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Hearing set as Arizona fights prison health care ruling

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Posted at 6:36 AM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 09:36:25-04

PHOENIX (AP) - Lawyers are scheduled to make arguments on Sept. 24 in the appeal of a contempt-of-court ruling against Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan for failing to follow through on promises to improve health care for prisoners.

The hearing will be in San Francisco before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit that challenges the quality of inmate care.

The state argues a lower-court judge didn't have the power to make the contempt ruling and impose a $1.4 million fine against the state because a settlement that resolved the lawsuit was a private agreement, not a court order.

Lawyers representing inmates say there was abundant evidence to support the contempt finding and fine.

Two months ago, a judge threatened to impose another round of fines for the state's noncompliance.