Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust, No. 24811.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtKIDWELL, Justice.
Citation985 P.2d 1145,133 Idaho 283
PartiesSCONA, INC., an Idaho corporation, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. GREEN WILLOW TRUST as nominee of J.D. Ritchie, and Jabez Dean Ritchie and Reva Elaine Ritchie, husband and wife, Defendants-Appellants.
Docket NumberNo. 24811.
Decision Date31 August 1999

985 P.2d 1145
133 Idaho 283

SCONA, INC., an Idaho corporation, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
GREEN WILLOW TRUST as nominee of J.D. Ritchie, and Jabez Dean Ritchie and Reva Elaine Ritchie, husband and wife, Defendants-Appellants

No. 24811.

Supreme Court of Idaho, Idaho Falls, May 1999 Term.

August 31, 1999.


985 P.2d 1146
J.D. and R. Elaine Ritchie, Iona, pro se appellants

Alva A. Harris, Shelley, for respondent.

KIDWELL, Justice.

This appeal is from the district court's grant of summary judgment in an action for ejectment and quiet title. The respondent bought a parcel of real property, previously owned by the appellants, at an Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) tax sale. When the appellant debtors refused to vacate the premises, respondent brought suit in the district court.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In 1992, appellants Jabez Dean and Reva Elaine Ritchie (the Ritchies) transferred by deed their real property to the Green Willow Trust. While the trust documentation itself was never placed in evidence, the Ritchies have asserted in their pleadings that the trust was set up for the benefit of the Ritchies and their children. On April 14, 1997, the property was sold at an I.R.S. tax sale to satisfy unpaid taxes. The I.R.S. listed the taxpayer as "Green Willow Trust as nominee of J.D. Ritchie." The property was sold to Scona Incorporated (Scona) for $56,000. On April 24, 1997, Scona received a certificate of sale by the I.R.S.

On May 14, 1997, Scona filed a verified complaint for ejectment to obtain possession of the property, a request for a writ of assistance and for damages. The Ritchies, acting pro se, responded by filing a motion to disqualify the district judge. The judge was disqualified and the matter was assigned to the Honorable Ted V. Wood.

The Ritchies filed an answer on June 9, 1997, in which they asserted several affirmative defenses. Chief among these defenses was that Scona had forfeited its corporate standing for failing to file an annual report with the State of Idaho. The Ritchies also

985 P.2d 1147
claimed that Alva A. Harris, the corporate counsel for Scona, had committed fraud by filing a verified complaint on behalf of an unlicensed corporation which, due to its unlicensed status, lacked standing to bring the suit

The Ritchies then filed various motions objecting to Scona's request for discovery and subpoena duces tecum. On June 24, 1997, Alva A. Harris filed an affidavit of compliance to inform the district court that he had filed the necessary documents with the Secretary of State and that as of June 23, 1997, Scona's corporate license had been reinstated. On June 24, 1997, the Ritchies failed to appear for the hearing set for their motions. Consequently, their motions were denied.

A second hearing was set for July 31, 1997 to hear the Ritchies' motion to dismiss and Scona's motion for summary judgment. On July 22, 1997, the Ritchies filed an amended answer. However, because the answer was not timely filed, it was not considered at the hearing.

On September 12, 1997, the court issued a memorandum decision. The court held that although Scona had forfeited its corporate status on December 2, 1996, it had remedied the situation on June 23, 1997, and had the authority to buy property and maintain the action against the Ritchies. While the district court found the issue was one of first impression in Idaho, it concluded that Scona should be allowed to maintain the suit. The district court also ruled that the Ritchies had waived their objection to Scona's lack of capacity when they failed to appear for their motions.

Additionally, the district court ruled that Scona's motion for summary judgment was premature because Scona was only in possession of the certificate of sale and not a deed to the property. The deed could not be issued by the I.R.S. until the time of redemption (180 days from date of sale) had expired.

On November 5, 1997, Scona filed a motion for leave to amend its complaint, informing the district court that it had received the deed to the property from the I.R.S. On November 12, 1997, the Ritchies filed a motion in opposition to the amended complaint, a motion for sanctions against Scona and a motion to dismiss. These motions again asserted Scona's lack of capacity to purchase the property or maintain the suit, in addition to claiming $1,500 in costs and expenses.

The court granted Scona's leave to amend on November 19, 1997, and Scona filed its amended complaint on December 4, 1997. On January 2, 1998, Scona filed a notice of its intent to take judgment by default because the Ritchies had failed to file an answer to its amended complaint. The court granted the Ritchies ten days to file an amended answer because the Ritchies had filed the answer prematurely on November 12, 1997, in anticipation of Scona's amended complaint. On January 8, 1998, the Ritchies filed their answer to Scona's amended complaint.

On January 13, 1998, the Ritchies filed a motion for default judgment, claiming that Scona had failed to respond to their crossclaim. On February 5, 1998, the district court heard and denied the Ritchies' motion for default. The court entered a minute entry that the Ritchies' motion was fatally flawed and that the flaws must be remedied prior to the court's hearing of the motion.

On February 6, 1998, Scona filed an affidavit of service of process and a notice of service of discovery request, having learned that Lonnie Crockett and Phillip Anderson were the trustees for the Green Willow Trust. On February 24, 1998, Alva Harris filed an affidavit for entry of default. In the affidavit, Mr. Harris asserted that the trustees of the Green Willow Trust, after having been served, had failed to plead or defend the action.

On April 3, 1998, Scona again moved the district court for partial summary judgment. This time Scona sought summary judgment on the issue of ejectment and quiet title and on the issue of the writ of assistance. The writ of assistance requested the court's help in placing Scona in possession of the property should Scona be found to be entitled to possession. On April 22, 1998, the Ritchies filed a motion in opposition to Scona's motion for summary judgment and a...

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12 practice notes
  • White v. ST. ALPHONSUS REGIONAL MED. CENTER, No. 26000.
    • United States
    • Idaho Court of Appeals
    • July 23, 2001
    ...we apply the same standard of review utilized by the district court when ruling on the motion. Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust, 133 Idaho 283, 286, 985 P.2d 1145, 1148 (1999); Drew v. Sorensen, 133 Idaho 534, 537, 989 P.2d 276, 279 (1999). Summary judgment may be entered only if "there is......
  • Eagle Creek Irrigation Co. v. A.C. & C.E. Invs., Inc., Docket No. 45675
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • August 27, 2019
    ...issues raised, but upon the party who is seeking the relief." Id. at 808, 241 P.3d at 981 (quoting Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust , 133 Idaho 283, 288, 985 P.2d 1145, 1150 (1999) ). The Bagleys had standing, and the district court had jurisdiction because "a party can have standing to br......
  • Eagle Creek Irrigation Co. v. A.C. & C.E. Invs., Inc., Docket No. 45675
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • August 27, 2019
    ...issues raised, but upon the party who is seeking the relief." Id. at 808, 241 P.3d at 981 (quoting Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust , 133 Idaho 283, 288, 985 P.2d 1145, 1150 (1999) ). The Bagleys had standing, and the district court had jurisdiction because "a party can have standing to br......
  • S. Griffin Const., Inc. v. City of Lewiston, No. 25554.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 22, 2000
    ...this Court employs the same standard as used by the district court originally ruling on the motion. Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust, 133 Idaho 283, 286, 985 P.2d 1145, 1148 (1999). Summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions, and admissions on file, together with the affidav......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • White v. ST. ALPHONSUS REGIONAL MED. CENTER, No. 26000.
    • United States
    • Idaho Court of Appeals
    • July 23, 2001
    ...we apply the same standard of review utilized by the district court when ruling on the motion. Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust, 133 Idaho 283, 286, 985 P.2d 1145, 1148 (1999); Drew v. Sorensen, 133 Idaho 534, 537, 989 P.2d 276, 279 (1999). Summary judgment may be entered only if "there is......
  • Eagle Creek Irrigation Co. v. A.C. & C.E. Invs., Inc., Docket No. 45675
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • August 27, 2019
    ...issues raised, but upon the party who is seeking the relief." Id. at 808, 241 P.3d at 981 (quoting Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust , 133 Idaho 283, 288, 985 P.2d 1145, 1150 (1999) ). The Bagleys had standing, and the district court had jurisdiction because "a party can have standing to br......
  • Eagle Creek Irrigation Co. v. A.C. & C.E. Invs., Inc., Docket No. 45675
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • August 27, 2019
    ...issues raised, but upon the party who is seeking the relief." Id. at 808, 241 P.3d at 981 (quoting Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust , 133 Idaho 283, 288, 985 P.2d 1145, 1150 (1999) ). The Bagleys had standing, and the district court had jurisdiction because "a party can have standing to br......
  • S. Griffin Const., Inc. v. City of Lewiston, No. 25554.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 22, 2000
    ...this Court employs the same standard as used by the district court originally ruling on the motion. Scona, Inc. v. Green Willow Trust, 133 Idaho 283, 286, 985 P.2d 1145, 1148 (1999). Summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions, and admissions on file, together with the affidav......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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