Arizona Judicial Branch

Civil Law

The body of laws of the State of Arizona dealing with the rights of private citizens. These laws include, but are not limited to, the areas of law such as Evictions, Small Claims, Civil Lawsuits, Covenant Marriage in Arizona, Name Change and Appearance Bond.

Civil cases typically involve legal disagreements between individuals, businesses, corporations or partnerships. A person can also be involved in a civil lawsuit with a government entity such as a state, county or city.

Most civil cases involve disputes related to breach of contract, the collection of a debt, monetary compensation for personal injuries, property damage, or family law issues such as divorce.

The party suing in a civil case is the plaintiff, and the party being sued is the defendant. 

Steps in Bringing a Civil Lawsuit:

  1. The plaintiff files a document (complaint) with the clerk of the court stating the reasons why the plaintiff is suing the defendant, and what action the plaintiff wants the court to take.
  2. The plaintiff must state whether the case is eligible for arbitration according to court rule.
  3. A copy of the complaint and a summons are delivered to (served on) the defendant.
  4. The defendant has a limited time (usually 20 days) to file a written answer admitting or denying the statements in the complaint.
  5. The plaintiff and the defendant exchange information about the case. This is called discovery.
  6. The case is tried before a jury or a judge. 
  7. The judge makes a decision, or the jury gives its verdict, based on the testimony and other evidence presented during trial.
  8. The losing party may appeal the decision to the next higher level of the court.

Civil (Over $10,000)

Civil (10,000 and under)
To prepare forms used in Eviction actions, please visit our website. This website walks users through the process of creating documents required for Eviction Actions.

If you would prefer to print forms without receiving assistance with filling out the forms you may use the link below. Self Service Center Forms

Civil Lawsuits. This site describes the steps involved in filing a civil lawsuit against an individual, business, corporation, or government entity.

Name Change. The Arizona Judicial Branch has provided several packets of forms and single forms in PDF, which can be filled out online using a standard Internet browser. The completed or blank forms can then be printed for submission to the court.