The ACLU of Arizona, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and Aiken Schenk Hawkins & Ricciardi P.C. filed a lawsuit on August 27, 2015 on behalf of Nancy Markham, a domestic violence survivor and single mother of two who was threatened with eviction from her home in Surprise, Arizona because of calls that she made to 911 to seek assistance against her abusive ex-boyfriend. The local ordinance in question allows law enforcement to pressure landlords to evict tenants who place more than four calls to police in 30 days or for crimes occurring at the property, even when the tenant is the victim. The case challenges the enforcement of the so-called “nuisance ordinance” as a violation of Ms. Markham’s First Amendment right to seek police assistance and disregards the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on gender discrimination, among other claims. On March 21, 2016 we successfully reached a settlement with Defendants that includes the repeal of the ordinance.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Aiken Schenk Hawkins & Ricciardi P.C,

Date filed

September 2, 2015


United States District Court



Case number