should be offered the opportunity of open and honest evaluation of his performance on a regular basis. Any decision concerning promotion, demotion, transfer or termination of employment should be based upon such evaluation, and not upon...

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45 practice notes
  • DePond v. Gainer, No. 16902
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 12 Marzo 1986
    ...body must abide by the remedies and procedure it properly establishes to conduct its affairs." Syl. pt. 1, Powell v. Brown, 160 W.Va. 723, 238 S.E.2d 220 6. The administrative director of the supreme court of appeals has a duty to progressively certify creditable service for all member......
  • McGraw v. Hansbarger, No. 15676
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 31 Marzo 1983
    ...on the Department of Health. See also Clarke v. West Virginia Board of Regents, 166 W.Va. 702, 279 S.E.2d 169 (1981); Powell v. Brown, 160 W.Va. 723, 238 S.E.2d 220 4 W.Va.Code § 60-3-9c provides: For the purpose of providing revenue for care, treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics, the......
  • Tasker v. Mohn, No. 14650
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 4 Junio 1980
    ...mandates. Trimboli v. Board of Education of Wayne County, W.Va., 254 S.E.2d 561 (1979), Syllabus Point 1; Powell v. Brown, W.Va., 238 S.E.2d 220 (1977). See also, Burton v. Ciccone, 484 F.2d 1322 (8th Cir. 1973), 67A C.J.S. Pardon and Parole § 42, and cases cited therein. Of course, this is......
  • State ex rel. Bd. of Educ. of Kanawha County v. Casey, No. 16796
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 4 Abril 1986
    ...Syl. pt. 1, Mason County Board of Education v. State Superintendent of Schools, 165 W.Va. 732, 274 S.E.2d 435 (1980); Powell v. Brown, 160 W.Va. 723, Page 440 726-28, 238 S.E.2d 220, 222 (1977). Certainly, if the violation of state or county educational policy with respect to transfer is ar......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
44 cases
  • DePond v. Gainer, No. 16902
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 12 Marzo 1986
    ...body must abide by the remedies and procedure it properly establishes to conduct its affairs." Syl. pt. 1, Powell v. Brown, 160 W.Va. 723, 238 S.E.2d 220 6. The administrative director of the supreme court of appeals has a duty to progressively certify creditable service for all members of ......
  • McGraw v. Hansbarger, No. 15676
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 31 Marzo 1983
    ...on the Department of Health. See also Clarke v. West Virginia Board of Regents, 166 W.Va. 702, 279 S.E.2d 169 (1981); Powell v. Brown, 160 W.Va. 723, 238 S.E.2d 220 4 W.Va.Code § 60-3-9c provides: For the purpose of providing revenue for care, treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics, the......
  • Tasker v. Mohn, No. 14650
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 4 Junio 1980
    ...mandates. Trimboli v. Board of Education of Wayne County, W.Va., 254 S.E.2d 561 (1979), Syllabus Point 1; Powell v. Brown, W.Va., 238 S.E.2d 220 (1977). See also, Burton v. Ciccone, 484 F.2d 1322 (8th Cir. 1973), 67A C.J.S. Pardon and Parole § 42, and cases cited therein. Of course, this is......
  • State ex rel. Bd. of Educ. of Kanawha County v. Casey, No. 16796
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 4 Abril 1986
    ...Syl. pt. 1, Mason County Board of Education v. State Superintendent of Schools, 165 W.Va. 732, 274 S.E.2d 435 (1980); Powell v. Brown, 160 W.Va. 723, Page 440 726-28, 238 S.E.2d 220, 222 (1977). Certainly, if the violation of state or county educational policy with respect to transfer is ar......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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