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Yanke v. School District No. 65 of Maricopa County

Supreme Court of Arizona

September 30, 1940

C. W. YANKE, Appellant,
School District No. 65 OF MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA, a Municipal Corporation, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. M. T. Phelps, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. T. E. Scarborough, for Appellant.

Mr. Richard F. Harless, County Attorney, and Mr. Leslie C. Hardy, Deputy County Attorney, for Appellee.


[56 Ariz. 94] LOCKWOOD, J. C.

W. Yanke, hereinafter called plaintiff, brought suit against School District No. 65 of Maricopa County, hereinafter called defendant, for wages which he alleged to be due him under section 1350, Revised Code of 1928, as amended by chapter 12 of the regular session of the 11th legislature, commonly [56 Ariz. 95] called the Minimum Wage Law. He stated that he had worked for defendant as janitor, watchman, gardener and general laborer for a total number of 2,372 hours, for which defendant paid him $630.00, and claimed a balance due him under the Minimum Wage Law, at the rate of 62 1/2" per hour for the time worked, or $852.50. Defendant answered by a general denial, and pleaded, in substance, that only the sum of $720.00 had been budgeted to cover services of the character of plaintiff for the period which he worked, and that this had been paid him. Judgment was rendered in favor of defendant, whereupon this appeal was taken.

The facts are not seriously in dispute, and the issue is one of law only. It appears from the record that defendant had entered into a contract of employment with plaintiff at the rate of $60.00 per month for

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the period involved. During this period plaintiff actually worked the length of time set forth in his complaint, which, at the minimum wage for janitor and laborer, as fixed by the Arizona State Highway Commission, would have entitled him to almost $1,500. The district had budgeted for services like those performed by plaintiff, for the period during which he worked, only $720.00, which had been paid him. At the end of the fiscal year during which plaintiff performed the services, the district had on hand a surplus of several thousand dollars, not the proceeds of taxes for such fiscal year, which was neither expended nor obligated for any particular purpose.

It is the contention of defendant that this case is governed by the law laid down in city of Phoenix v. Kidd, 54 Ariz. 75, 92 P.2d 513, rehearing denied, 54 Ariz. 123, 94 P.2d 428, in which we held in substance that when the amount budgeted by a municipal corporation for any particular purpose had been either expended or encumbered according to law, the municipality could not legally expend any further sum from [56 Ariz. 96] the current year's taxes for such purpose, and that even though services were performed or material furnished to it for that purpose, no indebtedness was or could be created thereby.

Plaintiff argues that the decision of this court in the Kidd case, supra, was erroneous and inconsistent with other of our decisions, and earnestly urges us to overrule it. Our conclusions in that case were reached after a long and careful consideration of the law and the issues involved, and plaintiff has presented to us no reasons which cause us to believe we were in error therein.

But, says plaintiff, even assuming the rule in the Kidd case to be correct, it does not apply to the facts in the present case. In support of this contention he presents two points, (a) that the budget law does not apply to school districts, and (b) that it does not apply to surplus funds accumulated from taxes of years other than that in which the alleged indebtedness was incurred, if the latter is for an otherwise legal purpose. We consider these points in their order.

Sections 3097-3099, Revised Code of 1928, comprise what is commonly referred to as the budget law. These sections, so far as material, read as follows:

"3097. County and city officer to make annual statement and estimate; publication and notice. The board of supervisors of each county, and the governing body of each incorporated city or town,... shall prepare...; and an estimate of the different amounts which may be required to meet the public expense for the ensuing year.... The estimate shall contain a statement of the amount of money required for each item of expenditure necessary for county, city or town purposes,... The estimate shall be entered upon the minutes of the governing body... showing... the total amount of proposed public expense."

"3098. Hearing on estimates and adoption thereof. The boards of supervisors and governing bodies of incorporated cities and towns shall meet one week previous [56 Ariz. 97] to the day on which they levy taxes,... the estimate as finally determined upon, shall be adopted, and no expenditure shall be made for a purpose not included in such budget, and no debt, obligation, or liability shall be incurred or created in any year in excess of the amounts specified therein as finally adopted for each purpose therein named; nor beyond the amounts therein proposed to be raised by taxation, ...

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