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Lambros Metals, Inc. v. Tannous

Supreme Court of Arizona

November 6, 1950

LAMBROS METALS, Inc. et al.
v.
TANNOUS et al

Affirmed.

Clifford R. McFall, of Tucson, for appellants.

Cusick & Watkins, of Tucson, for appellees.

Patterson, Superior Judge. La Prade, C. J., and Udall, Stanford and Phelps, JJ., concur. Justice De Concini having disqualified himself, the Honorable W. E. Patterson, Judge of the Superior Court of Yavapai County, was called to sit in his stead.

OPINION

Patterson, Superior Judge.

[71 Ariz. 54] This is an action by Lambros Metals, Inc., as the owner, and Charles Gordon and Gertrude Gordon, his wife, as tenants, of a two-story building in Tucson, Arizona, to compel the appellees to remove certain advertising neon signs and equipment placed on the front wall of said building by the appellees, or for a declaration of the right of appellants to the exclusive possession as against the appellees to that part of the building on which said signs and equipment are located, and for damages.

[71 Ariz. 55] On July 14, 1947, Lambros Metals, Inc., a corporation, made a written lease with the appellees, George Tannous and Victoria M. Tannous, his wife, covering the entire basement of a proposed building to be constructed and which was thereafter constructed on Lot 14, Block 194, in the city of Tucson. The term of said lease is for five years from November 1, 1947, with an option of an extension for five years. It contains no provision regarding signs or use of any part of the premises for signs or advertising. Appellees Tannous and wife entered

Page 571

into possession of the basement under the lease on January 15, 1948, the approximate date of completion of the building. The building consists of a basement below the street level, being that part of the premises leased to the said appellees, and two stories above the street level.

In November, 1947, appellants Charles Gordon and Gertrude Gordon, his wife, purchased all the stock of said corporation-lessor and entered into possession, on a month-to-month rental with the corporation, of the ground floor or first story of the building, and opened a shoe store therein. Upon purchase of the stock, appellant Charles Gordon became president of the corporation. The remainder of the building was vacant and in possession of the corporation-owner except a portion of the rear of the second-story part of the building.

In November, 1947, appellees Tannous and wife asked Mr. Gordon's consent to the placing of some signs upon the wall of the building facing Pennington Street, which was refused by Mr. Gordon. Thereafter, on January 16, 1948, the attorneys for appellees Tannous and wife wrote the attorneys for Lambros Metals, Inc., and Mr. Gordon that they had been advised by Mrs. Tannous that an attorney for the appellants had informed her on January 15th that a sign could be erected on such wall, and asking confirmation of such information. Thereupon, on January 19, 1948, the attorneys for Lambros Metals, Inc., and Mr. Gordon replied by letter to the effect that such information was incorrect, and advising the attorneys for said appellees that no sign or lettering of any type could be placed upon any part of the building or any area adjacent thereto, except that an arrangement could be worked out whereby the said tenants Tannous and wife could place lettering on the two doors leading into the hallway which served as a means of ingress and egress to the basement and upstairs. Thereafter, on or about January 26, 1948, appellees Tannous and wife caused two neon signs to be installed and placed upon the south wall of said building.

The evidence shows that at each corner of the ground floor, on the front of said building, there is an entrance door from the street over which the signs were placed. Each entrance goes into a vestibule where a stairway leads up to the second story of the building, and another stairway goes down into the basement of the building which is [71 Ariz. 56] leased to appellees. The signs are a little more than the width of the door entrance.

The dimension of each sign is 3' X 5' and the signs are fastened to the wall of the building by a 7/8" bolt screwed into the wall. Electricity was in the wires and conduits at the time the signs were put up. The sign installation was made by one of the appellees, Arizona Neon Advertising, Inc. Appellants objected to and protested the placing and installation of the signs, and have since protested and objected to the maintenance thereof and demanded that appellees remove them.

The plans and specifications drawn by the architect of the building show that conduits and outlets for wiring for signs above the two entrance doors to the basement were designated on the ...


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