Case: Doe v. Arpaio

04-cv-09286 | Arizona state trial court

Filed Date: May 14, 2004

Closed Date: Oct. 20, 2009

Clearinghouse coding complete

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


Judge(s)

Burke, Edward O. (Arizona)

Downie, Margaret H. (Arizona)

Ehrlich, Susan A. (Arizona)

Hable, Susan L. (Arizona)

Irvine, Thomas K. (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Amiri, Brigitte A. (New York)

Anderson, Susan (Arizona)

Camp, Susan Talcott (New York)

Chandrasekhar, Charua A. (New York)

Freeman, Susan M. (Arizona)

Judge(s)

Burke, Edward O. (Arizona)

Downie, Margaret H. (Arizona)

Ehrlich, Susan A. (Arizona)

Hable, Susan L. (Arizona)

Irvine, Thomas K. (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Amiri, Brigitte A. (New York)

Anderson, Susan (Arizona)

Camp, Susan Talcott (New York)

Chandrasekhar, Charua A. (New York)

Freeman, Susan M. (Arizona)

McAllister-Nevins, Jennifer (New York)

Reddin, Jane E. (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Knight-Click, Stasy D. (Arizona)

Manhart, Daryl (Arizona)

Vigil, Joseph (Arizona)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

June 15, 2006 Docket

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

2005 WL 2173988

Aug. 23, 2005 Order/Opinion

Opinion

Arizona state appellate court

150 P.3d 1258

Jan. 23, 2007 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

The Caged Canary

Elizabeth Alexander

The United States has experienced an explosion in the number of people in prison, an explosion that cannot be attributed to changes in the crime rate, but rather reflects changes in public policy, pa… Dec. 1, 2008 http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1032&context=wmjowl

GENESEE VALLEY CHAPTER -- TAKING ON THE TOUGHEST SHERIFF

Scott Forsyth

Sheriff Joseph Arpaio of Arizona's Maricopa County prides himself on being "America's Toughest Sheriff." He also is America's most litigious one. He has commenced a score of lawsuits and defended tho… Jan. 27, 2010 https://www.nyclu.org/en/genesee-valley-chapter-taking-toughest-sheriff

DOE V. ARPAIO

ACLU

Women in prison do not lose their reproductive rights. Being incarcerated does not mean a woman gives up her right to have an abortion any more than it means that she gives up her right to bear a chi… March 1, 2010 https://www.aclu.org/cases/doe-v-arpaio

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

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

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 2005 - None

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Issues

General:

Abortion

Affected Gender:

Female

Medical/Mental Health:

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

Type of Facility:

Government-run