JEFFREY MATURA AND MELISSA ENGLAND DEFEAT THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S EFFORT TO DISBAND LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT
Attorneys Jeff Matura and Melissa England received a favorable ruling on behalf of their clients in an historic case in which the United States Department of Justice sought to disband an entire local police department.
Mr. Matura and Ms. England represented an Arizona municipality and its police department. The Department of Justice alleged that the municipality and police department discriminated against individuals due to their religion with respect to police services and housing rights. After more than 5 years of litigation and a seven-week federal jury trial, the Department of Justice requested that the Court disband the entire police department and turnover all policing services to the County Sheriff’s Office. The Court rejected the Department of Justice’s request and instead adopted the remedy that Mr. Matura and Ms. England proposed on behalf of their clients, which included additional training, new policies and procedures, and the hiring of a consultant and mentor to assist the police department. The result was a victory for Mr. Matura and Ms. England’s clients, and also a victory for Arizona municipalities and police departments who fight against government overreach into their local affairs.