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NEW! The Court acted on many pending rule petitions at its August 29, 2017 Rules Agenda.  

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This website allows you to electronically file and monitor court rule petitions and comments and to view existing rules of court, recent amendments of those rules, and pending rule petitions and comments. Any visitor to this site may view posts on this website, but to post a petition or comment you must register and log in. To view instructions on how to register and how to file a petition or comment, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. 
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Last Post 07 Jul 2017 02:51 PM by  Julie Graber
R-17-0020 PETITION TO AMEND RULE 13(b)(4) of the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions
 12 Replies
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Author Messages
Julie Graber
New Member
Posts:6 New Member

--
09 Jan 2017 04:19 PM
    Filed on behalf of

    Judge Lawrence F. Winthrop, Chair
    Arizona Commission on Access to Justice
    1501 W. Washington St., Ste. 410
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    (602) 452-3250
    602-452-3480
    jgraber@courts.az.gov

    Would permit courts to accept stipulated judgments upon making certain findings.

    FILED 1/09/2017

    Initial comments due: March 14, 2017.
    Supplement to Petition if any due: April 26, 2017.
    Second round of comments due: May 31, 2017.
    Reply due: July 7, 2017.

    ORDERED: Petition to Amend Rule 13(b)(4) of the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions= ADOPTED as modified, effective .January 1, 2018.
    Attachments
    Michael A. Parham
    New Member
    Posts:14 New Member

    --
    14 Mar 2017 01:11 PM
    Williams, Zinman & Parham P.C.
    7701 East Indian School Road, Suite J
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
    (480) 994-4732
    Michael A. Parham, #004853
    Melissa A. Parham, # 025670
    Attorneys for Commenting Parties Manufactured Housing
    Communities of Arizona and Michael A. Parham

    These Commenting Parties object to adoption of this proposal for the reasons set forth in the attached comments.

    Size limitations required the appendices be separately filed.
    Attachments
    Mark Hyatt Tynan
    New Member
    Posts:2 New Member

    --
    14 Mar 2017 03:49 PM
    The Law Office of Mark Hyatt Tynan
    Mark Hyatt Tynan, Esq.
    7320 E Shoeman Ln Ste 204
    Scottsdale, AZ 85251-3359
    480-612-0577

    Cook & Price, PLC
    Jesse D. Cook, Esq.
    402 E. Southern Ave.
    Tempe, AZ 85282
    480-407-4440

    The Law Office of Mark A. Tucker
    Mark Tucker , Esq.
    2650 E Southern Ave
    Mesa, AZ 85204-5413
    480-633-9466

    Please see the attached comments from private tenant attorneys Mark H. Tynan, Jesse D. Cook, and Mark A. Tucker.
    Attachments
    Denise Holliday
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    --
    14 Mar 2017 08:37 PM
    Denise M. Holliday
    Holliday & Holliday PC
    7150 N 16th St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85020-5545
    602-230-0088
    hollidaylaw@netzero.net

    I hereby join in the comments filed by the law firm of Williams, Zinman and Parham. As an attorney that has litigated in this specific arena for over 20 years, the existing rules that became effective in 2009 already provide adequate protections for all parties. By requiring litigants to physically appear before the Judge before the court will accept their written settlement, there are multiple consequences that negatively impact these parties and the court system.

    1) The proposed rule will increase the time required to complete the court eviction dockets. This will increase the attorney fees charged to the tenants. Currently, the attorney fees charged for eviction actions are significantly lower than in any other field.

    2) By refusing to allow a tenant to execute the stipulation and leave, this proposed rule will force a tenant to miss more time away from work while they wait for the court to call their case, only to be cross-examined as to whether they understood what they just signed. In fact, during the pilot program in Maricopa County Justice Courts in January 2017, multiple defendants complained they were being treated unfairly and were caused undue delay when these litigants had already read the pleadings and acknowledged they were liable. They understood what they signed but were forced to stay and be questioned by the judge. Many took this as an insult to their intelligence.

    3) The attorneys in this field have reached a consensus based upon the pilot program in the Maricopa County Justice Courts in January 2017. Because of this program, they will not meet with any defendants and discuss reaching a stipulation. This is based upon the pilot questions by the trial court that led the listener to believe the attorney was under suspicion and must have misled the litigant. The program also required the attorney to provide legal advice to the opposing party.

    4) There has been no evidence or single incident that any attorney has ever misled any defendant in the stipulation process. In fact, in the one and only case where a complaint was made by a third party over what they stated was an "overheard misrepresentation", the trial court held a hearing and found that the person reporting the allegations admitted they were not been present during the entire discussion and may have been mistaken in their report. It should noted the person who made this allegation was a lawyer that has been outspoken about the use of stipulations in eviction actions and was part of a special summer pilot program that was attempting to gather information about how the justice courts were operating. This attempt to manufacture a problem when none existed was outrageous and unethical. That program created so many problems, the courts that had voluntarily agreed to participate in the program shut down how that group was permitted to operate in the court system and the contact they had with the litigants.

    5) The justice court system processes a very large number of evictions each month. It is very relevant for this Court to review the comments made by the judges regarding concerns they have with this proposed rule. Presiding Judge Steve McMurry created this program, encouraged a number of judges to participate in the January pilot program, and has provided this Court with a very frank view of their findings. I strongly encourage this Court to consider the opinions of the very judges that preside over over 80% of all the eviction actions heard in this state. They universally agree they have seen no evidence of the alleged issues raised by the Petitioner.

    Finally, the comments and positions made by all the stakeholders during the creation of the RPEA between 2007 through 2008 should be reviewed prior to this Court making any substantial changes. These changes are suggested and supported only by a small group of people who have openly admitted their desire to make the eviction process slower and more difficult. Arizona is one of the few states with very fair and balanced rules and statutes that equally protect the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. This fact has helped our housing industry provide affordable housing opportunities for everyone.
    Frank J. Conti
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    --
    14 Mar 2017 08:50 PM
    To whom it may concern:


    I wholeheartedly join Mr. Parham's comments and share his concerns regarding the proposed rule, which adds a needless layer of procedural complexity to a rather simple situation. The proposed rule significantly frustrates the imperative for promoting judicial economy. How? By taking the ancient Latin maxim "Lex non requirit actus vanae" ("The law does not require a futile act") and standing it on its head.


    Eviction actions are both statutory and civil in nature. In no other civil context is the court asked to play a paternalistic role in divining whether adult litigants are capable of settling lawsuits they're involved in. Misfortune--financial, medical, or otherwise--is an immutable part of human existence. In my experience in serving as a justice of the peace, I have found that only a very small percentage of eviction actions actually involve either justiciable issues of fact or appropriate legal defenses. The vast majority of eviction stipulations involve nothing more than a recognition on part of the defendant/tenant that they have not paid the rent, and that their financial difficulties, regrettable as they may be, do not amount to a viable legal defense to the action.


    Therefore this proposed rule, when viewed in light of the facts as they are actually presented in eviction matters in justice courts across Arizona, cannot possibly be designed to promote "access to justice." This is because the proposed rule, in the overwhelming majority of cases, flies in the face of reality. It seems to many such as myself that the actual purpose of the proposed rule re: stipulations is the promotion of "access to social justice." This, I believe, is not the proper role of the judiciary, and is perhaps best left to the legislative branch of our state government.


    Respectfully submitted,


    FRANK J. CONTI
    Justice of the Peace
    Dreamy Draw Justice Court
    Maricopa County, AZ
    Paul Henderson
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    --
    14 Mar 2017 09:29 PM
    Paul A. Henderson, Esq. (AZBN 22891)
    Christopher R. Walker, Esq. (AZBN 28977)
    Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, P.C.
    3008 N. 44th Street
    Phoenix, Arizona. 85018
    (602) 957-7877

    Attorneys Paul A. Henderson and Christopher R. Walker, of the Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, P.C. and who are counsel to a large number of mutltifamily and single-family landlords and property owners throughout the State of Arizona, hereby join and endorse the objection and comments filed by attorneys Michael A. Parham and Melissa A. Parham.
    Linda Koschney
    New Member
    Posts:43 New Member

    --
    01 May 2017 09:39 AM
    Hon. Lawrence F. Winthrop
    1501 W. Washington, Suite 410
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    Attachments
    Michael A. Parham
    New Member
    Posts:14 New Member

    --
    26 May 2017 06:57 AM
    Williams, Zinman & Parham P.C.
    7701 East Indian School Road, Suite J
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
    (480) 994-4732
    Michael A. Parham, #004853
    Melissa A. Parham, # 025670
    Attorneys for Commenting Parties Manufactured Housing
    Communities of Arizona and Michael A. Parham

    We do not object to the LATEST proposed rule so long as the language is cleaned up to accurately reflect its intent as set forth in the attached Comments.
    Attachments
    Jay Young
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    --
    31 May 2017 02:55 PM
    To Whom It May Concern:

    The Southwest Fair Housing Council (SWFHC), established in 1986, is a non-profit, tax-exempt fair housing organization that provides services throughout Arizona. SWFHC advocates for and facilitates the enforcement of the Federal and Arizona Fair Housing Acts and the non-discriminatory ordinances of Arizona municipalities. Its mission is to provide comprehensive services to achieve and preserve equal access to housing for all people.

    SWFHC staff during the course of conducting fair housing investigations frequently hears the stories of tenants who have experienced or are facing eviction. The vast majority of these clients do not adequately understand their rights as tenants or under the Fair Housing Act and do not have the resources to hire an attorney. Compared to the need, there are few agencies or organizations available to advocate on their behalf. In order for SWFHC to achieve its mission to preserve equal access to housing for all people, it is crucial that tenants understand what is happening in eviction cases.

    The Southwest Fair Housing Council submits this comment in support of the petition to adopt an amendment to the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions by adding a requirement concerning the acceptance of stipulated judgments as Rule 13(b)(4). The Council also supports comments made by the William E. Morris Institute for Justice and Community Legal Services. Finally, it supports the amendment proposed by Community Legal Services filed on May 31, 2017, but does not support the amendment proposed by the Access to Justice Commission filed on May 1, 2017.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Jay Young
    Executive Director
    Southwest Fair Housing Council
    323 W. Roosevelt St., Suite 100B
    Phoenix, AZ 86003
    Ph: (602) 252-3423
    Attachments
    Veronika Brown
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    --
    31 May 2017 03:42 PM
    On behalf of

    Pamela M. Bridge (AZ Bar 18252)
    COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES
    305 South 2nd Avenue
    Phoenix, Arizona 85003
    (602) 258-3434 ext. 2650
    pbridge@clsaz.org



    Attachments
    Wm. E Morris Institute for Justice
    New Member
    Posts:5 New Member

    --
    31 May 2017 03:45 PM
    Re: Comments in Support of Petition to Amend Rule 13(b)(4) of the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions and Proposed Amendment Filed by Community Legal Services on May 31

    Ellen Sue Katz
    William E. Morris Institute for Justice
    3707 North Seventh Street, Suite 300
    Phoenix, Arizona 85014
    (602) 252-3432
    (602) 257-8138
    eskatz@qwestoffice.net
    AZ Bar. No. 012214
    Attachments
    Chris Carlsen
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    --
    31 May 2017 04:58 PM
    Chris Carlsen, AZ Bar # 023608
    ARIZONA CENTER FOR DISABILITY LAW
    177 N. Church Avenue, Suite 800
    Tucson, AZ 85701
    (520) 327-9547
    ccarlsen@azdisabilitylaw.org

    In support of comments and proposed amendments issued by Community Legal Services.
    Attachments
    Julie Graber
    New Member
    Posts:6 New Member

    --
    07 Jul 2017 02:51 PM
    Hon. Lawrence F. Winthrop
    1501 W. Washington, Suite 410
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    Attachments
    Topic is locked