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Alpha, LLC v. Dartt

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department D

June 27, 2013

ALPHA, LLC dba ALPHA TOWING; TANNER ENTERPRISES, LLC dba TOWING SERVICES, AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES, Plaintiffs/Appellants,
v.
JEFF DARTT, Deputy Camp Verde Marshal; EARL J. HUFF, Lieutenant Camp Verde Marshal; DAVID R. SMITH, Camp Verde Marshal; TOWN OF CAMP VERDE, ARIZONA, Defendants/Appellees.

Appeal from the Superior Court in Yavapai County Cause No. V1300CV820090206 The Honorable Jennifer B. Campbell

Law Offices of Stephen H. Schwartz Sedona Stephen H. Schwartz Attorney for Plaintiffs/Appellants

Murphy Schmitt Hathaway & Wilson Prescott Milton W. Hathaway, Jr. Andrew J. Becke Attorneys for Defendants/Appellees

OPINION

MARGARET H. DOWNIE, Judge

¶1 The issue in this appeal is whether the appellant towing businesses have a property interest in remaining on a towing rotation list created and administered by a municipal police agency. Because there is no underlying legislative enactment, and the regulations governing the list are modifiable at the administrator's discretion, no constitutionally protected property interest exists. We therefore affirm the grant of summary judgment to appellees Jeff Dartt, Deputy Camp Verde Marshal; Earl J. Huff, Lieutenant Camp Verde Marshal; David R. Smith, Camp Verde Marshal; and the Town of Camp Verde (collectively, "Camp Verde" or "Town").

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 The Camp Verde Marshal's Office ("CVMO") is responsible for obtaining the towing of abandoned, damaged, or illegally parked vehicles within Town limits.[1] In 1995, the CVMO created a document titled, "Towing Regulations Camp Verde Marshal's Office." The regulations explained at the outset:

This manual standardizes the procedures and policies governing the tow truck operations servicing the Camp Verde Marshal's Office (CVMO).
-General requirements for operators;
-Towing practices;
-Miscellaneous policies; and
-A complaint review system for sanctions
This manual applies only to CVMO rotation lists and does not apply or control any activities except for the administration of the rotation lists.
The CVMO reserves the right to elect to replace a rotation list with contract towing at any time.
The guidelines in this manual are subject to modification by the Marshal. Any changes to the manual ...

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