Hixon v. Allphin, 8239

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Citation281 P.2d 1042,76 Idaho 327
Docket NumberNo. 8239,8239
PartiesArlie S. HIXON, also known as A. Hixon, and Florence Hixon, husband and wife, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Ray ALLPHIN, Defendant-Respondent.
Decision Date01 April 1955

Page 1042

281 P.2d 1042
76 Idaho 327
Arlie S. HIXON, also known as A. Hixon, and Florence Hixon, husband and wife, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
Ray ALLPHIN, Defendant-Respondent.
No. 8239.
Supreme Court of Idaho.
April 1, 1955.

[76 Idaho 330]

Page 1043

Richards, Haga & Eberle, Dale O. Morgan, Boise, for appellants.

J. F. and C. Ben Martin, Boise, for respondent.

[76 Idaho 331] ANDERSON, Justice.

This is an action for restitution. The facts are set out in appellants' amended complaint. It discloses that appellants, as husband and wife, purchased two milk routes designated 20 and 22 and operated them continually for several years prior to 1951, with the consent of the Ada County Dairymen's Association, for whom the routes were operated. Appellants collected all milk within the routes from member-producers and furnished their own hauling equipment and paid their own expenses. They received compensation at a stipulated rate per pound for milk hauled. The hauling contract was terminable upon notice by either appellants or the Association. The milk routes are alleged to be valuable rights and that it is the universal custom for haulers on such routes to sell them with the knowledge and consent of the Association.

Page 1044

On or about January 2, 1951, with the consent of the Association, appellants entered into a written instrument with respondent and L. E. and Beth Spraker for the sale of a certain truck and trailer, together with milk routes 20 and 22 and the right to operate them under the hauling contract with the Association. The total sale price was $7,500, of which $500 was cash, the balance to be paid at the rate of $200 per month, together with 6% interest paid semi-annually. Possession was delivered and respondent has since operated the milk routes. Total payments were made in the amount of $2,900 by January 1952, at which time respondent failed and neglected and refused to make further payments.

February 8, 1952, appellants gave notice that the contract would be forfeited unless delinquent payments were made by April 8, 1952. None was made and forfeiture was declared.

May 2, 1952, appellants brought action for forfeiture of their contract against respondent and L. E. and Beth Spraker in the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State of Idaho. The court subsequently ruled that contract was unenforceable and that it could not be reformed. No appeal was taken from such ruling. Later, this action was commenced, appellants claiming they have no adequate remedy at law. In addition to the above allegations, they allege they were induced to part with [76 Idaho 332] their equipment and routes under the above mentioned contract and that respondent has been unjustly enriched, to their detriment.

They also allege that at the time respondent took possession of the equipment and milk routes in January 1951, they were of the reasonable value of $7,500 and that the use and rental of same have been at all times of the reasonable value of $200 per month; that the sum respondent has paid was not the reasonable value of the equipment and rights transferred to him and that he has failed and refused to pay anything more. Appellants ask for return of their equipment and the milk routes, together with compensation for their use since January 2, 1952, and interest. In case return of the property cannot be made, appellants ask for $7,500 and interest, less payments. They also pray for general relief.

Respondent filed a general and special demurrer, a motion to strike, a motion to elect and a motion to separately state, against the amended complaint. The court sustained the general and special demurrer and granted in part the motion to strike. Appellants refused to further plead. The action was dismissed and this appeal taken.

Appellants contend the trial court erred in entering its order of dismissal and order striking certain allegations from the amended complaint relative to custom, the value of the milk routes, rental value, unjust enrichment and the forfeiture action.

Stripped down to its fundamental legal proposition, appellants, in their amended complaint, invoke equity for restitution of property now in possession of respondent in order to prevent him from becoming unjustly enriched at appellants' expense.

Under Idaho law there is but one form of civil action and a complaint is not subject to general demurrer if it states any cause of action entitling plaintiffs to relief at law or in equity. Idaho Constitution, Article V, Section 1.

'Under our code, the technicalities of pleadings have been dispensed with and plaintiff need only state his cause of action in ordinary and concise language, without regard to the ancient forms of pleadings, and plaintiff can be sent out of court only when upon his facts he is entitled to no relief either at law or in equity. Stone v. Bradshaw, 64 Idaho 152, 158, 128 P.2d 844, and cases cited.' Paulsen v. Krumsick, 68 Idaho 341, 346, 195 P.2d 363, 366.

'All intendments and inferences that may reasonably be drawn therefrom and the facts alleged will be construed in favor of the sufficiency of a pleading challenged by general demurrer. Paulsen v. Krumsick, 68 Idaho 341, 195 P.2d 363.' Cooper v. Wesco Builders, Inc., 73 Idaho 383, at page 385, 253 P.2d 226, at page 227.

For the purpose of determining the effect of a pleading, its allegations must be

Page 1045

[76 Idaho 333] liberally construed with a view to substantial justice between the parties. Paulsen v. Krumsick, supra.

'The essence of a quasi contractual obligation lies in the fact that the defendant has received a benefit which it would be inequitable for him to retain. This was clearly pointed out by Lord Mansfield in the first case recognizing the doctrine of quasi contracts. 'If the defendant,' he said, 'be under an obligation, from the ties of natural justice, to refund, the law implies a debt, and gives this...

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31 cases
  • Triangle Min. Co., Inc. v. Stauffer Chemical Co., 84-3516
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 8 février 1985
    ...Construction Co. v. Ada County Board of County Commissioners, 96 Idaho 881, 538 P.2d 1185 (1975) (implied contract); Hixon v. Allphin, 76 Idaho 327, 281 P.2d 1042 (1955) (quasi-contract), we believe that Idaho courts would not allow such recovery where an enforceable express contract covers......
  • Wolford v. Tankersley, 13764
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 22 mai 1984
    ...is incorrect because this Court has held that even though an agreement exists, unjust enrichment may be imposed. Hixon v. Allphin, 76 Idaho 327, 281 P.2d 1042 (1955). The existence of an express agreement does not in and of itself signify that an action for unjust enrichment cannot be broug......
  • Beco Const. Co., Inc. v. Bannock Paving Co., Inc., 18087
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 30 août 1990
    ...to the intent or the agreement of the parties and, in some cases, in spite of an agreement between the parties. Hixon v. Allphin, 76 Idaho 327, 281 P.2d 1042 (1955); McShane v. Quillin, 47 Idaho 542, 277 P. 554 (1929); 3 Corbin on Contracts, § 561, at p. 276 (1960). It is a non-contractual ......
  • Acequia, Inc., In re, s. 93-35411
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 31 août 1994
    ...are such that equitably, respondent (defendant) should restore to appellants (plaintiffs) that which he has received." Hixon v. Allphin, 76 Idaho 327, 333, 281 P.2d 1042, 1045 (1955). See e.g., Cozzetto v. Wisman, 120 Idaho 721, Page 815 726, 819 P.2d 575, 580 (1991) ("All that need be show......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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