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Snyder v. Betsch

Supreme Court of Arizona

January 20, 1941

A. W. SNYDER and FLORENCE E. SNYDER, His Wife, Appellants,
v.
J. P. BETSCH and BESSIE BETSCH, His Wife, Appellees

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

Mr. M. C. Burk, for Appellants.

Mr. M. L. Ollerton, for Appellees.

OPINION

Page 614

[56 Ariz. 509] ROSS, J.

J. P. Betsch and Bessie Betsch, his wife, brought this action against A. W. Snyder and Florence E. Snyder, his wife, to recover the possession of the west 190 feet of the north 660.2 feet of the NE 1/4 of SW 1/4, and the west 190 feet of the south 33 feet of the SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 28, Township 1 North, Range 3 East, Gila and Salt River Base and Meridian, Maricopa county, Arizona.

The defendants moved for judgment upon the ground that the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. This motion was denied, whereupon defendants filed their answer and plaintiffs raised the question of its sufficiency to state any defense [56 Ariz. 510] to their complaint by moving for judgment on the pleadings, which motion was granted and judgment entered in favor of plaintiffs.

Defendants have appealed and contend it was error for the court to deny their motion and to grant plaintiffs' motion for judgment. We first observe that the parties

Page 615

followed the new Rules of Civil Procedure by employing motions instead of demurrers to test each other's pleadings. Secs. 21-429 and 21-431, Arizona Code 1939.

The defendants' motion questioned the sufficiency of the complaint to state a cause of action and, of course, admitted all the material allegations therein. The plaintiffs' motion for judgment on the pleadings required the court to take into consideration the allegations of both the complaint and the answer and to determine therefrom whether the movant was entitled to judgment against his adversary. In determining that question the court necessarily assumed the truth of the material allegations of both pleadings. 49 C.J. 669, sec. 946.

The first question for decision is whether the complaint states a claim entitling plaintiffs to relief. It alleged, in substance, that plaintiffs were, at all times therein mentioned, the owners in fee simple of the described property; that on January 21, 1938, plaintiffs agreed in writing to sell, and defendants to buy, the same for a total purchase price of $1,250, to be paid as follows:

"$50.00 on February 15th, 1938, and $25.00 on the 15th day of each month following until the sum of $300 has been paid; then

"$20.00 each month until the full amount of the purchase price together with interest at the rate of eight per cent per ...


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