Arizona Supreme Court Decisions 2015

Busso-Estopellan v. Hon. Rosa Morz  
Date: December 31, 2015
Docket Number: CV-15-0102-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this capital case, Defendant was indicted on two counts of first degree murder. Defendant indicated that he would accept a plea offer to natural life it were offered to him, but the State did not extend a plea offer....

Merrill v. Merrill  
Date: December 15, 2015
Docket Number: CV-15-0028-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: When Robert and Diane Merrill divorced in 1993 the family court awarded each party one-half of Robert’s military retirement pay (MRP) disability benefits as their separate property. In 2004, the Department of Veterans Af...

State v. Guarino  
Date: December 3, 2015
Docket Number: CR-13-0405-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder, assault, and kidnapping. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentences, holding (1) the trial court...

Howell v. Howell  
Date: December 2, 2015
Docket Number: CV-15-0030-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to a divorce decree entered in 1991, Sandra Powell began receiving fifty percent of John Howell’s military retirement pay (MRP) when John retired from the Air Force. John later qualified for monthly, tax-exempt...

DBT Yuma LLC v. Yuma County Airport Auth.  
Date: November 24, 2015
Docket Number: CV-15-0019-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: DBT Yuma subleased property at the Yuma International Airport from the Yuma County Airport Authority - a nonprofit corporation that operated the airport under a lease from Yuma County - and operated a fixed base operatio...

Dobson v. Hon. Crane McClennen  
Date: November 20, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0313-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners were each charged with two counts of driving under the influence (DUI). Count two alleged a violation of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 28-1381(A)(3), which prohibits driving a vehicle while there is cannabis (marijuana) o...

Ariz. Dep’t of Water Res. v. Hon. Crane McClennen  
Date: November 12, 2015
Docket Number: CV-15-0223-SA

Justia Opinion Summary: Freeport Minerals Corporation (Freeport) filed applications with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) to sever certain water rights appurtenant to land in Mohave County and transfer them to a wellfield to be...

State v. Lynch  
Date: September 10, 2015
Docket Number: CR-12-0359-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, and burglary. The jury returned a death verdict for the murder. The Supreme Court remanded for a new penalty-phase proceeding...

Lewis v. Debord  
Date: August 25, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0293-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Lewises obtained a default money judgment against the MacKeans and recorded their judgment, attempting to create a lien on the MacKeans’ real property. Neither the initial recording nor the renewal affidavit subseque...

Date: August 12, 2015
Docket Number: CR-12-0535-AP
State v. Leteve  
Date: August 12, 2015
Docket Number: CR-12-0535-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder for murdering his two young sons. The jury sentenced Defendant to death for each murder. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convicti...

State v. Roseberry  
Date: July 27, 2015
Docket Number: CR-14-0277-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences. Defendant later filed a petition for post-conviction relief (PCR), a...

Carranza v. Madrigal  
Date: July 22, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0192-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Martha and Mario Madrigal sued the City of Mesa. After the case was settled by the Madrigals’ second attorney, Raymond Slomski, the Madrigals’ first attorney, Edward Fitzhugh, assigned his rights under the parties’ conti...

Stenz v. Indus. Comm’n of Ariz.  
Date: July 20, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0298-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Charles Stenz suffered a workplace injury. His employer’s insurance carrier, Pinnacle Risk Management, accepted Stenz’s claim and paid the benefits. Stenz subsequently died, and his widow, Elizabeth Stenz, filed a claim...

State v. Rojo-Valenzuela  
Date: July 9, 2015
Docket Number: CR-14-0364

Justia Opinion Summary: The defendant in this criminal case moved to suppress the pretrial identification of a police officer that responded to an emergency call. The trial judge denied the motion to suppress without making any findings regardi...

Roberto F. v. Dep’t of Child Safety  
Date: July 9, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0256

Justia Opinion Summary: The juvenile court terminated the parental rights of Father to his two children. Father appealed. While the appeal was pending, the juvenile court ordered the children’s adoption. Thereafter, the court of appeals reverse...

Wilks v. Manobianco  
Date: July 9, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0260

Justia Opinion Summary: Under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 20-259.01, insurers must offer uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage to their insureds and may prove compliance by having their insureds sign a Department of Insurance (D...

Fleming v. Dep’t of Pub. Safety  
Date: July 9, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0315

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-820.02(A)(7), under which public entities and employees enjoy qualified immunity from liability for an injury to a motor vehicle driver that is attributable to the driver’s v...

Robertson v. Alling  
Date: June 24, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0246

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners sued Respondents. Respondents, represented by counsel, made a settlement offer. The offer subsequently expired. Respondents’ counsel later extended a new settlement offer with terms that mirrored the prior of...

Arizona v. Lua  
Date: June 19, 2015
Docket Number: CR-14-0283

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Supreme Court clarified the issue as to what form a provocation-manslaughter instruction should take in a second-degree murder trial. Defendant was charged with two counts of attempted second-degree mur...

State v. Carlson  
Date: June 18, 2015
Docket Number: CR-12-0464

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of two counts of felony murder and two counts of kidnapping. Defendant was sentenced to death for each murder. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) under the corpus delic...

State v. Evans  
Date: June 4, 2015
Docket Number: CR-14-0285

Justia Opinion Summary: Law enforcement officers initiated a traffic stop that ultimately led to Defendant’s arrest for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and aggravated driving under the influence. Defendant moved to suppress the e...

State v. Wilson  
Date: June 3, 2015
Docket Number: CR-14-0308

Justia Opinion Summary: After it was discovered that Defendant kept up mercury in his house, a firefighter and police officer entered Defendant’s home without a warrant in order to investigate. Once inside, the officer smelled marijuana and eve...

Glazer v. State  
Date: May 8, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0123

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, the driver of a vehicle heading eastbound on Interstate 10 lost control of her vehicle, which crossed through a dirt median into the westbound lanes, and crashed into Plaintiff’s vehicle, killing Plaintiff’s hus...

Guerra v. State  
Date: May 8, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0144

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff and her friend were involved in an automobile accident which killed Plaintiff’s friend and hospitalized Plaintiff. Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers erroneously identified the surviving patient...

State v. Hon. Bernstein  
Date: April 23, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0057

Justia Opinion Summary: The real parties in interest here were eleven defendants charged with aggravated driving under the influence. The Scottsdale Crime Laboratory (SCL) tested each defendant’s blood for blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The...

State ex rel. Polk v. Hon. Cele Hancock  
Date: April 7, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0084

Justia Opinion Summary: At the time of Petitioner’s arrest, she had a registry identification card allowing her to use medical marijuana in compliance with the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). Petitioner pleaded guilty to three charges, in...

Reed-Kaliher v. Hon. Wallace R. Hoggatt  
Date: April 7, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0226

Justia Opinion Summary: While Petitioner was serving a prison term, the people passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). Petitioner obtained a registry identification card identifying him as a registered qualifying patient under the AMMA...

Newman v. Cornerstone Nat’l Ins. Co.  
Date: March 18, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0121

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance was insufficient to cover Plaintiff’s damages, and therefore, Plaintiff sought underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage from her insurer (Ins...

State v. Burns  
Date: March 10, 2015
Docket Number: CR-11-0060

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, and misconduct involving weapons. The trial court imposed the death sentence for the murder conviction. Defendant appeale...

Bell v. Indus. Comm’n of Ariz.  
Date: January 30, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0095

Justia Opinion Summary: Linda Bell was injured at her job and underwent surgery for her injury seventeen months later. Bell requested temporary partial disability (TPD) compensation to reimburse her for the sick leave and vacation time she had...

BMO Harris Bank, N.A. v. Wildwood Creek Ranch, LLC  
Date: January 23, 2015
Docket Number: CV-14-0101

Justia Opinion Summary: The Rudgears, the owners of Wildwood Creek Ranch, LLC, borrowed money, through Wildwood, from the predecessor to BMO Harris Bank to finance construction of a home on a vacant lot. The loan was secured by a deed of trust....

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