The justice courts in Arizona have exclusive jurisdiction or the authority to hear all civil actions when the amount involved, exclusive of interest, costs and awarded attorney fees, when authorized by law, is $10,000 or less.
The justice courts of Arizona now have their own Rules of Civil Procedure. If an issue is not covered by the new JCRCP then Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Court of Arizona are followed in Justice Courts. In a regular civil proceeding either party may be represented by an attorney. If you elect to represent yourself you have a responsibility to yourself and to the court to acquire sufficient knowledge to complete the forms properly and follow you action through to conclusion.
Small Claims Court handles cases in which the demand is not more than $2500, exclusive of court costs. Procedure in Small Claims Court is simpler that in other courts. Parties are not represented by attorneys and cases can be heard relatively quickly and inexpensively. The decision in this case is final and not appealable.
Forcible Detainer or Special Detainer Action
A landlord can file an eviction action (otherwise known as a forcible detainer action or special detainer action) against a tenant for nonpayment of rent, for breach of lease, for misrepresenting information to the landlord, for allowing unauthorized persons to live on the premises, or if the tenant has committed a crime. The purpose of an eviction action is to remove the tenants(s) from the property. Prior to filing an eviction, the landlord must give notice to the tenant. The notice may be personally delivered or sent certified mail. Notice is deemed to be received on the date it was personally handed to the tenant or five days after the notice is mailed. A hearing will be set 3-6 days after the lawsuit has been filed. If the landlord receives a judgment, a writ of restitution directing the tenant to leave the property can issue five days following judgment. Writs of restitution are served by constables.
The court has pamphlets regarding Small Claims and Forcible Detainer (landlord-tenant) actions. You may get copies at our office or you may request that we mail them to you.