Verde Valley Justice Court

Verde Valley Justice Court
Notice to all Litigants Who are Filing a Civil Lawsuit

The Courts will abide by the Rules of Civil Procedures concerning who may represent the real party in interest, in any action filed in this Justice Court (This does not apply to Small Claims actions.).

Civil filing (up to $10,000.00) Filing Fees

Civil Checklist For Plaintiff

The following procedures will be followed and shall apply to every named party in an action, whether a plaintiff, defendant, counter-claimant, counter-defendant, cross-claimant, cross-defendant and or third party.

  1. An Individual R.C.P. 17(a). Named in a lawsuit, may represent his/her interest in court by:
    1. Appearing in person
    2. By an attorney appearing in Court for or with him/her
  2. A Corporation, named in a lawsuit, may be represented by:
    1. An attorney
    2. An Officer of the Corporation who:
      1. Has been specifically authorized to represent the corporation in Justice Court
         AND
      2. His primary duties to the corporation are other than representing the corporation’s interest in Court.

    The corporation must be the original party to, or a first assignee of, a conditional sales contract, conveyance, transaction or occurrence which gave rise to the cause of action in Court. The assignment was not made for collection purpose. (Rules of Supreme Court 31 A4 C)

  3. A Partnership may sue and be sued in the name which it has assumed or be which it is known. R.C.P. SEC 29-218(5) Since all partners have equal rights in the management and conduct of the partnership business (A.R.S. sec 29-218(5), then any one or all partners may be represented by:
    1. Appearing in person
    2. By attorney

Power of Attorney does not give a person a right to represent a party in Court.

Privilege to practice Supreme Court Rule 31(a)(3)
Except as hereinafter provided…no person shall practice law in this state or hold himself out as one who may practice law in this state unless he is an active member of the state bar…

Complaint and Summons:
A civil action is commenced by filing a complaint and summons with the Court. If you are filing this by mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Form of pleading Rule 10(a) (parties names)
“…shall include the names of all parties…”

Designation of Defendant Rule 10(f)
“…When the name of the Defendants is unknown to the Plaintiff, the Defendant may be designated in the pleadings or proceeding by any name. When the Defendant’s true name is discovered, the pleading or proceeding may be amended accordingly.”

Summons:

Plaintiffs shall have Defendant(s) served a Complaint and Summons by the Constable or a private process server. Defendants shall have 20 calendar days from the date of service to file an answer. If the 20th day is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the time runs out at the end of the next working day. If you live outside of Arizona, you have 30 days to file your answer from the date of service.

If you fail to answer, Judgment may be entered against you as requested in the complaint.

Civil Action Time Requirements

TIME COMPUTATIONS – Do not count the day from which the time begins to run. (Example – if served on June 1, start counting on June 2.) The last day is included. If the last day is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

If less than 11 days, do not include Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.

If service by mail, add 5 days to time provided for action.

Determine the “total time” permitted. (Example – if the basic time is 10 days and service by mail, the “total time” would be 15 days. Therefore, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays are included.)

CIVIL CASE RESPONSE TIMES
(Rules refer to Rules of Civil Procedure unless otherwise indicated.)

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT (Rule 12a) 20 days after service
ANSWER TO CROSSCLAIMS (Rule 12a) 20 days after service
REPLY TO COUNTERCLAIM (Rule 12a) 20 days after service
ANSWER IF MOTION FILED INSTEAD OF PLEADING
(Rule 12a)
10 days after notice of Court action upon Motion
DEFENDING AFTER DEFAULT (Rule 55a) 10 days after filing Application for Entry of Default
RESPONSE TO MOTION (Rule IV, Uniform Rules) 10 days after service
REPLY TO RESPONSE 5 days after service of Response
SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION RESPONSE (Rule 56c) 15 days after service of Motion
REPLY TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Rule 56c) 5 days after service of Response

APPEAL PROCEDURE SUMMARY
File Notice of Appeal in JP Court; Post Appeal Bond in JP Court;
transmit docket entries and papers to Superior Court; Pay Superior Court fees.
(Rules refer to Superior Court Rules of Appellate Procedure)

NOTICE OF APPEAL (file in JP Ct – Rule 9) 10 days after Court mails Judgment
NOTICE OF CROSS-APPEAL (file in JP Ct – Rule 9) 10 days after Notice of Appeal filed
BOND FOR COSTS ON APPEAL (file in JP Ct – Rule 10) 10 days after Court mails Judgment
TRANSMITTAL OF DOCKET ENTRIES and PAPERS
(JP Ct to Superior Ct – 22-264C)
10 days after filing appeal bond
APPELLANT SUPERIOR COURT FEE
(22-265/22-283/12-284)
15 days after Superior Ct notification
APPELLEE SUPERIOR COURT FEE
(22-283/12-284)
20 days after filing transcript or papers on appeal
SUPERSEDEAS BOND (equal to Judgment & accrued costs)
Stays execution. Execution may issue if no Supersedeas Bond. Rules 7 & 10
any time after Notice of Appeal

 

Civil Claim Case Trial and Default Procedures

ADDRESS and NOTICE – It is the responsibility of each party to keep the Court informed of the current mailing address to be used to mail Court notices. A phone number is also helpful. After service of the summons and complaint, any document filed with the Court must be served or mailed to the other party.

DEFAULT PROCEDURES – If no response is filed to the summons and complaint served on a defendant, the case will be completed as a default matter. See the reverse side of this information sheet for default procedures.

DISCLOSURE – Within 40 days after the filing of a responsive pleading, each party must disclose in writing to every other party the factual basis and legal theory upon which each claim or defense is based, together with witness and document information, as provided by Rule 26.1, Rules of Civil Procedure.

TRIAL SETTING – After each party has filed responses to the claim(s) of the other party, either party may request a trial date by informing the Court in writing that the party is ready for trial and requests a trial date.

PRETRIAL CONFERENCE – If it appears that trial of a case will involve a number of witnesses or for other reason will take more time than most cases require, the Court will usually set the case for a “pretrial conference.” Both parties will be required to appear with a list of witnesses and copies of any documents they want the Court to admit in evidence during the trial. Settlement may also be discussed. The Court will then set the case for trial.

MOTIONS – Special requests made to the Court are usually in the form of motions. See Rule 12, Rules of Civil Procedure (Volume 16, Arizona Revised Statutes) for information relating to motions. The Court will hold a hearing on a motion after the other party has an opportunity to respond.

DISCOVERY – Each party may discover information concerning the evidence the other party may present at trial. No discovery is permitted in small claim cases. See Rule 26, Rules of Civil Procedure (Volume 16, Arizona Revised Statutes) for discovery procedures.

TRIAL WITNESSES – It is the responsibility of each party to make arrangements for their witnesses to attend the trial. If a witness will not appear voluntarily, a subpoena will be issued by the Court upon request. See the subpoena information sheet for further information. If there is objection by the other party, in most instances the Court will not accept letters, statements, or affidavits of witnesses in place of courtroom testimony, since the other party will not have an opportunity to question the witness. If a witness will give testimony important to your case, have the witness at trial.

TRIAL – it will b helpful to have a written outline of the evidence you want to present to the Court. A list of witness questions will also help you. Evidence must be relevant and competent. Arizona Rules of Evidence are set forth in Volume 17A, Arizona Revised Statutes. Because the plaintiff has the burden of proving the plaintiff’s claim, the plaintiff will present the plaintiff’s evidence first. Each party may question each witness. After the evidence is presented by both sides, each party may present closing arguments. The Court will then make a decision which is usually announced before the Judge leaves the courtroom.

JUDGMENT – The court’s decision will be set forth in a “Judgment.” For information relating to enforcement of judgments or appeal from judgments, see the “Collecting Civil Money Judgments,” “Execution of Judgments,” and “Appeal Procedures” information sheets.

Instructions for Obtaining Default Judgment

ARIZONA RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, RULES 55A and B

  1. If you call the Court and the Defendant has not filed an answer to your Complaint and Summons after 20 days from the date of service,
  2. FILE the application for Default with the Court. (This is a second opportunity for the Defendant to file an answer).
  3. MAIL a copy of the Application for Default to both the Defendant and his attorney, if known. You may use regular mail.
    1. If the Defendant files an answer, a court date will be set. A default Judgment will not be issued. This procedure no longer applies to your case.
    2. If the Defendant does not file an answer prior to the ten (10) days expiration (excluding weekends and holidays), the court clerk will present your Motion and Affidavit to the Judge for review.

The Court may rule on your evidence (the proof you have provided) or hold a hearing to determine damages and issue a Judgment.

Copies of the Judgment will be mailed to both parties by the Court.

Why you can’t talk to the Judge about your case without the other party being present

Under our system of justice, each party is entitled to be present when information is given to the Judge concerning the facts of a case. If one party were permitted to talk with the Judge without the other party being present, it would at least appear that the party who had the private conversation with the Judge would have an advantage. The Judge is to remain impartial and make decisions based only on information presented when both parties are present. Also, each party must be given opportunity to contest any statements made by the other party. This cannot be done if one party is absent.

Therefore, one party should not be permitted to talk with the Judge about a case in the absence of any other party to the case.

There is, however, an exception to the above rule. Parties are obligated to appear for scheduled court proceedings. When a party is given notice of a court proceeding time and fails to appear, the court may proceed in the absence of the non-appearing party.

The above rule does not apply to the same extent to Court Clerks because they do not decide the case. However, Court Clerks are not to take sides and are not to give “advice.” Court Clerks may provide legal forms and give “information” concerning Court procedures.

(7) A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person’s lawyer, the right to be heard according to law. A judge shall not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications, or consider other communications made to the judge outside the presence of the parties concerning a pending or impending proceeding except that:

(a) Where circumstances require, ex parte communications for scheduling, administrative purposes or emergencies that do not deal with substantive matters or issues on the merits are authorized; provided:

(i) the judge reasonably believes that no party will gain a procedural or tactical advantage as a result of the ex parte communication, and

(ii) the judge makes provision promptly to notify all other parties of the substance of the ex parte communication and allows an opportunity to respond.

(b) A judge may obtain the advice of a disinterested expert on the law applicable to a proceeding.

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