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JOHN WILLIAM ROBINSON v. THE UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF COLUMBUS

APRIL 23, 1986

JOHN WILLIAM ROBINSON
v.
THE UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF COLUMBUS, COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI. ET AL.



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, HAWKINS and SULLIVAN

ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This minuscule case is appealed from the Circuit Court of Lowndes County. The circuit judge noted," This case is small enough to be very complicated. "In addition, it originated in the Justice Court where the Justice Court Judge granted a ninety-day delay, urging that the parties (attorneys) meet with the appellant, The Utilities Commission of the City of Columbus (Utilities) and settle the matter. His laudable action was to no avail.

The appellant, John William Robinson, was employed by Utilities as a lineman at wages of ninety-eight dollars ninety-six cents ($98.96) per day and had been so employed for approximately ten (10) years. Thus begins the controversy. According to appellees' policy, an employee was entitled to two weeks' vacation, and, when he had been in such employment for ten years, he was entitled to three weeks' vacation.

 Appellant was employed on January 1, 1972, but, since that date was Saturday, a holiday for the Light and Water Department, he did not actually begin work until January 3, the following Monday. On January 1, 1982, appellant contended that he was entitled to three weeks vacation, while appellees argued that he was two days short of the ten-year period, and not qualified for the extra week's vacation. Being aggrieved, appellant, by his attorney, filed suit in the Justice Court of District 2, Lowndes County, Mississippi, seeking $989.60, double time, for five days' vacation pay. The factual question is not before us.

 The appellant assigns three (3) errors committed by the lower court. We address only the question of whether or not the circuit judge erred in granting a summary judgment for the appellees.

 The sequence of events in the case follow:

 (1) Declaration was filed against the City of Columbus in the Justice Court.

 (2) The City of Columbus filed a motion to dismiss the cause on the ground that appellant was not an employee of the City, but of Columbus Light & Water Department.

 (3) Appellant filed a motion amending and joining the City Utilities Commission of the City of Columbus as a second defendant.

 (4) Appellee Utilities filed an answer denying it owed appellant and stated as affirmative matter that there was no contract between appellant and appellees for vacation time. No other affirmative matter was stated.

 (5) Justice Court Judge Dale postponed the trial for ninety days, suggesting that the attorneys contact Columbus and Utilities in an effort to settle the case.

 (6) At the expiration of ninety days, appellees' attorney requested Justice Court Judge Dale to grant additional time for action by appellees.

 (7) Counsel for appellees notified counsel for appellant that appellees would not settle the cause.

 (8) Justice Court Judge Dale sustained a motion to dismiss filed by appellees and dismissed ...


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