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Armory Park Neighborhood Association v. Episcopal Community Services in Arizona

Arizona Supreme Court
712 P.2d 914 (1985)


The Episcopal Community Services in Arizona (ECS) (defendant) opened St. Martin’s Center (the Center), the purpose of which was to provide one free meal per day to local indigent individuals. The Center was located adjacent to a residential neighborhood known as the Armory Park Historical Residential District. The Armory Park Neighborhood Association (the APNA), an entity devoted to improving, maintaining, and insuring the quality of the neighborhood filed a public nuisance suit against ECS seeking to enjoin the Center from continuing its free food distribution program. The APNA alleged that neighborhood residents had sustained injuries from the Center’s patrons who also frequently trespassed onto residents’ yards, sometimes urinating, drinking, or littering. As a result, the number of arrests in the area increased dramatically. The trial court granted the APNA’s request for a preliminary injunction enjoining the Center’s from continuing the program and denied ECS’ motion to dismiss the complaint. ECS appealed. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that a criminal violation was a prerequisite to a finding of public nuisance. The Arizona Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Feldman, J.)

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