Coeur D'Alene Turf Club, Inc. v. Cogswell

Citation93 Idaho 324,461 P.2d 107
Decision Date22 July 1969
Docket NumberNo. 10451,10451
PartiesCOEUR D'ALENE TURF CLUB, INC., an Idaho Corporation, Plaintiff, v. Darwin D. COGSWELL, Judge of the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, in and for the County of Kootenal, Defendant.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho

James Ingalls, Coeur d'Alene, for plaintiff.

Cox & Powell, Coeur d'Alene, for defendant.

Gary M. Haman, Coeur d'Alene, for Kootenai County Board of County Com'rs, amicus curiae.

DONALDSON, Justice.

Plaintiff, Coeur d'Alene Turf Club, Inc., petitioned this Court for a writ of review and stay of proceedings pending the resolution of an appeal from a judgment rendered by defendant Darwin D. Cogswell, Judge of the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, in and for the County of Kootenai. An alternative writ of prohibition was issued commanding Judge Cogswell to desist and refrain from taking any action in the matter until further order from the Supreme Court, and ordering him to show cause why he should not be permanently restrained from any further proceedings pending outcome of the appeal on the merits.

In 1967, Kootenai County, acting through its Board of Commissioners, leased certain real property known as the Kootenai County Fairgrounds to the Coeur d'Alene Turf Club for the purpose of conducting horse racing thereon.

Thereafter, Joseph Hansen brought a class action on behalf of Kootenai County taxpayers against the County Board and the Turf Club concerning the lease. July 1, 1968, Judge Towles, of the First District Court in and for Kootenai County, entered judgment declaring the lease void.

The County Board and the Turf Club then entered into a new lease agreement dated July 18, 1968. Mr. Hansen thereupon filed a 'supplemental' complaint praying that the new lease he held void and praying for other appropriate relief. A hearing was held, and on May 5, 1969, the defendant in this case Judge Darwin Cogswell filed judgment decreeing.

'I.

'That the lease between the defendant County Commissioners and the defendant Turf Club dated July 18, 1968 providing for use of the Kootenai County Fair Grounds by defendant Turf Club for the purpose of conducting horse-racing is violative of Article 8 Section 4, and Article 12 Section 4, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho and is therefore null and void.

'II.

'This Court lacks jurisdiction to make a determination of whether there has been any violation of Chapter 19 of Title 54, Idaho Code, for the reason that any such violation is criminal in nature and such offenses must be defined and prosecuted by the sovereign authority of the State.

'III.

'That all other claims of the plaintiff against the defendants for damages and relief are hereby denied. * * *'

May 5, 1969, Mr. Hansen filed a petition for an order requiring the County Board and the Turf Club to show cause why the Turf Club should not vacate the premises. The order was duly issued and hearing thereon set for May 12, 1969.

May 5, 1969, the Turf Club filed a motion under I.R.C.P. Rule 59(e) to amend the judgment by deleting from it the following paragraph:

'This Court lacks jurisdiction to make a determination of whether there has been any violation of Chapter 19 of Title 54, Idaho Code, for the reason that any such violation is criminal in nature and such offenses must be defined and prosecuted by the sovereign authority of the State.'

May 7, 1969, the Board of County Commissioners filed an almost identical motion to delete the same paragraph from the judgment. The Board also noticed that motion for hearing on May 12.

Thereafter, on May 9, 1969, the Turf Club perfected an appeal from that part of the judgment stating:

'That the lease between the defendant County Commissioners and the defendant Turf Club dated July 18, 1968 providing for use of the Kootenai County Fair Grounds by defendant Turf Club for the purpose of conducting horseracing is violative of Article 8 Section 4, and Article 12 Section 4, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho and is therefore null and void.'

By 'perfected,' we use the term in the same sense as it is used in the statute concerning proceedings automatically stayed by perfection of appeal. I.C. § 13-211. No supersedeas bond additional to the appeal bond, however, was posted. I.C. §§ 13-202, 13-203.

At 10:05 A.M. on May 12, 1969 the Board of County Commissioners filed an appeal from the same portion of judgment as the earlier appeal by the Turf Club.

On May 12, the exact time of which is not shown, a hearing was held on the motions to amend and on the show cause order.

On May 13, Judge Cogswell entered an order reciting that appeals had been taken by the defendant Turf Club and defendant Board of County Commissioners and that the court was without jurisdiction to consider motions to alter or amend the judgment but did have jurisdiction to enforce its original judgment. The order also commanded the Turf Club to vacate the premises within ten days and commanded the Board of County Commissioners to retake possession of the property within the same time period.

May 14, pursuant to I.R.C.P. Rules 62(a), (e), the Board of Commissioners moved in district court for a stay of execution of judgment pending appeal. The motion was noticed for hearing on May 19, 1969. The district court ordered the plaintiff Hansen to show cause on May 19 why an order should not be made staying execution. No further action, however, has been taken concerning the motion in district court for stay of execution because of the issuance of the alternative writ of prohibition by this court.

May 15, the Turf Club filed with this court a petition for writ of review and stay of proceedings. The Board of County Commissioners was not made a party to this action, but has appeared as Amicus Curiae.

May 19, the Supreme Court issued the alternative writ, stay of proceedings and show cause order.

May 21, the Turf Club filed an exception to the May 13th order of the district court on the ground that the district court exceeded its jurisdiction in so acting. On the same date, the Turf Club amended its notice of appeal to include in the matter appealed from the following portion of the May 13th order:

'IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the petition of the plaintiff shall be and the same hereby is granted and the defendant Coeur d'Alene Turf Club, Inc., an Idaho Corporation, is hereby ordered to remove themselves from the Kootenai County Fairgrounds and to fully restore possession of said Kootenai County Fairgrounds to the defendant Kootenai County Commissioners on or before ten (10) days following the entry of this Order.

'IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the defendant Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners acting by and through Henry J. Meyer, Ralph W. Cope and Don Adams, shall, within said ten (10) days, retake possession of said property forthwith and hold the same for the use and benefit of the public as provided by law.'

The Board filed a similar exception and amended notice of appeal on May 23.

A question has been raised, sua sponte, by a member of this court as to whether or not the appeals of May 9 and May 12 taken respectively by the Turf Club and by the Board of County Commissioners were from a 'final' judgment.

This problem apparently was recognized by none of the parties, since no reference was made to it by brief or by argument.

The issue, simply stated, is: did the pendency of the two I.R.C.P. Rule 59(e) motions to amend judgment make the May 9 and May 12 appeals premature.

I.R.C.P. Rule 59(e) states:

'Rule 59(e). Motion to alter or amend a judgment.-A motion to alter or amend the judgment shall be served not later than ten (10) days after entry of the judgment.'

I.R.C.P. Rule 59(e) is identical to Fed. Rules Civ.Proc., rule 59(e), 28 U.S.C.

The time for taking an appeal is statutory in Idaho. I.C. § 13-201 states:

'An appeal may be taken to the Supreme Court from a district court.

1. From a final judgment in an action or special proceeding commenced in * * * a district court * * *; from a judgment rendered on an appeal from an inferior court; from a judgment rendered on an appeal from an order, decision or action of a board of county commissioners; within * * * sixty days after the entry of such judgment; Provided, however, that the running of the time for appeal is terminated by a timely motion for a new trial; a timely motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, following a timely motion for a directed verdict; a timely motion to amend or make additional findings of fact, whether or not alternation of the judgment is required if the motion is granted, or a timely motion to alter or amend the judgment, and the full time for appeal fixed by this act commences to run and is to be computed from the entry of any order granting or denying any of the above motions.

2. From an order granting or refusing a new trial; from an order granting or denying a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict; from an order granting or dissolving an injunction; from an order refusing to grant or dissolve an injunction; from an order dissolving or refusing to dissolve an attachment; from an order granting or refusing to grant a change of place of trial; from any special order made after final judgment; and from an interlocutory judgment in an action for partition of real property; within* sixty days after the order or interlocutory judgment is made and entered on the minutes of the court, or filed with the clerk. (C.C.P. 1881, § 642; R.S., § 4807; am. 1895, p. 142, § 1; reen. 1899, p. 273, § 1; reen. R.C., § 4807; am. 1911, ch. 111, p. 367; am. 1915, ch. 80, § 1, p. 193; reen. C.L., § 4807; C.S., § 7152; I.C.A., § 11-201; am. 1957, ch. 105, § 1, p. 183.)' (Emphasis supplied.)

Fed.Rules Civ.Proc., rule 73(a), 28 U.S.C. (abrogated Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968), though not statutory, was similar to I.C. § 13-201 and read in its...

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    ...13(b)(14). These actions may be taken to preserve the status quo throughout the appeal. See Coeur D'Alene Turf Club, Inc. v. Cogswell , 93 Idaho 324, 330, 461 P.2d 107, 113 (1969). Although Rule 13(b)(14) grants the district court broad authority to impose certain conditions when a nonmonet......
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