Maricopa County Municipal and Justice Courts


Introduction


A lot of the every day work of the court system is done at the municipal and justice court level. Municipal courts are courts established by an incorporated city or town. A.R.S. § 22-401. Every incorporated city or town in Arizona must have a municipal court, although a city or town may enter into an inter-governmental agreement for court services with a nearby city within the same county or with the justice court which has the city within its jurisdiction. A.R.S. § 22-402. The judges and hearing officers in a city or town court are either employees of the city or town or are hired on a contract basis. Justice courts are county courts presided over by elected justices of the peace who hold four (4) year terms of office. A.R.S. § 22-102.

 

Matters Handled in Municipal Courts


Municipal courts handle:

  • Criminal misdemeanor violations of Arizona law occurring within city limits
    Justice courts have concurrent jurisdiction with municipal courts — maximum jail time of 6 months and maximum fine of $2,500
  • Civil traffic violations of Arizona law
  • Civil and criminal violations of the city's own ordinances
  • Orders of protection

You can access detailed case information for some Municipal Courts within Maricopa County at the Arizona Supreme Court's Public Access to Court Case Information. Click on the “Courts Included” link to view coverage.

 

Matters Handled in Justice of the Peace Courts

Justice of the Peace courts handle:

  • Criminal misdemeanor violations of Arizona law occurring within the justice court precinct
    Justice courts have concurrent jurisdiction with city courts — maximum jail time of 6 months and maximum fine of $2,500
  • Civil traffic violations of Arizona law
  • Civil and misdemeanor criminal violations of any county ordinances
  • Felony criminal case preliminary hearings
  • Orders of protection
  • Civil actions when the amount involved is $10,000.00 or less

You can access the Maricopa County Justice Court Information website for various items including court calendars, descriptions of procedure, fee schedules, contact information for the various courts, biographies of judges, newsletters and news releases.

 

Online Access to Court Rules


Different rules apply depending upon the kind of case a court is handling. For example, a criminal misdemeanor trial will use the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, while a civil traffic violation hearing is governed by the Rules of Procedure in Civil Traffic Violation Cases. Other rules, such as the Rules of Evidence, will apply during certain court hearings.

Access to all these rules is available at http://www.supreme.state.az.us/rules/. Click on the “Current Rules” link.
 

Court Web Sites


updated 12/2013

  

JOHN J. ROSS - WILLIAM C. BLAKLEY LAW LIBRARY
PO BOX 877806 • 1102 S MCALLISTER AVE • TEMPE, AZ 85287-7806 • 480-965-6144 • FAX: 480-965-4283