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Case Name Demery v. Arpaio JC-AZ-0005
Docket / Court 2:01-cv-00983-EH ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In May 2001, twenty-four former pre-trial detainees that had been locked up in the Maricopa County Madison Street Jail filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the Maricopa County Superior Court, seeking to enjoin the County Sheriff and Maricopa County from using webcams to stream live images of ... read more >
In May 2001, twenty-four former pre-trial detainees that had been locked up in the Maricopa County Madison Street Jail filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the Maricopa County Superior Court, seeking to enjoin the County Sheriff and Maricopa County from using webcams to stream live images of pretrial detainees on the Internet.

The challenged practice began in July 2000, when four webcams began streaming live images of jailed pretrial detainees over the internet. Initially, the Maricopa County Sheriff's website hosted the images, but because of the enormous volume of visits to the site, the hosting was transferred to a website called "" The Sheriff claimed that the cameras served to open the jail to public scrutiny and to deter crime. He boasted that "[w]e get people booked in for murder all the way down to prostitution. . . . When those johns are arrested, they can wave to their wives on the camera." Plaintiffs alleged that the practice violated their rights as secured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Other federal and state law claims were also raised.

Because the case presented a question of federal law, Defendants secured removal of the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. After removal, Plaintiffs moved to sever the state law claims so that they could be pursued separately in state court. In lieu of severance, the District Court (Judge Earl H. Carroll) agreed to dismiss the state law claims and allow Plaintiffs to litigate those claims in state court. Plaintiffs also moved for a preliminary injunction. Defendants opposed the injunction and moved to dismiss the federal claims on various grounds, including that the Sheriff had the First Amendment right to use the webcams.

On March 11, 2003, the District Court (Judge Carroll) issued a preliminary injunction, finding that Plaintiffs would likely prevail on their claim that the use of the webcams violated their Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process rights by subjecting them to punishment. The Court dismissed most of the remaining federal law claims. The County and the Sheriff appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which upheld the preliminary injunction. Demery v. Arpaio, 378 F.3d 1020 (9th Cir. 2004), certiorari denied, Arpaio v. Demery, 545 U.S. 1139 (2005).

After the case was remanded, the parties settled and stipulated dismissal of the suit. By order dated October 6, 2006 and entered November 3, 2006, the District Court (Judge Carroll) adopted the parties' stipulation and dismissed the suit with prejudice. By the same order, the Court, pursuant to the settlement agreement, enjoined the Sheriff and Maricopa County from publishing, broadcasting, or disseminating over the internet, live streaming images of non-consenting pretrial detainees within the Maricopa County jail system. The order further provided that the injunction would expire five years after it was entered and that the parties would bear their own attorneys' fees and costs.

The settlement ended in 2011, and the case is now closed.

Dan Dalton - 02/03/2008

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Free Exercise Clause
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) County of Maricopa
Maricopa County Jail
Maricopa County Sheriff
Plaintiff Description 24 inmates of Maricopa County Jail who were videotaped by webcam and then displayed on Internet.
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2006 - 2011
Filed 06/04/2001
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
D. Ariz.
JC-AZ-0005-9001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
U.S. Court of Appeals
Opinion (378 F.3d 1020)
JC-AZ-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Google Scholar
U.S. Supreme Court
[Cert. denied] (545 U.S. 1139)
JC-AZ-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Westlaw
D. Ariz.
Order [ECF# 126]
JC-AZ-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
D. Ariz.
Notice of Settlement [ECF# 127]
JC-AZ-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
D. Ariz.
Settlement Agreement
JC-AZ-0005-0007.pdf | Detail
D. Ariz.
JC-AZ-0005-0006.pdf | Detail
D. Ariz.
Order [ECF# 132]
JC-AZ-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
show all people docs
Judges Bea, Carlos T. (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
Berzon, Marsha Siegel (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
Carroll, Earl Hamblin (FISC, D. Ariz.) show/hide docs
JC-AZ-0005-0001 | JC-AZ-0005-0002 | JC-AZ-0005-0003 | JC-AZ-0005-0004 | JC-AZ-0005-0006 | JC-AZ-0005-9001
Paez, Richard A. (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ambrose, Scott Adam (Arizona) show/hide docs
JC-AZ-0005-0001 | JC-AZ-0005-0004 | JC-AZ-0005-9001
Ferragut, Ulises A (Arizona) show/hide docs
JC-AZ-0005-0001 | JC-AZ-0005-0004 | JC-AZ-0005-9001
Leyh, Cynthia Ann (Arizona) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers GilBride, Eileen Dennis (Arizona) show/hide docs
Kochis-Chapman, Jacqueline H. (Arizona) show/hide docs
Kravets, Andrea Lynn (Arizona) show/hide docs
Lackey, Cary LaMar (Arizona) show/hide docs
Stewart, Richard Alan (Arizona) show/hide docs
Struck, Daniel Patrick (Arizona) show/hide docs
JC-AZ-0005-0001 | JC-AZ-0005-0004 | JC-AZ-0005-9001
Sullivan, Michael G (Arizona) show/hide docs
JC-AZ-0005-0001 | JC-AZ-0005-9001
Warner, Randall H (Arizona) show/hide docs

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