Powell v. Hargrove, (No. 12053.)

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtBLEASE
Citation134 S.E. 380
PartiesPOWELL et al. v. HARGROVE et al.
Docket Number(No. 12053.)
Decision Date16 August 1926

134 S.E. 380

POWELL et al.
v.
HARGROVE et al.

(No. 12053.)

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Aug. 16, 1926.


Appeal from Common Pleas Circuit Court of Dillon County; E. C. Dennis, Judge.

Suit for injunction by E. L. Powell and others against Mrs. John N. Hargrove and others. From an order discharging a rule to show cause, and dismissing their petition for

[134 S.E. 381]

a restraining order, plaintiffs appealed, and also filed petition In the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, asserting additional grounds for relief. Order appealed from affirmed, and original petition dismissed.

McColl & Stevenson, of Bennettsville, for appellants.

Gibson & Muller and W. C. Moore, all of Dillon, for respondents.

BLEASE, J. The General Assembly, at the regular session of 1925, passed an act entitled "An act to require the county board of education for Dillon county to divide the county of Dillon into three high school districts, and to provide for the appointment of trustees for said high schools, to authorize each of said high school districts to issue bonds to provide high school buildings, and to levy a tax to pay the interest and principal on said bonds, and to levy a tax in each district to pay the expenses of maintaining such high schools, including transportation of high school pupils, " which was approved by the Governor on the 30th day of March, 1925. Act No. 324, 1925; 34 Statutes at Large, p. 691.

The plaintiffs, as citizens and taxpayers of Dillon county, and as citizens, taxpayers, patrons, and trustees of certain school districts of that county, brought this suit against the defendants, who are respectively members of the county board of education of Dillon county, the county auditor of that county and the trustees of the high school districts created by the act mentioned, for the purpose of restraining and enjoining the defendants from taking any steps of any kind to put into execution the terms of the act.

Omitting formal allegations, the complaint alleges, briefly, these things:

(1) That the act is unconstitutional because It violates subdivisions 4 and 9 of section 34 of article 3 of the Constitution, forbidding the General Assembly to pass special laws.

(2) That it violates section 5 of article 11 of the Constitution, in that it disregards the constitutional guaranty provided in that section for the division of Dillon county into suitable school districts, by attempting to create and set up over the same territory certain high school districts, which are intended to usurp and destroy the usual and natural functions of the original school districts already created under the authority of the Constitution.

(3) That it violates section 6 of article 11 of the Constitution, in that it interferes with and diminishes the school taxes and the method of apportionment of such taxes, that are guaranteed by the Constitution for the benefit of the original school districts.

(4) That it is contrary to section 7 of article 11 of the Constitution, for the reason that no provision is made for a separation of high schools for children of the white and colored races; that no provision is made for the ere ation of high schools or high school districts for members of the colored race.

(5) That plaintiffs, and other citizens of Dillon county, situated as they are, would be deprived of their property by the terms of the act without due process of law, in that the said act undertakes to vest in certain high school trustees the arbitrary power of determining how expensively the high school districts and high schools shall be operated, and of determining how great shall be the tax levies, and how large the amount of bond issues to be imposed upon the property of the school districts; that no provision is made for any election upon the question of creating such bonded debt.

(6) That the act makes a sudden and drastic change in the fundamental school organization of the county.

Upon the application of the plaintiffs, Hon. E. C. Dennis, circuit judge, issued a rule directed to the defendants, requiring them to show cause before him why the injunction prayed for should not be granted.

The defendants, in their return, denied all the material allegations of the complaint, except formal matters alleged therein. In addition thereto, they took the position that the act is wise legislation, for the reason that it improves greatly the educational facilities of Dillon county, and in the end will result in the economical benefit of the taxpayers.

Upon the hearing of the cause, Judge Dennis adjudged that the return was sufficient and dismissed the petition for the restraining order. From the order of Judge Dennis, the plaintiffs appealed upon numerous exceptions made and referred to hereinafter.

After hearing of the cause in this court, plaintiffs presented a petition asking this court to consider grounds, other than those urged before Judge Dennis, as additional reasons to have the questioned act declared unconstitutional. The defendants have agreed that the court shall pass upon the question raised by this petition in the decision of the cause heard by the circuit judge. In view of the fact that a large number of the citizens of Dillon county are interested in obtaining an early determination of this cause, and for the further reason that the educational interests of Dillon county may be affected by the result of this litigation, this court has decided to hear the petition of the plaintiffs, filed herein, along with the appeal from the order of Judge Dennis.

The petition, in very general terms, attacks the constitutionality of the act of the Legislature on the ground that it also violates the following provisions of the Constitution:

Article 8, § 3, requiring the General Assembly to restrict the power of cities and towns to levy taxes and assessments, to borrow money, and to contract debts and providing that no tax or assessment shall be levied or debt contracted, except in pursuance of law, for public purposes specified by law.

[134 S.E. 382]

Article 8, § 7, as to bonded indebtedness of municipal corporations.

Article 10, § 5, as to the levying of taxes for corporate purposes and the limitation of bonded debts.

Article 10, § 6, as to the purposes for which taxes may be levied or bonds issued.

Article 10, § 8, requiring that the publication of an accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be published with the laws of each regular session of the General Assembly.

Article 10, § 11, as to the public debt and issuance of state bonds.

Article 11, § 12, as to the income from sale or licenses for sale of liquors.

Article 10, § 13, as to the assessment for taxes.

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20 practice notes
  • Clarke v. South Carolina Pub. Serv. Auth., No. 14137.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • September 10, 1935
    ...Cathcart v. Columbia, 170 S. C. 362, 170 S. E. 435; Fowler v. Anderson, 131 S. C. 471, 128 S. E. 410; Powell v. Hargrove, 136 S. C. 345, 134 S. E. 380; Lillard v. Melton, 103 S. C. 10, 87 S. E. 421; Waterloo School District v. School District, 106 S. C. 292, 91 S. E. 257; Ruff v. Boulware, ......
  • State Ex Rel. Richards v. Moorer, (No. 12746.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 12, 1929
    ...Battle v. Willcox, 128 S. C. 500, 122 S. E. 516; San-tee Mills v. Query, 122 S. C. 158, 115 S. E. 202; Powell v. Hargrove, 136 S. C. 345, 134 S. E. 380." The following clear statement of this principle is found in 6 R. C. L. p. 75: "To justify a Court in pronouncing a legislative ......
  • Ashmore v. Dist, No. 15982.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 28, 1947
    ...or similar districts or special legislation thereabout. Arnette v. Ford, 129 S.C. 526, 125 S.E. 138; Powell v. Hargrove, 136 S.C. 345, 134 S.E. 380; Walpole v. Wall, 153 S. C. 106, 149 S.E. 760. These cases proceed mainly upon the reasoning applied here. It is suggested that there is danger......
  • Mills Mill v. Hawkins, No. 17312
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 19, 1957
    ...was held valid as a special provision in the general school law. To like effect was the decision in Powell v. Hargrove, 136 S.C. 345, 134 S.E. 380. In Battle v. Willcox, 128 S.C. 500, 122 S.E. 516, which involved an act authorizing the Commissioners of Marion County to issue bonds of Reaves......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
20 cases
  • Clarke v. South Carolina Pub. Serv. Auth., No. 14137.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • September 10, 1935
    ...Cathcart v. Columbia, 170 S. C. 362, 170 S. E. 435; Fowler v. Anderson, 131 S. C. 471, 128 S. E. 410; Powell v. Hargrove, 136 S. C. 345, 134 S. E. 380; Lillard v. Melton, 103 S. C. 10, 87 S. E. 421; Waterloo School District v. School District, 106 S. C. 292, 91 S. E. 257; Ruff v. Boulware, ......
  • State Ex Rel. Richards v. Moorer, (No. 12746.)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 12, 1929
    ...Battle v. Willcox, 128 S. C. 500, 122 S. E. 516; San-tee Mills v. Query, 122 S. C. 158, 115 S. E. 202; Powell v. Hargrove, 136 S. C. 345, 134 S. E. 380." The following clear statement of this principle is found in 6 R. C. L. p. 75: "To justify a Court in pronouncing a legislative ......
  • Ashmore v. Dist, No. 15982.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 28, 1947
    ...or similar districts or special legislation thereabout. Arnette v. Ford, 129 S.C. 526, 125 S.E. 138; Powell v. Hargrove, 136 S.C. 345, 134 S.E. 380; Walpole v. Wall, 153 S. C. 106, 149 S.E. 760. These cases proceed mainly upon the reasoning applied here. It is suggested that there is danger......
  • Mills Mill v. Hawkins, No. 17312
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 19, 1957
    ...was held valid as a special provision in the general school law. To like effect was the decision in Powell v. Hargrove, 136 S.C. 345, 134 S.E. 380. In Battle v. Willcox, 128 S.C. 500, 122 S.E. 516, which involved an act authorizing the Commissioners of Marion County to issue bonds of Reaves......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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