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Supreme Court Report - 2/5/2019

The Supreme Court granted review in three cases during its February conference.

February Conference Report

On February 5, 2019, the Justices of the Supreme Court granted review in three new cases:

1.  State v. Malone, CR-18-0431-PR.  In State v. Malone, Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions and sentences of Stephen Malone for first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and endangerment.  The Supreme Court accepted review of Malone’s petition for review and the State’s cross-petition for review to determine whether a defendant is entitled to introduce evidence of brain damage to defeat the premeditation component of the mens rea for first-degree murder and, if so, whether the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that the trial court’s decision to exclude such evidence in this case was harmless.  [Petition for Review] [Cross-Petition for Review]

2.  Barron v. Barron, CV-18-0234-PR.  In Barron v. Barron, Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals held that federal law does not permit a superior court to order a military member to indemnify his former spouse who is entitled to a portion of his retirement benefits if he decides to continue working past the date on which he could retire.  The petition for review presented the question of whether the Court of Appeals correctly reconciled federal law with prior Arizona Supreme Court precedent.  [Petition for Review]

3.  Trisha A. v. DCS, CV-18-0178-PR.  In Trisha A. v. Department of Child Safety, Division One of the Court of Appeals held, among other things, that a parent’s burden of demonstrating good cause requires that the parent demonstrate a meritorious defense in order to prevail on a motion to set aside a severance order after a case has been accelerated to a final adjudication under Rule 64(C) of the Arizona Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court.  The Supreme Court accepted review to resolve this question.  [The Petition for Review is not publicly available in this case.]

Upcoming Events

  • February 14, 2019:  The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases:  (1) Sherring v. ICA/City of Tucson, CV-18-0245-PR; and (2) Normandin v. Encanto Adventures, CV-18-0200-PR.
  • March 5, 2019:  The Supreme Court will consider pending petitions for review and pending motions during its March conference.
  • March 19, 2019:  The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases:  (1) State v. Jones, CR-18-0370-PR, and (2) Barron v. Barron, CV-18-0234-PR.
  • April 16, 2019:  The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases:  (1) Trisha A. v. DCS, CV-18-0178-PR; and (2) State v. Malone, CR-18-0431-PR.

News and Notes

As previously announced, Justice John Pelander will retire from the Supreme Court on March 1, 2019.  The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will interview eleven applicants to fill Justice Pelander’s seat.  After considering the interviews and public comments, the Commission will forward at least three candidates to Governor Ducey, who will then have 60 days within which to make his selection.

Posted by:  Phillip W. Londen

Posted On: 2/14/2019