Bancroft-Clover v. Metro Denver Sewage

Full title: Bancroft-Clover Water and Sanitation District and Alameda Water and…

Court: Colorado Court of Appeals

No. 80CA1270

Date published: May 12, 1983

Fact:

Fact:

Bancroft and Alameda, initially receiving sewage treatment services directly from Denver, were designated as “associated” municipalities under the Sewage Treatment Agreement. In 1978, Metro assumed responsibility for transporting sewage from Bancroft and Alameda to Denver’s primary treatment plant and for secondary treatment. Bancroft and Alameda sought to make payments directly to Metro, claiming they had become “connecting municipalities.” Denver intervened in the lawsuit, disputing Bancroft and Alameda’s status as connecting municipalities.

Issue:

  • Whether the Sewage Treatment Agreement required formal amendment to change Bancroft and Alameda’s status from “associated” to “connecting.”
  • Whether indispensable parties were omitted from the lawsuit, including other municipalities affected by the decision.

Decision:

  • The trial court erred in refusing extrinsic evidence to interpret the ambiguous provisions of the Sewage Treatment Agreement. The contract’s intent at the time of drafting should be ascertained.
  • Failure to join indispensable parties, including other municipalities affected by the decision, was a jurisdictional defect that voided the judgment. All parties with a pecuniary interest affected by the declaration should have been included.

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