State v. State Board of Education

CourtIdaho Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBUDGE, J.
Citation196 P. 201,33 Idaho 415
Decision Date22 February 1921
PartiesSTATE, on the Relation of ROY L. BLACK, Individually and as Attorney General of the State of Idaho, Plaintiff, v. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION and THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO, a Body Corporate, and RAMSAY M. WALKER, J. A. LIPPINCOTT, EVAN EVANS, LOTTIE M. GRAVELEY, IRVIN E. ROCKWELL and ETHEL M. REDFIELD, as Members Thereof, and FRANK N. STANTON, Bursar of the University of Idaho, Defendants

196 P. 201

33 Idaho 415

STATE, on the Relation of ROY L. BLACK, Individually and as Attorney General of the State of Idaho, Plaintiff,
v.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION and THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO, a Body Corporate, and RAMSAY M. WALKER, J. A. LIPPINCOTT, EVAN EVANS, LOTTIE M. GRAVELEY, IRVIN E. ROCKWELL and ETHEL M. REDFIELD, as Members Thereof, and FRANK N. STANTON, Bursar of the University of Idaho, Defendants

Supreme Court of Idaho

February 22, 1921


STATE UNIVERSITY-CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS-CONTROL OF FUNDS-EXPENDITURES-LEGISLATIVE REGULATIONS-STATE APPROPRIATIONS-PROCEEDS FROM FEDERAL GRANTS, APPROPRIATIONS AND PRIVATE DONATIONS-CONTROL OF BOARD OF EXAMINERS-CONTROL OF DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS-SALES OF UNIVERSITY PROPERTY.

1. The board of regents of the University of Idaho is a constitutional corporation with granted powers, and while functioning [33 Idaho 416] within the scope of its authority is not subject to the control or supervision of any other branch, board or department of the state government, but is a separate entity, and may sue and be sued, with power to contract and discharge indebtedness, with the right to exercise its discretion within the powers granted, without authority to contract indebtedness against the state, and in no sense is a claim against the regents one against the state.

2. A claim against the University of Idaho or the board of regents thereof is not a claim against the state. Const., art. 4, sec. 18, and C. S., sec. 242, confer upon the state board of examiners no power to pass upon claims against the board of regents of the state university.

3. Const., art. 9, sec. 10, vests in the board of regents of the University of Idaho, "the general supervision of the university, and the control and direction of all the funds of, and appropriations to, the university, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law." The regulations which may be prescribed by law and which must be observed by the regents in their supervision of the university, and the control and direction of its funds, refer to methods and rules for the conduct of its business and accounting to authorized officers. Such regulations must not be of a character to interfere essentially with the constitutional discretion of the board, under the authority granted by the constitution.

4. The proceeds of federal land grants, direct federal appropriations, and private donations to the university, are trust funds, and are not subject to the constitutional requirement that money must be appropriated before it is paid out of the state treasury. Claims against such funds need not be passed upon by the state board of examiners, and the moneys in such funds may be expended by the board of regents, subject only to the conditions and limitations provided in the acts of Congress making such grants and appropriations, or the conditions imposed by the donors upon the donations.

5. When a constitutional provision or legislative act is fairly open to two constructions, one of which will carry out and the other defeat some great public purpose for which it was designed, the former construction should be applied.

6. When an appropriation of public funds is made to the university, the legislature may impose such conditions and limitations as in its wisdom it may deem proper. If accepted by the regents, it is coupled with the conditions and can be expended only [33 Idaho 417] for the purposes and at the time and in the manner prescribed, and can be withdrawn from the state treasury only as provided by law.

7. The powers and duties of the department of public works, under C. S., secs. 367-380, pertain only to such contracts or purchases as create claims against the state.

8. There is no obligation resting upon the board of regents of the state university to pay to the state treasurer the proceeds of the sale of property belonging to the university in the absence of conditions contained in an appropriation which, by being accepted, raised an implied contract on the part of such board, and said proceeds of sale may be paid to the treasurer of the state university for the use thereof.

Original application for writ of prohibition. Denied.

Writ denied.

Roy L. Black, Attorney General, and Dean Driscoll, Assistant, for Plaintiff.

So far as any of these funds constitute trust funds, or moneys held by the state for a specific purpose and no other, irrespective of any constitutional proviso giving the board of regents any power over them, they would, by reason of their character as trust funds alone, be not subject to the constitutional provision requiring appropriation and requiring allowance of claims against them by the board of examiners. (State v. Iverson, 125 Minn. 67, 145 N.W. 607; Commonwealth v. Dollar Savings Bank, 259 Pa. 138, 102 A. 569, 1 A. L. R. 1048; State v. Taylor, 33 N.D. 76, Ann. Cas. 1918A, 583, 156 N.W. 561, L. R. A. 1918B, 156; State v. McMillan, 36 Nev. 383, 136 P. 108; State v. Collins, 21 Mont. 448, 53 P. 1114.)

The funds derived from the various land grants are trust funds. Not only are they permanent funds in the control of the state, and hence in the control of the state treasurer, but the proceeds will be available in such manner only as the legislature shall make them so. (Evans v. Van Deusen, 31 Idaho 621, 174 P. 122.)

Direct federal appropriations require no appropriation or action from the state legislature, are not subject to the [33 Idaho 418] custody of the state treasurer and may be expended without any action of the board of examiners. (Melgard v. Eagleson, 31 Idaho 411, 172 P. 655.)

The provision of art. 3, sec. 1, vesting the entire legislative power of the state in the Senate and House of Representatives, seems quite inclusive in its terms. There is no exception as to the state board of regents, or appropriations made in their favor. The mere creation of the office of the state treasurer makes him, under the decisions of this court, custodian of all the state funds. There is nothing in the constitution which makes any exception as to appropriations for the university. The construction placed upon the constitutional provision for a board of examiners by the decisions of this court seems to be equally ironclad. (Pyke v. Steunenberg, 5 Idaho 614, 51 P. 614; Bragaw v. Gooding, 14 Idaho 288, 94 P. 438.)

There is language in the section creating the board of regents (art. 9, sec. 10) under which all these various provisions can be given force and effect.

"The regents shall have the general supervision of the university and the control and direction of all funds of, and appropriations to the university, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law." This section originally gave the regents exclusive control and direction in express words, but after considerable debate in the convention, the word "exclusive" was stricken out. (1 Idaho Const. Convention, 766-772.)

Conflicting or apparently conflicting statutes will be construed, if possible, to give effect to both. (Brown v. Bryan, 6 Idaho 1, 51 P. 995; Noble v. Bragaw, 12 Idaho 265, 85 P. 903; Olson S. L. R. Co. v. Minidoka Co., 28 Idaho 214, 153 P. 424; Oneida Co. v. Evans, 25 Idaho 456, 138 P. 337; Perrault v. Robinson, 29 Idaho 267, 158 P. 1074.)

It is not competent for the state board of regents, who are simply state officers, to divest either the attorney general or the county attorneys of their lawful duties and deprive them of the control of litigation which the law places in their hands. (Secs. 178, 3655, C. S.)

[33 Idaho 419] Henry Z. Johnson, O. P. Cockerill and Oppenheim & Lampert, for Defendants.

All the rights, immunities, franchises and endowments granted by the territorial legislature are perpetuated unto the state university under the control of the board of regents as a constitutional corporation. (Const., art. 9, sec. 10; Trapp v. Cook Const. Co., 24 Okla. 850, 105 P. 667; Sterling v. Regents of University of Michigan, 110 Mich. 369, 68 N.W. 253, 34 L. R. A. 150.)

The state board of examiners has jurisdiction only of claims against the state. (Const., art. 4, sec. 18; C. S., sec. 242.)

A claim against the board of regents of the University of Idaho is not a claim against the state. (Pyke v. Steunenberg, 5 Idaho 614, 51 P. 614; Hollister v. State, 9 Idaho 8, 71 P. 541; American Bonding Co. v. Regents, 11 Idaho 63, 81 P. 604; Moscow Hardware Co. v. Regents, 19 Idaho 420, 113 P. 731; First Nat. Bank v. Regents, 19 Idaho 440, 113 P. 735; First Nat. Bank v. Regents, 26 Idaho 19, 140 P. 771; Phoenix Lumber Co. v. Regents, 197 F. 425; Interstate Construction Co. v. Regents, 199 F. 509.)

A claim is the equivalent of a cause of action. (Houston v. State, 98 Wis. 481, 74 N.W. 111, 42 L. R. A. 39; Northwestern & Pacific Hypotheek Bank v. State, 18 Wash. 73, 50 P. 586, 42 L. R. A. 33; Riddoch v. State, 68 Wash. 529, Ann. Cas. 1913E, 1033, 123 P. 450, 42 L. R. A., N. S., 251; Miller v. Village of Mullen, 17 Idaho 28, 19 Ann. Cas. 1107, 104 P. 660; C. S., sec. 4048; Giffen v. Lewiston, 6 Idaho 231, 55 P. 545.)

The legislature cannot "regulate" from the board of regents powers conferred by the constitution. (Finlen v. Heinze, 27 Mont. 107, 69 P. 829; Blomquist v. County Commrs., 25 Idaho 284, 137 P. 174; State v. Hastings, 10 Wis. 525; Trapp v. Cook Construction Co., supra; Wineberg v. Regents, 97 Mich. 246, 56 N.W. 605; Sterling v. Regents, supra; Fox v. Flynn, 27 Idaho 580, 150 P. 44; Bauer v. State Board of Agriculture, 164 Mich. 415, 129 N.W. 713; Regents v. Auditor, 167 Mich. 444, 132 N.W. 1037; State Board of Agriculture v. Fuller, 180 Mich. 349, 147 N.W. 529; State v. Board of Curators, 268 Mo. 598, 188 S.W. 128.)

General statutory provisions do not derogate from or restrict specific powers conferred upon the regents of the University of Idaho. (State v. Clausen, 51 Wash. 548, 99 P. 743; State v. Carr, 111 Ind. 335, 12 N.E. 318.)

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19 practice notes
  • Century Distilling Co. v. Defenbach
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 16, 1940
    ...8, 71 P. 541; Howard v. Cook, 59 Idaho 391, 83 P.2d 208; Thomas v. State, 16 Idaho 81, 100 P. 761; State v. State Board of Education, 33 Idaho 415, 196 P. 201; Davis v. State, 30 Idaho 137, 163 P. 373, Ann.Cas. 1918D, 911; State v. National Surety Co., 29 Idaho 670, 161 P. 1026.) A state ma......
  • Renninger v. State, No. 7567
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 12, 1950
    ...Bank of Moscow v. Regents of University of Idaho, 26 Idaho 15, at page 18, 140 P. 771; State ex rel. Black v. State Board of Education, 33 Idaho 415, 196 P. 201, fairly support the proposition that where sovereign immunity from suit is waived by constitutional sanction, as is the case herei......
  • State v. Otto, No. 12714
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 9, 1981
    ...some great public purpose for which it was designed, the former construction should be applied." State v. State Board of Education, 33 Idaho 415, 429, 196 P. 201, 205 (1921). Certainly, there is no greater purpose[102 Idaho 257] Page 653 than to protect the public from murderous acts, ......
  • Rich v. Williams, No. 8788
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 24, 1959
    ...the other constitutional, the rule of construction must be adopted which will uphold it. State ex rel. Black v. State Board of Education, 33 Idaho 415, 196 P. 201; City of Idaho Falls v. Pfost, 53 Idaho 247, 23 P.2d 245; State ex rel. Graham v. Enking, 59 Idaho 321, 82 P.2d 649; State v. Pe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • Century Distilling Co. v. Defenbach
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 16, 1940
    ...8, 71 P. 541; Howard v. Cook, 59 Idaho 391, 83 P.2d 208; Thomas v. State, 16 Idaho 81, 100 P. 761; State v. State Board of Education, 33 Idaho 415, 196 P. 201; Davis v. State, 30 Idaho 137, 163 P. 373, Ann.Cas. 1918D, 911; State v. National Surety Co., 29 Idaho 670, 161 P. 1026.) A state ma......
  • Renninger v. State, No. 7567
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 12, 1950
    ...Bank of Moscow v. Regents of University of Idaho, 26 Idaho 15, at page 18, 140 P. 771; State ex rel. Black v. State Board of Education, 33 Idaho 415, 196 P. 201, fairly support the proposition that where sovereign immunity from suit is waived by constitutional sanction, as is the case herei......
  • State v. Otto, No. 12714
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 9, 1981
    ...some great public purpose for which it was designed, the former construction should be applied." State v. State Board of Education, 33 Idaho 415, 429, 196 P. 201, 205 (1921). Certainly, there is no greater purpose[102 Idaho 257] Page 653 than to protect the public from murderous acts, ......
  • Rich v. Williams, No. 8788
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 24, 1959
    ...the other constitutional, the rule of construction must be adopted which will uphold it. State ex rel. Black v. State Board of Education, 33 Idaho 415, 196 P. 201; City of Idaho Falls v. Pfost, 53 Idaho 247, 23 P.2d 245; State ex rel. Graham v. Enking, 59 Idaho 321, 82 P.2d 649; State v. Pe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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