Trials & Litigation

Judge Tosses Maricopa County Suits, Warns About 'Inflammatory' Language in Redrafted Complaints

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Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas have won dismissal of suits filed against them by three retired judges and other county officials who claim they were improperly targeted by the duo.

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake said the plaintiffs could file amended complaints, but this time they should be more precise, the Arizona Republic reports. “The parties are admonished that future pleadings shall be limited to concise recitations of relevant facts and law,” Wake wrote. “Language that is irrelevant, inflammatory, or included for an improper purpose will be stricken from future pleadings.”

Wake allowed a single complaint filed by a developer, the story says. The judge warned that Thomas would probably be immune for actions taken as a prosecutor, but not for any alleged wrongdoing in connection with a racketeering suit filed against the officials.

Lawyers for the judges and three of the other plaintiffs told the Arizona Republic they would follow Wake’s instructions in drafting new complaints. Their original suits claimed Arpaio and Thomas abused their power by launching criminal investigations and filing meritless lawsuits against them.

Former coverage: “Three Current and Former Judges Sue Maricopa County Attorney and Sheriff Joe Arpaio”

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