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The Arizona Constitution empowers the legislature to establish rules for how and under what circumstances the State may be sued. Pursuant to this constitutional authority, the Arizona State Legislature enacted Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-821.01, which requires those with claims against an Arizona public entity or employee to file notice of the claims prior to the initiation of legal action. This procedural prerequisite to initiate a suit may be prudent as a matter of public policy. In practice, however, the state courts have been unable to issue reliable decisions with respect to the statute’s requirements. The state courts’ evolving understanding of the statute has led to the federal courts delivering inconsistent opinions when faced with motions to dismiss on notice of claim grounds. As a result, claimants have not only had their claims thrown out without reaching the merits, but more critically, the courts have dismissed claims under a cloud of confusion and uncertainty as how compliance with the statute may be achieved in a state or federal forum.

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Phoenix Law Review





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Law and Race Commons



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