Howland v. State

In Howland v. State 169 Ariz. 293, 818 P.2d 1169 (App. 1991), the Court concluded that the plaintiff, an inmate who submitted an affidavit asserting that he had placed his notice of claim in the prison mail system, had presented sufficient reasons to justify the untimely filing of his notice of claim. Id. at 297, 818 P.2d at 1173. The conclusion was based on a previous version of the notice of claim statute, A.R.S. 12-821, which permitted a plaintiff to prosecute a cause of action if he could prove that his failure to file a notice of claim was due to excusable neglect. Id. The Court held that the fact that the plaintiff in Howland was obliged to use the prison mail system necessarily limited his ability to ensure timely delivery and thereby justified the resulting delay in filing. Id.