University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice v. Ducey FA-AZ-0001
Docket / Court 2:17-cv-01422-SPL ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Speech and Religious Freedom
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
An group of lawyers and other professionals involved in criminal defense sued the state of Arizona on May 8, 2017 to toss out as unconstitutional a state law that bars defense lawyers from contacting crime victims without obtaining permission from the prosecutor’s office. Represented by the ACLU ... read more >
An group of lawyers and other professionals involved in criminal defense sued the state of Arizona on May 8, 2017 to toss out as unconstitutional a state law that bars defense lawyers from contacting crime victims without obtaining permission from the prosecutor’s office. Represented by the ACLU of Arizona, the plaintiffs filed their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and sought declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees. Describing that some of them had been subject to professional discipline and even threatened with criminal charges for alleged violations of the “victim’s rights” law, they alleged that that the law was unconstitutionally overbroad and constituted a prior restraint on free speech in violation of the First Amendment. Two days later, on May 10, they moved for a preliminary injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing the law.

The state filed an answer on May 30, 2017. It indicated its intention to file a motion to dismiss the complaint and questioned the allegation that some of the plaintiffs had been threatened with criminal charges, noting that none had ever been brought for violations of the victim’s rights law. The state filed its motion to dismiss on June 21. It argued that a favorable decision would not actually redress the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries because the Arizona State Bar, which is the primary enforcement body for the no contact law, would be the proper defendant.

On June 29, 2017, a group of crime victims and victims’ advocates (“the victims”) moved to intervene in the litigation, saying that the the state would not be able to adequately represent crime victims’ interests in upholding the law. The state did not object to their intervention. The victims also filed a proposed response to the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary relief, arguing that the plaintiffs did not have a realistic possibility of succeeding on the merits.

On March 30, 2018, after several months of discovery, District Judge Steven P. Logan dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint, which also denied both motions for a preliminary injunction and the victims’ motion to intervene. He concluded that the plaintiffs’ lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. The court agreed with the state that, since it was not responsible for enforcing the law, the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries could not be traceable to it.

However, the court was unpersuaded by the state’s arguments that the plaintiffs would never be able to make a sufficient showing of standing, and gave the plaintiffs’ leave to file an amended complaint. The plaintiffs did just that on May 4, 2018 to address the defect identified in Judge Logan’s opinion by citing the state attorney general’s authority to seek attorney sanctions with the state bar and role as the administrator of the victims’ rights program. The state filed its reply brief on May 25, asserting that the new allegations were substantially no different from the old ones, and also arguing for Younger abstention (which prohibits federal courts from adjudicating claims if it would interfere with ongoing judicial proceedings at the state level).

As of August 2, 2018, the case is still ongoing.

Alexander Walling - 08/03/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Conflict of interest
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) State of Arizona
Plaintiff Description An Arizona-based statewide not-for-profit membership organization of criminal-defense lawyers, law students, and associated professionals dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused in courts and in the legislature.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
2:17−cv−01422−SPL (D. Ariz.)
FA-AZ-0001-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/19/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
FA-AZ-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 119] (2018 WL 1570244) (D. Ariz.)
FA-AZ-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/30/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 123]
FA-AZ-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/04/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Logan, Steven Paul (D. Ariz.)
FA-AZ-0001-0002 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arellano, Daniel Abraham (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-0003 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
Brody, Kathleen E. (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-0001 | FA-AZ-0001-0003 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
Fischer, Ian Matthew (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-0003 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
Furnish, Brenda Munoz (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-0001 | FA-AZ-0001-0003 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
Goldfine, Dan W. (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-0003 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
Herrera, Roy Jr. (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-0003 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
Lane, David A. (Colorado)
FA-AZ-0001-0001 | FA-AZ-0001-0003 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
McNulty, Andrew (Colorado)
FA-AZ-0001-0001 | FA-AZ-0001-0003 | FA-AZ-0001-9001
Stanton, Heather Lee (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Baek, Richard Lim (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Roysden, Brunn Wall III (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Skinner, Oramel Horace (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Other Lawyers Balson, Jamie A. (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Cassell, Paul G. (Utah)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Clase, Colleen (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Lines, Jacob R. (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Polk, Sheila Sullivan (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001
Udelman, Randall Scott (Arizona)
FA-AZ-0001-9001

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -