Legislative Update from Col. John T.

May 2016

The Governor of the State of Arizona signed into law SB1018.  this amednds ARS 13-3802 to:
... allows a citizien to refuse aid to a peace officer or other public officer  authoried to serve process if it would expose the citizent to personal injury..  Within that bill it also mde note of:
... In 1964, the Attorney General issued a legal opinion that concluded that a private process server is not included in the generally understood definition of public officer (Op.Atty.Gen. No. 65-3). Therefore, the aforementioned remedy does not apply to private process servers.

March 2016

Notice to AACPS members:

Several members have received an “Open Letter” in e-mail form re SB1088 from purported process servers not members of our Association. Although I hope the motivation and intent of these two people were for the good of all process servers in this state, I found these e-mails were based on misunderstanding and dated information, and raised needless concerns. The bill had died on the Senate floor four days before the e-mails had been sent. Below are listed my observations and concerns:
1.      In the addressee list at least one person who is not, nor has ever been a process server, was included. I did not spend the time and effort to verify each additional name on the list of addressees.
2.      I individually, as a Board Member, or as Court and Government Liaison  for the Association received neither of these e-mails. Was this by intent or just poor research on the part of the two e-mail originators?
3.      The Bill was already dead four days prior to the e-mails. The horse had left the barn. I have not talked to Senator Kavanagh about why, but do know that there were questions in the Committee on Public Safety, Military and Technology pertaining to the Bill and that its passage there was contingent on future amendments to the bill. Being this is the political arena, it is not uncommon for a bill to be intentionally amended so that it will fail on a future vote.
4.      Having been involved in the drafting of this bill from the beginning, I feel the originators of these e-mails interpreted the verbiage of the bill (even as amended out of Committee) erroneously. Further, their attempts to address purported problems in the Bill, was not necessary and even if well intended,  would only cause wasted effort, further misunderstanding, and confusion to process servers as a group. And it can reflect badly to the general public on all process servers in this State. Would either of these individuals go into Court and instruct the Court on the judicial process?  To clarify, let me point out that the service of process has a totally different meaning than either judicial process or legislative process. Service of process is defined  by the Legal Information Institute of Cornell School of Law as follows:
Service of Process: The Due Process clauses in the United States Constitution prohibit courts from exercisingpersonal jurisdiction over a defendant unless the defendant has proper notice of the court's proceedings. To meet this rule, courts require plaintiffs to arrange for defendants to be served with a court summons and a copy of theplaintiffs' complaint. These papers are collectively called process.
5.      Neither party apparently is aware of the details of the legislative process, that is to say the steps and procedures to introduce a bill, then how it moves thru the legislature. (In truthfulness, I wasn’t that aware of the process myself before my personal involvement. It is complicated, time consuming and yet can move with lighting speed. Once the process has started, hearings can be scheduled with only hours’ notice, not days.) The outcome of various legislative actions may not be posted on the internet for a number of days after they happen (as in the case of this Bill.) The following gives a general idea of the process. Law, rules, regulations and tradition govern when bills will be introduced and then how that bill moves through the legislative process.
a.      A Legislator in either House is approached by an individual, group or organization to sponsor a bill. It can be on their own initiative. Because of our previous connection with Senator John Kavanagh, we approached him with five different concerns from our Association affecting process servers.  He was first approached on this bill last June, 2015.
b.      Bills are limited to introduction in the Legislature for the most part by rule in last week of January for the Senate or first week in February for the House of each session. The second Monday of January begins the new  Legislative session. The session will last til late May then adjourn til the next session the next January. That period of time between sessions is referred to as the “interim period”.
c.       Three times in the interim period I met with Senator Kavanagh to review and massage the bill. At the each meeting, the same member (a non-partisan paid member of the Senate Staff) of the Legislative Staff was present. This individual actually coordinated the drafting of the original idea, review of current and past legislation which might cause problems with the proposed legislation, and incorporating any subsequent changes prior to presenting the bill for consideration to the Senate. In addition to this Staff member there is also a non-partisan paid analyst to review the draft and its overview (a capsule description of the bill) and a Legislative Intern. I received phone calls from all three pertaining to different questions pertaining to the intent and  drafting of the Bill and suggestions on slight changes as to format during this period.
d.      The Bill was assigned a number and presented to the Senate in its initial version in mid-January and had the required two readings before the Senate as a Whole. It was then assigned by the President of the Senate (at his sole discretion) to specific “Committees” (in this case only one committee.) I testified before that “Committee” (Committee on Public Safety, Military and Technology) on January 20 of this year. In each assigned “Committee”, appears to be the only place where public testimony is allowed in the process. Although amended, it did pass. It then went to the Rules Committee where it was ruled to be in the proper format to proceed to the third reading on the Senate Floor. It was amended againsubstantially on the Senate Floor and then was defeated in its third reading of the Bill, as amended, on Feb 16, 2016. Our Association would not have been happy with the Bill in its final amended form, thus it is a blessing, in my opinion, in the way it was amended on the Senate Floor and subsequently killed.
e.       After the bill left Committee, Senator Kavanagh had limited control of what happened. As amended in Committee, the bill was not desirable but was acceptable. I do have to agree that the final bill was not acceptable as amended on the Senate Floor. If it had passed the Senate, then a similar procedure, or process, would have been followed in the House. Any changes in the House would then be referred back to the Senate for possible compromise.
f.        The bill was dead on Feb 16. The two e-mails were not sent until Feb 20 and Feb 22, too late to influence the Bill’s outcome. The Bill had already been killed.  

6.      After a Bill leaves (or is passed) by the last Committee to which it is assigned, the best way  to influence what happens is through individual Legislators. They are the ones who will vote on whether the Bill will be allowed to proceed. To try to contact the Sponsor of the bill will have no effect and will possibly alienate any relationships we may have established with that Sponsor. We must present a united front and speak with one voice. In the last two years we have had an impact and will for years to come if we stand together.
7.      Roughly 1,000 bills are presented for consideration In each Session. This includes potential new laws and amendments to existing laws. Only about 30 % will pass in some form thru both Houses of the Legislature by adjournment in late May. I am told few bills make their way to law during their maiden voyage. There were 9 or 10 parties lobbing against this bill from the beginning. That is a different problem. Next January is a new session.
8.      In addition to recounting my own experience and research, I acknowledge the liberal borrowing of information  from the following:

Author: State Senator Randall Grant        title:  From Idea….. To Bill…..  To Law, the Legislative Process in Arizona         published Fourth Edition, 2000 by Randall Grant

Dec. 2015

1.      Appears we will have 4 bills presented in the new session of the legislature.
   a.      Access to MVD info.
   b.      Access to condominiums  and  planned communities.
   c.      Commanding help from the public in the service of process. (I’m not happy with the draft and intend to 
             suggest extensive changes. Feel this should pertain to requested information, not necessarily physical help.)
   d.      Access to secured and managed apartment complexes. Similar to (b) above but under a different section of
             the statutes.
Will meet with Senator Kavanagh and the person who drafts the bills for the Senate at 1 PM on Dec 30 to make any final changes to the drafts. Have already talked to Jerry Landau, Government Liaison with the Administrative Office of the Arizona Supreme Court, and received his blessing (and support) for these. He did make several suggestions including communicating with the lobbyist for the Arizona Association of Police Chiefs which I will do.
2.      Met with the Presiding Judge of the Maricopa JP Court system (Judge Steven McMurray) and his chief clerk reference review of our program, the legislative effort, and judicial concerns. He had several worthwhile suggestions and comments but is willing to give us support. Judge McMurray also sits on th AZ Supreme Court Administrative Review Board (not sure that is the correct title) and knows Jerry Landau. The chief clerk is a prior JP judge himself.
3.      Jerry Landau is aware I am preparing a Position Paper for our concerns with the judicial rules and procedures. Major concerns in approaching any of these people are (a) cost impact to their particular area, and (b) infringement and impact on their territory.
4.      Will be out of town from Dec 23 to Dec 28 but will have my smart phone with me for emergencies.