129 Cal. 640, L. A. 678, Sechrist v. Rialto Irrigation Dist.

Docket Nº:L. A. 678
Citation:129 Cal. 640, 62 P. 261
Opinion Judge:CHIPMAN, Judge
Party Name:W. F. SECHRIST et al., Appellants, v. RIALTO IRRIGATION DISTRICT et al., Respondents
Attorney:Frick & Goodcell, for Appellants. Shirley C. Ward, Gardiner, Harris & Rodman, Charles McFarland, R. H. F. Variel, Curtis & Curtis, Cramer M. Morris, E. R. Annable, T. C. Chapman, and H. Connor, for various Respondents.
Judge Panel:JUDGES: Chipman, C. Gray, C., and Cooper, C., concurred. Henshaw, J., McFarland, J., Temple, J.
Case Date:September 05, 1900
Court:Supreme Court of California
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 640

129 Cal. 640

62 P. 261

W. F. SECHRIST et al., Appellants,

v.

RIALTO IRRIGATION DISTRICT et al., Respondents

L. A. No. 678

Supreme Court of California

September 5, 1900

Department Two

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Bernardino County. John L. Campbell, Judge.

COUNSEL:

Frick & Goodcell, for Appellants.

Shirley C. Ward, Gardiner, Harris & Rodman, Charles McFarland, R. H. F. Variel, Curtis & Curtis, Cramer M. Morris, E. R. Annable, T. C. Chapman, and H. Connor, for various Respondents.

JUDGES: Chipman, C. Gray, C., and Cooper, C., concurred. Henshaw, J., McFarland, J., Temple, J.

OPINION

CHIPMAN, Judge

Action to have certain one thousand bonds of defendant district, in part issued and in part unissued, adjudged void; to compel each of certain defendants to disclose the bonds held by him, and to bring them into court to be canceled and destroyed, and meanwhile to restrain the transfer of such bonds; to enjoin the district from levying any assessment to pay any interest upon all or any of said bonds, and for general relief.

Defendants demurred to the complaint on several grounds. The court sustained the demurrers on the ground of insufficiency of facts and overruled them on all other grounds. Plaintiffs declined to amend, and defendants had judgment, from which plaintiffs appeal.

The plaintiffs are land owners and taxpayers in the defendant irrigation district and prosecute the action for the benefit of themselves and all other taxpayers of the district. The defendants are the district, its board of directors, and several individuals and private corporations, holders of bonds that have been issued by the district.

Appellants claim that the bonds are, upon the facts alleged in the amended complaint, absolutely void; that the defendant holders have no equities as against the district or the plaintiffs, and, if they have, those equities may be protected by proper decree; and in either case plaintiffs are entitled to all or some part of the relief prayed for.

The demurrers were upon the grounds of insufficiency of facts; that the action is barred by the statute of limitations; that plaintiffs have been guilty of laches and unreasonable delay in bringing the action, and some other grounds.

It is unnecessary to state the full scope of the very lengthy complaint in detail. Respondents concede that the alleged infirmities of the bonds are fatal to their validity, and the demurrers admit that the respondents purchased the bonds with actual notice of their invalidity. That the complaint states facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action may be assumed, and the judgment must be reversed unless some one of the grounds of demurrer can be sustained. Such as are now relied on by respondent will have attention.

1. The effect of the order was to overrule the demurrers in their entirety. The court could not so limit its order as to preclude the demurrants from their right to be heard here on any or all the grounds stated. The effect of the order was to give a reason for sustaining the demurrers, but this court will affirm the order, if well taken, on any ground, regardless of the reasons assigned by the court below. (Wakeham v. Barker , 82 Cal. 46. See, also, People v. Central P. R. R. Co ., 76 Cal. 29, 43.)

2. It is urged that the action is barred by section 343 and subdivision 4 of section 338 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The complaint shows that the bond issue was voted upon by the electors of the district November 15, 1890; that on November 17, 1890, the board of directors canvassed the returns of the election, and on that day passed a resolution adopting...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP