State, Div. of Human Rights ex rel. Miller v. Miller, No. 14305

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtFOSHEIM
Citation349 N.W.2d 42
PartiesSTATE of South Dakota, DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ex rel., Lyla P. MILLER, Complainant and Appellant, v. Floyd MILLER, d/b/a Huebl Funeral Chapel, Respondent and Appellee. . Considered on Briefs
Decision Date22 March 1984
Docket NumberNo. 14305

Page 42

349 N.W.2d 42
STATE of South Dakota, DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ex rel.,
Lyla P. MILLER, Complainant and Appellant,
v.
Floyd MILLER, d/b/a Huebl Funeral Chapel, Respondent and Appellee.
No. 14305.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Considered on Briefs March 22, 1984.
Decided May 16, 1984.
Rehearing Denied June 19, 1984.

Page 44

Thomas M. Tobin of Maynes, Tonner, Maynes & Tobin, Aberdeen, for complainant and appellant.

Carlyle E. Richards, P.C. of Ronayne & Richards, Aberdeen, for respondent and appellee.

FOSHEIM, Chief Justice.

The State of South Dakota, Division of Human Rights, ex rel. Lyla P. Miller (Complainant), appeals the circuit court reversal of a human rights commission determination that Complainant had been terminated from her employment in retaliation for a sex discrimination complaint she had earlier made to the commission. We reverse.

Complainant is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She began work with Miller-Huebl Funeral Home in Aberdeen on June 16, 1976. Her employer, Floyd Miller, refused to permit her to participate in various funeral home duties which he reserved for male employees. Such duties included home removal of bodies, parking cars during funerals, guiding the casket down the aisle during funerals and making funeral arrangements with the families. He mentioned to other employees that as long as he ran the place, no woman would perform these tasks. On January 16, 1978, Complainant filed a discrimination complaint with the human rights commission.

On March 31, 1978, Floyd Miller was orally informed by a human rights division investigator that he was writing an opinion finding probable cause regarding the discrimination complaint. On that same day, Complainant was summarily terminated with two weeks severance pay. She then filed a second complaint with the human rights commission, charging that she had been terminated from her employment in retaliation for filing the first complaint. The commission entered judgment for Complainant on both grievances.

Upon appeal, the circuit court granted Floyd Miller's request to produce additional evidence which indicated the termination was motivated by economic reasons resulting from decreasing net profits. 1 It then remanded the matter to the human rights commission for consideration of the additional evidence. The commission affirmed its earlier decision and the matter was returned to circuit court. The circuit court affirmed the discrimination determination, but reversed on the issue of retaliatory discharge. It held the dismissal was nonretaliatory due to the evidence of economic necessity and because, in determining which employee to terminate, the funeral home assessed the experience and education of the various employees.

Complainant first claims the circuit court erred in permitting the funeral home to submit additional testimony. SDCL 1-26-34 grants the court that power:

If, before the date set for hearing, application is made to the court for leave to present additional evidence, that it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the additional evidence is material and that there were good reasons for failure to present it in the proceeding before the agency, the court may order that the additional evidence be taken before the agency upon conditions determined by the court. The agency may modify its findings and decision by reason of the additional evidence and shall file that evidence and any modifications, new findings, or decisions with the reviewing court.

Complainant feels the motion for additional evidence should not have been granted because the funeral home waited seven months after filing notice of appeal to circuit court before requesting permission to introduce additional evidence. We disagree. The statute places no time limit on the application for additional evidence other

Page 45

than that it be made "before the date set for hearing." This requirement was met.

Complainant further argues there were no "good reasons" presented for failure to produce the evidence in the administrative proceeding. The circuit court recognized several plausible reasons. The circumstances of the hearing were such as to discourage full introduction of evidence. The commission insisted on holding the hearing on a Saturday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. in an attempt to complete it in one day. During this time Floyd Miller had to plan and conduct a funeral and was consequently excused from the hearing. Additionally, the proceedings took place in a motel room, which was not conducive to a judicial atmosphere because of various distractions.

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32 practice notes
  • Permann v. South Dakota Dept. of Labor, Unemployment Ins. Div., No. 15390
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 21 Abril 1987
    ...with the language "clearly erroneous in light of the entire evidence in the record." The case of State, Div. of Human Rights v. Miller, 349 N.W.2d 42 (S.D.1984), is often cited for its recitation of the standard of review used in administrative reviews. The Miller court specifically address......
  • Aliberti v. Solem, No. 16017
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 26 Mayo 1988
    ...agency was clearly erroneous. Matter of S.D. Water Mgmt. Bd., 351 N.W.2d 119 (S.D.1984); State, Div. of Human Rights v. Miller, 349 N.W.2d 42 Permann v. Dept. of Labor, Unemp. Ins. Div., 411 N.W.2d 113, 116 (S.D.1987) (citing S.D. Wildlife Federation v. Water Mgt. Bd., 382 N.W.2d 26, 32 (S.......
  • In re GCC License Corp., No. 21510
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 14 Marzo 2001
    ...findings because the court's fact findings were based solely on the record before the PUC. Cf. State Div. of Human Rights v. Miller, 349 N.W.2d 42, 46 n. 2 (S.D.1984). Questions of law, as well as mixed questions of law and fact, are fully reviewable. Zoss v. United Bldg. Center, Inc., 1997......
  • State of S.D. Water Management Bd. Approving Water Permit No. 1791-2, Matter of, No. 14296
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 27 Junio 1984
    ...it does to other appeals from the circuit court. Such appeal may not be considered de novo." In the recent decision of State v. Miller, 349 N.W.2d 42 (S.D.1984), we decided that despite the new language in the statute, this court still reviews the administrative decision essentially in the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
32 cases
  • Permann v. South Dakota Dept. of Labor, Unemployment Ins. Div., No. 15390
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 21 Abril 1987
    ...with the language "clearly erroneous in light of the entire evidence in the record." The case of State, Div. of Human Rights v. Miller, 349 N.W.2d 42 (S.D.1984), is often cited for its recitation of the standard of review used in administrative reviews. The Miller court specifically address......
  • Aliberti v. Solem, No. 16017
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 26 Mayo 1988
    ...agency was clearly erroneous. Matter of S.D. Water Mgmt. Bd., 351 N.W.2d 119 (S.D.1984); State, Div. of Human Rights v. Miller, 349 N.W.2d 42 Permann v. Dept. of Labor, Unemp. Ins. Div., 411 N.W.2d 113, 116 (S.D.1987) (citing S.D. Wildlife Federation v. Water Mgt. Bd., 382 N.W.2d 26, 32 (S.......
  • In re GCC License Corp., No. 21510
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 14 Marzo 2001
    ...findings because the court's fact findings were based solely on the record before the PUC. Cf. State Div. of Human Rights v. Miller, 349 N.W.2d 42, 46 n. 2 (S.D.1984). Questions of law, as well as mixed questions of law and fact, are fully reviewable. Zoss v. United Bldg. Center, Inc., 1997......
  • State of S.D. Water Management Bd. Approving Water Permit No. 1791-2, Matter of, No. 14296
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 27 Junio 1984
    ...it does to other appeals from the circuit court. Such appeal may not be considered de novo." In the recent decision of State v. Miller, 349 N.W.2d 42 (S.D.1984), we decided that despite the new language in the statute, this court still reviews the administrative decision essentially in the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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