Arizona Court Records
Arizona court records refer to any documents maintained by the clerk of courts, including, but not limited to, court proceedings, court appeals, or other documents involving traffic, civil, or criminal cases. Under the Arizona Public Record Law, court records are public to ensure accountability and transparency.
Which Arizona Courts Maintain Publicly Accessible Records?
Each court in Arizona has a record custodian that maintains publicly accessible court records. The available records may vary depending on the jurisdiction of each court, namely:
Justice of the Peace Court
The Justice of the Peace handles small claims of up to $10,000, contract issues, tort, civil protection orders, and preliminary hearings for violations and misdemeanors.
The municipal court is almost similar to the Justice of the Peace except that they issue civil protection and non-domestic restraining orders. They also hold trials and hearings for some traffic violations and misdemeanors.
The tax court hears appeals from administrative agencies and tax-related cases.
The Superior Court handles some cases for misdemeanors, real property claims, estate and probate claims, tort and contract issues starting from $1,000, juvenile trials, domestic-related hearings, and some felonies.
Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals mostly hears appeals by right and interlocutory appeals for limited administrative agencies, civil, and criminal cases. The court also holds proceeding for writ applications and other case proceedings.
The Supreme Court exclusively hears appeals for the death penalty, interlocutory appeals, and appeals with permission for administrative agencies, civil, and criminal cases.
What are the Common Public Court Records in Arizona?
The following are the most common public Arizona court records:
Civil court records include breach of contract suits, consumer complaints, landlord and tenant disputes, including evictions, and claims for not more than $10,000.
Small claims records include claims for not more than $3,000.
Judgment court records refer to the court’s final decision over a criminal charge or civil dispute. This type of record is available through the clerk of courts as the official record custodian. While open to the public, search and copying fees apply to this type of Arizona court records and require a case number, judgment year, and both names of parties involved.
Appeals usually happen when one party is not satisfied with a lower court’s decision and brings the case to a higher court for review.
Bankruptcy records are financial records of businesses or people who filed for bankruptcy in the state, including their income, list of assets, and also their creditors. On the other hand, records of bankruptcy proceedings may also include related documents like title deeds, foreclosures, mortgages, and liens.
Does Arizona Have a Case Search?
Arizona uses the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) to help the public search for a case. For court cases from municipal and justice of the peace courts, the public can use the case lookup tool from the Arizona Judicial Branch to perform a name search (last and first name, and date of birth) or a using a case number.
The public can also register and subscribe through the eAccess portal to get civil and criminal court documents from the Superior Court. However, subscription fees may vary from $10.00 per document or as much as $10,000 monthly, depending on the search limits.