The ACLU of Arizona undertakes litigation when doing so is the most effective way to advance a civil liberties concern. We file lawsuits that will have an impact on people’s rights by setting a legal precedent or affecting the policies and actions of public officials. We both provide direct legal representation to people and file amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs addressing civil liberties in cases initiated by others. All of the ACLU’s legal work is on a pro bono basis; we never charge for our legal services. Along with our advocacy, legislative, and public education work, litigation remains one of the fundamental tools with which the ACLU of Arizona fights for equality and civil rights throughout the Valley of the Sun. See below for more information on the cases we’ve brought to the courts.

Click here to view a list of past ACLU of Arizona cases. 

Luckey v. Adel

The ACLU and the ACLU of Arizona are suing Allister Adel and her office for forcing people to plead guilty and waive their fundamental right to defend themselves in court.

July 7, 2021 Criminal Justice Reform

Parsons v. Ryan

Filed in 2012, this federal lawsuit challenges years of inattention to the health needs of state prisoners and improper and excessive use of solitary confinement, resulting in serious harm and unnecessary deaths.

July 18, 2016 Prisoners' Rights

Puente v. City of Phoenix

The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Phoenix police from using excessive force in the future and seeks financial damages for all people whose First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly were violated by the Phoenix Police Department’s violent dispersal of protesters. 

April 28, 2020 Free Speech

Ortega Melendres v. Penzone

This is a class action lawsuit filed in 2007 in which, following a three-week trial, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) was found to have engaged in racial profiling and unlawful traffic stops of Latinos.

July 18, 2016 Racial Justice

Morgaine v. Gosar

The ACLU of Arizona has filed a lawsuit challenging United States Congressman Paul Gosar’s “blocking” and censoring of constituents critical of his political views and job performance from commenting, and in some cases viewing, his official public social media accounts.

May 23, 2018