Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Disclosure Of Arizona Investigative Reports Involved In Active Litigation Statutorily Denied

Maricopa County (Arizona) Attorney Thomas Collins appealed a 1987 court ruling granting the production of investigative police reports involved in active ongoing litigation to the media. He also appealed the media's award of attorney's fees and costs which were subsequently ordered. Both rulings were reversed.

Phoenix police investigated drug abuse by the Phoenix Suns and others, Cox Arizona Publications, Inc., and others (media) requested the reports during pending grand jury litigation in 1987. Collins, as the record's custodian, refused the production to ensure the litigants a fair trial process. The media brought an action to compel the production pursuant to the Arizona Public Records Act. The production was ordered as was a subsequent ruling awarding the media's attorney's fees and costs. Collins appealed.

The Division One Court of Appeals of Arizona held that judge Jeffrey Gates abused his discretion and reversed both rulings. The court held that no such constitutional provision existed entitling the media to access active ongoing criminal prosecution documents. The court further held that Collin's actions were statutorily correct and protected the parties fair trial rights. See: Cox Arizona Publications. Inc. v. Collins. 169 Ariz. 189, 818 P.2d 174, 86 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 20 (Ariz. App. 1991).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Cox Arizona Publications. Inc. v. Collins