Arizona has two appellate courts: the court of appeals is the intermediate appellate court and the Supreme Court is the court of last resort.
The court of appeals was established in 1965 as the first level of appeal up from superior court. It has two divisions: Division One in Phoenix (16 judges) and Division Two in Tucson (six judges).
The court of appeals:
- hears and decides cases in three judge panels;
- has jurisdiction in all matters properly appealed from superior court; and,
- reviews all decisions properly appealed to it.
Court of Appeals, Division One, has statewide responsibility for appeals from the Industrial Commission, unemployment compensation rulings of the Department of Economic Security, and rulings by the Tax Court.
The appeals process is generally the same for both civil and criminal cases. (There are filing fees in civil cases, but not for criminal cases.)
Each division of the court of appeals has a clerk of the court and other support personnel. Their duties are outlined in A.R.S. § 12-120.09.
A clerk of the court maintains official records and case files and handles the administrative duties of the court.
Court of Appeals Judge Qualifications
A court of appeals judge must be:
- At least 30 years old;
- Of good moral character; and,
- A resident of Arizona and admitted to the practice of law in Arizona for the five years immediately prior to taking office.