Failed constable candidate loses bid for injunction against winner - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Failed constable candidate loses bid for injunction against winner

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Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 9:00 pm | Updated: 5:30 pm, Mon Jan 10, 2011.

A request by John Hastings for an injunction seeking to prohibit alleged harassment from West Mesa Constable Fred Arnett was denied during a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court on Friday.

Hastings initially filed the petition seeking the injunction against Arnett in August, alleging that Arnett harassed him and libeled him during the election campaign for the constable’s job. The request was dismissed, but Hastings re-filed the request for the injunction in October. Maricopa County Commissioner Kirby Kongable of the court’s civil division dismissed the request on Friday.

Arnett, who has served as the constable in the West Mesa Justice Court for the last 11 years, defeated Hastings in the Republican primary in August after garnering 63.2 percent of the vote. A constable serves orders of protection, eviction notices, subpoenas and other legal documents.

In the request for the injunction, Hastings contended that Arnett published more than 800 pages of confidential information involving Hastings on the Internet about his legal issues ranging from an arrest for domestic violence against his ex-wife, a trespassing citation and a prohibition from carrying a firearm.

Arnett said the content published on the Internet in July was taken from court documents and other public records, but Hastings alleges that it contained libelous content and Arnett should have known it was confidential.

In Hastings’ petition, he also alleged that Arnett trespassed on his property in August, swore at him and his supporters and repeatedly called him.

Arnett said he was out of town and did not attend the Friday’s hearing. He denied all the claims against him.

“It’s more ridiculous than anything,” Arnett said on Friday. “I’ve only had two encounters with him, one on Election Day when I tried to shake his hand and wish him the best, and the second time in front of the Constable Ethics Committee for complaints he filed against me which were found to be frivolous.

“It’s just sour grapes on his part because he lost the election,” Arnett added. “No one likes to lose an election who puts their heart and soul into it. At no point during the election did I ever harass or misrepresent John Hastings. At some point, he needs to grow up and get on with his life.”

Arnett has not had any other complaints filed against him, according to the Constable Ethics Committee, although Arnett was cited earlier this year for failure to file proper paperwork with the county Clerk of the Board in a timely manner.

Hastings did not return phone calls from the Tribune seeking comment.

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