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Godbehere v. Phoenix Newspapers, Inc.

Arizona Supreme Court
783 P.2d 781 (1989)


Facts

In the spring and summer of 1985, Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. (Phoenix Newspapers) (defendant), publisher of The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette newspapers, ran over 50 articles, editorials, and columns about Maricopa County Sheriff, Richard Godbehere (plaintiff), and several deputies and other employees of the sheriff’s department reporting that they were allegedly engaged in illegal activities, illegal arrests, misuse of funds, police brutality, and general incompetence. Godbehere and the other named individuals brought suit against Phoenix Newspapers for libel and false light invasion of privacy. The trial court granted Phoenix Newspaper’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim as to the invasion of privacy claims and the court of appeals affirmed. Godbehere and the other plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Feldman, V.C.J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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