Attorneys will make arguments Tuesday in the appeal of a contempt-of-court ruling against retired Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan for failing to follow through on promises to improve health care for prisoners.
The hearing will be held in San Francisco before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit that challenges the quality of inmate care.
The state argues a judge didn't have the power to make the 2018 contempt ruling and impose a $1.4 million fine against the state because a settlement that resolved the lawsuit was a private agreement, not a court order.
Lawyers representing inmates say there was abundant evidence to support the contempt finding.
A judge has since threatened to impose another round of fines for the state's noncompliance.
Ryan retired earlier this month.