Arizona Judicial Branch

Types of Courts

Types of cases not referred to in the U S. Constitution or granted to the federal court system by the laws of Congress fall under the jurisdiction of the 50 separate state court systems

The Arizona state court system is divided into three types of courts based on jurisdiction:

Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction include the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals. These courts review decisions made in a lower court;

The Arizona Superior Court, a court of general jurisdiction, is considered one court with locations in each of the 15 counties in the state.  The population of a county determines the number of authorized judgeships.

Courts of limited and special jurisdiction include the Justice Courts and the Magistrate Courts.

A. Justice of the Peace Courts have jurisdiction over (a) misdemeanor crimes; (b) initial appearances for felonies, (c) preliminary hearings for felonies; (d) civil disputes involving amounts less than $10,000; (e) traffic cases; and (f) small claims cases involving less than $2,500.

B. Magistrate Courts, also referred to as City or Municipal Courts, have jurisdiction over (a) traffic cases; (b) misdemeanors; and (c) violations of local ordinances.