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City of Phoenix v. Michael

Supreme Court of Arizona

April 17, 1944

THE CITY OF PHOENIX, a Body Politic and Corporate, NEWELL W. STEWART, J. R. FLEMING, CLAUDE C. JONES, FLOYD A. FORD, ALICE MOSIER, THOMAS SULLIVAN, and JOHN H. UDALL, Appellants,
v.
E. W. MICHAEL, a Taxpayer of the City of Phoenix, Arizona, for Himself and for All Others Similarly Situated, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. W. E. Ferguson, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. Hess Seaman, City Attorney, and Mr. George D. Locke, of Counsel, for Appellants.

Mr. Lester Hayt, and Mr. Edwin Beauchamp, for Appellee.

Mr. Walter J. Thalheimer, Amicus Curiae.

Mr. E. G. Frazier, Amicus Curiae.

OPINION

[61 Ariz. 239] ROSS, J.

The plaintiff, E. W. Michael, a taxpayer of the city of Phoenix, brought this action to enjoin such city and its officers from expending the city's public funds in the payment of its dues and assessments as a member of the Arizona Municipal League.

The Arizona Municipal League is a voluntary association of thirty-one of the state's incorporated cities and towns. The objects for which the League is organized, as stated in its constitution, are:

"A. To perpetuate and develop the League as an agency for the co-operation of all cities and towns in the state in the practical study of city and town affairs.

"B. To promote the application of the best methods in all branches of municipal service by holding at least one convention annually for the discussion of problems in municipal administration and by circulating information and experience thereon.

"C. To secure legislation which would be beneficial to the municipalities of the state and the citizens thereof and to oppose legislation injurious thereto."

[61 Ariz. 240] Each of the cities and towns belonging to the League pays League dues and assessments in proportion to its population, which are used to maintain the League's activities in furnishing services to the member cities and towns of the League. The officers of the League receive no compensation for their services except for travel away from home, when they are paid $5 per day and actual cost of transportation. On its pay roll is a full time

Page 354

field representative or executive secretary, and a part time stenographer.

From December 1, 1935, to April 1, 1942, the city of Phoenix enacted ordinances appropriating its money to pay its proportion of the dues and assessments of the League, in the aggregate amounting to $9,709.04. There is no limit, however, on the amount that may be expended by the Arizona Municipal League.

It is alleged in the complaint that the city officers threaten to enact similar ordinances appropriating its public moneys to the League to enable the League and its officers to conduct various and sundry activities deemed of benefit to the members of the League, and threaten to issue warrants in payment of amounts appropriated. It is alleged that such expenditures, or proposed expenditures, made or to be made by the city and its officers, are not authorized or ...


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