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Gaysue v. City of Glendale

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 26, 2013

ROOSEVELT T. GAYSUE, Plaintiff/Appellee,
v.
CITY OF GLENDALE, Defendant/Appellant.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. CV 2012-003980 The Honorable George H. Foster, Jr., Judge

Brian J. Smith Attorney at Law, Brian J. Smith And Law Office of Kristopher R. Califano, Kristopher R. Califano Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee

Glendale City Prosecutor's Office, Kurt W. Christianson Counsel for Defendant/Appellant

Presiding Judge Peter B. Swann and Judge Kenton D. Jones joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

Patricia K. Norris, Judge

¶1 The City of Glendale appeals the superior court's entry of a notation of clearance upon Roosevelt T. Gaysue's official records pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 13-4051 (Supp. 2013), a statute that authorizes a person who has been "wrongfully arrested, indicted or otherwise charged" for a crime to petition the court to enter a notation on his or her court records that he or she has been cleared. For the following reasons, we affirm the entry.

¶2 In August 2009, Gaysue was arrested for assault and disorderly conduct, both domestic violence offenses, following an altercation with his son. The State moved to dismiss the charges shortly thereafter because his son "[did] not desire prosecution." In July 2012, Gaysue petitioned the superior court for entry of clearance of records pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-4051. As relevant here, A.R.S. § 13-4051 provides:

A. Any person who is wrongfully arrested, indicted or otherwise charged for any crime may petition the superior court for entry on all court records, police records and any other records of any other agency relating to such arrest or indictment a notation that the person has been cleared.
B. After a hearing on the petition, if the judge believes that justice will be served by such entry, the judge shall issue the order requiring the entry that the person has been cleared on such records, with accompanying justification therefor . . . .

¶3 After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the superior court granted Gay sue's petition.

¶4 On appeal, the City first argues the superior court incorrectly held that "wrongfully" only applied, that is, pertained to being arrested. We disagree. The record reflects the superior court understood and appreciated "wrongfully" applies not only to "arrested" but also to "indicted or otherwise charged."

¶5 In opposing Gaysue's petition, the City argued "clearance of an arrest record[] is only available to those 'wrongfully arrested.'" At the evidentiary hearing, the court rejected the City's argument and in so doing acknowledged "wrongfully" applies to a charge or indictment. The court stated:

[T]he position of the City of Glendale is that the Court should not grant relief to the Petitioner because the arrest in this case was based on probable cause. The Court does not disagree with that. The Court agrees that the arrest was ...

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