Paul McMurdie, Chair
Family Court Improvement Committee
1501 W. Washington St., Ste. 410
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 452-3252 [email protected]
During the COVID-19 health emergency, the Chief Justice, through Administration Order (AO) 2020-44, authorized the presiding judges of all counties to adopt or suspend any local rules and or and to take any action concerning court operations that the circumstances required to enable the assigned judges to perform the duties required. Among the other actions, the AO authorized the provision of alternate signing and delivery of filings, orders and other documents (e.g., electronic signatures).
Further the Post-Pandemic Recommendations of the COVID-19 Continuity of Court Operations During a Public Health Emergency Workgroup recommended the following:
“The e-filing expansion provides the superior court with a means to continue accepting filings without requiring litigants to appear in person, thus reducing in-person contact while supporting clerk review and docketing functions. These services also provide flexibility for attorneys, litigants, and clerk staff, and provide judicial staff the ability to work remotely. Enabling this type of interaction between the stakeholders was largely made possible through the authorizing AO’s, particularly the permission to accept electronic signatures.”
The proposed amendment to Rule 26, ARFLP would continue and enumerate the practice of accepting electronic signature.
The Family Court Improvement Committee respectfully requests expedited consideration of this petition to keep this efficiency in place post-pandemic.
Filed: August 3, 2021
Would amend Rule 26(a)(1) of the Rules of Family Law Procedure to authorize electronic signatures by an attorney or self-represented litigant on pleadings, written motions, and other documents filed with the court or served on another party or person.
Comments must be submitted on or before Monday, May 2, 2022.
Any reply by a petitioner must be submitted on or before Wednesday, June 1, 2022.