Mann v. Maricopa County

In Mann v. Maricopa County, 104 Ariz. 561, 456 P.2d 931 (1969), two court employees sought to continue to work past the age of 70 by requesting a special exception to a statute that prohibited employment past that age for county employees. Id. at 562, 456 P.2d at 932. After the board of supervisors denied their request without articulating any reason for its decision, the individuals appealed, successfully arguing that allowing the board to exercise control over the employees of a judge violated separation of powers because it gave an executive body (the board) too much control over the judiciary (the judges). Id. at 566, 456 P.2d at 936. Thus, Mann merely stands for the proposition that the judiciary must retain the power of control over personnel directly connected with the operation of the courts. Id.; The Mann decision does not address the authority of a county board of supervisors to discipline the classified employees of other county officers. Moreover, to the extent the Mann court analyzed A.R.S. 11-401 and 11-409, it did so merely to illustrate the legislature's intent to exclude court personnel from the county employee merit system. Mann, 104 Ariz. at 565-66, 456 P.2d at 935-36. In Mann v. Maricopa County, the Arizona Supreme Court reaffirmed its conclusion that the judiciary "has the power of control of personnel . . . working directly in connection with the administration of justice." There, a county board of supervisors rejected a request by the court to allow a bailiff and a probation officer to continue working past the statutory retirement age applicable to county employees. Id. at 562-63, 456 P.2d at 932-33. The supreme court concluded that because the judiciary had the inherent power to control the "personnel directly connected with the operation of the Courts," the board of supervisors had a duty to approve the court's request absent a showing the request had been made unreasonably, arbitrarily, and capriciously. Id. at 566, 456 P.2d at 936. This inherent power, the court explained, was grounded on our tripartite system of government: It is an ingrained principle in our government that the three departments of government are coordinate and shall co-operate with and complement, and at the same time act as checks and balances against one another but shall not interfere with or encroach on the authority or within the province of the other. The legislative and executive departments have their functions and their exclusive powers, including the "purse" and the "sword." The judiciary has its exclusive powers and functions, to wit: it has judgment and the power to enforce its judgments and orders . . . . it is the genius of our government that the courts must be independent, unfettered, and free from directives, influence, or interference from any extraneous source. It is abhorrent to the principles of our legal system and to our form of government that courts, being a coordinate department of government, should be compelled to depend upon the vagaries of an extrinsic will. Such would interfere with the operation of the courts, impinge upon their power and thwart the effective administration of justice. Id. at 564-65, 456 P.2d at 934-35.