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Ragner v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation

Supreme Court of Arizona

October 14, 1947

RAGNER et al.
v.
GENERAL MOTORS ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION

Appeal from Superior Court, Maricopa County; Harold R. Scoville, Judge.

Judgment affirmed.

Moore, Romley & Roca, of Phoenix, for appellants.

Theodore G. McKesson and Thomas P. Riordan, both of Phoenix, for appellee.

Blake, Superior Judge. LaPrade and Udall, JJ., concur.Note: Chief Justice R. C. STANFORD, having disqualified himself, the Honorable Benjamin BLAKE, Judge of the Superior Court of Graham County, was called to sit in his stead.

OPINION

Blake, Superior Judge.

[66 Ariz. 158] This is an action of General Motors Acceptance Corporation, a corporation, plaintiff, against Helen Ragner, J. R. Dick and Joe Dick Motor Sales Corporation, a corporation, defendants (appellants herein), to recover possession of an automobile. A brief statement of the facts as stipulated is as follows:

On November 3, 1944, at Shreveport, Louisiana, one Bernace Lee Franklin, falsely representing himself to be H. J. Franklin of Kilgore, Texas, purchased the Plymouth Coupe automobile in question from Dixie Pontiac Co., Inc., for a consideration of $ 1,493.75, of which sum $ 629.75 was paid in cash and the balance of $ 864 by a note and chattel mortgage, payable in 12 equal installments of $ 72 each. The first installment was due on the fourth day of December, 1944. These instruments provided that the whole amount thereof should become payable immediately upon default of any monthly payment. The Dixie Pontiac Company assigned the note and mortgage to plaintiff corporation herein, and it was recorded in the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana, on November 9, 1944, as required by the law of Louisiana. It was also recorded in Gregg County, Texas, the true residence of Bernace Lee Franklin.

Page 526

On November 3, 1944, Bernace Lee Franklin, representing himself to be H. J. Franklin, caused the car to be properly registered and licensed in Louisiana in the name of H. J. Franklin and obtained a registration card therefor. On the 10th day of November, 1944, Bernace Lee Franklin, still representing himself to be H. J. Franklin, presented to the Arizona Highway Department the Louisiana registration card and a bill of sale dated the same date, purportedly conveying the car from one Edward Williams of Leesville, Louisiana (who at no time had been the owner or in possession of said car), to H. J. Franklin. On the same day, the Arizona Highway Department issued its certificate of title evidencing ownership of the car in H. J. Franklin, free and clear from liens and incumbrances.

On November 14, 1944, Franklin, still representing himself to be H. J. Franklin, sold and delivered said automobile for a cash consideration to Joe Dick Motor Sales Corporation, one of the defendants herein, and signed and surrendered the Arizona certificate of title.

On January 19, 1945, Joe Dick Motor Sales Corporation sold and delivered the car for a cash consideration to defendant Helen Ragner. On the same day, plaintiff learned of the issuance of a title in Arizona, and demanded of the Arizona Highway Department that it accept the Louisiana chattel mortgage for filing, which the department refused to do; whereupon plaintiff corporation filed said mortgage in the office of the Maricopa County Recorder. On January 22, 1945, the Arizona Highway [66 Ariz. 159] Department issued a new certificate of title to defendant Helen Ragner.

It was further shown by the stipulation of facts that no part of the indebtedness remaining on the car after the down payment had been paid and that the whole amount thereof became due after default on the first payment of the note and mortgage, December 4, 1944.

It was also stipulated that the issues to be determined by the court were whether or not plaintiff was entitled to possession of said automobile; that the value of the car was fixed at the sum of $ 925; and that if the issues were determined in favor of plaintiff, plaintiff elected to take judgment against defendants for ...


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