Answer: An appeal is a legal proceeding to obtain review of the judgment of a superior court or administrative tribunal. The Court of Appeals hears no witnesses and does not determine facts; instead, it decides whether the trial Court made an error of law or made a factual determination unsupported by any evidence. Not every superior court order can be appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals only considers appeals within its jurisdiction, as established by the Arizona Legislature.
Industrial Commission (“IC”) appeals are initiated by the filing of a “Petition for Special Action – Industrial Commission” in the Court of Appeals. See the “Guide for Self-Represented (‘Pro Se’ or ‘Pro Per’) Parties” in Worker’s Compensation Case Appeals, located here, for further information about initiating a workers’ compensation appeal.
Any initial document that creates a new case in the Court of Appeals may be filed electronically through AZTurboCourt along with any applicable filing fee.
Answer: Any filing fees due the Court of Appeals can be paid electronically (using AZTurboCourt) or by mailing or delivering payment to the Clerk’s Office at:
Clerk of the Court
Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One
1501 W Washington St.
Phoenix AZ 85007
Note that a filing fee paid in person or by mail must be in the form of check, cash (exact change only) or money order. The Clerk’s Office cannot make change and cannot accept a payment over the phone or with a credit/debit card.
Filing fees submitted through AZTurboCourt, however, can be paid using a PayPal account or credit card. Be advised that it may take two to five business days to set up a PayPal account.
Answer: If your income is insufficient or is barely sufficient to meet the daily essentials of life, you may file an Application for Waiver/Deferral of Filing Fees. See here for the application.
Note that any filer who claims to be receiving governmental assistance must provide proof. The application for waiver/deferral must be notarized (if the application is filed in person, it may be signed and affirmed in the Clerk's Office by a Deputy Clerk). The application may not be electronically filed through AZTurboCourt. Any waiver or deferral does not relieve a filer of the obligation to pay the $6 fee charged to make an electronic filing through AZTurboCourt.
Answer: Admin Order 2012-2 requires that, with certain limited exceptions, all documents filed by attorneys in the Court of Appeals must be filed electronically. Electronic documents can be filed via AZTurboCourt 24 hours a day/7 days a week, including holidays. Documents are marked filed as of the date they are received by the Court’s electronic system.
Self-represented parties may file using AZTurboCourt but are not required to do so. Self-represented parties who do not want to file electronically may file paper documents by sending or delivering them to the Clerk’s Office, located on the second floor of the State Courts Building, 1501 W. Washington Street in Phoenix. The Clerk’s Office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on state holidays. Unless otherwise ordered in a particular case, paper documents must be submitted by 5 p.m. and electronic documents must be electronically filed by 11:59:59 p.m. on the due date in order to be considered timely.
Answer: The Arizona Court of Appeals cannot accept filings by fax, but does accept e-filings through AZTurboCourt, an electronic filing system. If you have not yet registered to use AZTurboCourt, click on the “AZTurboCourt” link on the Court’s Home page for information.
All e-filed documents must be submitted in .docx, .pdf, or .odt format. The Court encourages e-filers to submit briefs in .docx format.
Remember that even when you e-file a document, you must serve a copy of the document on all other parties. See here for the rule about when you may serve other parties electronically. AZTurboCourt offers e-service for an additional fee. If you have not yet registered to use AZTurboCourt click here or on the AZTurboCourt link on the Court's Home page for information.
Answer: The rules governing each type of appeal describe what the briefs should contain and their various requirements. (These requirements are quite detailed and specific.) The rules are available online here. The Court may not consider a brief that does not comply with applicable rules.
Most briefs are filed electronically through AZTurboCourt. When multiple documents, exhibits or attachments are contained in a single e-filed document (such as an appendix), the combined document must contain a table of contents with electronic bookmarks or hyperlinks to each of the respective documents, exhibits or attachments. The pages in an appendix should be numbered sequentially, beginning with the cover page of the appendix.
When briefs are not filed electronically but are filed in paper form, they must bear color covers. An opening brief should have a blue cover; an answering brief, a red cover; a reply brief, gray; intervener or amicus brief, green. Supreme Court Admin. Order 2012-2 specifies other formatting requirements for documents filed in paper form.
Answer: Admin Order 2012-2 requires that, with certain limited exceptions, all documents filed by attorneys in the Court of Appeals must be filed electronically. An e-filer need not (and should not) file any paper copies of documents that have been e-filed. In those limited cases in which Admin Order 2012-2 allows the filing of documents by paper rather than electronically, the following rules apply:
· Motions in all case types except Special Actions: Original and four copies.
· Motions in Special Actions: Original and six copies.
· Briefs: Original and six copies.
Remember that even when you e-file a document, you must serve a copy of the document on all other parties. See here for the rule about when you may serve other parties electronically.
Answer: You are encouraged to file an appendix that contains copies of any record documents necessary to the determination of an issue on appeal. You must number the pages in your appendix sequentially. If you file your appendix as a separate document, page numbering must begin with the cover page. If you file your appendix as an attachment to your brief, the cover page of the appendix must be numbered sequentially to the last page of the brief. An appendix must have a table of contents that includes electronic bookmarks or hyperlinks to each document in the appendix. The table of contents also must specify where in the lower court record each document is found (for example, by item number in the clerk’s index, by transcript date, or by exhibit number, as appropriate). A brief that refers to a document contained in an appendix should include the page number of the appendix at which the specific reference is found. The Court encourages any party that files a combined brief and appendix to provide electronic bookmarks or hyperlinks in the brief to record references in the attached appendix.
Answer: Yes, in a case or consolidated cases involving multiple separately represented parties, all parties on a side are encouraged to join in a single brief to the greatest extent practicable. On motion, the Court will grant a reasonable enlargement of size for such a joint brief or for a brief responding to a joint brief or to multiple briefs.
Answer: The Court routinely grants one 30-day extension of time to file an opening or answering brief and one 20-day extension of time to file a reply brief, without requiring a showing of any cause. In a civil appeal, a party may obtain this automatic extension by filing a motion for procedural order pursuant to ARCAP 6(b). In a criminal appeal, a party may obtain this automatic extension by emailing a request to CRextension@appeals.az.gov (copying opposing counsel). Requests for subsequent extensions will be allowed only upon a showing of actual and substantial good cause arising from unforeseen and extraordinary circumstances (scheduling conflicts normally do not constitute actual and substantial good cause). When the Court denies a request for an extension, it will require that the brief be filed within 10 days.
A party may ask for an extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration by filing a motion. A request for a lengthy extension to file a motion for reconsideration (beyond 30 days) is unlikely to be granted. A request for an extension of time to file a petition for review must be filed in the Supreme Court, not the Court of Appeals. Requests to continue an oral argument, which must be requested by motion, are disfavored and will be granted only when counsel cannot appear for a compelling reason and no other counsel can appear instead.
A party filing a motion for an extension should advise the Court in the motion of the opposing party’s position with regard to the requested extension.
· Some judges study the table of contents to get an overview of the case. Therefore, use full sentences for the headings in your table of contents so that it will read as an outline of your arguments.
· If your brief contains more than one argument, explain the relationship between or among the arguments. In other words, if the Court need not reach issue B if it rules in your favor on issue A, say so.
· If you are arguing on appeal that the trial court erred by making a particular ruling, provide a record reference in your brief to the ruling and where and how you objected to the ruling at the time.
· If you are making a request for attorneys’ fees on appeal, specify the location of that request in the table of contents of your brief.
Answer: Pursuant to Arizona Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 21, effective January 1, 2015, a party in a civil appeal must include any request for attorneys’ fees in the opening or answering brief, and must provide the legal authority (the statute, rule or contract) that allows an award of fees. If the Court decides to allow you to recover attorneys’ fees, you then will be allowed to file a request for the specific amount of fees you have incurred.
Answer: In most cases, you may obtain copies of documents filed electronically in your case through AZTurboCourt at no extra charge. If you have e-filed in AZTurboCourt in a case, you may view an electronic copy of any document filed in the case and print it through your computer. (You may experience a delay in viewing a document that has been filed in paper form; these documents may not be found on the list of case documents in AZTurboCourt for two to three business days. If you need a copy of a document that is not available on AZTurboCourt, contact the Clerk’s Office at 602-542-4821.)
Access to documents filed in Juvenile Court cases or Mental Health cases is restricted; those documents are not available through AZTurboCourt.
Except for documents in Juvenile Court or Mental Health cases, documents filed in cases pending before the Court may be viewed by visiting the Clerk’s Office. On request, the Clerk will copy documents from the Court’s file for you at that time. Note, however, that state law requires the Clerk’s Office to collect a fee of 50 cents per page for any copies it makes at the request of a party. Copy requests for more than 10 pages may not be filled immediately.
Answer: Lower court records previously sealed by a trial court, board or commission, and transferred to this Court on appeal, will remain closed to the public. But absent an order of the Court of Appeals, any document a party files in this Court (e.g., briefs, appendices, motions) is not sealed and will be considered public record. Parties who want to have documents they file in the Court of Appeals sealed must file a motion in this Court requesting that the documents be sealed. Any final decision issued by the Court of Appeals is a matter of public record.
Answer: At this time, all briefs and motions received for filing with the Court must be in English.
Answer: Let the Court of Appeals know when you have filed a document in a case that is on an oral argument or conference calendar for consideration within the next seven business days.
Such documents may include:
· Supplemental Citations of Authority
· Motion to Dismiss
· Motion to Continue
· Any other motion that may affect a scheduled oral argument or conference
· When the Court has ordered a specific date and time for filing. (i.e., filings in Special Action or Expedited Election Matters)
If you are filing such a document electronically via AZTurboCourt, call the Clerk’s Office at 602-542-4821 when you have filed (or are about to file), and let the Clerk know the date of your case’s oral argument or conference. If you are filing a paper copy of the document at the front counter in the Clerk’s Office, let the front counter clerk know that your filing requires immediate attention.
Do not wait until the day of oral argument to file a document that requires immediate attention. If you file such a document the morning of oral argument, it may not get to the panel prior to argument.
Answer: You may locate your Court of Appeals case number here. Click on “Party-Case Index” and search through the alphabetical listing of party names for the party you are searching for (you may also use your Internet browser’s “Find” feature). Alternatively, you may go to “Lower Court Case Number Index” and use the lower court case number to find your case. Note that this case list contains only open, active cases; not cases that have been closed. Once you have located the party information, the number listed to the left of the party name is your Court of Appeals case number, and is a link to the case docket. Note that the numbers of all cases in Division One begin with ‘1 CA-’. Please have your Court of Appeals case number handy when contacting the Clerk’s Office about your case.
Answer: All notices regarding a change of contact information (mailing address, phone number, email address, etc.) must be submitted via AZTurboCourt, US mail, or hand-delivery to the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office is unable to change any information over the phone. Make sure to specify the Case Number of each pending appeal or special action in which you are involved.
Answer: It depends. Before the judges may consider your appeal, court reporters must prepare and file transcripts of any proceedings in the trial court that are required or that the parties have requested. Sometimes delays occur in the preparation of those transcripts, or in the filing of briefs. Once any required transcripts and all the briefs are filed, the case is placed on a conference calendar for consideration by a panel of judges. Most decisions are issued within 90 days of the date of the conference calendar. Some decisions take longer. This may happen when a case is complex or when other matters have priority by law or more complicated cases are in line for decision ahead of it. You can see if and when a case has been set on a conference calendar by checking the docket of the appeal here. If a panel of the Court is considering your appeal but has not yet issued its decision, the Clerk’s Office will not be able to tell you when to expect a decision. The Court normally issues decisions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When a decision is issued, the Court notifies all attorneys on the case and all parties not represented by attorneys.
Answer: Requests for stays in civil appeals first should be addressed to the superior court, not to the Court of Appeals. If the superior court denies a stay, then the request can be brought to the Court of Appeals. If a party to an appeal files for bankruptcy protection while the appeal is pending, that party should promptly file a notice with the Court of Appeals alerting it of the bankruptcy filing.
Answer: In deciding an appeal, the judges assigned to the case, along with their law clerks and staff attorneys, will review electronic copies of the briefs and electronic copies of documents from the trial court record. (Even documents that are filed in paper form are scanned electronically for use by the Court.) For that reason, it is important that briefs contain the correct record references for documents in the trial court record. The Court encourages a party, where possible, to file a combined brief and appendix, with electronic bookmarks or hyperlinks in the brief that link to record references in the attached appendix. Alternatively, when an appendix is separately filed, a party should take care to refer in the brief to the specific page number of the appendix at which the record reference is found.
Answer: After a case has been assigned to a three-judge panel, the names of the judges assigned to the case will be shown on the case docket, available here. The docket also will show the date the panel will discuss the case in conference or hold oral argument on the case. To find your case, go to "Search/Search Active Cases" on the docket page and enter the appeal case number. (On occasion, the makeup of a panel may change between the time the case is assigned to the panel and the day the panel is to consider the case. Any such change will be noted in the docket.)
Answer: If the Court of Appeals is going to hear oral argument in your appeal, the Clerk’s Office will notify you at least 20 days before the date of the argument. You can check the docket in your case here to see when a panel of judges will consider your case, or for case information or rulings on motions, etc. If you do not have the case number of your appeal, you can look it up by going to “Case Status,” “Party-Case Index” and entering a party’s last name, or by going to “Lower Court Case Number Index” and entering the lower court case number. Note that only open cases are available to view on this website. The docket will show when certain filings are due. If a panel of the Court is considering your appeal but has not yet issued its decision, the Clerk’s Office will not be able to tell you when to expect a decision. When the decision is issued, the Court notifies all attorneys on the case and all parties not represented by attorneys.
Answer: No. If an appeal is scheduled for conference without oral argument, the judges will not consider the case in open court.
Answer: A special action is Arizona’s name for an interlocutory appeal or a writ of certiorari, mandamus and prohibition. (A challenge to a worker’s compensation award also is called a “Special Action-Industrial Commission.”). Special actions may be filed in superior court or in an appellate court. In the Court of Appeals, a special action petition is the means by which a party to an ongoing matter in a lower court may seek immediate review of a decision made by the lower court before the conclusion of the matter. Rules applicable to special actions are located here. Whether to accept review of a special action petition is within the discretion of the Court of Appeals. The Court normally will decline to accept review of a petition for special action when the petitioner has an adequate remedy by appeal. As a result, the Court of Appeals will dismiss or decline to accept jurisdiction of the great majority of petitions for special actions. The Court normally will calendar a petition for special action for consideration within 21 days of its filing. In many cases, however, the Court will issue an order summarily dismissing or declining to accept jurisdiction of a petition even before it receives any response to the petition.
Filing a special action: With limited exceptions, all lawyers are required to use AZTurboCourt to electronically file a petition for special action and related materials in the Court of Appeals. When a petition for special action is filed in paper form, not electronically, the petitioner must file the original plus six copies of the petition and all supporting materials.
Service of special action materials: Pursuant to Administrative Order 2012-0001 issued by Division One of the Court of Appeals, service of a petition for special action and related filings by and between the parties shall be accomplished via email. (You may, but need not, use email to serve the Respondent Judge.) An attorney filing a petition for special action is required to serve the petition on all other parties by email on the same day the petition is filed. With the petition, the attorney must provide a list of attorneys for all other parties to the proceeding, and all pro se litigants and their contact information, including email addresses. An example of such a contact information sheet is provided here. Filers are not required to use this exact contact sheet, but all information on this sheet must be provided in some form. The Court then will file and serve the Order Setting Dates on all parties using the information provided by Petitioner.
Scheduling of special actions: Written responses to a petition for special action must be filed and served within seven business days after service of the petition upon the respondent. Any reply in support of a petition for special action must be filed no later than five business days after the response has been filed with the Court. ("Business days" do not include intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. The day of the act or event from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event the deadline is the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.)
Answer: A party that files a petition for special action also must file an appendix that contains copies of all documents filed in the lower court that are necessary to resolving the special action. The appendix must include a table of contents that specifies where in the lower court record each document is found (for example, by item number in the clerk’s index, by transcript date, or by exhibit number). The table of contents also should have electronic bookmarks or hyperlinks to the first page of each of the documents in the appendix. The pages in an appendix must be numbered sequentially. The Court prefers that where possible, a party file a combined petition and appendix. When the appendix is a separately filed document, page numbering should begin with the cover page of the appendix. When the appendix is filed as an attachment to a petition for special action, the cover page of the appendix shall be numbered sequentially to the last page of the brief. The petition for special action must include references to the record. When you cite a record in the appendix, provide the Court with the page number of the appendix at which the record reference is found.
Answer: A response to a petition for special action should provide all appropriate record references, but may cite the petitioner’s appendix for any record document contained in that appendix. If the responding party thinks that additional record documents are necessary to the determination of a special action, the party should file an appendix containing copies of those documents. In any event, the response should cite record documents by the page number of the relevant appendix.
Answer: The judges assigned to consider a petition for special action will review it shortly after it is filed. If the Court determines that it will not exercise its discretion to accept jurisdiction of the petition, the Court will dismiss the petition without waiting for a response.
Answer: Special action stay procedures are discussed in Court Policies. Requests for stays in special actions first should be addressed to the superior court, not to the Court of Appeals. If the superior court denies a stay, then the request may be brought to the Court of Appeals.
Answer: The Court usually will schedule oral argument only if one of the parties timely requests it, and then only if the Court agrees that oral argument might be helpful in deciding the case. If the Court sets oral argument in your case, you will be notified at least 20 days in advance of the scheduled date.
Answer: The panel of judges assigned to the case will have read the case, reviewed the record and discussed the case at a conference before it takes the bench for oral argument. For that reason, counsel usually should avoid spending time during oral argument reviewing the factual background or procedural history of the case, and instead should proceed quickly to the legal issues presented.
Go almost immediately to your strongest argument. You are nearly certain to get questions from the judges. Do not view these as inconvenient interruptions, but as opportunities to answer any unresolved questions in the judges’ minds. They will be deciding the case, and it is far better to spend your time addressing their concerns than talking about something else. Think about your case, both its strengths and weaknesses, and carefully review the record and key authorities. The Court expects lawyers as professionals and officers of the Court to come to oral argument prepared to answer questions about the trial court record and the legal authorities on appeal.
It is your responsibility to watch the digital clock at the podium. If you are the appellant or the petitioner, you cannot reserve rebuttal time simply by saying "I would like to save two minutes for rebuttal." You must instead watch the clock and stop with two minutes remaining.
Answer: Audio recordings of oral arguments are available here for 30 days after the argument. If you would like the Clerk’s Office to make you a copy of an audio recording, deliver a CD to the Clerk’s Office with your request. Links to video recordings of oral arguments also are here. (Copies of the video recordings are uploaded to YouTube and may be searched there by Court of Appeals case number.)
Answer: Yes -- unless otherwise stated, oral arguments are open to the public. A calendar of oral arguments set for the next few weeks is here.
Answer: No, unless the Court of Appeals orders otherwise in your case. However, you still must serve a copy of any document you file electronically on other parties. Parties may agree to accept electronic service. See here for the applicable rule.
Answer: You must file a certificate of service or compliance as a separate document with a full caption, title and filer information (name, address, email, phone number, Bar number, etc.). These required supporting certificates will not count against the maximum number of four lead documents you are allowed to submit in a single form set.
Answer: The title should reflect the subject/objective of your document, and the title on the document itself should match the title you provide when submitting the document through AZTurboCourt. Please avoid unusual characters or symbols in your title.
Answer: The title for a reporter’s transcript should include the date of the hearing, the subject matter of the hearing and the court reporter’s name in parentheses. For example: Reporter’s Transcript – 1/3/2014 – Jury Trial Day 1 (John Doe Reporter).
Answer: Sometimes the document category is not available because the document should be filed in a different court. Contact the Clerk’s Office, at 602-542-4821 or by email at email@example.com with questions.
Answer: If your brief or motion and its appendix cannot be filed as one document due to the 10 MB space limitation, submit your appendix as an additional lead document.
Answer: You may separate the document into multiple volumes of less than 10 MB, each with a captioned cover page identifying each volume. If the document you are filing is a combined brief and appendix, you may separate the appendix from the brief and submit the separate appendix as an additional lead document.
Answer: Unless a Court order directs you to file by a specific time of day, you have until 11:59:59 p.m. on the due date to e-file your submission. You may submit documents on weekends and holidays, and they will be considered filed on the day they are submitted.
Answer: You may pay your filing fee before you file a formal document in your appeal. To do so, submit a simple letter or notice containing the case number and required filer information (name, Bar number, address, email, phone number) stating the filing fee is being paid.
Answer: Always check the docket on the Court website to see if a filing fee already has been paid for you or your group of litigants. Even when one party or one group of parties is represented by more than one law firm, only one filing fee is owed. Filing fees paid through AZTurboCourt also will be noted in the filing details of submitted form sets for that case. There may be delays in docketing payments. If you suspect a payment may have been submitted already but not recorded, check with the Clerk’s Office, at 602-542-4821 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. PLEASE do not submit an AZTurboCourt filing if you are unsure of the status of filing fees. Do not submit your form set if you believe an answer to the AZTurboCourt questions will cause a fee to be charged in error.
If AZTurboCourt asks you, “Is this your first time filing?” answer “yes” only if this is the first time you’ve filed a document in this particular case. If your case began as a paper filing and you paid your filing fee then, there is no additional filing fee due the first time you e-file in the case. In other words, if you have already filed any document in the case, and paid a fee, then your answer to “Is this your first time filing?” should be “No”.
Answer: You may file as an exempt filer only if you are employed by and are filing on behalf of a government agency that is exempt from filing fees. The AZTurboCourt questions will cover exemptions for exempt clients, filings, or case types. If you are employed by and filing on behalf of a government agency normally exempted from filing fees, you should register as an exempt organization.
Answer: If you are a party in a particular case and have filed a document in that case through AZTurboCourt, you will be able to view and print all documents for that case that have been submitted or registered electronically. AZTurboCourt will provide a list of documents (not necessarily listed in order) that are available electronically. Documents filed in paper form may not be immediately available for viewing through AZTurboCourt and may not be listed on the list of case documents for two to three business days after filing.
Documents filed under seal and documents in protected case types, such as Juvenile and Mental Health, are not available for electronic viewing.
Answer: Click on the “Self Help” link on the Court’s Home Page for information about helpful resources. In a civil appeal, there is no right to free legal help or a lawyer who will work for you for free. There is a limited program by which pro bono appellate counsel may volunteer to assist litigants of modest means. A party may act as his or her own lawyer. If you do, however, you are expected to comply with the same rules that lawyers must follow. And you may not act as a lawyer for someone else -- a relative or a corporation that you have an interest in or hold office in.
Answer: In a civil appeal, there is no right to free counsel or a free transcript. There is a limited program by which pro bono appellate counsel may volunteer to assist litigants of modest means.
Answer: The Clerk’s Office is not permitted to do legal research or provide legal advice to litigants. If your case originates from Maricopa County and you require legal assistance, you may be eligible to participate in a limited program by which pro bono appellate counsel may volunteer to assist litigants of modest means. If you require further assistance, you may contact the Arizona State Bar at www.azbar.org.
Answer: None of these people is allowed to give legal advice. Contact the Clerk of the Court at 602-542-4821 with questions about the status of the appeal or about standard Court procedure.
Answer: Internet Explorer users may need to adjust their printer preferences by selecting “Document and Stamps” when printing to ensure the successful printing of the Court of Appeals seal on the last page of the decision.
Answer: Although there are no specific rules, business attire is most appropriate.
Answer: Visitor parking is located on the northwest and southwest corners of Jefferson Street and 15th Avenue, at the State Courts Building. There also is limited metered street parking on Jefferson.
Answer: Click here for information about how to access the State Courts Building.
To ask for an accommodation for an oral argument in one of the Court of Appeals courtrooms, call the Division One Administrative Human Resources Manager (602) 542-0266.
Answer: No. These questions must be addressed to the other responsible court, whether it is a city court, justice court, federal court or superior court.
Answer: The authoritative reference is the Arizona Appellate Handbook, a three-volume set that covers all types of appeals. These books are available in law libraries, such as the State Law Library and the Maricopa County Superior Court Law Library. Appeals procedures are governed by statutes and court rules. Special actions, juvenile appeals, criminal appeals and civil appeals each have their respective sets of rules. These rules can be found at law libraries, and on the Internet here. Most (but not all) statutes that govern appeals can be found in Title 12 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.