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Arizona Wants Fine Thrown Out In Prison Health Care Case

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The Arizona Department of Corrections wants an appeals court to throw out a 2018 contempt-of-court ruling against now-retired Corrections Director Charles Ryan for failing to follow through on promises to improve health care in prisons.

Timothy Berg, an attorney representing the agency, told the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Tuesday that the judge who found Ryan in civil contempt and imposed a $1.4 million fine against the state for noncompliance didn't have contempt powers to enforce a legal settlement over inmate care.

Corene Kendrick, an attorney representing inmates, says the lower court had the authority to use contempt powers and noted that the contempt ruling came after years of noncompliance by the state.

Earlier this year, a judge threatened a second contempt fine for noncompliance.

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