Gifford Memorial Hospital v. Town of Randolph, No. 837

Docket NºNo. 837
Citation118 A.2d 480, 119 Vt. 66
Case DateNovember 01, 1955
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Vermont

Page 480

118 A.2d 480
119 Vt. 66
GIFFORD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

v.
TOWN OF RANDOLPH et al.
No. 837.
Supreme Court of Vermont.
Nov. 1, 1955.

Page 481

[119 Vt. 67] Daniels & Reed, Montpelier, for plaintiff.

Stanley L. Chamberlin, Randolph, for Town of Randolph.

Norbert J. Towne, Northfield, for Listers and Tax Collector of Randolph.

Before [119 Vt. 66] JEFFORDS, C. J., and CLEARY, ADAMS, CHASE and HULBURD, JJ.

[119 Vt. 67] ADAMS, Justice.

This is a petition to the court of chancery in Orange county for a declaratory judgment that a building constructed and owned by the plaintiff is tax exempt and for an injunction to restrain the levying and collection of the tax assessed on the building while it is used in the manner as now used. The listers and tax collector of the town are made party defendants.

The bill is met by a demurrer on behalf of all the defendants. A hearing was had on the demurrer. It was sustained and exceptions allowed the plaintiff. The case comes here on these exceptions before final judgment.

Page 482

The demurrer admits for the purpose of its consideration the allegations of fact contained in the bill. Allegations amounting to conclusions of law are not admitted and are to be disregarded. No fact can be considered unless it appears on the face of the bill. Smith v. Highway Board, 117 Vt. 343, 345, 91 A.2d 805; Gignac v. King, 118 Vt. 415, 418, 111 A.2d 42.

[119 Vt. 68] The material facts alleged are: That the plaintiff is a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of Vermont having no capital stock. That it owns and operates, on real estate owned by it, a nonsectarian hospital for the treatment of medical and surgical cases. That all members of the general public are admitted thereto without restriction. That as a part of its hospital facilities it maintains extensive laboratory and testing equipment. That it has constructed on its land and attached to its present hospital building an additional building referred to as a clinic building. That the plaintiff in constructing this building borrowed the necessary funds, executed its promissory notes therefor and secured them by a mortgage on its principal building.

Certain physicians who reside in and around the town of Randolph have formed an organization known as the White River Valley Clinic. The clinic building is occupied by the physicians who are members of the clinic and they maintain their respective offices for the practice of their profession therein. This membership association of physicians who occupy the clinic building has agreed to pay to the plaintiff the actual amortized cost of the building and have guaranteed to pay all additional cost over $100,000 on demand. They also have agreed to pay annually the estimated cost of all ancillary services to the clinic by the plaintiff.

Previous to the construction of the clinic building and the location therein of physicians' offices, the physicians on the hospital staff maintained their respective offices at various locations distant from the hospital and in emergencies had to be located and travel to the hospital or if the patient was first taken to the office of the physician there was a delay in getting the patient to the hospital. Now in these cases and in others during the office hours of the physician at the clinic he is available without delay. Previous to the formation of the clinic there was no method whereby one or more physicians were available to the plaintiff day or night, while under the present arrangement there is one or more available at all times.

The plaintiff's laboratory and testing facilities are now available at any time to persons when treated or examined in a physician's office who is a member of the clinic, where before [119 Vt. 69] additional appointments had to be made. The plaintiff has never employed resident physicians or interns as do larger hospitals, but under the present arrangement it has, in effect, the benefit of several resident physicians. Students being trained as nurses by the plaintiff receive a portion of their training in the offices of the physicians who occupy the clinic building.

The defendant listers of the town of Randolph have appraised the clinic building for taxation and a tax based upon such list has been assessed against the plaintiff and its property.

The bill further alleges that unless restrained and enjoined, the town, either through the defendant tax collector or some other agent or attorney, will seek to collect the tax from the plaintiff and will take such action for the purpose as the law directs. That if the clinic building is exempt property, it is not within the jurisdiction of the listers and any listing of it is void and likewise the tax assessment is void and a nullity.

The defendants demurred to the bill upon the following grounds, in substance: (1) That the bill is without equity in that it does not show that any controversy or cause of action has accrued in favor of the plaintiff for it is not alleged that the taxes assessed have become due or that any action has been taken or threatened or about to be commenced for the collection of the same; (2) That the plaintiff has a complete and

Page 483

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42 practice notes
  • VAN BUREN COUNTY HOSP. v. Bd. of Review, No. 00-1535.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 5, 2002
    ...Grand Prairie Hosp. Auth. v. Dallas County Appraisal Dist., 730 S.W.2d 849, 851 (Tex.Ct.App.1987); Gifford Mem'l Hosp. v. Town of Randolph, 119 Vt. 66, 118 A.2d 480, 484 (1955). Yet, the lease agreement in this case does not permit the specialty doctors to maintain their medical practice at......
  • Dernier v. Mortg. Network, Inc., No. 12–226.
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • October 18, 2013
    ...of timely payment. ¶ 42. This case is similar to the early declaratory judgment case of Gifford Memorial Hospital v. Town of Randolph, 119 Vt. 66, 118 A.2d 480 (1955), where the plaintiff hospital sought a declaratory judgment against the town that it was exempt from property taxes. The tow......
  • Multnomah School of the Bible v. Multnomah County
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • September 9, 1959
    ...have been used are: St. Louis Gospel Center v. Prose, Mo.1955, 280 S.W.2d 827, 830; Gifford Memorial Hospital v. Town of Randolph, 1955, 119 Vt. 66, 118 A.2d 480, 484; State Tax Commission of Maryland v. Whitehall Foundation, 1957, 214 Md. 316, 135 A.2d 298, 300; Carney v. Cleveland City Sc......
  • Greater Anchorage Area Borough v. Sisters of Charity of House of Providence, No. 2445
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • August 6, 1976
    ...more fully treat the issues and policy consideration involved, to be more persuasive. In Gifford Memorial Hospital v. Town of Randolph, 119 Vt. 66, 118 A.2d 480 (1955), the Vermont Supreme Court held not exempt a doctors' office building which brought together, in proximity to the hospital,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
42 cases
  • VAN BUREN COUNTY HOSP. v. Bd. of Review, No. 00-1535.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 5, 2002
    ...Grand Prairie Hosp. Auth. v. Dallas County Appraisal Dist., 730 S.W.2d 849, 851 (Tex.Ct.App.1987); Gifford Mem'l Hosp. v. Town of Randolph, 119 Vt. 66, 118 A.2d 480, 484 (1955). Yet, the lease agreement in this case does not permit the specialty doctors to maintain their medical practice at......
  • Dernier v. Mortg. Network, Inc., No. 12–226.
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • October 18, 2013
    ...of timely payment. ¶ 42. This case is similar to the early declaratory judgment case of Gifford Memorial Hospital v. Town of Randolph, 119 Vt. 66, 118 A.2d 480 (1955), where the plaintiff hospital sought a declaratory judgment against the town that it was exempt from property taxes. The tow......
  • Multnomah School of the Bible v. Multnomah County
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • September 9, 1959
    ...have been used are: St. Louis Gospel Center v. Prose, Mo.1955, 280 S.W.2d 827, 830; Gifford Memorial Hospital v. Town of Randolph, 1955, 119 Vt. 66, 118 A.2d 480, 484; State Tax Commission of Maryland v. Whitehall Foundation, 1957, 214 Md. 316, 135 A.2d 298, 300; Carney v. Cleveland City Sc......
  • Greater Anchorage Area Borough v. Sisters of Charity of House of Providence, No. 2445
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • August 6, 1976
    ...more fully treat the issues and policy consideration involved, to be more persuasive. In Gifford Memorial Hospital v. Town of Randolph, 119 Vt. 66, 118 A.2d 480 (1955), the Vermont Supreme Court held not exempt a doctors' office building which brought together, in proximity to the hospital,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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