Arizona Secretary of State - Michele Reagan

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Judicial Branch
Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Superior Courts


Arizona Constitution Article 6 Established Court System
Members of the Arizona Constitutional Convention completed Arizona's Constitution and sent it to the people for ratification on Dec. 9, 1910. Article VI of the constitution created the judicial system.
President Taft declared Arizona a state on Feb. 14, 1912, and in that same year the Arizona Legislature established superior, juvenile and justice of the peace courts.
In 1913, the Arizona Legislature established police (municipal) courts for each of the state's incorporated cities and towns.
In 1960, Arizona voters approved the Modern Courts Amendment. This amended Article VI and gave the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all courts of the state; increased the number of Supreme Court justices from three to five; gave the Supreme Court authority to make rules governing all procedural matters in any court; authorized creation of the court of appeals; required that justices and judges not practice law or hold any other public office or employment during their term of office; required that they hold no office in any political party or campaign in any election other than their own; and, required that Supreme Court justices, court of appeals judges and superior court judges must retire at age 70.
In 1965, legislation established the court of appeals.

The Structure of Arizona's Judiciary

  • Limited jurisdiction courts are justice and municipal (or city) courts. These courts have jurisdiction over a limited variety of cases. They are nonrecord courts, meaning that permanent records of court proceedings are not required. However, some courts do make a record of proceedings.
  • The general jurisdiction court is the Superior Court of Arizona, a statewide trial court. This court hears the widest variety of cases and keeps permanent records of court proceedings.
  • The state appellate courts have jurisdiction to review trials and decisions appealed to them. Most appeals come from the superior court, except for death penalty appeals and some cases involving elected officials and disputes between counties, which go directly to the Supreme Court.

Arizona Supreme Court

Chief Justice
Rebecca White Berch
Rebecca White Berch
The Arizona Supreme Court 2009-2010 History
About the Justices Background
Contact Information Duties
Key Staff & Divisions Justice Qualifications
List of Justices Since Statehood


Court of Appeals

Appeals Courts
Court of Appeals
Official Seal
Court of Appeals 2009-2010 History
About the Judges Background
Contact Information Duties
Key Staff Judge Qualifications
  List of Judges Since Statehood

Superior Courts

Superior Court 2009-2010 History
Members Background
Contact Information Duties
Key Staff