Bannock County v. Bell

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtSULLIVAN, J.
Citation8 Idaho 1,65 P. 710
Decision Date25 June 1901
PartiesBANNOCK COUNTY v. BELL

65 P. 710

8 Idaho 1

BANNOCK COUNTY
v.
BELL

Supreme Court of Idaho

June 25, 1901


STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS-RUNNING AGAINST COUNTY.-The statute of limitations runs against the county in a civil action brought by the county against an ex-clerk of the district court, who was ex-officio auditor and recorder of such county, for alleged illegal fees and compensation collected by him from the county during the term of his office. On that point the case of Fremont County v. Brandon, 56 P. 264, is overruled.

(Syllabus by the court.)

APPEAL from District Court, Bannock County.

Reversed and remanded, with instructions. Costs of this appeal awarded to the appellant.

S. C. Winters and F. S. Dietrich, for Appellant.

The complaint shows upon its face that both causes of action are and were barred by the statute of limitations, and had so been barred for over a year prior to the filing of the complaint. (Idaho Rev. Stats., secs. 4053, 4060.) The statute of limitation runs as well against a municipal corporation as against an individual. (In re Opening of Beck Street, 19 Misc. 571, 44 N.Y.S. 1087; In re Opening of Fox Street, 19 Misc. 571, 44 N.Y.S. 1087;Hartman v. Hunter, 56 Ohio St. 175, 46 N.E. 577; Gaines v. Hot Springs County, 39 Ark. 262; Bushwell on Limitation and Adverse Possession, sec. 99; City of Bedford v. Willard, 133 Ind. 562, 36 Am. St. Rep. 563, 34 N.W. 369; City of Bedford v. Green, 133 Ind. 562, 33 N.E. 369; May v. School Dist. No. 22, 22 Neb. 205, 3 Am. St. Rep. 266; 34 N.W. 377; State v. Dunbar Estate, 99 Mich. 99, 57 N.W. 1103; San Louis Obispo County v. Farnum, 108 Cal. 567, 41 P. 447; Board of Commissioners of Graham County v. Van Slyck, 52 Kan. 622, 35 P. 299; People v. Van Ness, 76 Cal. 121, 18 P. 139; People v. Melone, 73 Cal. 574, 15 P. 294.)

Frank Martin, Attorney General, and J. W. Eden, for Respondent.

Appellant urges that the causes of action set out in plaintiff's complaint were barred by the statute of limitations, (Rev. Stats., 4060.) Appellant's attempt to plead the statute of limitations is not sufficient to present that question. It is too indefinite and uncertain in its terms. It is impossible to ascertain from the language used to which cause of action defendant intends it should apply, or whether or not he intends it should apply to the whole. (Freemont County v. Brandon, 6 Idaho 482, 56 P. 264; Ada County v. Gess, 4 Idaho 611, 43 P. 71; Elmore County v. Alturas County, 4 Idaho 145, 95 Am. St. Rep. 53, 37 P. 349; Dunbar v. Board of Commissioners, 5 Idaho 407, 49 P. 409, 412.)

SULLIVAN, J. Stockslager, J., concurs. QUARLES, C. J., Dissenting.

OPINION [65 P. 711]

[8 Idaho 2] SULLIVAN, J.

This action was brought by Bannock county against the appellant, who was clerk of the district court and ex-officio auditor and recorder of said county for the years 1893 and 1894. The complaint contains two causes of action, one for each of said years. It is alleged in the complaint in the first cause of action that the appellant, as clerk, auditor and recorder of said county, did, on the sixteenth day of January, 1894, present to the board of county commissioners of said county an account for services rendered by the appellant for said county for the year 1893 in his official capacity, amounting to $ 805.75; that thereafter, on the seventeenth day of January, 1894, said board allowed said account, except for the sum of $ 52.80, and ordered a warrant drawn in favor of appellant for the sum so allowed to wit, $ 752.95; and that said warrant was paid by the treasurer of said county. In the [8 Idaho 3] fifth paragraph of the complaint is set out an itemized statement of the items alleged to have been illegally, corruptly, and fraudulently allowed, amounting to $ 410.60, and it is alleged that none of said items were proper charges against said county, and that by reason of the allowance and payment of said claim the appellant became indebted to said county in the sum of $ 410.60; that demand has been made on appellant to pay the same, and he has refused to do so. For a second cause of action the necessary allegations are made charging appellant with having collected from said county, as clerk, auditor, and recorder thereof, for services rendered during the year 1894, illegal fees to the amount of $ 329.10. A general demurrer was filed to said complaint and overruled. The answer puts in issue the material allegations of the complaint, and also sets up the statute of limitations. The cause was tried by the court and judgment entered against the appellant for $ 1,068.81, interest and costs. This appeal is from the judgment, taken within sixty days after the entry thereof.

The record contains a bill of exceptions purporting to contain all of the evidence taken on the trial. Several errors are assigned, but, in our view of this case, it is necessary to notice but one of them. It is contended that the complaint shows on its face that both causes of action stated therein are and were barred by the statute of limitations. Section 4053, of the Revised Statutes provides that the period within which to commence an action upon a contract, obligation, or liability not founded upon an instrument of writing is four years. Section 4060 of the Revised Statutes provides as follows: "An action for relief not hereinbefore provided for must be commenced within four years after the cause of action shall have accrued." Section 4061 of the Revised Statutes provides that the limitations prescribed in chapter 3 of said Revised Statutes apply to the state the same as to private parties. The complaint, on its face, shows that the first cause of action accrued on the seventeenth day of January, 1894, and that the second cause of action arose on the fourteenth day of January, 1895. This action was commenced on the twelfth day of [8 Idaho 4] March, 1900, about five years and two months after the last cause of action arose, about one year and two months after the action was barred by the statute of limitations. Under the provisions of either of said sections 4053 or 4060 of the Revised Statutes said action was barred within four years after the cause of action accrued. Under the provisions of section 4061 the statute of limitation applies to the state as well as to private parties. Section 346 of the Code of Civil Procedure of California is the same as section 4061 of the Revised Statutes, each of which provides that the statute of limitations applies to actions brought in the name of the state in the same manner as to actions by private parties. Under the provisions of subdivision 1, section 339, of the Code of Civil Procedure of California, which contains the same provisions as our section 4053, except the limitation is fixed at two years, the supreme court of that state held that when money belonging to the county is received by the county auditor, an action against him is barred in two years. (San Luis Obispo Co. v. Farnum, 108 Cal. 567, 41 P. 447.) It was held in Board v. Van Slyck, 52 Kan. 622, 35 P. 299, that a cause of action for fees not accounted for and wrongfully retained by the county clerk accrues at the end of each quarter, when the allowance of salary is made; and is barred, under the three year statute limitations, if the action is not brought within that period. It was also held that the statutory limitation could not be extended by the failure to demand the payment of the fees collected, as no demand was necessary for fees so illegally retained. In People v. Van Ness, 76 Cal. 121, 18 P. 139, the supreme court of California held that the statute of limitations applies to actions brought by the state for sums collected and held by a public officer, which the statute required him to pay into the public treasury. In People v. Melone, 73 Cal. 574, 15 P. 294, the supreme court of California held that the statute of limitations applied to the state. That was an action against the Secretary of State to recover fees received by him, which by law he was required to pay over to the state. The following [65 P. 712] cases hold that the statute of limitations runs against a [8 Idaho 5] municipal...

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17 practice notes
  • Northern Pac. Ry. Co. v. Hirzel
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • October 9, 1916
    ...Co., 167 Cal. 643, 140 P. 587.) A limitation applicable to the state applies to all lesser political subdivisions. (Bannock County v. Bell, 8 Idaho 1, 101 Am. St. 140, 65 P. 710; Canyon County v. Ada County, 5 Idaho 686, 51 P. 748.) Such a grant as this is within the limits of the trust, in......
  • Little v. Emmett Irrigation District, 5013
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 7, 1928
    ...As a general rule, statutes of limitations [45 Idaho 495] run in favor of, as well as against, municipalities. ( Bannock County v. Bell, 8 Idaho 1, 101 Am. St. 140, 65 P. 710; 28 Cyc., p. 1760; 37 C. J., p. 715, sec. 32; 17 R. C. L., p. 957, sec. 324.) Ordinarily, the question as to when a ......
  • Little v. Emmett Irrigation Dist.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 7, 1928
    ...As a general rule, statutes of limitations [45 Idaho 495] run in favor of, as well as against, municipalities. (Bannock County v. Bell, 8 Idaho 1, 101 Am. St. 140, 65 P. 710; 28 Cyc., p. 1760; 37 C. J., p. 715, sec. 32; 17 R. C. L., p. 957, sec. 324.) Ordinarily, the question as to when a s......
  • State v. Peterson, 6681
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 21, 1939
    ...sense) and public the function involved the greater the reason for immunity. (37 C. J. 710-715.) It is true Bannock County v. Bell, 8 Idaho 1, 65 P. 710, 101 Am. St. 140, overruled Fremont County v. Brandon, [61 Idaho 55] 6 Idaho 482, 56 P. 264, which followed In re Counties v. County of Al......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Northern Pac. Ry. Co. v. Hirzel
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • October 9, 1916
    ...Co., 167 Cal. 643, 140 P. 587.) A limitation applicable to the state applies to all lesser political subdivisions. (Bannock County v. Bell, 8 Idaho 1, 101 Am. St. 140, 65 P. 710; Canyon County v. Ada County, 5 Idaho 686, 51 P. 748.) Such a grant as this is within the limits of the trust, in......
  • Little v. Emmett Irrigation District, 5013
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 7, 1928
    ...As a general rule, statutes of limitations [45 Idaho 495] run in favor of, as well as against, municipalities. ( Bannock County v. Bell, 8 Idaho 1, 101 Am. St. 140, 65 P. 710; 28 Cyc., p. 1760; 37 C. J., p. 715, sec. 32; 17 R. C. L., p. 957, sec. 324.) Ordinarily, the question as to when a ......
  • Little v. Emmett Irrigation Dist.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 7, 1928
    ...As a general rule, statutes of limitations [45 Idaho 495] run in favor of, as well as against, municipalities. (Bannock County v. Bell, 8 Idaho 1, 101 Am. St. 140, 65 P. 710; 28 Cyc., p. 1760; 37 C. J., p. 715, sec. 32; 17 R. C. L., p. 957, sec. 324.) Ordinarily, the question as to when a s......
  • State v. Peterson, 6681
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 21, 1939
    ...sense) and public the function involved the greater the reason for immunity. (37 C. J. 710-715.) It is true Bannock County v. Bell, 8 Idaho 1, 65 P. 710, 101 Am. St. 140, overruled Fremont County v. Brandon, [61 Idaho 55] 6 Idaho 482, 56 P. 264, which followed In re Counties v. County of Al......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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