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Osborn v. Mitten

Supreme Court of Arizona

January 13, 1932

SIDNEY P. OSBORN, Doing Business as "DUNBAR'S WEEKLY," and H. C. GILBERT, A. G. AUSTIN and B. M. ATWOOD, as Members of and as the Board of Supervisors in and for Maricopa County, Arizona, Appellants,
v.
P. R. MITTEN and C. A. MITTEN, in Their Own Behalf and in Behalf of Others Similarly Situated, Appellees

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. Joseph S. Jenckes, Judge. Affirmed.

Messrs. Baker & Whitney and Mr. Lawrence L. Howe, for Appellant Osborn.

Mr. Lloyd J. Andrews, County Attorney, and Mr. Dudley W. Windes, Deputy County Attorney, for Appellant Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Frank W. Beer and Mr. Arthur E. Price, for Appellees.

OPINION

Page 903

[39 Ariz. 374] ROSS, J.

This is an action by P. R. Mitten and C. A. Mitten, as taxpayers of Maricopa county, brought to enjoin the board of supervisors of said county from carrying out a contract for the county advertising, publications and printing for the year 1931, entered into by the board with Sidney P. Osborn, doing business as "Dunbar's Weekly," a newspaper, who is also made a party defendant. After a hearing upon the question as to the validity of the board's action in awarding the contract to Osborn, the prayer of the plaintiffs was granted, and the board was enjoined from giving the county printing to Osborn for publication. Thereafter the board and Osborn gave notice of appeal, and Osborn filed a supersedeas bond, whereupon the court suspended the operation of its judgment pending the outcome of the appeal.

The board advertised a call for bids for the county advertising, printing and publications, and in response thereto received ten bids, from the ten newspapers hereinafter named, offering to do the county advertising, printing, and publishing during 1931, for the following sums per inch per insertion, to wit:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Chandler Arizona

.19

.19

.19

.19

Subsequent insertion

.09

.09

.09

Buckeye Review & Weekly Times

.20

.20

.20

.20

Glendale News

.21

.21

.21

.21

Mesa Journal-Tribune

.24

.24

.24

.24

Subsequent insertion

.10

.10

.10

The Messenger

.30

.30

.30

.30

Subsequent insertion

.25

.25

.25

Arizona Weekly Gazette for first three insertions

.34

.34

.34

.34

Subsequent insertions

.29

.29

.29

.29

Dunbar's Weekly

.40

.40

.40

.40

Arizona Labor Journal, two insertions

.45

.42

.42

.42

Three or more

.40

.40

Phoenix Gazette

.70

.70

.70

.70

Arizona Republic

.90

.90

.90

.90

[39 Ariz. 375] These bids were opened by the board on December 15, 1930. On December 19th the board accepted (two members voting for and one against) the bid of "Dunbar's Weekly," and thereafter, on December 23, 1930, the chairman and clerk of the board duly executed a contract in favor of "Dunbar's Weekly," for the county's advertising, printing and publications for the year 1931 at the price named in its bid.

It is contended by plaintiffs that the board's action in awarding the contract to "Dunbar's Weekly" was arbitrary, illegal, fraudulent, extravagant and wasteful of the public moneys, and was taken without any investigation whatsoever into the responsibility of the respective bidders.

On the contrary, it is insisted by the board of supervisors and Osborn that the board did investigate the responsibility of the bidders,

Page 904

and did determine therefrom that the bid accepted by them was the lowest responsible bid, and that, no fraud appearing, the award cannot be set aside or vacated by the courts.

The manner of letting contracts for the county's advertising, publications and printing is provided for by section 778, ...


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