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A. Miner Contracting, Inc. v. City of Flagstaff

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

October 1, 2015

A. MINER CONTRACTING, INC., an Arizona corporation, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
CITY OF FLAGSTAFF, an Arizona municipality, Defendant/Appellee.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Coconino County No. S0300CV20070792 The Honorable Jacqueline Hatch, Judge

COUNSEL DKL Law, PLLC, Scottsdale By David W. Lunn Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant

Gammage & Burnham, PLC, Phoenix By Cameron C. Artigue Counsel for Defendant/Appellee

Judge Andrew W. Gould delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Donn Kessler and Judge Patricia K. Norris joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

GOULD, Judge

¶1 A. Miner Contracting, Inc. ("Miner") appeals the dismissal of its complaint with prejudice for failure to comply with Arizona's notice of claim statute, Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 12-821.01 (Supp. 2014). [1] We affirm because the request for an unspecified amount of interest in the notice of claim failed to comply with the statute's requirement to provide a "specific amount for which the claim can be settled."

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 In 2007, Miner, a licensed contractor, provided certain public improvements pursuant to a contract with Premiere Acquisitions, LLC ("Premiere") that Miner alleged benefitted the City of Flagstaff ("the City").

¶3 After Premiere failed to timely pay amounts due, Miner sued Premiere for breach of contract and the City for unjust enrichment. The City filed its first motion to dismiss, arguing Miner failed to serve a notice of claim in compliance with A.R.S. § 12-821.01.

¶4 On January 21, 2008, Miner filed a notice of claim ("the notice") with the City. The notice alleged unjust enrichment and stated "[a]s reflected in the documentation included within Exhibit 2, the City is indebted to Miner for $1, 825, 042.55 plus additional accrued interest." The notice further stated that, "[t]o settle this claim without the need for protracted litigation, Miner is willing to accept merely the payment of amounts owed to date including all accrued interest." Miner attached documents to the notice supporting different interest rates and accrual dates, but did not specify which document controlled. The City did not respond and withdrew its first motion to dismiss.

¶5 The claims were removed to U.S. Bankruptcy Court due to Premiere's filing for bankruptcy. Miner's claims against the City were ultimately remanded to the superior court. After the remand, Miner filed a second amended complaint alleging unjust enrichment against the City and seeking attorneys' fees pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-341.01 (Supp. 2014). The City moved for dismissal of Miner's second amended complaint. The superior court ultimately granted the City's motion to dismiss with prejudice for failure to state a claim, finding that the notice did not contain a "specific amount for which the Claim could be settled and the facts supporting that amount were not provided" as required by A.R.S. § 12-821.01 and awarded attorneys' fees. Miner timely appealed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-2101(A)(1) (Supp. 2014).

DISCUSSION

¶6 Because we conclude the notice did not comply with the "specific amount" requirement of A.R.S. § 12-821.01, we do not reach the additional issues Miner argues. See Progressive Specialty Ins. Co. v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Ariz., 143 Ariz. 547, 548 (App. 1985) (noting that appellate court should not ...


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