United States of America v. Maricopa, County of et al

Filing 28

RESPONSE to Motion re 27 MOTION to Continue All Case Matters filed by United States of America. (Aminfar, Amin)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Thomas E. Perez Assistant Attorney General Dennis K. Burke United States Attorney Roy L. Austin, Jr. (IL Bar #6228785) Matthew Colangelo (NY Bar #4228797) Peter S. Gray (DC Bar #940031) Laurie A. Gelman (VA Bar #47743) Amin Aminfar (NC Bar #36589) U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20530 (ph) 202-514-6225 / (fax) 202-514-4883 (email) amin.aminfar@usdoj.gov Michael M. Walker (AZ Bar #20315) Assistant U.S. Attorney Two Renaissance Square 40 North Central Avenue, Suite 1200 Phoenix, AZ 85004-4408 (ph) 602-514-7500 / (fax) 602-514-7760 (email) michael.walker4@usdoj.gov Attorneys for the United States UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF ARIZONA United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Maricopa County, Arizona; Maricopa County Sheriff's Office; and Joseph M. Arpaio, in his official capacity as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Defendants. No. 2:10-cv-01878-LOA PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE This lawsuit alleges unreasonable delay in complying with obligations imposed by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yesterday, on the day they were required to answer Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, Defendants Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ("MCSO") and Sheriff Arpaio asked this Court to extend their deadline by an 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 additional three weeks. The United States opposes this request. First, in a case that is based on unreasonable delay, further delay itself undermines the rights that the United States seeks to vindicate. Cf. Wash. Post v. Dep't of Homeland Security, 459 F. Supp. 2d 61, 74 (D.D.C. 2006) (holding in a FOIA lawsuit that the "very nature of the right that plaintiff seeks to vindicate in this action expedited processing depends on timeliness"). The United States has a "congressionally mandated duty to investigate whether public programs receiving federal funds are complying with Title VI." United States v. Phoenix Union High Sch. Dist., 681 F.2d 1235, 1238 (9th Cir. 1982). The failure to comply with ordinary Court deadlines imposed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(3), further impairs the United States' ability to ensure that Defendants are not using public funds for impermissible discrimination. Second, publicly-reported comments contradict the assertions made in the Motion for Continuance. Defendants MCSO and Arpaio state that their counsel are no longer authorized to represent them, but Maricopa County officials have been quoted as stating that counsel may continue to represent Defendants MCSO and Arpaio in this matter. See Joe Arpaio's legal advisers fired by Supervisors, Ariz. Republic, Sept. 23, 2010. Notably, counsel have not filed a motion to withdraw their appearances. If counsel have not withdrawn and are authorized to seek a continuance, Defendants MCSO and Arpaio should be required to timely file responsive pleadings as well. Third, even if their counsel's Legal Services Agreement was in fact terminated on September 22, Defendants MCSO and Arpaio fail to explain why they waited until 5:49 p.m. local time on September 27 the deadline for filing their responsive pleading in this lawsuit to advise the Plaintiff or this Court that they believed they needed additional time. Nor have Defendants MCSO and Arpaio complied with Local Civil Rule 7.3(b), which requires the party seeking an extension to state the position of each of the other parties. Defendants MCSO and Arpaio never contacted the United States regarding their request for an extension. 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Finally, Defendants MCSO and Arpaio have had ample time to prepare their responsive pleading. This lawsuit was initiated on September 2, 2010. The allegations in the complaint were not a surprise to the Defendants, but rather have been the subject of detailed discussions, meetings, and correspondence between the parties for over a year. See generally Pl.'s Statement of Facts, Doc. No. 19. Defendants MCSO and Arpaio have had sufficient time to answer the allegations raised in the Plaintiff's ninepage amended complaint. For these reasons, the United States respectfully requests that the Court deny the Motion for Continuance. Dated: September 28, 2010 Respectfully submitted, Thomas E. Perez Assistant Attorney General Dennis K. Burke United States Attorney /s/ Amin Aminfar Roy L. Austin, Jr. (IL Bar #6228785) Matthew Colangelo (NY Bar #4228797) Peter S. Gray (DC Bar #940031) Laurie A. Gelman (VA Bar #47743) Amin Aminfar (NC Bar #36589) U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20530 (ph) 202-514-6255 / (fax) 202-514-4883 (email) amin.aminfar@usdoj.gov Michael M. Walker (AZ Bar #20315) Assistant U.S. Attorney Two Renaissance Square 40 North Central Avenue, Suite 1200 Phoenix, AZ 85004-4408 (ph) 602-514-7500 / (fax) 602-514-7760 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 (email) michael.walker4@usdoj.gov Attorneys for the United States 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on September 28, 2010, I electronically transmitted the attached document to the Clerk's Office using the CM/ECF System for filing and transmittal of a Notice of Electronic Filing to the following CM/ECF registrants: Cynthia Renee Estrella Polsinelli Shughart PC 3636 N Central Avenue, Suite 1200 Phoenix, AZ 85012-1942 Thomas K. Irvine Shughart Thomson & Kilroy PC 3636 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1200 Phoenix, AZ 85012 Alec R. Hillbo Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC 2415 E Camelback Rd Ste 800 Phoenix , AZ 85016 Kerry Scott Martin Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC 2415 E Camelback Rd Ste 800 Phoenix , AZ 85016 Leigh Eric Dowell Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC 2415 E Camelback Rd Ste 800 Phoenix , AZ 85016 Attorneys for Defendants /s/ Amin Aminfar Amin Aminfar 5

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