Batchelder v. City of Coeur D'Alene

Citation85 Idaho 90,375 P.2d 1001
Decision Date02 November 1962
Docket NumberNo. 9148,9148
PartiesHoward BATCHELDER and Helene Batchelder, husband and wife, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CITY OF COEUR D'ALENE, a municipal corporation; Perry Christianson, its mayor; Marc Souther, Orville Kirking, Tom Emerson, Eben Wolters, Ray Fawcett, Ernest Wells, Sheldon Forrest and Jack Adams, its councilmen, Defendants-Respondents.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho

Thomas Mitchell, Coeur d'Alene, for appellants.

James T. Knudson, Coeur d'Alene, for respondents.

SMITH, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the district court upholding the validity of Ordinance No. 1121, enacted by the city of Coeur d'Alene, annexing certain lands to the corporate limits of the city, excepting three parcels which the court disannexed, thus voiding the ordinance insofar as it attempted annexation of those three parcels. The judgment of disannexation of those three parcels was grounded on the theory that the owners never had subdivided nor begun to sell off the lands in parcels not exceeding five acres. I.C., § 50-303.

Appellants urge (1), that the disannexation of the three parcels from the area annexed, rendered the entire ordinance void; and (2), in the alternative, that if the ordinance is not void in entirety, it is void as to three other tracts of land which the trial court refused to disannex from the area annexed, i. e., as to the parcel owned by Howard Batchelder and Helene Batchelder, husband and wife, herein referred to as the Batchelder tract; the parcel owned by Orrin E. Lee and Luva J. Lee, husband and wife, herein referred to as the Lee tract, and the parcel owned by Harvey Mael and Maude E. Mael, husband and wife, herein referred to as the Mael tract.

We shall consider appellants' first contention that Ordinance No. 1121 is not severable and that therefore the judgment of the district court adjudging the ordinance void in part as to three parcels but valid as to the remainder of the tracts involved, renders the ordinance void in entirety. Contra to appellants' contention, respondents urge that although an ordinance annexing land is invalid as to tracts not subject to annexation, it is not void in entirety.

There is a close analogy between such issue and the familiar principle of constitutional law:

'* * * that when a statute is intended to accomplish a single purpose only, and some of its provisions are void, the whole must fail, unless sufficient remains to carry into effect the object of the statute without the void part.' Ballentine v. Willey, 3 Idaho 496, 503, 31 P. 994, 996, 95 Am.St.Rep. 17 (1893).

In enacting Ordinance No. 1121, the city of Coeur d'Alene intended to accomplish the single purpose,--'* * * to annex property not theretofore within the municipal boundaries * * *.' Boise City v. Boise City Development Co., 41 Idaho 294, 238 P. 1006. Such purpose is implicit in the legislation even though certain tracts included in the annexation were afterwards excluded.

In Oregon Short Line Railroad Co. v. Village of Chubbuck, 83 Idaho 62, 357 P.2d 1101, this Court directed reversal of judgment insofar as an ordinance annexing lands to a municipality had attempted annexation to the corporate limits of the village of certain railroad lands, in that such lands had never been laid off or sold in tracts of less than five acres, thus not meeting either prerequisite statutory requirement of I.C., § 50-303. Continuing, this Court held:

'Municipal corporations can exercise only such powers as are expressly granted or necessarily implied from the power granted; doubt as to the existence of powers, must be resolved in favor of the granting power. State v. Frederic, 28 Idaho 709, 155 P. 977; Continental Oil Co. v. City of Twin Falls, 49 Idaho 89, 286 P. 353; Independent School Dist. No. 1 of Twin Falls County v. Continental Oil Co., 49 Idaho 109, 286 P. 360; O'Bryant v. City of Idaho Falls, 78 Idaho 313, 303 P.2d 672.

'Municipal corporations have power to annex additional territory only under the conditions, restrictions and limitations which the legislature imposes. Boise City v. Baxter, 41 Idaho 368, 238 P. 1029; Hillman v. City of Pocatello, 74 Idaho 69, 256 P.2d 1072; Potvin v. Village of Chubbuck, 76 Idaho 453, 284 P.2d 414. If the essentials of the statute are lacking, the annexation ordinance is void. Hillman v. City of Pocatello, supra; Potvin v. Village of Chubbuck, supra.'

We therefore hold that Ordinance No. 1121 of respondent city of Coeur d'Alene is valid though the judgment of the district court disannexed three parcels of land from the area annexed by the ordinance.

In approaching appellants' second contention, that the trial court erred in refusing to disannex from the area annexed, the Batchelder, Lee and Mael tracts, we quote the applicable portion of I.C., § 50-303, as follows----

'Annexation of adjacent territory.---- Whenever any land lying contiguous or adjacent to any city, town or village in the state of Idaho, or to any addition or extension thereof, shall be, or shall have been, by the owner or proprietor thereof or by any person or by or with the owner's authority or acquiescence, laid off into lots or blocks, containing not more than five acres of land each, whether the same shall have been, or shall be, laid off, subdivided or platted in accordance with any statute of this state or otherwise, or whenever the owner or proprietor, or any person by or with his authority, has sold, or begun to sell off such contiguous or adjacent lands by metes and bounds in tracts not exceeding five acres, it shall be competent for the council or board of trustees, as the case may be, by ordinance, to declare the same, by proper legal description thereof, a part of such city, town or village. * * *' (Emphasis supplied.)

No contention is advanced herein that the properties involved are not contiguous or adjacent to the city of Coeur d'Alene. Batchelder Tract:

Appellants Batchelder sold from their lands parcels of less than five acres for the purposes of United States Highway No. 90. They assign as error the failure of the trial court to exclude their tract from the lands annexed by the ordinance, on the ground that a taking for highway purposes is not a sale as contemplated by I.C., § 50-303.

While these appellants raise the question by their assignment, they do not support it with authorities, nor argue it; therefore the...

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14 cases
  • Gem-Valley Ranches, Inc. v. Small
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    ...... Weaver v. Sibbett, 87 Idaho 387, 393 P.2d 601 (1964); Batchelder v. City of . Page 955 . Coeur d'Alene, 85 Idaho 90, 375 P.2d 1001 ......
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    ...ordinance is void. Hillman v. City of Pocatello, supra; Potvin v. Village of Chubbuck, supra.' See also Batchelder v. City of Coeur d'Alene, 85 Idaho ----, 375 P.2d 1001. The annexation here under consideration, not having been accomplished in compliance with the statutory requirements, is ......
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    ...guarantees. In large part they represent extreme situations of grossly unreasonable action. For example, in Batchelder v. City of Coeur D'Alene, 85 Idaho 90, 375 P.2d 1001, the annexation would have bisected a landowner's business property, putting part of it inside and part outside the cit......
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