State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Arizona > Title38 > 38-1004

38-1004. Appeals; hearings

A. A classified law enforcement officer who is suspended, demoted or dismissed by the department head, after a hearing and review before the merit system council, may have the determination of the council reviewed upon writ of certiorari in the superior court of the county in which the law enforcement officer resides. If the determination of the council is overruled by the court, the law enforcement officer shall be reinstated in the officer's position and the officer shall be reimbursed for any compensation withheld pending determination by the council and court.

B. If the order of the department head was for a suspension greater than sixteen hours, demotion or dismissal and the court exonerates the officer, the court may award, in whole or in part, the reasonable costs and attorney fees that the law enforcement officer incurred or were incurred on behalf of the law enforcement officer in the court proceedings. The award of attorney fees by the court shall not exceed fifteen thousand dollars. An award of attorney fees does not apply if either of the following applies:

1. The order of the department head was not for disciplinary purposes but was for administrative purposes such as a reduction in force.

2. The disciplinary action related to off-duty activities unrelated to the required duties of the law enforcement officer. If the department head appeals the decision of the court, the court's award of any costs or attorney fees to an officer shall be stayed pending the conclusion of the appeal. If the department head's decision is upheld on appeal, the award of costs or attorney fees in favor of the officer shall be reversed.

C. If a law enforcement officer of a county, city or town described in section 38-1007 appeals from a decision of a department head in connection with the law enforcement officer's suspension greater than sixteen hours, demotion or dismissal and the county, city or town maintains a merit system or civil service plan for its employees, and the merit system or civil service plan appeals board exonerates the officer, the merit system or civil service plan appeals board may award, in whole or in part, the reasonable costs and attorney fees that the law enforcement officer incurred or were incurred on behalf of the law enforcement officer in connection with the appeal. The amount of the award by the merit system or civil service plan appeals board shall not exceed ten thousand dollars. If the department head appeals the decision of the merit system or civil service appeals board, the award of attorney fees shall be stayed pending the conclusion of the appeal. If the officer appeals to court the decision of the merit system or civil service plan appeals board, or of the city or town council or board of supervisors if the city, town or county has no such board, and the court exonerates the officer, the court may award, in whole or in part, the reasonable costs and attorney fees that the law enforcement officer incurred or were incurred on behalf of the law enforcement officer in connection with the appeal. The award of attorney fees by the governing body or court shall not exceed fifteen thousand dollars. An award of attorney fees under this subsection does not apply if either of the following applies:

1. The order of the department head was not for disciplinary purposes but was for administrative purposes such as a reduction in force.

2. The disciplinary action related to off-duty activities unrelated to the required duties of the law enforcement officer. If the department head appeals the decision of the court, the court's award of any costs or attorney fees to an officer shall be stayed pending the conclusion of the appeal. If the department head's decision is upheld on appeal, the award of costs or attorney fees in favor of the officer shall be reversed.

D. A department head shall have the right to have all council policies and decisions reviewed upon writ of certiorari in the superior court of the county in which the law enforcement officer resides and legal counsel for the department head shall be provided by the county or city attorney in whose jurisdiction the department lies.