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Industrial Commission of Arizona v. Arizona State Highway Commission

Supreme Court of Arizona

December 13, 1943

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Petitioner,
v.
ARIZONA STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION; J. M. SMITH, L. W. CRESS, H. O. PACE, E. H. McEACHREN, and KEMPER MARLEY, as members of and constituting the Arizona State Highway Commission, Respondents

ORIGINAL proceeding in Mandamus. On motion for rehearing by Petitioner, alternative writ quashed in part and made peremptory in part, reversing opinion of November 15, 1943, and substituting therefor this Opinion on Rehearing.

Mr. Fred O. Wilson and Mr. H. S. McCluskey, for Petitioner.

Mr. A. R. Lynch, Assistant Attorney General, Special Counsel for Arizona Highway Department, for Respondents.

Mr. Z. Simpson Cox, Amicus Curiae on Motion for Rehearing.

OPINION

Page 847

[61 Ariz. 60] ROSS, J.

This is an original action in this court in which the petitioner, the Industrial Commission of Arizona, seeks by mandamus to compel the State Highway Commission to pay the premiums on the salaries of certain of the latter's employees.

The State Highway Commission employs the following named personnel, and pays them the amounts set opposite their respective names:

State Highway Engineer

$600.00 per month

Assistant State Highway Engineer

475.00 per month

Secretary of the Highway Commission

300.00 per month

Attorney for Highway Commission

400.00 per month

Superintendent of Motor Vehicle Division

400.00 per month

Superintendent of Highway Patrol

350.00 per month

Asst. Superintendent of Highway Patrol

275.00 per month

Chief Clerk of Motor Vehicle Division

225.00 per month

Superintendent of Motor Carriers

225.00 per month

Supervisor of Titles

225.00 per month

Supervisor of Gas Refunds

225.00 per month

Page 848

[61 Ariz. 61] upon whom it carries no compensation insurance, contending that the law does not require it to insure them.

The Industrial Commission, charged with the duty under the Workmen's Compensation Law (sections 56-901 to 56-977, Arizona Code 1939, as amended) of administering such law, has brought this action in mandamus against the Highway Commission and its members to compel them to insure said employees (and keep them insured) in the state compensation fund, and asks for judgment for accrued premiums on their salaries from April 1, 1942, to and including December 31, 1942, in the sum of $843.16 and a delaration of their duty subsequent to said date. The Highway Commission denies that it is required to insure its employees, for reasons hereafter explained, who receive salaries in excess of $2,400 per year, or later, under an amended law, $3,600 per year.

The state and its subdivisions as "employers" are subject to the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Law, Section 56-928; and Section 56-935 provides that the state and its subdivisions therein enumerated must insure their "employees" in the compensation fund. The question is, what "employees" did the legislature intend to have insured in such fund -- all or just some? To answer the ...


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