Arizona Supreme Court Decisions 2017

Phillips v. Honorable William O’Neil  
Date: December 20, 2017
Docket Number: CV-17-0122-SA

Justia Opinion Summary: Ariz. R. Evid. 408 precludes use of a consent judgment to prove substantive facts to establish liability for a subsequent claim. Likewise, a consent judgment cannot be used for impeachment purposes under Ariz. R. Evid. 6...

Vincent v. Shanovich  
Date: December 6, 2017
Docket Number: CV-17-0175-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: An order granting or denying a motion filed pursuant to Rule 85(A) of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure is a special order made after final judgment under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-2101(A)(2), which confers jurisdictio...

Biggs v. Betlach  
Date: November 17, 2017
Docket Number: CV-17-0130-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to the provision in Ariz. Rev. Stat. 36-2901.08(A) that the director of Arizona’s indigent health care program, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS),...

State v. Rushing  
Date: November 6, 2017
Docket Number: CR-15-0268-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for first degree murder but vacated his death sentence and remanded for a new penalty phase proceeding in order to comply with the United States Supreme Court’s decision...

Samiuddin v. Honorable Richard Nothwehr  
Date: November 2, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0422-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this criminal case, Petitioner, who was charged with sex offenses and released with several pretrial release conditions, argued that the conditions were improper. The Supreme Court held (1) the Arizona Constitution, s...

EMMA SPRING v TIMOTHY R. BRADFORD
Date: October 23, 2017
Docket Number: CV-17-0068-PR
Spring v. Bradford  
Date: October 23, 2017
Docket Number: CV-17-0068-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this medical malpractice action was Ariz. R. Evid. 615 and the proper remedy for technical Rule 615 violations. Rule 615 generally provides that a trial court, at a party’s request, must order witnesses exclu...

RASOR/MILLER v NORTHWEST HOSPITAL LLC
Date: October 18, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0134-PR
Rasor v. Northwest Hospital, LLC  
Date: October 18, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0134-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In a medical malpractice action, a defendant may move for summary judgment based on a proposed expert’s lack of required qualifications under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-2604 without first challenging the sufficiency of the expe...

State v. Burbey  
Date: October 13, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0390-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Only the second requirement of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-3822(A) that registered sex offenders must “register as a transient not less than every ninety days” if the person “does not have an address or a permanent place of resi...

Wright v. Honorable Pamela Gates  
Date: October 4, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0435-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Enhanced sentences may not be imposed under the dangerous crimes against children (DCAC) statute when a defendant commits a crime against a fictitious child. Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of solicitation to co...

FRANK R. v MOTHER GOOSE ADOPTIONS
Date: October 2, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0051-PR
Frank R. v. Mother Goose Adoptions  
Date: October 2, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0051-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Failure to register with the Arizona putative fathers registry is a statutory ground for severing a father’s parental rights, and putative fathers must comply with Ariz. Rev. Stat. 8-106.01 to avoid severance pursuant to...

Fitzgerald v. Honorable Sam Myers  
Date: September 26, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0285-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Neither Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-4041(B) nor Ariz. R. Crim. P. 32.5 requires a trial court to determine whether an Ariz. R. Crim. P. 32 petitioner is competent before proceeding and ruling on a state post-conviction relief (P...

MARIANNE N. v DCS/O.N./I.T./A.G.
Date: September 25, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0259-PR
Marianne N. v. Department of Child Safety  
Date: September 25, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0259-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Applying Ariz. R. Juv. Ct. P. 64(C) in pretrial proceedings does not conflict with Ariz. Rev. Stat. 8-863(C) in violation of the separation of powers required by Ariz. Const. art. III. After the juvenile court terminat...

DIANE FLYNN et vir v SARAH CAMPBELL
Date: September 22, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0199-PR
Flynn v. Campbell  
Date: September 22, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0199-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Under Ariz. R. Civ. P. 15(c), an amended complaint naming a new defendant relates back to the original complaint if the newly added defendant knew or should have known the plaintiff mistakenly failed to name him or her a...

McLaughlin v. Honorable Lori B. Jones  
Date: September 19, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0266-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The statutory presumption set forth in Ariz. Rev. Stat. 25-814(A)(1) that a man is presumed to be a legal parent if his wife gives birth to a child during the marriage applies to couples in same-sex marriages. After Kim...

Cespedes v. Honorable Kenneth Lee  
Date: September 14, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0384-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this criminal case, the prosecutor’s instruction to the grand jury regarding the defense of justification was not erroneous and did not deprive Petitioner of a substantial procedural right. A grand jury indicted Pet...

STATE ex rel BRNOVICH v CITY OF TUCSON/DEWIT
Date: August 17, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0301-SA
State ex rel. Brnovich v. City of Tucson  
Date: August 17, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0301-SA

Justia Opinion Summary: The state may constitutionally prohibit a city’s practice, prescribed by local ordinance, of destroying firearms that the city obtains through forfeiture or as unclaimed property. In 2005, the City of Tucson passed an...

State v. Haskie  
Date: August 15, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0327-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this criminal case arising from an incident of domestic violence, the trial court did not err in admitting the testimony of an expert witness that described general behavioral tendencies of adult victims of domestic a...

Pawn 1st, LLC v. City of Phoenix  
Date: August 10, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0107-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: To obtain an area variance, an applicant must show that strictly applying a zoning ordinance will cause “peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties” that deprive a property of privileges enjoyed by other similarly...

Sirrah Enterprises, LLC v. Wunderlich  
Date: August 9, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0156-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Because the warranty of workmanship and habitability is imputed into every residential construction contract, it is a term of the contract, and therefore, the successful party on a claim for breach of the warranty qualif...

Stambaugh v. Killian  
Date: August 3, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0217-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The plain language of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 3-1261(B), which provides that no two brands of the same design or figure shall be adopted or recorded, precluded the Arizona Department of Agriculture (Department) from recording “...

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ET AL v HON. KILEY/STATE ET AL
Date: August 2, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0314-SA
Arizona Chamber of Commerce v. Honorable Daniel J. Kiley  
Date: August 2, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0314-SA

Justia Opinion Summary: Proposition 206, “The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act,” which increased the minimum wage and established earn paid sick leave, does not violate the Arizona Constitution’s Revenue Source Rule, Separate Amendment Rule,...

Hamblen v. Honorable Ralph Hatch  
Date: July 21, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0260-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this employment dispute, Employee filed an action in superior court alleging an unjust enrichment claim against Employee. Employee moved to compel arbitration under the parties’ employment contract’s arbitration provi...

Soto v. Sacco  
Date: July 13, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0136-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Although a trial court should be circumspect when modifying a jury verdict, the court nonetheless may do so if it states the Ariz. R. Civ. P. 59(a) or (i) grounds for the order and explains its ruling with sufficient par...

State v. Honorable Hugh Hegyi  
Date: July 7, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0264-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to Ariz. R. Crim. P. 11.4(b), a defendant who asserts an insanity defense and voluntarily undergoes a mental health exam must disclose a complete copy of the mental health expert’s examination report, including...

Delgado v. Manor Care of Tuscon AZ, LLC  
Date: June 20, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0178-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: An actionable claim for abuse of a vulnerable adult under the Adult Protective Services Act (APSA), Ariz. Rev. Stat. 46-451 through -459, requires proof that (1) a vulnerable adult (2) has suffered an injury (3) caused b...

Gila River Indian Community v. Department of Child Safety  
Date: June 13, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0220-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: 25 U.S.C. 1911(b) of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) addresses transfer only of foster care replacement and termination-of-parental-rights actions and does not apply to state preadoptive and adoptive placements. The...

Sanders v. Alger  
Date: June 1, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0181-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: A patient owes a duty a reasonable care to a caregiver with respect to conduct creating a risk of physical harm to the caregiver. Further, the firefighter’s rule does not bar caregivers’ recovery when responding to an em...

Horne v. Polk  
Date: May 25, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0052-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving substantial consequences for alleged violations of campaign finance laws, the same individual issued the initial decision finding violations and ordering remedies, participated personally in the pr...

State v. Primous  
Date: May 23, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0205-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The police conducted a pat-down search of Defendant based on the dangerousness of the area in which he was found and the flight of one of Defendant’s companions. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress, con...

State v. Pandeli  
Date: May 15, 2017
Docket Number: CR-15-0270-PC

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the postconviction court’s grant of relief to Appellant. The postconviction court set aside Defendant’s death sentence for the murder of Holly Iler, finding ineffective assistance of counsel an...

State v. Gulley  
Date: May 12, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0456-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-707(B) does not require a repeat class one misdemeanor conviction to be both classified and sentenced as a class six felony. Defendant was convicted of the same class 1 misdemeanor of disorderly con...

American Power Products, Inc. v. CSK Auto, Inc.  
Date: May 11, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0133-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Arizona Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s award of attorney fees to Plaintiff and its ruling that Plaintiff was the “prevailing party” in the proceedings below. Before trial, Defendant made a settlement offer...

City of Phoenix v. Glenayre Electronics, Inc.  
Date: May 10, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0126-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that governmental entities’ contract-based actions, including claims for indemnification, that fall within Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-552(A) are subject to the eight-year statute of repose, notwithstandin...

Dobson Bay Club II DD, LLC v. La Sonrisa De Siena, LLC  
Date: April 25, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0029-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce loaned Dobson Bay Club II DD, LLC and related entities (Dobson Bay) $28.6 million for Dobson Bay’s purchase of commercial properties. The loan was secured by a deed of trust encumbering...

State v. Fischer  
Date: April 17, 2017
Docket Number: CR-15-0380-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of second degree murder. Defendant moved for a new trial under Ariz. R. Crim. P. 24.1(c)(1). The trial court granted the motion for a new trial, concluding that the guilty v...

State v. Fischer  
Date: April 17, 2017
Docket Number: CR-15-0380-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of second degree murder. Following the guilty verdict, Defendant moved for a new trial under Ariz. R. Crim. P. 24.1(c)(1). The trial court granted the motion for a new trial...

State v. Gill  
Date: April 13, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0286-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with possession or use of marijuana. At a settlement conference, Defendant agreed to participate in a drug treatment program through the Treatment Assessment Screening Center (TASC) in return for th...

Wade v. Arizona State Retirement System  
Date: March 23, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0087-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) operates a defined-benefit plan for state employees and participating political subdivisions. The City of Chandler operated a deferred-compensation plan in which it contributed...

American Power Products Inc. v. CSK Auto, Inc.  
Date: March 23, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0133-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-341.01(A) provides that if a party makes a written settlement offer that is rejected, and the final judgment is more favorable to the offering party, that party “is deemed to be the successful party f...

State v. Hidalgo  
Date: March 15, 2017
Docket Number: CR-15-0049-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder and one count of first degree burglary. The jury sentenced Defendant to death for each murder. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conv...

State v. Havatone  
Date: March 9, 2017
Docket Number: CR-15-0387-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the constitutionality of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 28-1321(C), which allows law enforcement officers to make or direct nonconsensual blood draws from unconscious DUI suspects. Defendant was driving an SU...

Simpson v. Hon. Phemonia Miller  
Date: February 9, 2017
Docket Number: CR-16-0227-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Arizona Constitution and related laws forbid bail for defendants accused of sexual conduct with a minor under the age of fifteen when the proof is evident or the presumption great that the defendant committed such a...

Equity Income Partners, LP v. Chicago Title Insurance Co.  
Date: February 7, 2017
Docket Number: CV-16-0162-CQ

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit certified certain questions to the Supreme Court regarding what impact, if any, a lender’s full-credit bid made at an Arizona trustee’s sale has on an insurer’s li...

State v. Nissley  
Date: February 1, 2017
Docket Number: CR-15-0393-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of reckless manslaughter. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress an involuntary blood sample taken for medical purposes...

State v. Escalante-Orozco  
Date: January 12, 2017
Docket Number: CR-13-0088-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first degree murder, sexual assault, and first degree burglary. Defendant was sentenced to death for the murder and to consecutive sentences of fifteen and twenty years’...

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