Tucson Lot 4, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company, Plaintiff/Appellant,
Sunquest Information Systems, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation; Misys Hospital Systems, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation; and Misys PLC, a United Kingdom corporation, Defendants/Appellees.
from the Superior Court in Pima County No. C20160742 The
Honorable Jeffrey T. Bergin, Judge.
REVERSED AND REMANDED
Jackson & Oden, PC, Tucson By Todd Jackson and Lane Oden
Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant
Farhang & Medcoff, Tucson By Ali J. Farhang, Elizabeth A.
Parsons, and Robert A. Bernheim Counsel for
Judge Eckerstrom authored the opinion of the Court, in which
Presiding Judge Vásquez and Judge Miller concurred.
ECKERSTROM, Chief Judge
Appellant Tucson Lot 4, LLC (TL4) appeals from the trial
court's order granting a preliminary injunction in favor
of Sunquest Information Systems, Inc. (Sunquest). For the
following reasons, we reverse the judgment of the trial
and Procedural Background
In 2004, Sunquest entered into a commercial lease agreement
with TL4's predecessor in interest. The lease was set to
run from August 21, 2006 until November 30, 2016. In 2012,
Sunquest asserted to TL4 that there were issues with the
calculation of square footage used as the base for the rental
rate and the management fee charged under the lease. In
February 2016, TL4 filed suit against Sunquest, alleging
Sunquest had stopped paying some of the operating expenses,
which allegedly constituted breach of lease. After TL4 filed
suit, Sunquest ceased paying all rent. Sunquest filed
numerous counterclaims. Sunquest also requested an injunction
to prevent TL4 from initiating eviction proceedings or
otherwise interfering with Sunquest's use of the
premises. TL4 filed an amended complaint against Sunquest for
forcible detainer (FED). After an evidentiary hearing, the
trial court granted Sunquest's request for a preliminary
injunction. The court's order also "den[ied]
TL4's pending request for an eviction order and an award
of associated damages." This appeal followed.
Sunquest acknowledges that this court has appellate
jurisdiction to review the trial court's preliminary
injunction pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-2101(A)(5)(b).
Sunquest challenges this court's jurisdiction over the
denial of TL4's FED action, however, noting that the
trial court's order did not contain language pursuant to
Rule 54(b) or (c), Ariz. R. Civ. P. The Arizona Rules of
Procedure for Eviction Actions (RPEA) generally state that
"[t]he Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure [ARCP] apply
only when incorporated by reference in these rules."
RPEA 1. Rule 54 of the ARCP is not incorporated into the
RPEA. Furthermore, A.R.S. § 12-1182(A) provides that an
appeal may be taken from a forcible detainer action. Neither
Rule 54(b) nor Rule 54(c) applies to an order that is
independently appealable by statute. See Brumett v. MGA
Home Healthcare, L.L.C., 240 Ariz. 421, ¶ 11, 380
P.3d 659 (2016).
TL4 contends the trial court erred in granting the
preliminary injunction based on a failure of evidence. We do
not reach the merits of the injunction because we conclude
that, as TL4 argued below, the trial court did not have the
authority to grant it as a matter of law. By doing so, it
denied TL4 its statutory right to a FED proceeding.
"Courts of equity are as much bound by the plain and
positive provisions of a statute as are courts of law. When
rights are clearly established and defined by a statute,
equity has no power to change or upset such rights."
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