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Hedrick v. Tin Cup Mines, Inc.

Supreme Court of Arizona

June 1, 1937

JERRY HEDRICK, Appellant,
v.
TIN CUP MINES, INC., a Corporation, B. B. MOEUR, JAMES H. KERBY, JOHN L. SULLIVAN, ANA FROHMILLER and MIT SIMMS, Constituting the State Land Department of the State of Arizona, and CHARLES P. MULLEN, State Land Commissioner, Appellees

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of the County of Mohave. J. W. Faulkner, Judge. Order affirmed.

Mr. Francis M. Hartman, Messrs. Knapp, Boyle & Thompson and Mr. Louis L. Wallace, for Appellant.

Mr. Charles P. Elmer and Mr. Otto E. Myrland, for Appellee Tin Cup Mines, Inc.

Mr. John L. Sullivan, Attorney General and Mr. Elmer C. Coker, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee State Land Department.

OPINION

[50 Ariz. 14] LOCKWOOD, J.

This is an appeal by Jerry Hedrick, hereinafter called plaintiff, from an order of the superior court of Mohave county, dismissing

Page 704

an appeal taken to that court from an order of the State Land Department, hereinafter called the department. The facts necessary for a determination of the appeal are not in question, and may be stated as follows:

On the 23d day of December, 1935, plaintiff filed with the department an application for a mineral lease of certain properties which we shall call the Hedrick lode mining claims, situate in Mohave county, Arizona, and on the 26th day of December a formal operator's lease to said claims was entered into between the land commissioner and plaintiff. On February 21, 1936, the Tin Cup Mines, Inc., a corporation, filed a petition with the department, alleging, in substance, that plaintiff had obtained his operator's lease above referred to by fraudulent misrepresentations to the department. Notice was duly given to plaintiff, and he answered the petition, asking that it be dismissed. Thereafter, and on March 4, 1936, at a meeting of the department, at which all of the members were present, the petition aforesaid was heard, both that corporation and plaintiff being represented by counsel, and the following resolution was adopted by the department:

[50 Ariz. 15] "It was regularly moved, seconded and unanimously passed that the lease issued to Jerry Hedrick be cancelled and set aside for the reason that said lease was procured through fraud, deceit and wilful misrepresentation and the State Land Commissioner is hereby authorized and directed to take the necessary action to have the heretofore mentioned lease surrendered up and cancelled."

On March 16th plaintiff gave notice to the department of an appeal to the superior court from its decision as aforesaid and the record was duly transmitted to the superior court of Mohave county which, after hearing, entered the order from which an appeal was taken to this court.

There is but one question before us, and that is, whether this court has jurisdiction to entertain the appeal under the circumstances above set forth.

Article 3 of chapter 71 of the Revised Code of 1928 (§ 2964 et seq.) deals with the subject of the leasing of state lands. The sections which it is necessary to consider in the present case are sections 2966, 2970 (as amended in 1929 [Laws 1929, chap. 52, § 2]), and section 2971, which read as follows:

"2966. Appeal by applicant; notice. An applicant to lease state land may appeal from a decision of the commissioner to the department, and from the department to the superior court of the county in which the land is situated. The party appealing shall give notice thereof in writing to the commissioner or department from whose decision the appeal is taken and to the adverse applicant, within twenty days from the rendition of the ...


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