CITY OF IDAHO FALLS, an Idaho municipal corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,
H-K CONTRACTORS, INC., an Idaho corporation, Defendant-Respondent.
Opinion No. 38
from the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Bonneville County. Hon. Joel E. Tingey,
judgment of the district court is vacated and this
case is remanded for further proceedings consistent
with this Opinion. Costs on appeal are awarded to
Randall D. Fife, Idaho Falls, for Appellant. Michael A.
Kirkham and Randall D. Fife argued.
Driscoll & Associates, PLLC, Idaho Falls, for Respondent.
B.J. Driscoll argued.
City of Idaho Falls ("Idaho Falls") appeals from an
order dismissing its breach of contract and waste claims
against H-K Contractors, Inc. ("H-K"). The district
court found Idaho Falls' claims were time barred under
the statute of limitations regarding contract actions,
pursuant to Idaho Code section 5-216. Idaho Falls appeals
claiming the district court erred in applying the statute of
limitations to its claims. We vacate the judgment of the
FACTS AND PROCEDURE
September 23, 2005, H-K entered into a written contract
requiring it to convey a parcel of property to Idaho Falls.
The contract required that H-K initially grant Idaho Falls a
storm drainage easement "over and across" the
parcel. H-K was also required to convey fee title to the
parcel at a future date, in no event later than March 1,
2010. H-K failed to convey the property to Idaho Falls as
March 9, 2016, Idaho Falls sent a letter to H-K requesting
conveyance of title. On June 16, 2016, H-K responded by
refusing to convey title to the property, claiming that in
2009 a city official had orally informed H-K that Idaho Falls
was no longer interested in the property. Based on that
alleged representation, H-K decided to invest in the property
to make it profitable.
November 22, 2016, Idaho Falls filed a complaint against H-K
for breach of contract and waste. On December 19, 2016, H-K
moved to dismiss the complaint based on the limitation found
in Idaho Code section 5-216, alleging Idaho Falls' claims
were time barred because they were not brought within the
five-year statute of limitations governing contract actions.
Idaho Falls countered that the statute of limitations did not
apply to it as a subdivision of the State of Idaho. On
January 3, 2017, the district court dismissed Idaho
Falls' complaint as time barred. On February 16, 2016,
Idaho Falls timely filed a notice of appeal, claiming the
district court erred in enforcing the five-year limitation
set forth in section 5-216.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
case comes to the Court on review of an order granting
H-K's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), for
failure to state a claim.
When this Court reviews an order dismissing an action
pursuant to I.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) we apply the same standard of
review we apply to a motion for summary judgment. After
viewing all facts and inferences from the record in favor of
the non-moving party, the Court will ask whether a claim for
relief has been stated. The issue is not whether the
plaintiff will ...