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Walton v. City of Phoenix

Supreme Court of Arizona

July 5, 1949

WALTON et ux.
v.
CITY OF PHOENIX

Appeal from Superior Court, Maricopa County; Edwin Beauchamp, Judge.

Affirmed.

Croaff & Croaff, of Phoenix, for appellants.

Jack Choisser, City Atty., Jennings, Strouss, Salmon & Trask, J. A. Riggins, Jr., Henry S. Stevens, Rex H. Moore, all of Phoenix, for appellee.

Udall, Justice. La Prade, C. J., and Stanford, Phelps, and De Concini, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Udall, Justice.

[69 Ariz. 27] This is an appeal from a judgment in favor of the plaintiff (appellee) City of Phoenix, acting through its Housing Authority, which found the defendants (appellants), Alexander Walton et ux., guilty of forcible detainer and ordered their eviction. The parties will be hereinafter referred to as plaintiff and defendants. To aid in understanding and settling the problems presented we recite the pertinent legislative history of the acts involved as well as stating the facts in the instant case.

The legislature of Arizona enacted the "Municipal Housing Law" Laws 1939, Ch. 82, which now appears as Article 16, A.C.A.1939, for the purpose of permitting cities and towns of the state to take advantage of the "United States Housing Act of 1937", 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 1401-1430 inclusive. The plaintiff acting pursuant to the aforementioned act created by ordinance the Housing Authority of the City of Phoenix [69 Ariz. 28] giving to such agency certain broad general powers. In the case of Humphrey v. City of Phoenix, 55 Ariz. 374, 102 P.2d 82, we upheld the constitutionality of the Arizona Municipal Housing Law, as well as the ordinances of the City of Phoenix creating its own Housing Authority.

Apartment 147 of the Matthew Henson Homes, which is one of three Federal Housing Projects owned and operated by the plaintiff under this authority, was occupied by the defendants for some six years prior to this action. The lease called for a rental of $ 30.00 per month for this seven room apartment and was on a month to month renewal basis at the option of the Housing Authority. The Commissioners of the plaintiff Housing Authority had some difficulty with their tenants and hence on January

Page 310

10, 1948, the following resolution was adopted, viz:

"There followed a discussion of undesirable tenants in the Projects. Motion was duly made, seconded and unanimously carried that the Executive Director be authorized to use his judgment in the eviction of undesirable tenants since, in the opinion of the Authority, other housing is available."

Thereafter on February 10, 1948, plaintiff's attorney gave notice of termination of defendants' lease as of March 1, 1948. These tenants failing to vacate within the time specified, a complaint in forcible entry and detainer was filed against them. Trial was had to the court sitting without a jury at the conclusion of which the judgment now appealed from was entered. Upon the giving of a supersedeas bond in the sum of $ 500 an order was entered staying the writ of restitution.

One of the issues raised by the appeal was that the Federal Rent Control Act, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, ยง 901 et seq., governed the plaintiff in this eviction action. This contention was waived by defendant at the time of oral argument as the Phoenix area had been decontrolled in the interim. Plaintiff made no attempt to comply with this act in that neither the ...


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