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Hernandez v. Frohmiller

Supreme Court of Arizona

April 4, 1949

HERNANDEZ
v.
FROHMILLER et al

Page 855

Mandamus proceeding by Filomena Hernandez against Ana Frohmiller, State Auditor of the State of Arizona, to require respondent to allow claim of petitioner and to draw a warrant in favor of petitioner for wages due petitioner for personal services rendered to the state, wherein Roy Hislop and others, constituting the Arizona State Civil Service Board, intervened.

Alternative writ made permanent.

Whitney, Ironside & Whitney, of Phoenix, for petitioner.

Charles L. Strouss, of Phoenix, for respondent.

Perry M. Ling, Asst. Atty. Gen., for intervenors.

William P. Mahoney, Jr., of Phoenix, for American Federation of Labor, amicus curiae.

Jack Choisser, of Phoenix, and Thomas J. Elliott, of Tucson, for Cities and Towns of Arizona, amicus curiae.

John W. Corbin, of Phoenix, for City of Glendale, amicus curiae.

James A. Walsh, of Phoenix, for Police and Fire Departments of City of Phoenix, and Deputies in Office of Sheriff of Maricopa County, amicus curiae.

Warren McCarthy, Deputy County Atty. of Maricopa County, of Phoenix, for Board of Supervisors, amicus curiae.

Floyd E. Thomas, of Tucson, for Board of Regents of University and State Colleges of Arizona, amicus curiae.

Windes, Judge. Udall, Stanford and Phelps, JJ., concur.

Note: Justice DeCONCINI having announced his disqualification, the Honorable DUDLEY W. WINDES, Judge of the Superior Court of Maricopa County, was called to sit in his stead. While Chief Justice LaPRADE actively participated in the determination of all issues raised by this appeal, his illness has delayed the preparation of this opinion.

OPINION

Windes, Judge.

Page 856

[68 Ariz. 246] An alternative writ of mandamus was issued out of this court commanding Ana Frohmiller as auditor of the state of Arizona to audit and allow the claim of petitioner and to draw a warrant in her favor on the treasurer of the state of Arizona for wages due petitioner for personal services rendered to the state, or show cause why she had not done so. The auditor has declined and refused to allow the claim on the ground that to do so would be in violation of section 6 of that certain initiative measure enacted at the general election of November 2, 1948, and hereinafter referred to as the civil service act. Petitioner alleges that the initiated measure is unconstitutional and void, and it is, therefore, the auditor's duty to audit and allow the claim.

In response to the writ, respondent admits that she, but for the provisions of the civil service act, is legally obligated to issue the warrant. Respondent takes the position that as a state officer she should assume that the civil service act is constitutional, and that it is her duty to comply

Page 857

with the provisions thereof unless and until it has been adjudged unconstitutional by this court.

Petitioner contends that the civil service act is unconstitutional in that it (1) delegates legislative power to a civil service board in the executive branch of the state government; (2) is vague, ambiguous, confusing, uncertain, and incomplete, and does not establish fixed standards or guides for its administration; and (3) is violative of the essentials of due process of law, and offends article 4, part 2, section 13 of the Arizona constitution requiring that subjects embraced in an act shall be expressed in the title. The civil service board provided for under the act and which was appointed by the governor was allowed to intervene, and filed a motion to dismiss the petition upon the ground it fails to state a claim for which relief could be granted.

Briefs amici curiae were filed on behalf of Maricopa county, the cities of Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, Mesa, the town of Tolleson, the Board of Regents of the University and State Colleges of Arizona, the American Federation of Labor, and the Phoenix Police and Fire Departments, and Sheriff's Deputies.

Due to the fact that the entire payroll of the state for its officers and employees had been tied up by the auditor, the court immediately began its examination of the legal questions presented with the view of making a prompt determination of the matter. Being of the unanimous opinion that the initiative measure is unconstitutional and void in its entirety, an order was entered on January 31, 1949, that the alternative writ be made permanent, with the statement that due to the exigencies of the situation involving a tie-up of the state payroll it was advisable to announce the [68 Ariz. 247] court's decision, and that the written opinion would be prepared later.

Subsequent to the election, the votes were duly canvassed, disclosing that the measure had carried, whereupon the governor issued his proclamation declaring the measure approved and adopted by the electors in the form and manner following:

"An Act

To establish a civil service board with powers to classify all positions in the state civil service according to their respective duties and responsibilities, to establish rates of compensation for all classes of positions, to determine by competitive performance the qualifications of all candidates for positions in the state civil service, to make rules and regulations covering all personnel transactions, to regulate all conditions of employment in the state civil service; providing for the administration of the boards powers by a state personnel officer, providing for an annual appropriation by the legislature to enable the board to execute such powers; requiring the county boards of supervisors in class I counties and authorizing the county boards of supervisors in all other counties to establish civil service systems covering certain appointive officers and employees.

Be it enacted by the people of the state of Arizona:

Section 1. Purpose of Act. It is the purpose of this Act:

(a) To promote and increase economy and efficiency in ...


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