civil suit in Arizona?

This is a discussion on civil suit in Arizona? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Let's say you live in Arizona. If a bad guy threatens you with lethal force (such as a knife, gun, etc) and you shoot him ...

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Thread: civil suit in Arizona?

  1. #1
    New Member Array jzattack's Avatar
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    civil suit in Arizona?

    Let's say you live in Arizona. If a bad guy threatens you with lethal force (such as a knife, gun, etc) and you shoot him in justifiable self defense, are you immune from a civil suit by the bad guy and/or his friends and family?

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    Member Array wildcatCWP's Avatar
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    Arizona Revised Statute 13-413. No civil liability for justified conduct

    No person in this state shall be subject to civil liability for engaging in conduct otherwise justified pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

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    It appears you can be sued, even in a legitimate shoot. However if the plaintiff loses the case he is forced to pay the defendants legal fees.



    Arizona Castle Doctrine explained - In plain English
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    May 14, 2008 - 3:13 PM

    "Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense."
    - John Adams

    From her beginning territorial days up until 1997, a person in Arizona was innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Then in 1997, through a quiet and political trick, prosecutors had the law changed in their favor so that people involved in self defense had to admit guilt before proving their own innocence by "justification," which resulted in a complex and extremely expensive legal process for the innocent.

    It was a return to the Napoleonic Code, with a relatively small group of prosecutors sneaking this through our legislature without any form of public debate. It was a citizen's worst nightmare and a prosecutor's wet dream. Many of your fellow Arizonans suffered under this law, as it now made it extremely simple for prosecutors to reach a conviction.

    The adaptation of the Arizona Castle Doctrine (Senate Bill 1145) reversed the laws back to be in favor of individual citizens, not prosecutors. The Castle Doctrine has 5 main points:

    (1) Previously, "justification" defenses, including self-defense, were affirmative defenses. The defendant (or self-defender) had to prove them by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., proof of "more likely true than not). Under SB 1145, if the defense presents "evidence" (quantum undefined) of justification, the prosecution must disprove justification to a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. This change is not limited to defense of home or car, but applies anywhere.

    (2) No duty to retreat before using force to prevent certain serious offenses, including aggravated assault. Again, this applies anywhere, any place a person has a legal right to be, in the language of the law.

    (3) A person is presumed to be justified in using force or deadly force if he/she reasonably believes they or another person are in imminent peril and the attacker has entered or is trying to enter a residence or occupied auto. Once again, there is no duty to retreat.

    (4) A person is generally presumed to be justified in use of force if the attacker has unlawfully forced his way into residence or car or is trying to do so (with certain exceptions, such as if the person forcing in had a legal right to be in there). This means that justification is automatically presumed when a person uses physical or deadly force against an intruder. It is now the prosecutor’s job to prove there was no justification, which once again falls within our legal system’s concept of innocent until proven guilty.

    (5) If the aggressor is foolish enough to sue, and the defender wins, the defender recovers attorney fees and lost income (presumably, lost while at the courthouse). This not limited to the home invasion situation.

    Why is the Castle Doctrine necessary?

    The Castle Doctrine comes from the idea that "A man's home is his castle", as stated in English Common Law. It establishes that an individual has an undeniable right to use any type of physical force against an attacker or intruder.

    The Castle Doctrine established redundancy is to further defend the corresponding law and its original intent. Most importantly, it stops self-important fools like the 9th Circuit Court and biased judges from trying to legislate from the bench.
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    Member Array bigdogtx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    It appears you can be sued, even in a legitimate shoot. However if the plaintiff loses the case he is forced to pay the defendants legal fees.
    The way it should be in MOST lawsuits!!

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    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    In many cases, the plaintiff will have no assets or will be bankrupt. Collecting will be fruitless. Defendant will still be on the hook for cost of defense unless the plaintiff is required to post a bond to sue.

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    Get the lawyer to pay if they lose! The lawyers would then only take slam dunk cases! As of now they just about take anything that might make money. This will eliminate a lot of frivolous cases. JMO
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    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joecs1 View Post
    Get the lawyer to pay if they lose! The lawyers would then only take slam dunk cases! As of now they just about take anything that might make money. This will eliminate a lot of frivolous cases. JMO

    Several years ago I was acquainted with a small time bottom feeding lawyer who stated "Throw enough 'shineola' at the wall and enough will stick to make it pay".

    I think the loosing lawyer should be on the hook for any expenses the plaintive can't pay within 1 year.

    Also check with your homeowners insurance agent, I carry a $1,000,000 liability umbrella (on top of $300,000 in the base policy) that will cover against a civil suit arising from a justifiable shooting.

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    Member Array cwaturner's Avatar
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    From having been in a defend your life and property situation in Tucson in the past I will relay what I was told by the Tucson Police Department: Although you do have the right to defend yourself, you can only return force with force, so you have to wait until the BG shoots at you first before you can return fire.

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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwaturner View Post
    From having been in a defend your life and property situation in Tucson in the past I will relay what I was told by the Tucson Police Department: Although you do have the right to defend yourself, you can only return force with force, so you have to wait until the BG shoots at you first before you can return fire.

    I'd be surprised to find that true if it occurred in your home (castle). I know it's not the law here in WA.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Police are some of the worst folks to take legal advise from. I was one for 20 years...
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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    Member Array cwaturner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    I'd be surprised to find that true if it occurred in your home (castle). I know it's not the law here in WA.
    Not to hijack the thread, but this happened in Tucson, one of the reasons that I enjoy living in Seattle now, better home defense laws up here.

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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwaturner View Post
    Not to hijack the thread, but this happened in Tucson, one of the reasons that I enjoy living in Seattle now, better home defense laws up here.
    I know, that's why I specified WA separately. However most states now have Castle laws.

    Does AZ really not?
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    AZ has a Castle Doctrine in force. You do not have to wait for the BG to shoot first. You must be in reasonable fear for your life or the life of others to use deadly force.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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    Member Array ZombieShoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joecs1 View Post
    Get the lawyer to pay if they lose! The lawyers would then only take slam dunk cases! As of now they just about take anything that might make money. This will eliminate a lot of frivolous cases. JMO
    That's actually an awesome idea but it would take a Constitutional Amendment to do it as the scum in DC and our state capitals are mostly lawyers themselves.


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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwaturner View Post
    From having been in a defend your life and property situation in Tucson in the past I will relay what I was told by the Tucson Police Department: Although you do have the right to defend yourself, you can only return force with force, so you have to wait until the BG shoots at you first before you can return fire.
    You should be able to shoot first any time the BG draws on you.

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