Superior Court Commissioners
are appointed by the Court's Presiding Judge from attorneys who apply and are recommended by a selection committee made up of judges, lawyers and others. Commissioners handle specific assigned cases and uncontested matters.
Commissioners are assigned to cases regarding Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation, Annulment, Non-IVD Establishment of Paternity, and Custody determinations at the time of the original filing and thereafter are responsible for hearing requests for establishment of all temporary matters, the final disposition of the case and all post-decree/judgment matters regarding the same parties. Additionally, Family Law Commissioners hear initial requests for Orders of Protection, Injuctions against Harassment and Injunctions against Workplace Harassment.
Commissioners are assigned to the IV-D Bench to hear all matters in which the State of Arizona Department of Child Support Enforcement is a party. These matters include the establishment of Paternity/Maternity, establishment of child support for children whose parents do not reside in the same household, enforcement of existing child support orders, and establishment and/or enforcement of child support orders from other states.
Commissioners' duties include appointment of guardians and conservators for adults, determinations of testacy and appointment of personal representatives in formal probate hearings, presiding over proceedings involving trusts, and monitoring of fiduciaries through regular review of conservator accounts an dannual reports of guardians. Probate Commissioners also preside over the Title 36 civil commitment hearings and when assigned by the Presiding Probate Judge, will hear contested matters and emergency hearings in Title 14 cases.
Commissioners hear cases pertaining to both dependency and delinquency. In dependency cases, the Juvenile Law Bench Commissioner hears all issues in a case, including temporary custody, adjudication and disposition of dependency, dependency review, permanency and guardianship and terminations of parental rights. These commissioners also hear issues of child custody, parenting time and child support in cases in which a special paternity or dissolution matter may involve the children who are subject to the dependency action adn may also decide issues regarding Orders of Protection or Injunctions Against Harassment if the parties are involved in a dependency matter or if a juvenile is the defendent in such a case. Likewise, in delinquency matters, the Juvenile Law Commissioners handle all issues in a case including adjudications of delinquency, dispositions and any other pre-trial or post trial matters, although they do not normally handle detention hearings or trial reviews.