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Porterfield v. Black Bill & Doney Parks Water Users' Ass'n

Supreme Court of Arizona

October 3, 1949

PORTERFIELD et al.
v.
BLACK BILL & DONEY PARKS WATER USERS' ASS'N

The judgment and order of the lower court must be reversed and remanded for further proceedings, and it is so ordered.

Mangum & Flick, of Flagstaff, for appellants.

F. M. Gold, of Flagstaff, Urban R. Miller, of Williams, for appellee.

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

OPINION

Phelps, Justice.

Page 336

[69 Ariz. 112] Porterfield and others, hereinafter referred to as plaintiffs, brought this action in the Superior Court of Coconino County, Arizona, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, against the Black Bill and Doney Parks Water Users Association, hereinafter referred to as the association, a corporation, seeking in the first cause of action (1) specific performance of an alleged contract between plaintiffs and other residents of the community which plaintiffs allege has been confirmed and ratified by the association; or (2) in the event that specific performance may not be had, that a constructive trust be declared in favor of plaintiffs and that the property of the association be impressed therewith; and in a second cause of action, plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment under the provisions of sections 27-701 and 27-702, A.C.A.1939.

The association moved to dismiss the complaint upon the ground that the same does not state a claim. From an order and judgment of dismissal, an appeal has been taken to this court, the dismissal of said complaint being assigned as error.

The only question therefore for our consideration is: Does the complaint state a claim? Under the record before us, if either cause of action states a claim, the judgment and order of the trial court must be reversed.

We will now consider the first cause of action. This portion of the complaint we believe sufficiently alleges an agreement between all the bona fide residents of the Black Bill and Doney Parks community, including the plaintiffs, to engage in a joint adventure to develop a water supply and construct and maintain a reservoir and distribution system for the benefit of all the residents of that community and to form a corporation as the agency through which such purposes might be accomplished. It alleges in substance that through the joint efforts of all of said residents including plaintiffs, money was procured for the construction of the proposed water system including reservoirs and pipe lines upon the representation and understanding that it was for the benefit of all of the bona fide residents and not merely a few of them; that after the formation of the corporation all of the residents in said community mortgaged their property to an agency of the Federal Government [69 Ariz. 113] to secure a loan of $ 15,000 to be used in the development of such water

Page 337

supply and system of distribution, and that a lien now exists against the property of plaintiffs and others similarly situated as security for the payment of such loan; that after the association was incorporated plaintiffs and all other residents of the community similarly situated contributed time, labor, and money in the construction of the reservoir and pipe lines of the association and that the association has appropriated said labor and money to its own use and has in writing and otherwise ratified and confirmed the agreement between plaintiffs and others in its articles of incorporation and in its by-laws; that the association has appropriated all of the available water supply in that area and that plaintiffs do not have an adequate remedy at law.

Rule 8(a), section 21-404, A.C.A.1939, subsection 2 thereof, provides that a pleading which sets forth a claim for relief * * * shall contain: "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. * * *." Rule 8(e), section 21-408, subsection 1, provides that: "Each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of ...


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