State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains, No. 66872

CourtMissouri Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtWELLIVER; HIGGINS, C.J., DONNELLY and RENDLEN, JJ., and SNYDER; BLACKMAR; BILLINGS; ROBERTSON; BLACKMAR; BILLINGS
Citation706 S.W.2d 861
Parties64 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 975 STATE ex rel. NORANDA ALUMINUM, INC., Relator, v. Elizabeth J. RAINS, Chief Hearing Examiner for the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, Respondent.
Decision Date25 March 1986
Docket NumberNo. 66872

Page 861

706 S.W.2d 861
64 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 975
STATE ex rel. NORANDA ALUMINUM, INC., Relator,
v.
Elizabeth J. RAINS, Chief Hearing Examiner for the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights, Respondent.
No. 66872.
Supreme Court of Missouri,
En Banc.
March 25, 1986.

Page 862

Louis N. Laderman, St. Louis, for relator.

William L. Webster, Atty. Gen., Robert L. Swearingen, Jennifer Fisher, Asst. Attys. Gen., Jefferson City, for respondent.

WELLIVER, Judge.

This case involves a discrimination action before the Missouri Commission on Human Rights against relator, Noranda Aluminum, Inc. The complaint was filed by Darryl E. Love, and relator subsequently filed with the hearing examiner a notice to depose Love. The hearing examiner held that Love was not a party to the proceedings and absent party status Love could not be deposed without the issuance of a subpoena. Relator challenged this conclusion by the hearing examiner and obtained a stay of the proceedings, pending a petition for writ of prohibition. We issued a preliminary order in prohibition on April 2, 1985. Rule 97.04. We now make our preliminary order absolute.

At the outset, there is some question concerning the propriety of deciding this issue in a writ proceeding. Our power to issue remedial writs derives from our Constitution. Mo. Const. art. V, § 4.1. The legislature also has provided that writs of prohibition "shall be granted to prevent usurpation of judicial power, and in all cases where the same is now applicable according to the principles of law." § 530.010, RSMo 1978. The constitutional grant of authority is more expansive than the statutory grant, and it gives this Court discretionary power in issuing remedial writs. By contrast, the statutory provision purports to direct when a writ shall issue. Situations where this Court has issued writs of prohibition generally fall within one of three categories. First, where there is a usurpation of judicial power because the trial court lacks either personal or subject matter jurisdiction, we have entertained writs of prohibition. Second, although less frequently, we will entertain a writ of prohibition where there exists a clear excess of jurisdiction or abuse of discretion such that the lower court lacks the power to act as contemplated.

The third situation is perhaps the most unsettled area. When this Court is presented with an action that is not an abuse of discretion or excess of jurisdiction in the customary fashion in which we have interpreted those concepts, we occasionally will issue a writ of prohibition if the party can satisfy a number of conditions--often falling under the rubric of no adequate remedy by appeal. This category often acts as a mechanism for deciding an important legal question that routinely escapes this Court's attention because of the litigation process and the lack of interest in some instances to prosecute an appeal at a client's expense. It might be noted that there are no interlocutory appeals in civil cases in Missouri, which in other jurisdictions might cover some of the situations in this third category. Thus, where there is an issue which might otherwise escape this Court's attention for some time and which in the meantime is being decided by administrative bodies or trial courts whose opinions may be reason of inertia or other cause become percedent; 1 and, the issue is being decided wrongly and is not a mere misapplication of law; and, where the aggrieved party may suffer considerable

Page 863

hardship and expense as a consequence of such action, we may entertain the writ for purposes of judicial economy under our authority to "issue and determine original remedial writs." Mo. Const. art. V, § 4.1.

Since the adoption of State ex rel. Morasch v. Kimberlin, 654 S.W.2d 889 (Mo. banc 1983), we often have questioned whether we were in fact following the guidelines of Morasch. This case falls into category three above and we believe that the orderly and economical administration of justice justifies issuance of the writ in such a case. Modified to this extent, we believe that Morasch's goal of a workable guideline is attainable.

The complainant, Darryl E. Love, filed a complaint of discrimination under § 296.040.1, RSMo 1978 against the relator, Noranda Aluminum. Relator apparently had hired Love, a black male, and another black male and three white males to work as utilitymen for relator. Complainant alleges that they were employed as probationary employees, beginning November 7, 1981 and ending thirty-nine days later on December 17, 1981. Complainant further alleges that he received three reprimands on safety during his first fifteen days of employment and at the end of the first fifteen days received a "fair" evaluation; and at his thirty-day evaluation on December 24, 1981 he was given a "half-fair" and "half-poor" appraisal of his performance. 2 He claims that he was terminated on December 27, 1981. Five reasons were stated in support of the discrimination charge:

A. Other whites hired in with me stayed in one section, while I was being constantly changed to different sections and different potmen which made my job difficult to grasp.

B. I was under close scrutiny and observation by the foreman while the white probationary employees were not.

C. I was called back to work during my lunch period to work. I never saw any white employees called from their lunch period to work.

D. [One of the white male potmen] has stated that I was one of the best utilitymen he worked with. [Another] has also stated the same.

E. There were four other probationary employees hired in with me; three whites and one black. The other black employee and I were the only ones terminated.

The complaint was filed before the Missouri Commission on Human Rights on December 29, 1981. Love sought reinstatement, back pay, no loss of seniority and such other relief as the Commission deems just and proper.

On January 23, 1984, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights found that probable cause existed to believe that complainant was "discharged because of his race, black" and ordered that relator attempt to resolve the matter by conference, conciliation and persuasion, which proved unsuccessful. The case was set for hearing on July 25, 1984, with a preliminary conference scheduled for June 26, 1984. On May 3, 1984, respondent issued an order directing, inter alia, that "[w]here possible, discovery shall be initiated and completed prior to the prehearing conference. This may be done informally between counsel or by requesting a subpoena for deposition from the hearing examiner." Relator contacted the Attorney General's...

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41 practice notes
  • State ex rel. In Interest of R.P. v. Rosen, No. WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 20 Enero 1998
    ...State ex rel. Chassaing v. Mummert, 887 S.W.2d 573, 577 (Mo. banc 1994) (citations to State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains, 706 S.W.2d 861, 862-63 (Mo. banc 1986)). Relators claim they are entitled to seek a writ here because there is "no adequate remedy by appeal." Writs of prohib......
  • Brady v. Ashcroft, WD 84470
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 18 Enero 2022
    ...Joint Venture v. Missouri Gaming Comm'n , 969 S.W.2d 218, 221 (Mo. 1998) (citing State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains , 706 S.W.2d 861, 862–63 (Mo. 1986) ).First, prohibition lies where a judicial or quasi-judicial body lacks personal jurisdiction over a party or lacks jurisdiction......
  • State ex rel. Chassaing v. Mummert, No. 76649
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 22 Noviembre 1994
    ...appeal, a writ of prohibition is not appropriate. Id. at 892. Distinguishing Morasch, in State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains, 706 S.W.2d 861, 862-63 (Mo. banc 1986), this Court outlined the three situations in which writs of prohibition will issue. First, prohibition will lie wher......
  • State ex rel. J.E. Dunn Const. Co. v. Fairness in Const. Bd. of City of Kansas City, Nos. WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 30 Diciembre 1997
    ...School Dist. v. Missouri Comm'n on Human Rights, 872 S.W.2d 892, 894 (Mo.App.1994)(citing State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains, 706 S.W.2d 861, 862 (Mo. banc 1986)). See also State ex rel. Norwood v. Drumm, 691 S.W.2d 238, 241 (Mo. banc 1985). A writ of prohibition does not issue a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • State ex rel. In Interest of R.P. v. Rosen, No. WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 20 Enero 1998
    ...State ex rel. Chassaing v. Mummert, 887 S.W.2d 573, 577 (Mo. banc 1994) (citations to State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains, 706 S.W.2d 861, 862-63 (Mo. banc 1986)). Relators claim they are entitled to seek a writ here because there is "no adequate remedy by appeal." Writs of prohib......
  • Brady v. Ashcroft, WD 84470
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 18 Enero 2022
    ...Joint Venture v. Missouri Gaming Comm'n , 969 S.W.2d 218, 221 (Mo. 1998) (citing State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains , 706 S.W.2d 861, 862–63 (Mo. 1986) ).First, prohibition lies where a judicial or quasi-judicial body lacks personal jurisdiction over a party or lacks jurisdiction......
  • State ex rel. Chassaing v. Mummert, No. 76649
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 22 Noviembre 1994
    ...appeal, a writ of prohibition is not appropriate. Id. at 892. Distinguishing Morasch, in State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains, 706 S.W.2d 861, 862-63 (Mo. banc 1986), this Court outlined the three situations in which writs of prohibition will issue. First, prohibition will lie wher......
  • State ex rel. J.E. Dunn Const. Co. v. Fairness in Const. Bd. of City of Kansas City, Nos. WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 30 Diciembre 1997
    ...School Dist. v. Missouri Comm'n on Human Rights, 872 S.W.2d 892, 894 (Mo.App.1994)(citing State ex rel. Noranda Aluminum, Inc. v. Rains, 706 S.W.2d 861, 862 (Mo. banc 1986)). See also State ex rel. Norwood v. Drumm, 691 S.W.2d 238, 241 (Mo. banc 1985). A writ of prohibition does not issue a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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