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City of Scottsdale v. State

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

June 30, 2015

CITY OF SCOTTSDALE, an Arizona municipal corporation, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
STATE OF ARIZONA, Defendant/Appellee, JIM TORGESON and SIGN KING LLC, Intervenor-Defendants/Appellees

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County. No. CV2014-003467. The Honorable Robert H. Oberbillig, Judge.

For Plaintiff/Appellant: Robert B. Washburn, Lori S. Davis, Scottsdale City Attorney's Office, Scottsdale.

For Defendant/Appellee: David D. Weinzweig, Robert L. Ellman, Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix.

For Intervenor-Defendants/Appellees: Clint Bolick, Kurt M. Altman, Jared Blanchard, Goldwater Institute, Phoenix.

Judge Kent E. Cattani delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Patricia K. Norris and Judge Patricia A. Orozco joined.

OPINION

Page 937

CATTANI, Judge:

[¶1] The City of Scottsdale appeals the superior court's ruling that a state statute preempts a city ordinance imposing sanctions for sign walkers who conduct business on public thoroughfares, including sidewalks. For reasons that follow, we conclude that the state statute regulates a matter of statewide interest and preempts the municipal ordinance notwithstanding the City's right--as a charter city under Article 13, Section 2, of the Arizona Constitution--to regulate matters of local concern. Accordingly, we affirm the superior court's grant of summary judgment against the City.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

[¶2] Arizona Revised Statutes (" A.R.S." ) § 9-499.13, as amended in 2014,[1] prohibits outright municipal bans on sign walkers, i.e., persons who wear, hold, or balance a sign:

A. . . . [A]s a matter of statewide concern, all municipalities shall allow the posting, display and use of sign walkers. Except as provided by subsection B of this section, municipalities may adopt reasonable time, place and manner regulations relating to sign walkers.
B. A municipality that adopts reasonable time, place and manner regulations relating to sign walkers may not restrict a sign

Page 938

walker from using a public sidewalk, walkway or pedestrian thoroughfare.
C. This section may be enforced in a private civil action and relief, including an injunction, may be awarded against a municipality. The court shall award reasonable attorney fees to a party that prevails in an action against a municipality for a violation of this section.
D. For the purposes of this section, " sign walker" means a person who wears, holds or balances a sign.

[¶3] Scottsdale Revised Code (" S.R.C." ) § 16-353(c), which was enacted prior to A.R.S. § 9-499.13, imposes a ban on ...


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