The National Center for State Courts has recently developed Model Time Standards for State Trial Courts. This model was adopted by the Conference of State Court Administrators, the American Bar Association and the Conference of Chief Justices. These Model Time Standards were developed with the intent of unifying the disparate national models previously in place.
On October 17, 2012, the Steering Committee on Arizona Case Processing Standards (the Committee) was established by Administrative Order No. 2012-80. As required by the Administrative Order, the Committee reviewed the national model time standards, statutory requirements, court rules, and business processes of Arizona courts and, based on this review, developed a provisional set of case processing standards for all case types in the justice, municipal, and superior courts. The Committee also developed recommendations on how the Arizona Judiciary should proceed with implementing the case processing time standards in Arizona’s courts.
The Committee submitted its report to the Arizona Judicial Council in October 2013. In the report, the Committee noted several challenges to implementing case processing time standards, including incomplete or inaccurate case data and the uneven access to case management reports essential for comparing current case processing times with proposed provisional standards. Through Administrative Order No. 2013-95, the Supreme Court adopted the provisional standards and extended the term of the Committee. The Supreme Court also charged the Committee with addressing implementation issues, including the development of case processing time standard reports.
The Committee recommended final case processing standards for Civil, Felony, Juvenile Delinquency and Status Offenses, Juvenile Neglect and Abuse, and Juvenile Termination of Parental Rights in the Superior Court. Additionally, the Committee recommended standards for Misdemeanor Driving under the Influence cases in the Justice and Municipal Courts. The Arizona Judicial Council recommended approval of these standards on June 23, 2014. Through Administrative Order No. 2014-81 the Supreme Court adopted the recommended case processing standards as final with an effective date of January 1, 2015.
On October 1, 2014 Administrative Order No. 2014-96 was signed extending the term of the Committee to December 31, 2016. The Committee shall continue to review and recommend standards for the various case types to the Arizona Supreme Court for approval and adoption.