News Flash

MCAO Latest News

Posted on: June 22, 2012

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Filed by SB 1070 Protester

PHOENIX, AZ (June 22, 2012) - A federal court today granted Maricopa County’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by SB 1070 protester Sunita Patel. In a seven-page order, U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake ruled that Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputies had sufficient probable cause when they arrested Patel during protests outside the Fourth Avenue Jail in July, 2010, and that the officers are shielded by qualified immunity against monetary damage claims

“Today’s ruling affirms that law enforcement officers should not be sued for performing their duties in a lawful and reasonable manner,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Our constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly are not a license to ignore the orders of uniformed law enforcement or obstruct a public thoroughfare,” he added.

Patel, an attorney with The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, attended a protest against SB 1070 outside the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix on July 29, 2010, shortly after the legislation was enacted. Claiming she was acting as a legal observer, Patel took photographs and recorded the names of protesters who were arrested. After declaring the protest to be an unlawful assembly and commanding the protestors to disperse, County Sheriff’s Deputies began arresting individuals who had formed a human chain blocking the driveway leading to the jail’s sally port. Officers then told the crowd it had fifteen more minutes to disperse and went back into the jail.

About fifteen minutes later, deputies came back outside and ordered protesters to clear the driveway or face immediate arrest. Patel was subsequently arrested, along with several others, and charged with obstructing a public thoroughfare (A.R.S. § 13-2906) and failing to comply with a police officer (A.R.S. § 28-622). The charges were later dismissed by the County Attorney’s Office.

In her claim against Maricopa County, Patel sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief from the Sheriff’s Office. “Under the totality of the circumstances, a prudent person would have believed that Plaintiff committed a crime under A.R.S. § 28-622(A) by willfully failing to comply with an officer’s order or direction,” Judge Wake wrote in his order denying Patel’s claim. “Based on the undisputed evidence here, the arresting deputy reasonably believed that Plaintiff had committed a crime and that her arrest was lawful.”

###

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in MCAO Latest News

Contact-Tracing

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Scams

Posted on: July 23, 2020
Two Girls on Laptops

What are the risks of livestreaming?

Posted on: July 13, 2020
Prosecutor

What is a Prosecutor?

Posted on: June 25, 2020
Man Vaping

Vaping Warning Signs for Parents

Posted on: June 18, 2020
Opioids

Help Prevent Opioid Abuse at Home

Posted on: June 16, 2020
Sunset Over Canal and Homes

Keep Your Home Safe this Summer

Posted on: June 4, 2020
Looking through a car windshield at night. The lights are blurred.

Don’t Graduate into a DUI

Posted on: May 19, 2020
Happy Mothers Day

Honoring MCAO Moms

Posted on: May 8, 2020
COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams

Stimulus Check Scams

Posted on: May 7, 2020
National Law Day 2020

It’s National Law Day

Posted on: May 1, 2020
Angela Andrews

Collaboration is Key

Posted on: April 30, 2020
Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Posted on: April 24, 2020
Heather Kirka

Charging Ahead and Working Together

Posted on: April 23, 2020
Census form on flag

We All Benefit When We Respond

Posted on: April 16, 2020
Brittany Hogard

Keeping the Wheels of Justice Rolling

Posted on: April 15, 2020
Person typing on computer keyboard

Be a Smart Online User

Posted on: April 13, 2020
Avoid Coronavirus Scams

COVID-19 Scam Awareness

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Community Outreach Highlights

Posted on: March 1, 2020
Allister with Female Staff

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Posted on: March 1, 2020
2020 Census Advertisement - Shape your Future, Start Here

YOU Count: Fill Out the Census Today

Posted on: March 1, 2020

Update On Petersen Investigation

Posted on: December 11, 2019

MCAO Honors Our Veterans

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Dion Earl Found Guilty on All Charges

Posted on: August 22, 2019

MCAO Launches Community Grants Webpage

Posted on: August 12, 2016

Update on Green Acre Dog Boarding Deaths

Posted on: September 22, 2014

National Geographic - Taboo

Posted on: August 31, 2012