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Griffin v. Denton

Supreme Court of Arizona

July 7, 1944

ETHEL GRIFFIN, Appellant,
v.
ROBERT DENTON, J. W. SPRAY, and E. THURMAN, Members of and Constituting the Board of Supervisors of Pinal County, Arizona; and N. R. FREEMAN, Clerk of Said Board, Appellees

APPEAL from an order an judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Pinal. H. K. Mangum, Judge. Order and judgment affirmed.

Messrs. Lewkowitz & Wein, and Mr. Jacob Morgan, for Appellant.

Mr. Ronald J. Ellis, Mr. F. Preston Sult, Mr. Tom Fulbright and Mr. Chas. H. Reed, for Appellees.

OPINION

ROSS, J.

This is an appeal from the Superior Court of Pinal County. It involves the validity of a judgment of that court in a certiorari proceeding suspending from office Ethel Griffin, treasurer and exofficio [61 Ariz. 455] tax collector of that county, pending adjudication of charges made against her by the board of supervisors, to the effect that she held three checks dated Cotober 31, 1942, for $4, 228.09, signed by Peter H. Ethington, in payment of his taxes, and credited the same, although such checks had not been paid or presented for payment as late as December 31, 1942, when her account was discovered to be short. The order of suspension by the board was made January 5, 1943. The Ethington checks were paid January 6, 1943, and were for the taxes only and did not cover penalties, delinquencies and costs that had accrued.

After the order of suspension was made Griffinsued out the writ to have the order

Page 97

reviewed by the superior court. That court heard the matter on the pleadings and thereafter entered its judgment as above indicated.

Griffin was elected to said office at the regular election in November, 1940, for a term of two years beginning January 1, 1941. She qualified and served such term. At the November election in 1942 she was re-elected to succeed herself. She did not file her oath of office or bond for the last term, nor offer to do so, until January 16, 1943. On January 7, 1943 the board of supervisors appointed E. L. Green to such office, pending a determination of the legality of the order of suspension. On the 9th day of February, 1943 the court entered its order quashing the writ, and the appeal is from such order.

We shall not try to follow and discuss all of appellant's assignments of error as, in our opinion, they do not present the vital question upon which the case must be decided. We first inquire into the court's power in a proceeding of this kind.

The extent of review on certiorari is limited to a determination of whether the board of supervisors [61 Ariz. 456] has regularly pursued its authority, as defined in Section 28-104, Arizona Code Annotated 1939.

In Batty v. Arizona State Dental Board, 57 Ariz. 239, 112 P.2d 870, 877, we said:

"In an action for certiorari the court is not permitted to weight the evidence, but may only consider whether there is any evidence showing that the inferior tribunal acted within its jurisdiction. The penalty under the facts is very severe, but the statute does not seem to provide any other one."

To the same effect are City of Phoenix v. Rodgers,44 Ariz. 40, 34 P.2d 385; Wall v. Superior Court,53 Ariz. 344, 89 P.2d 624; State ex rel. Andrews v. Superior Court,39 Ariz. 242, 5 P.2d ...


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