Newman v. Maricopa County

In Newman v. Maricopa County, 167 Ariz. 501, 808 P.2d 1253 (App. 1991), the plaintiff had alleged the Maricopa County sheriff had negligently failed to protect against or warn others of a hazardous condition it had discovered on private land when it investigated a fatal accident that had occurred there. There was no allegation that the sheriff had failed to control the conduct of a third person or to protect the plaintiff from that person's actions. Moreover, the issue in Newman was whether the plaintiff had stated a claim upon which relief could be granted. And, although the court discussed the issue of duty, it ultimately concluded it was unable to resolve that issue because of an inadequate record. The court called the "theme" of its conclusion "prematurity, not duty" and held "only that it did not appear 'beyond doubt that the plaintiff could prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.'" Newman, 167 Ariz. at 505-06, 808 P.2d at 1257-58.