Division of Behavioral Health Services

Arnold v. Sarn

  • Attention: the Division of Behavioral Health Services is transitioning to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. As of July 1, 2016, the website for behavioral health information will be: http://www.azahcccs.gov/

    As BHS staff are transitioning to AHCCCS, email is being forwarded to new addresses. If the individual you are contacting has been moved, your email will be forwarded until June 30, 2016 and an automatic message will be sent providing new email addresses at AHCCCS which are generally First Name.Last Name@azahcccs.gov

A class action suit—Arnold v. Sarn—was filed in 1981 against the State of Arizona alleging that the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services (ADHS) and Maricopa County did not provide a comprehensive community mental health system as required by statute.

In 1986, the trial court entered judgment holding the State (ADHS) and Maricopa County violated its statutory duty; the Supreme Court affirmed this decision in 1989.

In January 2014, officials at ADHS, Maricopa County, and office of the Governor reached an agreement with PlaintiffsPDF, an exit to the Arnold v. Sarn Stipulation for Providing Community Services and for Terminating the Litigation, signed in January 2014, whereby they agreed to provide certain community services and terminate the litigation. The agreement includes an increase of services in four areas: Assertive Community Treatment, Supported Employment, Supportive Housing and Peer and Family Services. The agreement also provides for the use of several tools by the parties to evaluate services provided in Maricopa County, including a quality service review, network capacity analysis and SAMHSA fidelity tools.

ADHS has until the end of fiscal year 2016 to see these increases in services are met.

News & Events

For the latest news about Arnold v. Sarn visit the Behavioral Health Blog.

Additional news and events are available in the News Archive.


Download the printable handout with Arnold Case Subject Matter ContactsPDF or email email us. You can also look up your question in the Frequently Asked Questions, find a list of the most common terms and definitions used in this case, and explore the Fidelity Tools being utilized.