Arizona Courts

Arizona CourtsThis summary is provided by the Arizona Judiciary. Mr. Miller handles all types of civil matters in the Arizona Superior Courts, Justice Courts, Municipal Courts, Magistrate Courts and Courts of Appeals.

Arizona Superior Courts

Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, except when jurisdiction is limited by law or exclusively assigned to another court. If no other court has jurisdiction to handle a particular case, Superior Courts have jurisdiction.

Superior Courts have original jurisdiction over civil cases including probate, estate, divorce, annulment of marriage, disputes over title and possession to real property, civil cases involving claims for $10,000 or more (exclusive of interest and costs), the legality of municipal ordinances, actions for forcible entry and detainer, proceedings in insolvency, actions to prevent or stop a nuisance, and naturalization. Superior Courts share jurisdiction with Justice … Courts for civil cases involving claims for $5,001 – $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs.

The Tax Court is a specialized panel of the Superior Court, with original jurisdiction over cases involving the legality of any tax, impost or assessment. The Tax Court may be held in any county seat, but the principal office is located at the Superior Court in Maricopa County. The Tax Court offers a simplified Small Claims procedure for cases involving most taxes where the amount in dispute is less than $5,000, and for some cases that involve disputes over the classification and value of certain types of property, including property tax disputes that concern property that has a full cash value of less than one million dollars.

Arizona Justice Courts

Justice Courts have limited jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases.

Justice Courts have original jurisdiction over all civil actions that involve claims for $5,000 or less, exclusive of interest or costs. Justice Courts also handle cases involving the possession of real property, such as landlord-tenant cases, if the title or ownership of the property is not in dispute.

Justice Courts have Small Claims Court divisions that handle most civil cases when the amount in dispute is less than $2,500, exclusive of interest and costs. The Small Claims division will not handle certain types of cases, including defamation, slander, libel, class action lawsuits, specific performance, injunctive relief, disputes over the title of real property, lawsuits against the State or its employees, traffic violations and criminal cases. There is no right to a jury trial in the Small Claims Division.

Justice Courts share jurisdiction with Superior Courts over civil cases with disputes worth between $5,001 – $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs.

Arizona Municipal Courts

Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over city and town ordinance violations, including the enforcement of fines, fees and other such penalties and restitution.

Municipal Courts share jurisdiction with Justice … Courts over violations of State law committed within the limits of the city or town.

Arizona Magistrate Courts

Magistrate Courts have limited jurisdiction over civil ordinance violations, criminal ordinance violations, preliminary criminal hearings, Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment.

Magistrate Courts may exercise jurisdiction over certain juvenile delinquency cases, including ordinance violations. If a Magistrate is acting as a juvenile hearing officer, the Magistrate does not have jurisdiction over felony criminal charges brought against a juvenile.

Arizona Court Notes

Orders of Protection: Injunctions Against Harassment and Domestic Violence Protection Orders can generally be filed in Superior Courts, Justice Courts and Magistrate Courts. If a Domestic Violence Protection Order involves pending cases for paternity, maternity, annulment or divorce, the request must be filed in Superior Court.

Tribal Courts: Arizona has a separate Tribal Courts system, and some Tribal Court orders can be enforced in Superior Courts.

Where to find court cases in Arizona

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in Arizona.

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

CASE TYPE COURT TYPE
CIVIL Superior Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts Magistrate Courts
General Civil – Unlimited Most Cases
General Civil – Limited  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts Most Cases
Small Claims Most Cases
Civil Equity Most Cases
Complex Commercial Most Cases
Foreclosures and Liens Most Cases Some Cases
Real Estate Title and Boundary Most Cases
Landlord / Tenant  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts Most Cases
Ordinance Violations  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders Most Cases  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Administrative Agency Appeals Most Cases
CRIMINAL Superior Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts Magistrate Courts
Felony Most Cases
Felony Preliminary Hearings  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Misdemeanors  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Ordinance Violations  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Juvenile Most Cases  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Traffic and Infractions  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
DOMESTIC RELATIONS Superior Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts Magistrate Courts
Divorce Most Cases
Child Custody and Visitation Most Cases
Child Support Most Cases
Paternity Most Cases
Domestic Violence Protection Order Most Cases  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
FAMILY Superior Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts Magistrate Courts
Adoptions Most Cases
Juvenile Delinquency Most Cases  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Child Abuse and Neglect Most Cases
Termination of Parental Rights Most Cases
Children in Need of Supervision Most Cases
MENTAL HEALTH Superior Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts Magistrate Courts
Involuntary Commitments Most Cases
Other Mental Health Cases Most Cases
PROBATE & TRUSTS Superior Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts Magistrate Courts
Wills & Estates Most Cases
Name Changes Most Cases  Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
Trusts Most Cases
Guardianships and Conservatorships Most Cases
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