Mayer Justice Court
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Small Claims

There are no appeals in the Small Claims Division. Only 2 Motions are allowed in Small Claims Procedures. 

The following procedures may assist you in your case, be advised that only you are responsible for your case. Clerks are trained in procedures and will answer questions about procedures only.

Clerks are not attorneys and cannot legally answer questions about the law. Please do not ask them to do so.

Plaintiff Checklist

  • File the complaint with the Court – Filing Fees (Lawsuits up to $3,500.00) – If you are filing this by mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
  • Serve the Complaint upon the defendant(s). You can serve the complaint by mail using: Certified, Restricted Delivery/Return Receipt Requested.  If the defendant is a corporation, the statutory agent must be served. You can obtain the agent’s name and address by calling the Corporation Commission at 602-542-3026, 1-800-345-5819 or online at http://www.cc.state.az.us/. If the defendant doesn’t receive, refused to accept, or the incorrect person signed for the registered letter, then the defendant has not yet been properly served. You may try certified/restricted mail again, or use a process service. The case cannot proceed until the defendant is properly served.
  • Return the Proof of Service to the Court. If you served the complaint by mail (certified, restricted delivery, return receipt), the proof of service is the green card returned to you by the post office. If you hired a process server, the server will return an affidavit of service to the court. The defendant has 20 days from service to answer.
  • If the defendant files a Counterclaim, you must answer within 20 days. Otherwise, the defendant may win the counterclaim by default.
  • If an answer to your complaint is filed, the court will set a hearing date and notify both parties by mail, if an attorney files an Answer, the case will automatically transfer to the civil division of this court.
  • If the defendant does not file an answer, you may file an application for default judgment.

Defendant Checklist

  • Answer the Complaint – Filing Fees. File your answer with the court within 20 calendar days of the date you received the complaint. Mail a copy of your answer to the plaintiff. The court cannot accept your answer without the answer fee.
    • If you wish to file a counterclaim, you must do so at the same time you file your answer. You must use the proper form for the counterclaim and a copy must also be mailed to the plaintiff. There is no additional charge for filing a counterclaim.
    • If you fail to file an answer, the plaintiff may win by default. If you have an attorney file your answer, the case will automatically transfer to the Civil Division of this court and a civil answer fee (instead of the answer fee) will be required.
    • If you filed a counterclaim and the plaintiff has failed to answer within 20 days, you may file for default against the plaintiff.
    • Be aware that the plaintiff’s complaint will be set for hearing/trial, even though you may have a judgment against plaintiff.

Notices to Both Parties

Hearing Date: The hearing will be set within 60 days of the filing of the defendant’s answer. Bring all evidence, documents and witnesses you need to present your case or establish your defense. The judge/hearing officer will not accept evidence after the hearing (unless ordered by him/her at the hearing) Judgment will be rendered either at the hearing or within 10 working days.

Address Change: Both parties are responsible for informing the court of current addresses so that notification can be received.

Motions: A.R.S.§ 22-505 allows only two motions in Small Claims –  Motion for Change of Venue (location) and Motion to Set Aside Judgment. These motions should be filed as soon as possible to ensure prompt handling.

Transfer to Civil Division: Transfer request must be filed at least 10 days prior to hearing or sooner.

Request for Continuance: Granted only for the most serious reasons. If you are requesting a continuance you must complete the form available at the court. It is also a good idea to attach any proof you may have regarding your request, i.e. a doctor’s written statement, copies of plane tickets, etc.

Collecting on Your Judgment: The court is not a collection agency. A Judgment allows you to proceed with the legal aspects of collecting. If you have been awarded a Judgment, the court may provide a list of methods you may use to proceed with collections.

Who Can File a Claim:

  • any person
  • a corporation
  • a partnership
  • an association
  • a marital community
  • an organization

Who Can Represent a Party:

  • an individual
  • either spouse of marital community
  • a general partner
  • a partnership – authorized full-time employee for partnership
  • a corporation – officer of corporation or authorized full-time employee for corporation
  • an association – active member or authorized full-time employee for association
  • an organization – active member or authorized full-time employee for organization

Who Cannot Represent a Party:

  • an assignee – such as a collection agency
  • a person who is not a real party to original transaction

The court requires a letter (on letterhead) of authorization from the company, corporation, association or organization authorizing the party who will be filing complaints and other documents and representing the entity as the authorized full-time employee or active member of the organization as per A.R.S. 22-512. If this letter of authorization is not on file, the judgment may be delayed or denied. 

How to Designate a Party (examples):

INDIVIDUAL
JOHN JONES
1234 S MAIN STREET
PHOENIX AZ 85003
PARENTS OF A MINOR
JOHN & MARY JONES, husband & wife
PARENTS OF JOHNNY JONES, a minor 1234 S MAIN STREET
PHOENIX AZ 85003
SOLE OWNERSHIP
JOHN JONES, dba
MARY’S CANDY SHOPPE
1234 S MAIN STREET
PHOENIX AZ 85003
HUSBAND & WIFE
JOHN JONES and MARY JONES, his wife
1234 S MAIN STREET
PHOENIX AZ 85003
TWO OR MORE DEFENDANTS
JOHN SMITH                 MARY BROWN
1111 N MAIN STREET    1000 E FIRST STREET
PHOENIX AZ 85003       PHOENIX AZ 85003
PARTNERSHIP
JOHN SMITH & JOHN JONES, partners dba THE CORNER CAFÉ
2222 W 2ND AVENUE
PHOENIX AZ 85003
WHEN THE DEFENDANT’S NAME IS UNKNOWN
JOHN DOE
(when the defendant’s true name is discovered, the pleading may be amended)
CORPORATION
MARY’S CANDY SHOPPE, INC
1234 S MAIN STREET
PHOENIX AZ 85003

 

 

County, City or Town:Lawsuits filed against a county or incorporated city or town must be in its corporate name. A claim must be filed before a lawsuit may be prosecuted against a government entity or public employee arising from government employment (A.R.S. § 12-820 through 12-826)

Service may also be made on an officer of the corporation, i.e. President, Vice President, Treasurer, etc.

Please visit the State of Arizona Courts website for further information regarding small claims.

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