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South Carolina High School 
League,
Petitioner,


v.

Richland County School District 
One,
Respondent.

 


ORDER


Petitioner sanctioned the basketball team of C.A. Johnson Preparatory Academy (C.A. Johnson) for violating petitioner’s rules.  As a result, C.A. Johnson was prohibited from participating in the 2003 Class AA State Basketball Playoffs.  On behalf of C.A. Johnson, respondent brought this action seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction of petitioner’s decision in this matter.  The circuit court denied the request for injunctive relief, and respondent appealed.  The Court of Appeals granted respondent’s request for a writ of supersedeas.  Petitioner now asks this Court to issue a writ of supersedeas to overturn the Court of Appeals’ decision or to certify this matter to this Court for review.  Respondent has filed a return opposing the petition.

Because this is a matter of significant public interest, we certify this case for review by this Court pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR. 

The purpose of a writ of supersedeas is to preserve the jurisdiction of the court or to prevent a contested matter from becoming moot by preserving the status quo.  Melton v. Walker, 209 S.C. 330, 40 S.E.2d 161 (1946).  Supersedeas is usually granted only when necessary to avoid irreparable injury or a miscarriage of justice and only in cases where it is likely that the appellant will succeed on the merits of the case.  4 C.J.S. Appeal and Error § 417 (1993).  In order to obtain an injunction, the moving party must show that the conduct sought to be enjoined threatens the moving party with irreparable injury for which there is no adequate remedy at law.  Thornton v. Arnold, 274 S.C. 1, 260 S.E.2d 179 (1979).

Courts will not interfere with the decisions of voluntary associations, except in cases involving fraud, mistake, illegality, collusion, arbitrariness, lack of jurisdiction, or the invasion of property or pecuniary rights or interests.  Bruce v. South Carolina High Sch. League, 258 S.C. 546, 189 S.E.2d 817 (1972).  Respondent argues that petitioner is a state actor under Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary Sch. Athletic Ass’n, 531 U.S. 288, 121 S.Ct. 924, 148 L.Ed.2d 807 (2001), and that Brentwood effectively overruled this Court’s decision in Bruce.  Although we agree that petitioner is a state actor, respondent has not shown that any constitutional rights were implicated by the enforcement of petitioner’s rules against C.A. Johnson.  Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege, not a constitutionally guaranteed right.  Bruce v. South Carolina High Sch. League, supraSee also Scott v. Kilpatrick, 286 Ala. 129, 237 So.2d 652 (1970); L.P.M. v. Sch. Bd. of Seminole County, 753 So.2d 130 (Fla. App. 2000); Smith v. Crim, 240 Ga. 390, 240 S.E.2d 884 (1977); Indiana High Sch. Athletic Ass’n v. Carlberg, 694 N.E.2d 222 (Ind. 1997); Kentucky High Sch. Athletic Ass’n v. Hopkins County Bd. of Educ., 552 S.W.2d 685 (Ky. App. 1977), overruled on other grounds National Collegiate Athletic Ass’n. v. Lasege, 53 S.W.3d 77 (Ky. 2001); Chabert v. Louisiana High Sch. Athletic Ass’n, 312 So.2d 343 (La. App. 1975); Berschback v. Grosse Pointe Pub. Sch. Dist., 154 Mich. App. 102, 397 N.W.2d 234 (1986); Mississippi High Sch. Activities v. Coleman, 631 So.2d 768 (Miss. 1994); State ex. rel. Missouri State High Sch. Athletic Ass’n v. Schoenlaub, 507 S.W.2d 354 (Mo. 1974); Menke v. Ohio High Sch. Athletic Ass’n, 2 Ohio App.3d 244, 441 N.E.2d 620 (1981); Whipple v. Oregon Sch. Activities Ass’n, 52 Or. App. 419, 629 P.2d 384 (1981); Pennsylvania Int’l Athletic Ass’n v. Greater Johnstown Sch., 76 Pa. Cmwlth. 65, 463 A.2d 1198 (1983); Tennessee Secondary Sch. Athletic Ass’n v. Cox, 221 Tenn. 164, 425 S.W.2d 597 (1968); Spring Branch I.S.D. v. Stamos, 695 S.W.2d 556 (Tex. 1985); Bailey v. Truby, 174 W.Va. 8, 321 S.E.2d 302 (1984).

There was no denial of any constitutional rights in this matter, and respondent has not shown any damages from the decision of petitioner.  Respondent failed to show that prohibiting the C.A. Johnson basketball team from participating in the State playoffs would cause irreparable injury or that there is a likelihood that respondent will succeed on the merits of the appeal.  Accordingly, the request for a writ of supersedeas should have been denied by the Court of Appeals.

The order of the Court of Appeals granting respondent’s petition for a writ of supersedeas is vacated.  Accordingly, the sanction imposed by petitioner on C.A. Johnson shall remain in effect pending the resolution of this appeal by this Court.

The parties shall proceed with the appeal before this Court as provided in the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

                                                s/ Jean H. Toal                                           C.J. 

                                                s/ James E. Moore                                         J.

                                                s/ John H. Waller, Jr.                                      J.

                                                s/ E.C. Burnett, III                                            J.

                                                s/ Costa M. Pleicones                                   J.

                                               

Columbia, South Carolina
February 25, 2003