Trantor v. Fredrikson

In Trantor v. Fredrikson, 179 Ariz. 299, 300-01, 878 P.2d 657, 658-59 (1994), the Arizona Supreme Court addressed whether a party's failure to object in the trial court to the absence of the findings required by Richey prevented a party from raising the issue on appeal. 179 Ariz. at 299, 878 P.2d at 657. The supreme court determined that the findings of fact and conclusions of law made obligatory under Richey were not so fundamentally required as to preclude waiver, and ultimately "concluded that the failure of a party to object to the lack of findings of fact and conclusions of law in making awards of attorneys' fees under 12-341.01(C) or 12-349 precludes that party from raising the absence of findings as error on appeal." Id. at 301, 878 P.2d at 659. The court reasoned that the trial court and opposing counsel should be afforded the opportunity to correct asserted defects before they are raised on appeal and rejected the rationale of promoting appellate review as a basis for declining to find a waiver. Id. at 300-01, 878 P.2d at 658-59. In rejecting that rationale, our supreme court noted that, "although findings of fact and conclusions of law are certainly helpful on appellate review, they do not go to the foundation of the case or deprive a party of a fair hearing." Id. The Arizona Supreme Court held that a party must have afforded the trial court and opposing counsel the opportunity to correct any asserted defects in order to contest on appeal the absence of a trial court's necessary findings of fact and conclusions of law. The court concluded that, "absent extraordinary circumstances, errors not raised in the trial court cannot be raised on appeal." Id. at 300, 878 P.2d at 658. See also In re Marriage of Pownall, 197 Ariz. 577, P27, 5 P.3d 911, P27 (App. 2000) (failure to object to lack of findings precludes resolution of issue on appeal); Callanan v. Sun Lakes Homeowners' Ass'n No. 1, Inc., 134 Ariz. 332, 337, 656 P.2d 621, 626 (App. 1982) (by failing to object to trial court, plaintiff "waived his right to urge the failure to make certain requisite findings as a basis for reversal").