Secure Ventures v. Johnson


NOTICE: NOT FOR OFFICIAL PUBLICATION. UNDER ARIZONA RULE OF THE SUPREME COURT 111(c), THIS DECISION IS NOT PRECEDENTIAL AND MAY BE CITED ONLY AS AUTHORIZED BY RULE. IN THE ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS DIVISION ONE SECURE VENTURES LLC, Plaintiff/Appellee, v. CARL JOHNSON, et al., Defendants/Appellants. No. 1 CA-CV 20-0135 FILED 12-29-2020 Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. CV 2019-097802 The Honorable Gary L. Popham, Judge Pro Tempore AFFIRMED APPEARANCES Carl and June Johnson, Scottsdale Counsel for Defendants/Appellants Evans, Dove, Nelson, Fish & Grier PLC, Mesa By Douglas N. Nelson, Trevor J. Fish Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee SECURE VENTURES v. JOHNSON, et al. Decision of the Court MEMORANDUM DECISION Judge Maurice Portley1 delivered the decision of the Court, in which Acting Presiding Judge Lawrence F. Winthrop and Chief Judge Peter B. Swann joined. P O R T L E Y, Judge: ¶1 Carl and June Johnson (collectively, “the Johnsons”) appeal from the superior court’s judgment in favor of Secure Ventures, LLC (“Secure Ventures”) in this forcible detainer action. For the following reasons, we affirm. BACKGROUND ¶2 Secure Ventures purchased certain real property (“the property”) at a trustee’s sale. Ten days later, Secure Ventures served the Johnsons, the current occupants and previous owners, with a notice to vacate the premises, demanding that they surrender the property within five days. ¶3 After the Johnsons failed to comply, Secure Ventures filed a forcible detainer action in the justice court. Secure Ventures, LLC v. Gerlach, 249 Ariz. 97, 99, ¶ 2 (App. 2020). The justice court ultimately issued an eviction judgment in Secure Ventures’ favor, which was affirmed on appeal to the superior court. Id. After this court dismissed the Johnsons’ subsequent appeal for lack of jurisdiction, the supreme court remanded the matter to the superior court to consider whether the justice court had jurisdiction to hear the forcible detainer action. Id. On remand, the superior court found the justice court lacked jurisdiction and vacated its judgment. Id. at ¶ 3. ¶4 After that ruling, Secure Ventures filed a new forcible detainer action against the Johnsons in the superior court. Attached to the 1 The Honorable Maurice Portley, Retired Judge of the Court of Appeals, Division One, has been authorized to sit in this matter pursuant to Article 6, Section 3, of the Arizona Constitution. 2 SECURE VENTURES v. JOHNSON, et al. Decision of the Court complaint was the trustee’s deed upon sale, which identified Secure Ventures as the grantee. ¶5 A process server tried to serve the Johnsons with the summons and complaint on three separate occasions, to no avail. Without leave of the court, the process server posted the summons and complaint to the property’s front door. According to the process server’s affidavit, copies of the documents were also sent to the property by certified mail on the same day. ¶6 Although the summons directed the Johnsons to appear in the superior court at a specified date and time, they did not attend the hearing. Instead, an attorney entered a “special …

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