The Department of Justice Sues Sheriff Joe

September 8, 2010

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been sued by the United States Department of Justice.  The complaint, available on Westlaw at 2010 WL 3436735, alleges that the sheriff’s office has refused to cooperate with a Federal investigation into possible violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It states, in part:

Since March 2009, the United States has attempted to secure Defendants’ voluntary cooperation with the United States’ investigation of alleged national origin discrimination in Defendants’ police practices and jail operations. Despite notice of their obligation to comply in full with the United States’ requests for information, Defendants have refused to do so. Defendants’ refusal to cooperate with reasonable requests for information regarding the use of federal funds is a violation of Defendants’ statutory, regulatory, and contractual obligations.

The docket for the case is also available on Westlaw, and can be tracked via the “Track this Docket” link if you want to receive notification of all new filings in the case.  A search of the Arizona State and Federal Dockets database (DOCK-AZ-ALL) for PTN(arpaio) & FLD(aft 12/31/2009) will return not only the docket for this case, but also dockets for other recent litigation involving “America’s Toughest Sheriff” (Note: sort the results by Filing Date to view the most recently filed cases first).

There are also numerous law review and journal articles that mention Sheriff Arpaio.  A search in the All Law Reviews, Texts & Bar Journals database (TP-ALL) for Joe Joseph /2 Arpaio returns 85 documents.  Many of these discuss Sheriff Arpaio’s aggressive enforcement of immigration laws, which is apparently what prompted the DOJ’s investigation. 

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