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Cruz v. City of Tucson - 8/1/2017

Arizona Court of Appeals Division Two holds that an abuse-of-process claim accrues from the date the alleged abused occurs.

Cruz filed a complaint against the City of Tucson alleging abuse of process based on the City’s failure to comply with Cruz’s public record requests during an earlier lawsuit.  The City moved for summary judgment, arguing that Cruz’s claim was barred by A.R.S. § 12-821.01(A) because she failed to file a timely notice of claim.  The trial court granted the City’s motion to dismiss, and Cruz appealed.

Cruz argued on appeal that her notice of claim was timely because her abuse-of-process claim did not accrue until the prior action had terminated.  The Court of Appeals disagreed.  The Court ruled that an abuse-of-process claim accrues when the claimant has knowledge sufficient to identify that a wrong has occurred and thus is on notice to investigate.  Because Cruz had knowledge sufficient to identify her abuse-of-process claim more than 180 days before she served her notice of claim, the Court held that her claim was untimely under A.R.S. § 12-821.01(A).

Presiding Judge Vasquez delivered the court’s opinion, in which Chief Judge Eckerstrom and Judge Howard concurred.

Posted by:  Hayleigh S. Crawford

Posted On: 9/5/2017