Abbey v. Green

235 P. 150, 28 Ariz. 53 (1925)

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Abbey v. Green

Arizona Supreme Court
235 P. 150, 28 Ariz. 53 (1925)

Facts

Stephen Abbey (plaintiff) filed a quo warranto suit against E. L. Green (defendant). Abbey had been elected Pinal County superior court judge from January 1, 1923, to December 31, 1926. However, in 1924, Abbey was recalled by vote, and Green was ultimately elected in Abbey’s place. In the suit, Abbey made objections to virtually all facets of the procedure surrounding his recall—from arguing that the grounds of recall only appeared on one page instead of on every page, that the grounds of recall did not relate to Abbey’s official conduct, to contending that all of the signatures on the recall petition did not include the street or house number of the signers. Arizona’s recall process was well defined by its state constitution and statutes. After six months in office, a recall could occur with signatures of 25 percent of the voters of the last election, a threshold that the move to recall Abbey had exceeded easily. Abbey was then allowed to respond on the ballot to recall him, and other candidates could be submitted on petition of five percent of the voters of the last election. These procedures were generally followed in the election of Green. The statement of grounds of recall related that Abbey had been incompetent, required court employees to swear that they would not talk to county officers, and, among other issues, had opened court solely to call in county officials and publicly rebuke the officials without any actual justification. That being established, Arizona was one of several states that did not require specific causes for removing a public official.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ross, J.)

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