Arizona Judicial Branch

Welcome to the Arizona Court System

Chief Justice Scott Bales
This Guide can help you become better acquainted with Arizona’s judicial system. It describes how the courts are organized, the special functions of the courts and how court cases are processed in our legal system. Here you will also learn about the roles of the people who work for the courts, how judges are selected, and how we evaluate court employees and individual courts to make sure they are working properly.

As you explore the following sections, you will discover the essential role the state’s courts play. Whether you participate personally in the activities of Arizona’s courts, or if you simply hear and read about them in the news, this publication will help you recognize how the Arizona judicial system continues to deliver justice fairly and equitably to all.

Scott Bales
Chief Justice
Arizona Supreme Court

The Structure of Arizona's Judiciary

Limited Jurisdiction Courts

  • Municipal Courts
  • Justice of the Peace Courts
  • Court Personnel

General Jurisdiction Courts

  • Superior Court
  • Appellate Court Role of the Superior Court
  • Probation Supervision
  • Court Personnel
  • Juvenile Court
  • Arizona Tax Court
  • Arbitration
  • Superior Court Judge Qualifications

Appellate Courts

  • Court of Appeals
  • Court Personnel
  • Court of Appeals Judge Qualifications
  • Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court Justices
  • The Court's Role in the Impeachment Process
  • Court Personnel
  • Supreme Court Justice Qualifications

The Judicial Process at Work

The Players in a Trial Courtroom

  • Serving as a Juror
  • Trial or Petit Juries
  • County Grand Jury
  • State Grand Jury

How a Case Moves through the Court System

  • Case Processing in Limited Jurisdiction Courts
  • Superior Court Case Processing
  • Criminal Cases
  • Civil Cases
  • Court of Appeals Case Processing
  • Supreme Court Case Processing

Managing the Judiciary

  • Arizona Judicial Council
  • Budgeting, Fund Administration and Judicial/Legislative Relations
  • Administrative Office of the Courts

Upholding Judicial Standards

  • Judicial Nominating Commissions
  • Commission on Judicial Performance Review
  • How Judges Get Into Office
  • Commission on Judicial Conduct
  • Duties of the Commission on Judicial Conduct


NOTE: This guide does not address federal and tribal courts that are not part of the state court system. This guide is helpful in preparing students for a civics or government class, or for a visit to court. A glossary at the back defines courtroom and legal terms used in the text. This guide is not intended to offer legal advice or assistance; laws and procedures can change unexpectedly. Check with a local court for current, specific information about resolving a legal problem. This publication can be provided in an alternative format, or other assistance may be provided upon request by an individual with a disability under the provisions of The Americans with Disabilities Act.