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Latino Daily News

Thursday February 24, 2011

AZ Bill Prevents Undocumented From Collecting on Lawsuits

When southern Arizona ranch owner Roger Barnett spotted a number of undocumented immigrants, he took it upon himself to hold them at gun point, and a lawsuit from the Mexican Legal Defense fund followed.

Barnett was accused of assaulting detaining, and threatening the lives of the immigrants. A Tucson federal jury ruled in favor of the undocumented immigrants in February 2009, and ordered Barnett to pay $78,000 in punitive damage.

Now an Arizona State House panel wants to prevent anyone who is not in the country legally from collecting punitive damages, including those one in a lawsuit. The ASH has already approved House Bill 2191 to do just that.

The bill would turn back time, so to speak, as it would back the ballot measure retroactive to January 1st, 2004. If passed, the bill would get Barnett out of paying out his fine.

Presiding over Barnett’s case was the late Chief Judge John Roll, who was killed last month in the disastrous Tucson shooting.

HB2191 is being sponsored by Rep. Jim Weiers (R-Phoenix).