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Arizona Judicial System

by Eddie V.

Arizona Judicial System, Judicial System

Arizona Judicial System and Court System: How Does it Work?

The judicial system in Arizona like all other states in the United States has different types of courts. In 1910 the judicial system for the state of Arizona was created.

Three types of jurisdiction are covered by the courts in the state of Arizona. They fall under different levels. The first level is that of limited jurisdiction court. It concerns cases like municipality or money related and other cases. The second level of courts has more general jurisdiction and covers aspects of various types of trials. The third level or the appellate jurisdiction deals with several cases that have come up as forms of appeals and has been hard before in a lower court. 

The court system can be broadly divided into the following categories:

Arizona Appellate court – it comprises of the Supreme court and the court of appeals. The supreme court is the highest court has the ultimate authority to pass judgments on all matters that come under their jurisdiction. The supreme court has a chief justice, a vice chief justice, and five associate justice to serve them. They are elected for six years. Death penalty cases might get a hearing in the supreme court, and this court can even proclaim a law or judgment to be unconstitutional if required.

Twenty-two judges serve the court of appeals. Sixteen judges look into cases in the western, northern area and greater Phoenix while the rest six judges adjudicate in Tuscon. They are empowered to hear, grant, reject appeals coming from all types of lower courts.

Arizona Judicial System

Arizona Trial court – General jurisdiction of each county lies with a superior court that has been assigned to the area. They typically hear appeals arising from other courts. The trial court size depends on the area and population of the county where it is situated. There are two types of limited jurisdiction courts. It includes Arizona justice courts and the municipal court. There are 15 such courts in each of the counties. They hear civil as well as criminal cases. The Arizona Municipal court works in conjunction with Justice Of The Peace Courts. They adjudge matters related to civic and town decrees. The cases are both civil and criminal.

Arizona Tribal court -The tribal court in the state of Arizona has a long history. However, the Hopi Tribal court was established in 1972. It comprises of a Hopi Trial court and a Hopi Appellate court. They are a part of the Hopi reservation in Arizona.

Arizona Federal court – United States District Court for the state of Arizona acts as the only federal court for the state. It is one of the 94 district courts in the state of Arizona.

Judicial System

Steps followed in matters of criminal cases start with arrest. It is followed by the initial appearance and the preliminary hearing. The judge if finds evidence can set the matter for trial. The court appoints an attorney if the defendant fails to hire one. Upon trial, the jury gives the verdict they seem most suitable. After that, the sentencing is done. For civil cases the plaintiff files a complaint; the defendant gets 20 days to prepare his case. After that, the trial begins. The jury or the judge will give a verdict and suitable compensation, jail time, or both can be imposed if applicable.

The current chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court is Scott Bales. The state of Arizona upholds merit-based sanctity to uphold the standard for judicial efficiency. Every judge or justices appointed and placed in the state of Arizona are highly-qualified people committed to the cause of justice. 


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