Wallace v. Perry, No. 7936

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtGIVENS; PORTER; KEETON
Citation74 Idaho 86,257 P.2d 231
Docket NumberNo. 7936
Decision Date11 May 1953
PartiesWALLACE v. PERRY et al.

Page 231

257 P.2d 231
74 Idaho 86
WALLACE

v.
PERRY et al.
No. 7936.
Supreme Court of Idaho.
May 11, 1953.

[74 Idaho 87]

Page 232

H. J. Swanson, Pocatello, for appellant.

L. F. Racine, Jr., and R. Don Bistline, Pocatello, for respondents.

[74 Idaho 88] GIVENS, Justice.

Appellant sued respondents for $1,865, paid by appellant to respondents on claimed false representations as to the efficacy of a well drilled by respondents for appellant.

Substituted service of summons was by publication and mail on respondents, then resident in Arizona; and to acquire jurisdiction, attachment was issued and levied on property belonging to respondents within Idaho on the theory the cause of action was on an implied contract for the payment of money.

Respondents did not appear within the statutory time and default was entered, and upon a default trial, judgment was rendered against them May 11, 1951 and execution sale held July 5, 1951. Respondents specially appearing, moved September 1, 1951 to set aside the judgment.

July 3, 1952 the court vacated the judgment on the ground the action was not upon a contract, express or implied, but one in fraud and the affidavit of attachment was insufficient to support the writ.

The affidavit for the attachment, instead of stating the action was on an implied contract, stated it was upon a cause of action as set forth in the complaint on file herein, which by reference thereto was incorporated and made a part of the affidavit. By reference and incorporation, the allegations of the complaint were as much a part of the affidavit as though set forth therein in extenso. Collins v. Brown, 19 Idaho 360 at pages 363-364, 114 P. 671; In re Dargie's Estate, 33 Cal.App.2d 148, 91 P.2d 126 at page 131; Woodworth v. Skeen, 153 S.C. 362, 150 S.E. 764. Being incorporated by reference in the affidavit, if the complaint states a cause of action on implied contract, it speaks for itself. If it does not state a cause of action on implied contract, labeling it an implied contract in the affidavit would not make it such and would be ineffective.

The crucial question, therefore, is whether the complaint sufficiently waives the tort and states a cause of action on an implied contract. Foore v. Simon Piano Co., 18 Idaho 167, 108 P. 1038.

Respondents urge that because the fraud statute of limitations applies to a suit on an implied contract where the basis thereof is fraud, by a parity of reasoning, fraud so permeates and dominates the implied contract action that attachment will not lie, citing[74 Idaho 89] Thomas v. Gordon, 68 Idaho 254, 192 P.2d 856.

That case relied on Common School Dist. No. 18 in County of Twin Falls v. Twin Falls B. & T. Co., 52 Idaho 200, 12 P.2d 774, where Judge Leeper exhaustively reviewed the diverse authorities. Thus, the Court advisedly adopted the rule that the fraud statute of limitations applies to a suit on implied contract where fraud is the basis or the reason why there should be restitution. Among other California cases cited therein, MacDonald v. Reich & Lievre, 100 Cal.App. 736, 281 P. 106, has been referred to frequently and it has been followed both in California and elsewhere on this proposition without deviation, except in certain cases not pertinent herein. Mary Pickford Co. v. Bayly Bros., 12 Cal.2d 501, 86 P.2d 102, at page 112, and see Adams v. Harrison, 34 Cal.App.2d 288, 93 P.2d 237, at page 241. As will hereafter appear, California has conclusively held that in a suit on implied contract based on fraud, where the tort is waived, attachment will lie; consequently,

Page 233

that such an action may be barred by the fraud statute does not so affect the choice of remedy as to prevent the application of other principles pertinent to a contract action.

Respondents contend the complaint herein states solely a cause of action for fraud and does not waive the tort and is not cast in the form necessary to set forth a common money count or an action on an implied contract and that it shows comething of value was received by appellant, in that water was available at a depth of 225 feet and respondents had drilled the well to a depth of 503 feet and that certain casing pulled from the well was usable.

Moser v. Pugh-Jenkins Furniture Co., 31 Idaho 438, 173 P. 639, L.R.A.1918F, 437; held that, in an action for money had and received, the ground for recovery being fraud, the particular facts constituting the fraud must be alleged definitely and positively; such allegations, however, not defeating the cause of action for money had and received or the concomitant cause of action on implied contract. It was, therefore, incumbent upon appellant to allege the fraud as the reason why, in equity and good conscience, the amount of money paid by him to respondents for the assertedly useless well should be returned and the same did not vitiate the complaint as stating a cause of action on the contract. Yosemite Growers Co-op Ass'n v. Case-Swayne Co., 73 Cal.App.2d 806, 167 P.2d 541, at 543; Los Angeles Drug Co. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 8 Cal.2d 71, 63 P.2d 1124.

'On the other hand, where the facts show a misappropriation of funds one may waive the tort and sue upon an implied contract for money had and received. * * * Such an action is based upon the tort of embezzlement, yet the action is one ex contractu, in which the plaintiff may have a writ of attachment.' Hill v. Superior [74 Idaho 90] Court, 16 Cal. 2d 527, 106 P.2d 876, 877, at page 879, citing McCall v. Superior Court, 1 Cal.2d 527, 36 P.2d 642, 95 A.L.R. 1019.

"The action in assumpsit in such cases is not upon the failure of consideration or upon the fraud practiced, but upon the promise or obligation set up by the law to afford to the injured party additional relief. Failure of consideration, duress, fraud, or mistake, are elements only in the sense that they furnish a foundation upon which to rest the rescission from which flows the promise or obligation.' * * * 'The action is not on the fraud, or failure of consideration, or duress, but upon quasi contract imposed by law." Miller v. McLaglen, 82 Cal.App.2d 219, 186 P.2d 48, at page 52-53, again citing McCall v. Superior Court, supra; Filipan v. Television Mart, 105 Cal.App.2d 404, 233 P.2d 926.

Respondents cite McCall v. Superior Court, 1 Cal.2d 527, 36 P.2d 642, supra, in support of the proposition that if anything of value has been received in connection with the transaction, attachment will not issue, even though the suit is on implied contract. The thesis of that case is a continuation of Philpott v. Superior Ct., 1 Cal.2d 512, 36 P.2d 635, 641, 95 A.L.R. 991, which was cited and followed with approval in Addy v. Stewart, 69 Idaho 357, at page 362, 207 P.2d 498, to the effect that where money is obtained by fraud, the law will imply a promise to repay it. Both the Philpott and McCall cases, supra, involved the form and substance of actions and the latter, whether attachment may issue in a suit brought on an implied contract based upon fraudulent representations.

While these and other cases discuss rescission and executory contracts, they ultimately indicate that neither is of importance as bearing on the right of attachment.

'Indeed, under the facts here present, no rescission would seem to be required other than the initiation of the action itself, as plaintiff has received nothing of value belonging to the defendants * * * and, moreover, the commonlaw action of debt might lie also in such case.' Philpott v. Superior Court, supra.

Page 234

'It would be perplexing to have the right of attachment in all other quasi contract cases and to deny it in cases of fraud. As already observed, the law implies the promise and affords and added remedy if the injured party elects to follow it. The action is not on the fraud, or failure of consideration, or duress, but upon quasi contract imposed by law. It was through failure to concede this additional relief that error crept into the decision in the Stone Case [214 Cal. 272, 4 P.2d 777, 77 A.L.R. 743].' McCall v. Superior Court, supra [1 Cal.2d 527, 36 P.2d 647].

[74 Idaho 91] The following pronouncement in the Philpott case, supra, is compellingly pertinent in characterizing the complaint herein:

'Plaintiff apparently is content to merely seek a return from defendants of money given them, with interest, forgetting and foregoing all other elements of injury. Is it not plain, therefore, that he has waived the tort of defendants and has come into court relying solely upon the promise created by law to return to him the consideration paid upon the contract?'

So herein. The complaint alleges the expenditure by appellant of $1,672.68 to secure a well furnishing the water supply, which it is alleged respondents did not furnish by the well they drilled; but appellant seeks only the return of $1,865 which, it is alleged, was paid respondents for their--to appellant--useless work. Though the tort is the cause or the reason why there is an implied contract, i. e., an action for money received, on the theory it would be inequitable for respondents to retain the money because of fraudulent representations, the action is, nevertheless, ex contractu. The McCall case, supra, further expressly stated:

'In fact, there is little, if any, difference between the promise implied by law in the case before us, where the transaction was induced by fraud, and a case of total failure of...

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9 practice notes
  • Cheirett v. Biggs (In re Biggs), Bankruptcy Case No. 16–40558–JDP
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Ninth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Idaho
    • February 7, 2017
    ...the tort of embezzlement, yet the action is one ex contractu , in which the plaintiff may have a writ of attachment." Wallace v. Perry , 74 Idaho 86, 257 P.2d 231, 233 (1953) (internal citations omitted). On the other, the Idaho Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision, 563 B.R. 326rece......
  • Barbouti v. Lysandrou, Nos. 89-2740
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • March 13, 1990
    ...exclusion of tort actions from the operation of garnishment and attachment statutes does not apply to cases like this. Wallace v. Perry, 74 Idaho 86, 257 P.2d 231 (1953) (attachment lies for misappropriation of funds sued upon in implied contract for money had and received); Cleveland v. Sa......
  • Marshall-Shaw v. Ford, No. 4D99-1501.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 15, 2000
    ...exclusion of tort actions from the operation of garnishment and attachment statutes does not apply to cases like this. Wallace v. Perry, 74 Idaho 86, 257 P.2d 231 (1953) (attachment lies for misappropriation of funds sued upon in implied contract for money had and received); Cleveland v. Sa......
  • Cheirett v. Biggs (In re Biggs), Bankruptcy Case No. 16-40558-JDP
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Ninth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Idaho
    • February 7, 2017
    ...the tort of embezzlement, yet the action is one ex contractu, in which the plaintiff may have a writ of attachment." Wallace v. Perry, 257 P.2d 231, 233 (Idaho 1953) (internal citations omitted). On the other, the Idaho Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision, recently stated thatPage ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Cheirett v. Biggs (In re Biggs), Bankruptcy Case No. 16–40558–JDP
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Ninth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Idaho
    • February 7, 2017
    ...the tort of embezzlement, yet the action is one ex contractu , in which the plaintiff may have a writ of attachment." Wallace v. Perry , 74 Idaho 86, 257 P.2d 231, 233 (1953) (internal citations omitted). On the other, the Idaho Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision, 563 B.R. 326rece......
  • Barbouti v. Lysandrou, Nos. 89-2740
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • March 13, 1990
    ...exclusion of tort actions from the operation of garnishment and attachment statutes does not apply to cases like this. Wallace v. Perry, 74 Idaho 86, 257 P.2d 231 (1953) (attachment lies for misappropriation of funds sued upon in implied contract for money had and received); Cleveland v. Sa......
  • Marshall-Shaw v. Ford, No. 4D99-1501.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 15, 2000
    ...exclusion of tort actions from the operation of garnishment and attachment statutes does not apply to cases like this. Wallace v. Perry, 74 Idaho 86, 257 P.2d 231 (1953) (attachment lies for misappropriation of funds sued upon in implied contract for money had and received); Cleveland v. Sa......
  • Cheirett v. Biggs (In re Biggs), Bankruptcy Case No. 16-40558-JDP
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Ninth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Idaho
    • February 7, 2017
    ...the tort of embezzlement, yet the action is one ex contractu, in which the plaintiff may have a writ of attachment." Wallace v. Perry, 257 P.2d 231, 233 (Idaho 1953) (internal citations omitted). On the other, the Idaho Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision, recently stated thatPage ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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