Finucane v. Village of Hayden

Decision Date02 August 1963
Docket NumberNo. 9304,9304
Citation86 Idaho 199,384 P.2d 236
PartiesCharles C. FINUCANE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. VILLAGE OF HAYDEN, Gerald Kilian, Grant Jones, John Freligh, Gene Lyden and Lyle Petersen, Trustees of the Village of Hayden, Defendants-Respondents.
CourtIdaho Supreme Court

E. L. Miller, Charles H. Kimball, Coeur d'Alene, for appellant.

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

SMITH, Justice.

This action was commenced September 13, 1962, by appellant (plaintiff) directed against the Village of Hayden, hereinafter sometimes referred to as the Village, and its Trustees, seeking to have adjudicated as void ordinances of the Village which annexed certain of appellant's land to the Village, the litigation being ultimately directed at the two ordinances of the Village, dated October 1, 1959 and March 1, 1962, and for relief of disannexation. The facts were uncontroverted and in large part stipulated.

Respondents advanced the affirmative defense that appellant was estopped by laches to attack the ordinances insofar as they annexed his land to the Village.

At the conclusion of a trial without a jury, the district court found in accordance with a stipulation of the parties, that appellant's land, involved in the proceeding, had never been laid off, nor sold nor bargained for sale in lots, blocks or tracts not exceeding five acres; that appellant's land is used exclusively for agricultural purposes, and that it does not receive any special benefit by being retained within the corporate limits of the Village.

The trial court further found that, prior to the filing of his complaint, appellant had not sought to withdraw any portion of his land from the corporate limits of the Village; that appellant had paid certain taxes and assessments levied and assessed against his land, although not for the year 1962; also, that detachment of appellant's land would materially mar the symmetry of the Village.

The court then concluded that appellant was guilty of laches and was estopped from asserting any right of disannexation of his land from the corporate limits of the Village, except as to Tracts 63 and 66, Avondale Irrigated Tracts, annexed by the ordinance of March 1, 1962.

The court thereupon entered judgment, October 30, 1962, declaring the Ordinance of the Village, dated March 1, 1962, as being void as to Tracts 63 and 66, Avondale Irrigated Tracts, and that those tracts be removed from the boundaries of the Village; and denied to appellant any further relief.

Appellant perfected an appeal from the judgment insofar as it rejected the relief sought, for withdrawal of his land annexed to the Village by its ordinance dated April 1, 1959.

Appellant assigns error of the trial court:

1. In failing to declare as void the Ordinance of the Village dated October 1, 1959, which annexed those parts of appellant's land which had never been laid off, or sold or bargained for sale in lots, blocks or tracks not exceeding five acres;

2. In ruling, that appellant was barred by laches from seeking the relief adjudging the Ordinance of October 1, 1959, to be void insofar as it attempts annexation of appellant's land to the Village;

3. In denying to appellant the relief of disannexation of his land annexed by the Ordinance of October 1, 1959.

The Issue of Invalidity of the Ordinance.

Appellant in urging the invalidity of the ordinance insofar as the Village thereby attempted annexation of his land, relies upon I.C. 50-303. Such section of the statute provides that land lying contiguous or adjacent to a municipality may, by ordinance, be annexed when the land either:

'* * * shall be, or shall have been, by the owner or proprietor thereof or by any person by or with the owner's authority or acquiescense (sic), laid off into lots or blocks, containing not more than five acres of land each, * * *.'

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, * * *.'

No contention is advanced that the land involved is not contiguous or adjacent to the Village.

The stipulation of the parties, upon which the trial court based findings, shows without dispute that appellant's agricultural lands had never been laid off, nor sold, nor bargained for sale, in lots, blocks or tracts not exceeding five acres.

Oregon Short Line Railroad Co. v. Village of Chubbuck, 83 Idaho 62, 357 P.2d 1101, 1103, invalidated an ordinance whereby was attempted the annexation to a municipality of certain railroad lands, because 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. This Court then held:

'Municipal corporations can exercise only such powers as are expressly granted or necessarily implied from the powers 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, supra [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.'

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 void and the Ordinance of the Village of October 1, 1959, insofar as it attempted such annexation is invalid. I.C. § 50-303; Boise City v. Baxter, supra; Hillman v. City of Pocatello, supra; Potvin v. Village of Chubbuck, supra; Oregon Short Line Railroad Co. v. Village of Chubbuck, supra; Batchelder v. City of Coeur d'Alene, supra.

The Issue of Laches.

The controlling issue in this proceeding is whether appellant became estopped by reason of laches from asserting the invalidity of the October 1, 1959 ordinance insofar as it affected appellant's land by attempted annexation to the Village.

Respondents contend that the trial court properly held that appellant is estopped by reason of laches from asserting the voidness of the ordinance for the reasons: that appellant has acquiesced to the annexation by payment of taxes; that he has not established detriment by the inclusion of his property in the village limits; that he has recognized the Village's right to retain a portion of his property (included in the village limits by proceedings prior to the October 1, 1959 ordinance); that the Village has relied on appellant's acquiescence in the use of his tax contribution and in further expansion of the village boundaries; that to allow removal of appellant's land from the village limits would seriously alter the symmetry of the Village; and that appellant has not explained his delay in seeking removal of his property from the village limits.

The general rule which respondents seek to invoke is stated in McQuillin Municipal Corporations, 3rd Ed., Vol. 2, § 7.09, in the following language, 'If the elements of estoppel are present, the owners of land over which the muncipal corporation has exercised the powers and functions of government for a long period of time will be estopped from questioning the location of the municipal boundaries.' Such rule has application even though the proceeding by which the municipal boundaries were extended are void, when by reason of lapse of time the municipal authority has been exercised, and there has resulted changed conditions involving extensive public and private interests. State ex rel. West v. City of Des Moines, 96 Iowa 521, 65 N.W. 818, 31 L.R.A. 186. State ex rel. Hallgarth v. School Dist. No. 23, 179 Or. 441, 172 P.2d 655, 664, states the rule, '* * * the passage of time is not the only element which determines whether laches has occurred. It is the cumulation of events, especially those which bring home notice to the plaintiff and prejudice the defendant, which determines whether laches has occurred.' See also Central Missouri Oil Co. v. City...

To continue reading

Request your trial
28 cases
  • Hackett v. Hackett
    • United States
    • Connecticut Superior Court
    • 12 Octubre 1990
    ...122 Conn. at 411, 189 A. 609]; 27 Am.Jur.2d, Equity § 152. The mere lapse of time does not constitute laches; Finucane v. Hayden, 86 Idaho 199, 206, 384 P.2d 236 (1963); 27 Am.Jur.2d, Equity § 163; unless it results in prejudice to the defendant; see Leary v. Stylarama of New Haven, Inc., 1......
  • Old Cutters, Inc. v. City of Hailey (In re Old Cutters, Inc.), Bankruptcy No. 11–41261–JDP.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Ninth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Idaho
    • 31 Diciembre 2012
    ...of equitable estoppel, as they existed at that time, were satisfied. Rather, the court cites to its case of Finucane v. Village of Hayden, 86 Idaho 199, 384 P.2d 236 (1963), a decision that mentions equitable estoppel only once stating, “[t]he defense of laches is a specie of equitable esto......
  • George v. Tanner
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • 28 Febrero 1985
    ...was adverse ("hostile"). As to an alternative theory advanced by the brothers, that of laches, this Court, citing Finucane v. Hayden, 86 Idaho 199, 384 P.2d 236 (1963) and that case's recitation of the elements of laches, pointed out that the sisters had no obligation to institute remedial ......
  • Berin v. Olson
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 17 Marzo 1981
    ...Conn. 406, 411, 189 A. 609 (1937); 27 Am.Jur.2d, Equity § 152. The mere lapse of time does not constitute laches; Finucane v. Hayden, 86 Idaho 199, 206, 384 P.2d 236 (1963); 27 Am.Jur.2d, Equity § 163; unless it results in prejudice to the defendant; see Leary v. Stylarama of New Haven, Inc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT