Case: Doe v. Arpaio

CV 2004-009286 | Arizona state trial court

Filed Date: May 14, 2004

Closed Date: Oct. 20, 2009

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Case Summary

In 2004, a female inmate filed a class-action lawsuit in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, challenging the Maricopa County Sheriff's unwritten policy that required a court order to allow the transport of an inmate for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. The unwritten policy at issue prohibited transportation of inmates offsite for elective medical procedures. The Sheriff applied that policy to women seeking abortions and as a result, would only transport women for non-therapeuti…

In 2004, a female inmate filed a class-action lawsuit in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, challenging the Maricopa County Sheriff's unwritten policy that required a court order to allow the transport of an inmate for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. The unwritten policy at issue prohibited transportation of inmates offsite for elective medical procedures. The Sheriff applied that policy to women seeking abortions and as a result, would only transport women for non-therapeutic abortions if ordered by the court and if the inmate made complete financial arrangements for the procedure and for transportation costs. Plaintiff, who was represented by the ACLU, challenged the policy as violating a woman's Fourteenth Amendment right to choose to have an abortion, as articulated by Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

The Superior Court (Judge Barry C. Schneider) granted Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and enjoined the Sheriff and the County from enforcing the policy as applied to inmates seeking abortions. Doe v. Arpaio, 2005 WL 2173988 (Ariz.Super. Aug 25, 2005) (NO. CV 2004-009286). The Sheriff and the County appealed.

The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the policy was not reasonably related to the County's professed neutral objectives and was therefore invalid. Doe v. Arpaio, 150 P.3d 1258 (Ariz.App. Div. 1 2007).

On December 21, 2007, the Sheriff and County filed a petition for a writ of certiorari. On March 24, 2008, certiori was denied.

However, Sheriff Arpaio continued to require women to obtain a court order before an abortion. In August 2008, the ACLU asked the court to hold Arpaio in contempt. In the course of settlement negotiations in this matter, Arpaio shifted tactics and began insisting that inmates who seek abortions must pay upfront for transportation and security costs. Inmates requiring transportation for other medical care were not charged for transport either before or after receiving services.

As a result, in July 2009, the ACLU challenged this prepayment policy and asked the court to prevent Arpaio from enforcing this new obstacle to care. On October 20, 2009, the court ruled that Arpaio could no longer require inmates seeking abortion care to prepay their transportation and security costs before they can obtain an abortion. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (1/15/2008)

Averyn Lee (6/9/2019)

People


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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

CV 2004-009286

Docket

June 15, 2006

June 15, 2006

Docket

CV 2004-009286

Minute Entry [re: Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment]

Aug. 23, 2005

Aug. 23, 2005

Order/Opinion

2005 WL 2005

1 CA-CV 05-0835

Opinion

Arizona state appellate court

Jan. 23, 2007

Jan. 23, 2007

Order/Opinion

150 P.3d 150

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:38 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Arizona

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 14, 2004

Closing Date: Oct. 20, 2009

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All female inmates in the Maricopa County Jail who seek transportation to an outside facility for an abortion.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Unknown

Defendants

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (Maricopa), County

Maricopa County (Maricopa), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Facility Type(s):

Government-run

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Equal Protection

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Order Duration: 2005 - None

Issues

Affected Sex/Gender(s):

Female

Reproductive rights:

Abortion

Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)