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Burgess v. Hearsh

Supreme Court of Arizona

December 26, 1951

BURGESS, Agricultural Prorate Com'r
v.
HEARSH et al

Rehearing Denied May 27, 1952.

Judgment reversed.

Fred O. Wilson, Atty. Gen., Earl Anderson, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Mark Wilmer, Phoenix, of counsel), for appellant.

Ivan McDaniel, of Los Angeles, California, and Henry F. Colman, of Yuma, for appellees.

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

OPINION

Stanford, Justice.

Page 1103

[73 Ariz. 152] This action was originally filed in the lower court by plaintiff, P. S. Burgess, as Agricultural Commissioner of the State of Arizona, asking that the defendants, grapefruit growers, be enjoined from violating [73 Ariz. 153] the provisions of the grapefruit prorate program, established by the Proration Program Committee in 1944 and amended in 1947, purportedly under the authority of the Arizona Agricultural Prorate Act of 1939, article 8 of chapter 49, A.C.A. 1939, as amended, hereinafter referred to as the "Act". By stipulation of the parties, plaintiff thereafter filed an amended complaint asking only declaratory relief determining the validity of the Act and the grapefruit prorate program as amended in 1947, instituted thereunder, for the purpose of regulating the marketing of grapefruit produced in Arizona.

After trial, the defendants were awarded judgment, and from that judgment this appeal is taken.

Although there were several questions raised in the lower court concerning the validity of the procedure used in the adoption of the amendment to the grapefruit prorate program in 1947, as well as the constitutionality of the Act, the only determination made by the lower court was confined to the validity of the program itself -- (assuming the validity of the Act), and it is admitted in the briefs of both parties that this is the only issue confronting us in this appeal.

Page 1104

The Act, in addition to providing for the creation of a commissioner and the appointment of a prorate committee to administer the program, also contains the following pertinent sections:

"49-817. Powers of program committee. -- (a) In any marketing program approved by the commissioner, or declared by him to be instituted, the program committee shall have power to determine the method, manner, and extend [extent] of proration, and the movement of the prorated commodity, or of any grade, size, or quality thereof, from harvest into a primary channel of trade. Proration may be periodic or seasonal in character and may be based upon actual production, whether in storage or otherwise, or upon estimated production. The estimated production shall be subject to revision by the committee in accordance with crop and market conditions. * * *

"(b) For the purpose of minimizing the effect of existing surpluses upon market conditions, the program ...


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