Lawyers for Inmates Want Official's Contempt Ruling to Stand

Jun 11, 2019

Attorneys representing inmates in a lawsuit over the quality of health care in Arizona prisons want an appeals court to deny the Department of Correction's bid to throw out a contempt-of-court ruling against its director for failing to adequately improve inmate care.

This Aug. 19, 2010, file photo shows Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan at a news conference in Phoenix.
Credit AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

The inmates' lawyers say there was abundant evidence to support the contempt finding against Corrections Director Charles Ryan and a $1.4 million fine against the state.

Lawyers for the state argue a lower-court judge didn't have the power to make the civil contempt ruling and impose the fine because the settlement was a private agreement, not a court order.

A month ago, a judge threatened to impose another round of fines for the state's failure to comply with the settlement.