7656 E Torrey Pt Cir
Mesa, AZ 85207
State bar # 021159, retired [email protected]
As an member of the state bar committee which drafted the proposed Rules Procedure for Eviction Actions, I support this amendment. The proposed rules submitted to the Supreme Court in 2008 by the state bar contained a change of judge provision following Rule 42(f), but was one of the few provisions not adopted by this court from the proposal submitted from the state bar.
I was the managing attorney of the housing unit of Community Legal Services from 2001 to 2011. I regularly appeared in justice court on eviction actions. Prior to the adoption of the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions, both landlord and tenant counsel and litigants sparingly filed change of judge petitions. This practice had existed when I arrived and apparently was always an accepted practice.
The change of judge rule is simply to allow litigants the right to change judge when they feel they will not be afforded a fair and impartial hearing for whatever reason, except for delay or interference with the court process. There are numerous reasons a person may feel they will not get a fair and impartial trial that do not rise to filing for cause, and in those situations the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary is advanced by allowing a litigant to file for a change of judge.
Pro tem judges are often appointed to sit for a justice of the peace. Such pro tem judges are not required to attorneys or even law trained, and given the highly technical requirements of the eviction process, may not be qualified in certain cases to hear such cases. In the case of pro tem judges, these judges are not answerable to the electorate, as are the justice of the peace.