Federal judge temporarily halts Arizona police recording law

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Published Tuesday, September 13, 2022
by Tom Joyce

(The Center Square) - A U.S. District Court recently put a hurdle up between Arizona and its recently-enacted law about recording on-duty police officers.

Judge John Tuchi of the U.S. District Court of Arizona granted an injunction against the state's law banning people from filming police officers within eight feet last week. He set a one-week deadline for those who want to speak out in favor of the law in the case.

And on Monday this week, Tuchi issued an injunction against pleas to dismiss this case known as Arizona Broadcasters Association v. Mark Brnovich.

"It is hereby ordered that motions to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b) and motions to strike pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f) are discouraged if the defect that would be the subject of the motion can be cured by filing an amended pleading," Tuchi's injunction on Monday read. "Therefore, the parties must meet and confer prior to the filing of a motion to dismiss or motion to strike to determine whether it can be avoided."

The judge continued that further motions to dismiss and strike in this case must be accompanied by a notice certification of conferral filed separately. It must say that the parties have conferred to determine if an amendment "could cure a deficient pleading and that they have been unable to agree that the pleading is curable by a permissible amendment."

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2319 into law in July. The law makes it illegal to knowingly record law enforcement activity without law enforcement officers' permission within eight feet of where the activity is taking place. The law was to take effect later in September.

The initial penalty for noncompliance is a verbal warning. However, if someone refuses to comply with the verbal warning, then it is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable with a maximum of 30 days in prison, $500 in fines, and up to one year of probation.

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