Stephens v. Jones

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtMcCOY, J
Citation123 N.W. 705,24 S.D. 97
Decision Date19 November 1909
PartiesCHARLES M. STEPHENS et al., Plaintiffs and respondents, v. WILLIAM J. JONES et al., Defendants and appellants.
24 S.D. 97, 123 N.W. 705 (1909)

CHARLES M. STEPHENS et al.,
Plaintiffs and respondents
v
WILLIAM J. JONES et al.,

Defendants and appellants


South Dakota Supreme Court
Appeal from Circuit Court, Spink County, SD
Hon. Chas. S. Whiting, Judge
Affirmed

Bruell & Morris, R. T. Bull
Attorneys for appellants.

M. Moriarty
Attorney for respondents.

Opinion filed Nov. 19, 1909

[24 S.D. 98]

McCOY, J.


Section 70, c. 135, p. 230, Sess. Laws 1907, provides:

"Upon the receipt of a petition signed by a majority of the qualified electors of any civil township in said county having districts smaller than civil townships, the county commissioners and the county superintendent of schools shall declare that the school district shall comprise a school township district, and the county superintendent shall appoint the necessary officers as hereinafter provided in section 90, who shall hold until the next election."

The civil township of Tulare, Spink county, is composed of two

[24 S.D. 99]

school districts, each smaller than a civil township, known as districts No. 27 and No. 28 of said county. At the July, 1907, meeting of the board of county commissioners of said county there was presented and filed a petition signed by a majority of the qualified electors of said Tulare civil township, asking that said civil township be declared to be a single school township district, as provided by said section 70, c. 135, p. 230, Laws 1907, and requesting the county superintendent of schools to appoint the necessary officers for said district; and the said board of county commissioners, acting in conjunction with the county superintendent of schools, rejected said petition and refused to declare said civil township to be a single school district. Thereafter the plaintiffs, as taxpayers and parents of children of school age residing in said Tulare civil township, commenced this action in mandamus against the defendants, who are the members of the said board of county commissioners and the said county superintendent, to compel them to declare said civil township to be one school township district, and to compel said superintendent of schools to appoint said necessary officers therefor. The defendants answered in said action, denying that said petition was signed by a majority of the qualified electors of said township, and alleging that a counter-petition had been presented, signed by a number of the electors of said township, alleging that the consolidation of said two school districts would be very inequitable and unjust to the taxpayers of said district No. 28, which has good school buildings and no school debt, while the said district No. 27 had poor and insufficient school buildings and an indebtedness, which, under such consolidation, the taxpayers of district No. 28 would be required to pay a portion thereof. A trial before the court without a jury resulted in findings and judgment in favor of plaintiffs. A motion for new trial being overruled, the defendants have appealed to this court, and by proper objections and exceptions have raised the following questions of law: (1) That section 70, c. 135, p. 230, Sess. Laws 1907, is unconstitutional; (2) that, if constitutional, it is directory only, and not mandatory; (3) that mandamus is not the proper remedy to control such action of the board of county commissioners and county superintendent.

[24 S.D. 100]

It is first contended that this section 70 is unconstitutional because the title of the act relates to two distinct and specific subjects, being as follows: "An act to establish a uniform system of education for the state of South Dakota, and to repeal certain legislation relating thereto"--as being in conflict with section 21, article 3, State Const., which reads: "No law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title." But we are of the opinion that there is but one subject embraced or expressed in this title. The only subject expressed in this title is the establishment of a uniform system of education for the state of South Dakota, and that portion of said title, "To repeal certain legislation...

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6 practice notes
  • Refusal of State Bd. of Equalization to Hear Appeal of Lake Poinsett Area Development Ass'n, Matter of, Nos. 13803
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • 2 Marzo 1983
    ...48 S.D. 417, 204 N.W. 901 (1925); Farmers' Loan & Trust Bank v. Hirning, 42 S.D. 52, 172 N.W. 931 (1919); Stephens et al. v. Jones et al., 24 S.D. 97, 123 N.W. 705 (1909). This court addressed a similar issue involving property tax officers in Beadle County v. Eveland, 43 S.D. 447, 180 N.W.......
  • Aman v. Edmunds Cent. School Dist. No. 22-5, No. 44-1
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • 7 Octubre 1992
    ...v. Lemars Mut. Ins. Co. Inc., 404 N.W.2d 55, 59 (S.D.1987); Cf. State v. Bunnell, 324 N.W.2d 418, 420 (S.D.1982); Stephens v. Jones, 24 S.D. 97, 100-01, 123 N.W. 705, 707 (1909). If the legislature had intended school boards to have more discretion, it would have used discretionary The lang......
  • State v. Bunnell, No. 13346
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 9 Diciembre 1981
    ...requirement to be so much a part of the right to refuse a test, it is not an immaterial matter but is mandatory. See Stephens v. Jones, 24 S.D. 97, 123 N.W. 705 (1909). We hold that the officer failed to substantially comply with the mandatory requirements of SDCL 32-23-10 when he failed to......
  • Chicago & NW Ry. v. Buckingham, 8439
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 12 Octubre 1942
    ...powers can be exercised, then the statute must be regarded as mandatory.” 59 CJ § 631, p, 1074. And see Stephens et al. v. Jones et al., 24 SD 97, 123 NW 705. “Public policy often requires that minor omissions and failures by officials shall not make void all their proceedings; [69 SD 10] o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Refusal of State Bd. of Equalization to Hear Appeal of Lake Poinsett Area Development Ass'n, Matter of, Nos. 13803
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • 2 Marzo 1983
    ...48 S.D. 417, 204 N.W. 901 (1925); Farmers' Loan & Trust Bank v. Hirning, 42 S.D. 52, 172 N.W. 931 (1919); Stephens et al. v. Jones et al., 24 S.D. 97, 123 N.W. 705 (1909). This court addressed a similar issue involving property tax officers in Beadle County v. Eveland, 43 S.D. 447, 180 N.W.......
  • Aman v. Edmunds Cent. School Dist. No. 22-5, No. 44-1
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • 7 Octubre 1992
    ...v. Lemars Mut. Ins. Co. Inc., 404 N.W.2d 55, 59 (S.D.1987); Cf. State v. Bunnell, 324 N.W.2d 418, 420 (S.D.1982); Stephens v. Jones, 24 S.D. 97, 100-01, 123 N.W. 705, 707 (1909). If the legislature had intended school boards to have more discretion, it would have used discretionary The lang......
  • State v. Bunnell, No. 13346
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 9 Diciembre 1981
    ...requirement to be so much a part of the right to refuse a test, it is not an immaterial matter but is mandatory. See Stephens v. Jones, 24 S.D. 97, 123 N.W. 705 (1909). We hold that the officer failed to substantially comply with the mandatory requirements of SDCL 32-23-10 when he failed to......
  • Chicago & NW Ry. v. Buckingham, 8439
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 12 Octubre 1942
    ...powers can be exercised, then the statute must be regarded as mandatory.” 59 CJ § 631, p, 1074. And see Stephens et al. v. Jones et al., 24 SD 97, 123 NW 705. “Public policy often requires that minor omissions and failures by officials shall not make void all their proceedings; [69 SD 10] o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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