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Glenn v. Chenowth

Supreme Court of Arizona

January 16, 1951

GLENN et al.
v.
CHENOWTH

Judgment reversed and case remanded.

Marks & Polley, Bisbee, for appellants.

I. B. Tomlinson, Bisbee, for appellee.

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

OPINION

De Concini, Justice.

Page 166

[71 Ariz. 272] Amos Chenowth, plaintiff, brought an action against Joe Glenn and Fred Darnell alleging that Darnell made an unlawful, wanton attack and assault upon plaintiff; that while he was defending himself against Darnell, Glenn made an unprovoked assault on plaintiff from the rear by striking plaintiff's head with his fists. Chenowth alleged $ 5,000 damages. Upon a trial by jury he was awarded judgment of $ 500 against each defendant.

The circumstances giving rise to this lawsuit were as follows: All three participants are cowboys. They were attending a rodeo in Douglas on April 4, 1948 as contestants. Chenowth and one Sanders were partners in a team-tying event. Chenowth roped the head of the animal; Sanders missed his first loop at the heels but caught the second loop and stretched the animal prone. Chenowth dismounted and in tying the animal's feet used an unusual type knot. The field judge declared the knot illegal. Darnell who was acting as arena director passed final judgment and upheld the field judge's decision. However the fact that it was an illegal knot made no difference in the possibility of their winning any prize money because they had consumed too much time when the first loop was missed and for that reason were outclassed.

As they were leaving the field Chenowth rode alongside Darnell and called him a -- -- liar in reference to an asserted previous statement made by Darnell to Chenowth that it was okay to use that type of a knot. After the rodeo events were over they met at the cattle barns to examine the rule book on this question. When the argument as to the knot's illegality was settled, Darnell took Chenowth by the arm and demanded an apology or in the alternative, ordered him to take off his glasses. Chenowth handed his glasses to a bystander and "squared off" for a [71 Ariz. 273] fight. The evidence is not clear as to who hit the first blow. Suffice it to say that from the time Chenowth removed his glasses they were both ready, willing and able to fight. While they were fighting over a space of about 20 to 30 feet, Darnell back Chenowth towards the front bumper of a car. It was at this stage of the fight that Glenn appeared. The evidence is conflicting as to his part in the fight. A few minutes later a deputy sheriff interceded and stopped the fight.

The defendants Glenn and Darnell appeal and assign 10 errors of the trial court.

Defendants' assignments of error 3 and 5 go to plaintiff's requested instructions 5 and 6 respectively as follows:

"5. You are further instructed there is, ordinarily, no duty to retreat when attacked especially where immediate action seems necessary.

"6. You are further instructed that all persons participating in an unlawful or unjustified assault or an unlawful and unjustified assault and battery are jointly and severally ...


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