Arizona Supreme Court Decisions 2020

State of Netherlands v. MD Helicopters, Inc.  
Date: December 30, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0112-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that court-authorized procedures recognizing foreign country money judgments in a manner similar to Arizona's version of the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, Ariz. Rev. Stat...

KELLI WARD v CONSTANCE JACKSON et al
Date: December 8, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0343-AP/EL
Duff v. Honorable Kenneth Lee  
Date: November 25, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0128-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case concerning the interaction between Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-133, a compulsory arbitration statute, and the Fast Trial and Alternative Resolution (FASTAR) Pilot Program the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of t...

State ex rel. Brnovich v. Arizona Board of Regents  
Date: November 25, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0247-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this lawsuit brought by the Attorney General against the Arizona Board of Regents challenging certain tuition policies, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the trial court dismissin...

In the Matter of DANIEL R RAYNAK
Date: November 17, 2020
Docket Number: SB-19-0053-AP
Arizona Public Integrity Alliance v. Fontes  
Date: November 5, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0253-AP/EL

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court explained its order issued on September 10, 2020 granting Plaintiffs' special action seeking to enjoin the Maricopa County Recorder from including a new overvote instruction with mail-in ballots for the...

State v. Smith  
Date: November 4, 2020
Docket Number: CR-18-0295-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and sentences for first-degree murder and child abuse, holding that no prejudicial error occurred during the trial proceedings. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1)...

State v. Poyson  
Date: November 2, 2020
Docket Number: CR-98-0510-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's sentences of death, holding that the mitigation evidence was not sufficiently substantial to call for leniency. Defendant was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder. Duri...

State v. Hernandez  
Date: October 27, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0193-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals reversing Defendant's conviction on the basis that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to give a Willits instruction under the circumstances of...

Molera v. Hobbs  
Date: October 26, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0213-AP/EL

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the proponents of an initiative, the "Invest in Education Act," complied with Ariz. Rev. Stat. 19-102(A) and gathered enough signatures under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 19-118.01(A) to qualify for the N...

NEKO ANTHONY WILSON v HON. HIGGINS/STATE
Date: October 15, 2020
Docket Number: CR-20-0254-PR
State v. Soto-Fong  
Date: October 9, 2020
Docket Number: CR-18-0595-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that consecutive sentences imposed for separate crimes, when the cumulative sentences exceed a juvenile's life expectancy, do not violate the Eighth Amendment, as interpreted in Graham v. Florida,...

State ex rel. Adel v. Honorable John Hannah  
Date: September 25, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0280-SA

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Respondent, a superior court judge, erred in concluding that Ariz. R. Crim. P. 24.2 did not bar him from vacating the Enmund/Tison verdict in this case. Defendant was found guilty of child ab...

JTF Aviation Holdings, Inc. v. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP  
Date: September 18, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0209-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals erred by concluding that a contractual limitations provision can preclude nonparties to the contract from asserting tort claims that do not arise out of the contractual re...

Clements v. Honorable Deborah Bernini  
Date: September 9, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0140-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the trial court appointing a special master to conduct an in camera review of recordings of jail phone calls between Defendant and a criminal defense attorney to determine whether t...

Lohr v. Bolick  
Date: September 8, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0129-AP/EL

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part the decision of the superior court denying Appellant's challenge to the legal sufficiency of Shawnna Bolick's nomination documents, holding that, under the facts of this case, use of a...

ARIZONANS FOR SECOND CHANCES et al v HOBBS
Date: September 4, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0098-SA
State v. Arevalo  
Date: September 1, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0156-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-1202(B)(2), which enhances the sentence for threatening or intimidating if the defendant is a criminal street gang member, is unconstitutional because it increases the defe...

Helvetica Servicing, Inc. v. Pasquan  
Date: August 25, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0242-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a trial court should consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding a residential purchase loan and identify certain factors in determining whether a loan is a construction loan entitl...

Saguaro Healing LLC v. State  
Date: August 20, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0129-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the Arizona Department of Health Services' (ADHS) interpretation of Arizona Administrative Code R9-17-303, which governs ADHS's allocation of marijuana dispensary registration certificates, vi...

VINCE LEACH et al v KATIE HOBBS et al
Date: August 20, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0233-AP/EL
JAIME A MOLERA et al v KATIE HOBBS et al
Date: August 19, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0213-AP/EL
State v. Honorable Michael W. Kemp  
Date: August 17, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0274-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Arizona's statutory framework for adjudicating intellectual disability complies with the constitutional requirements announced in the recent United States Supreme Court cases, Moore v. Texas,...

State v. Carter  
Date: August 13, 2020
Docket Number: CR-18-0508-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part Defendant's convictions and sentences for two counts of theft, two counts of vehicle theft, and one count of robbery, holding that theft is a lesser-included offense...

State v. Robertson  
Date: August 12, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0175-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's probation revocation and sentence on the basis that Defendant was precluded from challenging her sentence on appeal because she had inv...

E.H. v. Honorable Dan Slayton  
Date: August 4, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0118-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the practice of placing a cap on the amount of restitution a defendant may be liable for in a plea agreement, without the victim's consent, violates the right to restitution. In State v. Luke...

State ex rel. Brnovich v. City of Phoenix  
Date: August 3, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0019-SA

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the constitutional prohibition on state and local governments from imposing or increasing taxes or other "transaction-based" fees on services does not extend to "trip fees" imposed by the City...

State v. Vargas  
Date: July 31, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0071-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a defendant presenting an appellate claim of fundamental error due to cumulative prosecutorial misconduct does not need to assert fundamental error for every allegation in order to preserve fo...

Johnson Utilities, LLC v. Arizona Corp. Commission  
Date: July 31, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0105-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the Arizona Corporation Commission may appoint an interim manager to operate a public service corporation (PSC) based on its permissive authority under Ariz. Const. art. XV, 3. Under article...

STATE BAR v HON. WILLIAM O'NEIL/JUAN MARTINEZ
Date: July 13, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0035-SA
Piccioli v. City of Phoenix  
Date: July 10, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0116-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a one-time payout for accrued sick leave does not form part of an employee's compensation for purposes of calculating that employee's pension benefit. The City of Phoenix paid pension benefit...

American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees AFL-CIO Local 2384 v. City of Phoenix  
Date: July 10, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0143-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a one-time payout for unused vacation leave does not form part of an employee's compensation for purposes of calculating that employee's pension benefit. The City of Phoenix paid pension bene...

Rosas v. Arizona Department of Economic Security  
Date: June 19, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0100-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the correct interpretation of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 23-750(E)(5), which provides that income earned by any individual who performed certain services while employed by an entity that provides such ser...

GORDON GILLESPY v STEVEN L CAROS et al
Date: June 2, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0130-AP/EL
In the Matter of DONALD H SMITH
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: SB-19-0064-AP
STATE OF ARIZONA v PRESTON ALTON STRONG
Date: May 25, 2020
Docket Number: CR-17-0201-AP
State v. Lietzau  
Date: May 22, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0132-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the trial court's order granting Defendant's motion to suppress, holding that Arizona's standard conditions of probation, which permit warrantless searches of a probationer's "property," apply...

PATRICK MCKENNA v JAVIER SOTO et al
Date: May 22, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0123-AP/EL
Lagerman v. Arizona State Retirement System  
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0101-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case concerning the administration of the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) the Supreme Court held that the requirement to submit a retirement application for receipt of retirement benefits pursuant to Ariz....

BRANCH et al v KIM OWENS et al
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0134-AP/EL
State v. Trujillo  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: CR-18-0531-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that, for purposes of imposing mandatory sex offender registration under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-3821(A)(3), a judge has the authority to make the necessary factual finding that the victim is under the...

In the Matter of JUAN M MARTINEZ
Date: April 30, 2020
Docket Number: SB-17-0081-AP
Morrissey v. Garner  
Date: April 21, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0271-AP/EL

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court ruling that Defendants did not obtain sufficient signatures to generate a recall election of Payson Mayor Thomas P. Morrissey, holding that the Arizona Constitut...

State v. Allen  
Date: April 14, 2020
Docket Number: CR-17-0556-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first degree murder and his death sentence but vacated the sentences imposed for counts two, four, and five and remanded for resentencing on those counts, holding that...

Sholem v. Honorable David Gass  
Date: March 30, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0149-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving the construction of Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4(i), the Supreme Court held that, under Rule 4(i), if a plaintiff shows good cause for failing to serve a defendant within ninety days, a court is required to...

Sandra R. v. Department of Child Safety  
Date: March 11, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0057-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: In this termination of parental rights case the Supreme Court held that when a juvenile court finds a parent unfit for neglecting or willfully abusing a child the court may also find the parent unfit as to that parent's...

State v. Riley  
Date: March 10, 2020
Docket Number: CR-15-0411-AP

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for first degree murder and assisting a criminal street gang and his sentence of death, holding that there was not prejudicial error in the proceedings below. (1) the tr...

Ansley v. Banner Health Network  
Date: March 9, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0077-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court enjoining the application of Arizona statutes authorizing the recording of liens against third-party tortfeasors to allow hospitals to recover health care costs...

Chaparro v. Shinn  
Date: March 5, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0205-CQ

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered a certified question by holding that a sentence imposing "life without possibility of parole for twenty-five years" means the convicted defendant is eligible for parole after serving twenty-fiv...

State v. Green  
Date: March 4, 2020
Docket Number: CR-18-0537-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions but vacated his sentences and remanded for resentencing, holding that convictions for possession of drugs for sale, whether completed or inchoate, are not disqualifying...

Hwal'Bay Ba: J Enterprises, Inc. v. Honorable Jantzen  
Date: February 25, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0123-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying a tribal entity's motion to dismiss a tort action against it, holding that the tribal entity did not prove it was a subordinate economic organization ent...

State v. Reed  
Date: January 24, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0059-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals dismissing Richard Allen Reed's appeal from a criminal restitution order, holding that the legislature lacked authority to require the court to dismiss a pend...

Terrell v. Torres  
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0106-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the family court directing the donation of cryopreserved embryos to another couple following the parties' divorce, holding that the parties' agreement directing the disposition of...

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