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Arizona Pre-Litigated Investigative Reports Not Subject To Disclosure Absent Compelling Grounds

The Maricopa County (Arizona) Adult Probation Department (Department) appealed the court-ordered production of investigatory files concerning the requestor's disciplinary action. The appellate production order was vacated.

Department employee Frederic London was suspended for alleged misconduct in 2000 pending a disciplinary hearing. After being refused a copy of the files prior to the hearing, he brought an action to compel pursuant to the Arizona Public Records Act as well as a separate action for production pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 123 (open records provision). Both were denied. On appeal, the appellate court ordered the file's production holding that no Rule 123 exemption existed. The Department appealed.

The Arizona Supreme Court held that Rule 123 was not a discovery tool for employees' litigation preparation but to make court records publicly available. The court further held that London's need for disclosure did not outweigh statutory investigative exceptions. See: London v. Broderick. 206 Ariz. 490, 80 P.3d 769, 414 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 18 (Ariz. 2003).

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Related legal case

London v. Broderick