The Court System in Arizona has three levels. Level one consists of limited jurisdiction courts such as the Justice of the Peace and Municipal Courts. The second level is a general jurisdiction court called the Superior Court of Arizona. This court hears the majority of cases for the state. Level three is the appellate jurisdiction which includes both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals for Arizona.
There are 180 Superior Court judges, 88 Justice of the Peace Courts with 88 judges and 154 Municipal judges in the state of Arizona. Superior Court judges are elected and can serve a six-year term before being re-elected. Municipal Court judges are appointed according to the laws in their district. In some towns like Yuma, voters have the privilege of electing their judges.
Limited jurisdiction courts in Arizona average about 1,861,628 filings per year. Of those, 370,416 are criminal cases, and 324,292 were civil filings. The breakdown between court is 938,500 for Municipal Courts, 726,870 for Justice of the Peace Courts, 190,887 for Superior Court Matters, 4,194 were for Court of Appeal issues, and 1,177 took place in the Supreme Court. The average number of jury trials per year is 1,592, and non-jury trials total 13,690.
Although most court records for Arizona are available to the general public, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal records are not included. Additionally, a few Municipal and Justice of the Peace Courts also do not include their records in the publicly viewable documents. Older documents may not appear online as well but can be found at the individual courthouses. Federal laws require that specific information be removed or redacted from court documents before they are made public. Things like home addresses, children’s names, financial information like bank accounts and identifiers like social security numbers are private information that will not be included in public records.
Arizona is continuously expanding its e-filing system to allow plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases the ability to file motions, objections, and evidence online. Initial filings must be made through paper documents in some counties like Maricopa. E-filing is available in Superior Courts, Supreme Court cases and Court of Appeal matters. The state uses two systems eFileAZ and AZTurboCourt to process accounts, logins, and uploads. There are fees associated with using these services. Most types of filings cost $15 or less to upload, plus a 3% processing fee on top of the document fees. Additionally, users can download the forms from the Arizona Judicial Branch and file them manually.
Curious about court records from Arizona’s Maricopa County, Pima County, and Pinal County? Using Infotracer, you can access Arizona court records for all types of cases. Quickly search criminal court cases, civil court cases, cases from superior court, Arizona justice of the peace court cases, and municipal court cases. The Freedom of Information Act and Arizona’s Public Records Law §39-121 et seq. protects the citizens right to review court records.
Anyone can search at any time for public court records without a reason or authorization. Although some court records like juvenile court cases are kept confidential by law, most court records are online and available on-demand. Access Arizona family court records, bankruptcies, divorce court cases, criminal court records and more quickly and easily using an Arizona state court records name search.
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In 2012, the Arizona courts received 2,221,278 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 17.2% and counted 1,840,012 filings and had 1,976,887 outgoing cases
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Domestic relations caseload of Arizona at year end of 2016 has increased by 13.6% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 70,087 but are lower than in 2015.
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The number of criminal cases in Arizona courts counts to 536,851, with 114,880 felony cases and 421,971 misdemeanors accordingly.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
Arizona Superior Courts have general jurisdiction in the state, and these trial courts hear the most varied types of both civil and criminal cases each year. There is at least one Superior Court in each county of Arizona. Superior Courts consist of both jury and non-jury trials. These courts act as appellate courts for both the Municipal and Justice of the Peace Courts. The types of cases that land in Superior Courts are real property, tax, municipal ordinance violations, personal property cases of more than $1,000, both felony and misdemeanor criminal cases and probate matters. A wide variety of types of cases are resolved in Superior Courts.
In Arizona, each county is divided into precincts and each county’s justices of the peace hold court and have the authority to decide verdicts. Precincts are usually larger than just one town and typically are comprised of parts of a few towns. Justice Courts hear traffic violation cases along with some types of criminal and civil cases. These courts can also hold preliminary hearings for felony cases. Other types of trials conducted in Justice Court are domestic violence, harassment, misdemeanor cases, small claims of less than $10,000, landlord/tenant disputes, and petty offenses. Justices of the Peace can also issue search warrants.
Most incorporated towns or cities in Arizona have a Municipal Court. These are sometimes known as magistrate courts. Municipal Courts have jurisdiction over misdemeanors committed within their town limits, but they share jurisdiction with Justice of the Peace Courts for violations of state laws within their boundaries. Many of the cases tried in Municipal Courts are criminal traffic issues such as DUIs, hit-and-run, and reckless driving. Municipal Courts also resolve civil cases, city ordinance violations and issue protective orders in cases of domestic abuse or harassment. These courts may also issue search warrants but do not process civil suits between residents.