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Is there a statute of limitations to file suit against the Lake Havasu Police and Fire Dept., for negligence?

Lake Havasu City, AZ |

I rented the house to 2 brothers. When I served the brothers eviction notices, they did over $20,000.00 in damage to the house. The cops were called and they informed me it was a "civil matter" and NOT a police matter. For 30 days after the eviction, the boys told the story on MySpace, of how they intended to burn the house. 31 days after the boys vacated the house, the house went up in flames. The city "Arson Investigator stated he grew up with the older brother. I provided proof of the MySpace threats as well as the voice mail messages the boys left, threatening to burn the house. I demanded the insurance co. send out their own arson investigator. That investigator ruled the fire an arson. The city investigator worked on the case for 2 years without ever involving the police.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

The 180 day limit is for a Notice of Claim, not a lawsuit. A Notice of Claim is just a letter from you to the state agency or agencies who you intend to sue. You then have 1 year from the date of the incident to file the lawsuit.

The Notice of Claim is a tricky document to write because AZ law requires that you specify the basis of the claim, and state a "sum certain" for which the claim can be settled. This is an amount of money that you would accept instead of suing. This amount must be justified by reference to actual damages and/or other cases with similar facts that have awarded a monetary judgment for the Plaintiff. If the Notice of Claim is not specific enough, the lawsuit may be dismissed for lack of adequate notice to the state.


You generally have 180 days after an incident to initiate a suit against a government entity in Arizona. Hopefully these individuals were prosecuted. If not, contact the county attorneys office and demand these two be held accountable.

Attorney David Kephart is an experienced Trial Attorney and Jury Consultant. He is the recipient of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice President's Award and the recipient of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Commendation for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. His response to your question is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship, and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.