Russell Pearce's Legal Challenge on Recall Kicked to Arizona Court of Appeals

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Hauser, denied by the Supremes for now

There's been yet another development in the saga of loserdom being perpetuated by state Senate President Russell Pearce's attorney Lisa Hauser in the legal challenge to the recall.

Today the Arizona Supreme Court declined to review Hauser's appeal of Superior Court Judge Hugh Hegyi's recent decision dismissing her lawsuit.

Hauser was seeking to leap-frog the Arizona Court of Appeals and go right to the Supremes, but the Supremes said no, issuing the following order:

"The Court has received Appellant's Rule 8.1 Statement in Expedited Election Matter, filed August 15, 2011. Because pursuant to Rule 8.1(h), Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure (ARCAP), "[e]xpedited election appeals involving recalls ... shall be filed in the Court of Appeals" rather than this Court, IT IS ORDERED transferring this matter to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One. This Order is without prejudice to the parties filing, once the appeal is at issue, a motion to transfer the case to this Court under Rule 19, ARCAP."

The Zona Supremes may still take a whack at it, but they're letting the appeals court go first. 

The appeals court has a number of options. It could affirm Hegyi's decision, or it could overturn Hegyi's dismissal and remand the matter back to his court with instructions on how to proceed.

Moreover, as the order states, the parties can file a motion to move the whole kit and caboodle to the Supremes, once the matter is before the appeals court.

Chandler attorney Tom Ryan, who represents the recall committee Citizens for a Better Arizona, told me there will be a scheduling conference tomorrow among the parties involved. 

Although he was upbeat about the case, he noted that the order added "a layer of uncertainty" as to when the legal wrangling will finally be at an end.

Though Ryan and Hauser are private attorneys, it's worth noting that the government attorneys for both the Arizona Secretary of State and Maricopa County Elections are on the taxpayer's clock. Not to mention the various judges and court staff involved.

Which means that Pearce, Mr. Friend of the Taxpayer, is costing us all a few shekels.

But for a guy who's spent his entire life in government jobs of one form or another, this is simply par for the course.


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31 comments
Luvdeb
Luvdeb

What part of " even the least of these" doesn't this man understand and how dare he use the Declaration of Independence as a logo when he surely defies it with everly; breath he takes.

Coz
Coz

Amazing, does the BS ever stop in Arizona."Sticking it to the Tax Payers.....Again" is what the Arizona motto should be.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

With all the local press focus going to Pearce, it is about time for a televised illegal immigrant round up to bring the cameras back to our beloved Sheriff.  Did I just say 'beloved?'  Going to go throw up now.  :-)

Mistalee
Mistalee

So she has no case AND doesn't know which court to argue it in. This bimbo should be sanctioned by the court and fined for frivolous litigation. 

Ross
Ross

The court costs are just a small part of what this recall election may cost the taxpayers, as Howie Fischer points out after reading the state constitution (something Stephen Lemons no doubt will soon get around to doing).

PHOENIX - Arizona taxpayers could end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Senate President Russell Pearce keep his office.  And it will not matter whether he wins or loses the recall election.  A provision in the Arizona Constitution requires the Legislature to enact laws necessary to a recall election, including "provision for payment by the public treasury of the reasonable special election campaign expenses of such officer."

http://azstarnet.com/news/loca...

windtalker
windtalker

Now the bigot is afraid to face the consequences of his actions, what a loser.

Tina
Tina

This directive sent to Hauser immediately from the Supreme Court, having to cite a legal procedure for her that is apparently very basic in Hauser's claimed specialty -- initiative, referendum and recall in her 30-year practice of law in Arizona -- tells us that Hauser really screwed up....didn't even check out the reference source for the correct procedure."The Court has received Appellant's Rule 8.1 Statement in Expedited Election Matter, filed August 15, 2011. Because pursuant to Rule 8.1(h), Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure (ARCAP), "[e]xpedited election appeals involving recalls ... shall be filed in the Court of Appeals" rather than this Court, IT IS ORDERED transferring this matter to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One."Regardless of her client's apparent wishes, and in view of Judge Hegyi's thorough ruling which covered and dismissed in great detail every one of her Counts, it amazes me that she's appealing this matter at all.  

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I can see the eventual motion to move the election to the right to give the courts time to sort this out.

Anthony Wesley
Anthony Wesley

What a total waste of the courts time and taxpayer money.  Grow a pair Pearce and let the people in your district decide!  Quit being such a pansy.

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

Mr. Pearce should want to hold the election tomorrow. The more this drags out, the worse he looks. peace

Stacy
Stacy

What part of "Motion Denied" don't they understand?

Tina
Tina

I agree, Gerry.  It's another distraction we should be expecting.  Arpaio will dream up something to take the focus off the hot seat where Pearce (and his lawyer) have firmly planted themselves.   

Ross
Ross

Consider the possibility that Lisa Hauser got it right, and the court got it wrong.  The rule they cite specifically says that nominating petition cases go directly to the Supreme Court.  That's also what state law says - ARS 16-351(a).  Of course, Supreme Courts are always right.  Just ask Dred Scott.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I know that she has a particularly splotchy record in the past which can indicate future performance.  However, she was hired for a reason or reasons out of a pool of other lawyers available that perhaps are substantially more qualified or capable.  The question is, "Why Hauser?  The other question is "Why is Hauser pursuing the path she is on?"

First and foremost, it is clear that most feel there is not much of a case there, if any.  The Superior Court ruling pretty much summed up and confirmed those impressions.  I am not sure what Hauser or any lawyer could do with such a loser case.  If her arguments don't make sense, maybe that is to be expected.  With a possible case, a better lawyer might make a difference.  With this case, I doubt my dog could achieve a worse result.

Second, I believe that Hauser went to the AZ Supreme court to burn time, knowing that it would be kicked down to the appeals court.  This could have easily taken a week or two on an expedited basis.  I suspect that Hauser will try to get the appeals court to hear it and claim that they need an injunction against the election in November to provide time to properly adjudicate he claims.  Fortunately the AZ Supreme Court did not sit on it, but rather promptly pushed the case in the direction it should have gone in the first place.

I don't think that Hauser believes the case is winnable.  But the big win she is after is to delay the election.   

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

As reported yesterday in the star:________________

Pearce said, in general, he is opposed to using public funds forelections. He said, though, his particular case should be an exception.

"It's not something I created or caused," he said.

Pearce said it would be one thing if voters were seeking to ousthim because of some improper behavior, referring to incidentsinvolving members of Congress who have been linked to sex scandalsunrelated to their jobs.

"In my case, simply, they don't like what I've accomplished," hesaid, "and they didn't want to wait until next year's regularelection to try to replace him."_______________________

I would tend to disagree with Pearce here. I do believe he has caused this:

-  failing to focus on things that are vitally important to those in AZ.-  taking more than twice the fiesta freebies of the next closest legislator.-  passing flawed legislation in the form of 1070 that even if fully enacted would never meet the objectives of the bill.-  not doing anything serious about illegal immigration by cutting off the source of income through 'credible' legislation aimed at punishing those that hire illegals.  Corporations will donate to the Parties so can't offend companies with legislation that hurts them.-  not doing anything about job creation.-  not supporting education.-  blindly privatizing our prison systems and increasing funding for prisons when  there is no supportive study that assures increased efficiency or reduced costs of privatization.-  passing a substantial amount of legislation that caters to special interests at the expense of counties and incorporated towns/cities/school districts.-  spreading and using false information in support of his initiatives.-  Blindly backing his friends when they do stupid/illegal things such as Lori Klein and Scott Bundgaard to name a couple.Heck, a sex scandal would be a good thing compared to what Pearce has done for us and to us. 

Ross
Ross

Here is what state law says:

>ARS 16-351A. Any elector filing any court action challenging the nomination of a candidate as provided for in this chapter shall do so no later than 5:00 p.m. of the tenth day, excluding Saturday, Sunday and other legal holidays, after the last day for filing nomination papers and petitions. The elector shall specify in the action the petition number, line number and basis for the challenge for each signature being challenged. Failure to specify this information shall result in the dismissal of the court action. Within ten days after the filing of the action, the superior court shall hear and render a decision on the matter. Such decision shall be appealable only to the supreme court, and notice of appeal shall be filed within five days after the decision of the superior court in the action. The supreme court shall hear and render a decision on the appeal promptly.<

One could argue that judge-made law overrules what the legislature decided, but is that what happened? Here is what Rule 8.1(h), amended in 2008, requires:

>Expedited election appeals involving candidate nominating petitions shall be filed directly in the Supreme Court. Expedited election appeals involving initiatives and referenda may be filed directly in the Supreme Court if the issue on appeal is of substantial statewide importance and would become moot before Supreme Court review unless the appeal is filed directly in the Supreme Court. Expedited election appeals involving recalls; county, city, or town initiatives or referenda; and those involving statewide initiatives that do not meet the criteria for filing directly in the Supreme Court shall be filed in the Court of appeals.<

The people who approved that rule obviously didn't think about where a recall petition case would go.  It doesn't make sense, though, that in a regular election the case would go one place, and in a recall election it would go somewhere else.  So who approved the rule without considering all the possibilities?  The Supreme Court, of course.

How about a morning poll, for readers to vote on where a recall nomination petition appeal should be filed? I suspect even the Lewis lawyers, if they were not afraid of upsetting the Supreme Court justices, would vote for bypassing a meaningless step.

Stacy
Stacy

She's an elections law lawyer.. clients are hard to come by in off election years.  Besides, Pearce is raising crazy money to pay her.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

He's a scared little boy right now and filling his diapers.

To the point that he's got a trailer park clown that doesn't even live in his district acting as the "defendant"

Coz
Coz

The only Motion's and Laws they understand are the ones they make up as they go along.

Tina
Tina

Trouble is she got it wrong.  And if there was any arguable inconsistency in her mind, she should have "erred" on the side of caution. 

I agree with Mistalee, that she deliberately skirted the rule for any or all of the reasons stated:

* Milking the cash cow that is the Pearce anti-recall effort* Delaying the recall election* Maintaining the illusion of momentum for the Pearce anti-recall effort. 

Mistalee
Mistalee

Thing is, this is not a nominating petition, it is a recall petition. And the Supreme Court cited the applicable rule directing expedited appeals regarding recall elections to be filed with the court of appeals.

Tina
Tina

Unethical client.  Unethical lawyer. The difference is, as Andrew Thomas is learning,  that she's got more to lose,   I expect that the judges and justices have their eyes wide open and are in tune to her motives for the procedural  maneuvering.   

Mistalee
Mistalee

I am inclined to agree with you. I think she is deliberately bringing bullshit arguments before the court, for a variety of possible reasons, including

* Milking the cash cow that is the Pearce anti-recall effort* Delaying the recall election* Maintaining the illusion of momentum for the Pearce anti-recall effort.

I don't believe any of these are valid reasons to file a lawsuit, and I really wish a judge would lose patience and just spank her ass hard in open court. 

Coz
Coz

LOL....of course Pearce does. LOL

>>He said, though, his particular case should be an exception.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

sorry it is jumbled.  It looked great when I clicked the post button.

Coz
Coz

Don't like the laws, then get them changed :-)

Tina
Tina

Bottom line (again)  is that Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure (ARCAP), Rule 8.1(h) says what it says.  Hauser was obliged to follow it.  

Coz
Coz

That pretty much nails it to a T.

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