Women and Justice: Keywords

Domestic Case Law

In re Piatt Arizona Supreme Court (1997)

Sexual harassment

In May of 1990, Piatt represented clients A and B in their respective domestic relations actions.  During his representation of client A, Piatt repeatedly asked her questions such as whether she had masturbated at the age of fourteen, and whether she had ever had sexual relationship without emotional involvement.  He also made comments about the length of client A’s skirt and how “delicious” she looked.  Piatt later told client A during a meeting that if she did not respond to his sexual advances, he would be forced to charge her a large sum of money for continued representation.  Piatt threatened client B in substantially the same way.



Ford v. Revlon, Inc. Arizona Supreme Court (1987)

Sexual harassment

Plaintiff Ford’s supervisor, Karl Braun, began to sexually harass Ford at a dinner on April 3, 1980, where Braun told Ford that she would regret it if she didn’t sleep with him. At a company picnic a month later, Braun said to Ford: “I want to fuck you, Leta,” and restrained her in a chokehold, from which Ford eventually escaped. Despite Ford having reported the harassment to regional management later than month and to headquarters in November, 1980, no action was taken until Braun’s employment was terminated in October, 1981, almost a year and a half after plaintiff’s original complaints. During this period Braun’s continuing threats led to Ford developing symptoms of emotional stress such as high blood pressure and chest pains.



Hurd v. Hurd Arizona Court of Appeals (2009)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The appellate court affirmed a family court’s grant of sole custody to the mother of three minor children. According to Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-403.03, a significant history of domestic violence is sufficient to render joint custody inappropriate. In addition, Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-403.03.D further states, “there is a rebuttable presumption that an award of custody to the parent who committed the act of domestic violence is contrary to the child’s best interests.”



Skains v. Skains Arizona Court of Appeals (2009)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The family court abused its discretion when awarding joint custody without considering evidence of domestic violence, and when awarding Father parenting time when there was a valid order protecting the child from Father.