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Saxman v. Christmann

Supreme Court of Arizona

May 23, 1938

JOHN SAXMAN, as Administrator of the Estate of CHARLES CRISMON, Deceased, Appellant,
v.
FRIDA O. A. CHRISTMANN, Individually, and FRIDA O. A. CHRISTMANN, as Executrix of the Last Will and Testament of WALTER FRED CHRISTMANN, Deceased, and SALT RIVER VALLEY WATER USERS' ASSOCIATION, Appellees

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. Howard C. Speakman, Judge. Judgment reversed and cause remanded with directions to dismiss the action.

Messrs. Dougherty & Dougherty, Mr. Darrell R. Parker and Mr. J. A. Riggins, for Appellant.

Mr. D. B. Morgan, for Appellee Christmann.

Messrs. Sloan, Scott & Green, for Appellee Salt River Valley Water Users' Association.

OPINION

[52 Ariz. 150] ROSS, J.

Originally this was an action to quiet title to mining claims, located on the Tonto National [52 Ariz. 151] Forest Reserve created by proclamation of the President on February 10, 1909. The plaintiff, John Saxman, as administrator of the estate of Charles Crismon, deceased, commenced the action. The defense to the action was that defendant Frida O. A. Christmann, individually and as executrix of the last will and testament of Walter Fred Christmann,

Page 521

deceased, had been given a "Special Use Permit" by the United States Forest Service to occupy and mine the ground plaintiff claimed. The defendant in her answer asked affirmative relief by way of quieting her title against plaintiff. The Salt River Valley Water Users' Association asked for permission to intervene and, the right to do so being granted, filed an answer to plaintiff's complaint.

The parties will be referred to as they were in the lower court.

On the day before the trial plaintiff voluntarily moved that his complaint be dismissed without prejudice, which motion was granted.

It will not be necessary to advert to the intervention any more for the reason that the intervener was given no relief and does not appeal.

The case was tried before the court without a jury on the answer of defendant, in which she prayed to have her title quieted, and plaintiff's general denial of such answer. Judgment was given to defendant quieting her title, and the plaintiff has appealed.

The questions propounded are several in number but many of them are collateral to the main case and of academic interest only. It is only necessary to decide one of the various questions and that is, did the court have jurisdiction to enter the judgment quieting defendant's title? This can be determined from the pleadings. The only right she has, according to the record, is that conferred by a "Special Use Permit" [52 Ariz. 152] from the government, which, so far as material, reads:

"Permission is hereby granted to Frida O. A. Christmann, Executrix for the Estate of Walter F. Christmann, Tucson, Arizona, to use the following-described lands: S1/2 Lots 9 and 10, Sec. 4; S1/2 Lot 9 and the NE1/4SE1/ 4 Sec. 5; Lots 11 and 12, E1/2SW1/4, W1/2NW1/4SE1/4 and the SW1/4SE1/ 4 Sec. 4 T. 2 N., R. 7-E., Gila and Salt River Meridian, containing 285.65 acres, within the First Form Reclamation Withdrawal, for the purpose of necessary construction of such buildings, houses for employees, and all ...


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