866 P.2d 167 (Ariz.Tax 1993), TX 92-01066, Smoole v. Maricopa County

Docket Nº:TX 92-01066.
Citation:866 P.2d 167, 177 Ariz. 185
Party Name:Clifford SMOOLE, et al. v. MARICOPA COUNTY; Arizona Department of Revenue.
Case Date:December 09, 1993
Court:Tax Court of Arizona
 
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Page 167

866 P.2d 167 (Ariz.Tax 1993)

177 Ariz. 185

Clifford SMOOLE, et al.

v.

MARICOPA COUNTY; Arizona Department of Revenue.

No. TX 92-01066.

Tax Court of Arizona.

December 9, 1993

Donald P. Roelke, Phoenix, for plaintiff.

Mary Z. Chandler, County Atty., Phoenix, for defendant.

OPINION

SCHAFER, Judge.

This case requires the Court to determine whether a previous Tax Court judge erred in dismissing a single appeal to the Tax Court filed jointly by two separate taxpayers to contest the valuations of two unrelated properties.

On October 15, 1992, Tye Smoole and Cliff Smoole filed a single appeal to the Tax Court contesting the 1992 valuations of two apartment complexes. 1 One of the complexes, which at one time was owned by Cliff Smoole, is located at 6031 North 61st Street, Glendale, Arizona. The other complex, at one time owned by Tye Smoole, is located at 1110 East Highland, Phoenix, Arizona.

In June of 1992, several months prior to the filing of the appeal, both complexes were sold to Cotterkey Investments, Ltd., an Arizona Corporation (Cotterkey). The Smooles were directors of Cotterkey. Thus, on the date the joint appeal to the Tax Court was filed neither Tye nor Cliff Smoole was an

Page 168

[177 Ariz. 186] actual owner of either of the subject properties.

In March of 1993, Maricopa County (the County) filed a motion to dismiss the joint appeal on the ground that the valuation appeals of two separate properties could not be joined in a single suit. In their response to the motion to dismiss, the Smooles argued that the court should take jurisdiction over the case and sever the two claims rather than dismiss the appeal. Also, in their response, it was revealed for the first time the two properties were actually owned by Cotterkey, not the Smooles. Upon learning that the named plaintiffs in the appeal (the Smooles) did not own either of the subject properties, the County promptly filed a supplemental motion to dismiss on the additional ground that since the record owner is the only one allowed to bring a tax appeal, the Tax Court lacked jurisdiction over the joint appeal.

On April 1, 1993, a second amended complaint was filed (without seeking permission of the court) adding Cotterkey as a plaintiff. The second amended complaint was filed five months after the November 1, 1992, statutory deadline for timely filing an appeal to the Tax...

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