Arpaio's Request for Summary Judgment in Robert Daniels Case Squashed in Federal Court

Robert Daniels seen here in his isolation cell
Robert Daniels seen here in his isolation cell

A U.S. District Court shot down a request by Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a summary judgment in the Robert Daniels lawsuit.

In a court ruling obtained by New Times, Judge Susan Bolton ruled that there are "several issues of material fact" that still remain in regard to the sheriff's involvement in the matter.

However, Bolton ruled to grant a summary judgment for the other three defendants in the case and even dismissed one -- Maricopa Medical Center Director James Kennedy.

Being granted a summary judgment doesn't mean the other defendants are off the hook but spares them having to go through a full trial.

For anyone not familiar with Robert Daniels, here's a short history lesson:

Daniels contracted a rare form of tuberculosis in 2007. As a result, Daniels was given an isolation order and placed in a residential-treatment center, where he was ordered to take his medications and wear a surgical mask when leaving his home.

According to court documents, medical staff at the facility claim Daniels violated the isolation order at least 17 times by not taking his medication, leaving his residence without a mask, and even having sex with people.

After learning of the violations, Maricela Moffitt, chief medical officer for tuberculosis control in Maricopa County and a co-defendant in the lawsuit, requested an emergency court order to quarantine Daniels, which was granted by Tuberculosis Control Officer Robert England -- also a defendant.

And just like that, without actually being convicted of anything, Daniels was whisked into the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, where he stayed in an isolation cell for 10 months.

Arpaio went on his standard media-hype campaign and told the public that Daniels would be "treated like any other inmate."

However, Daniels condition had dropped his weight to about 100 pounds and his kidney function had declined significantly. Oh, did we mention: he hadn't been charged with any crime? (Not exactly Joe's typical inmate).

The suit claims that for nine months, Daniels wasn't allowed access to showers, church, the yard, and all the other bells and whistles most inmates have access to while in county custody.

In denying the sheriff's motion, the court, in its ruling dated October 20, decided there are "several genuine issues of material fact" remaining in the case.

Moffitt and England -- who also filed a motion for a summary judgment -- had their motions accepted, and James Kennedy was dismissed as a defendant completely.

Arpaio, however, is still a defendant in the suit, which may now go to trial.

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