Register       Login

YOUR HELP NEEDED: If you find a cross-reference that does not match the rule or subsection it refers to or any apparent clerical errors, please let us know by sending a precise description to [email protected].

Message from the Chief Justice

Current Arizona Rules on Westlaw


Amendments from Recent Rule Agendas

Rule Amendments (2006 to present) 


Proposed Local Rules





This website allows you to electronically file and monitor court rule petitions and comments and to view existing rules of court, recent amendments of those rules, and pending rule petitions and comments. Any visitor to this site may view posts on this website, but to post a petition or comment you must register and log in. To view instructions on how to register and how to file a petition or comment, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. 


Contact Information

Please include all of your contact information when submitting a rule petition or comment.  Otherwise, your submission may be rejected and we will be unable to advise you as to why. 

PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 14 Mar 2024 06:21 PM by  Charles Adornetto
R-24-0001 Rules of Small Claims Procedure, (RSCP) Rule 5(b)
 3 Replies
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages
Barry R. Goldman
New Member
Posts:21 New Member

01 Jan 2024 12:00 PM
    The Arizona Process Servers Association submits the attached proposal to modify Rules of Small Claims Procedure, (RSCP) Rule 5(b).

    Arizona Process Servers Association
    c/o Barry R. Goldman, Administrator
    20987 N. John Wayne Pkwy. #B104-381
    Maricopa, AZ 85139
    Phone: (602) 476-1737 Fax: (623) 321-5964
    [email protected]

    Filed January 1, 2024

    Would amend Rule 5(b) of the Rules of Small Claims Procedure to eliminate the requirement of personal service of a complaint and summons if those documents are not served by certified or registered mail.

    Comments must be submitted by no later than Wednesday, May 1, 2024, and any reply by a petitioner must be submitted no later than Monday, June 3, 2024.
    Craig Wismer
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    28 Feb 2024 12:28 AM
    The concern, as I see it, with allowing substitute (aka "abode") service for a case filed in the Small Claims Division of a justice court is that, unlike the Arizona Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 113(a) and the Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts Rule 4.1(d)(2), the Rules of Small Claims Procedure don't define personal service in that manner. As a matter of fact the rules, specifically Rule 5(b)(2), don't define it at all. This rule reads, in part: "The plaintiff may arrange for personal service on the defendant by a constable, sheriff, or private process server.", while ARS 22-513(b) states "If the defendant cannot be served by registered or certified mail, personal service by a process server or an authorized officer or by any other means pursuant to court rule (emphasis added) may be used."

    Absent a statutory or rule definition of personal service the courts may look to other reputable sources, such as Black's Law Dictionary, and not simply reply on a method that is customarily accepted in other divisions. It defines personal service of process as "a term given to the direct and hand to hand delivery of a summons." Hence the reason some courts may be rejecting substitute service for small claims cases.

    If personal service of process, as noted by the petitioner, is frequently impracticable for small claims cases, as it is in the Civil Division, a suitable remedy may be to define personal service using language pulled directly from the aforementioned civil rules. Doing so would recognize "substitute" service as a method of personal service of process and allow for the necessary documents to be left "at the individual's residence with a person of suitable age and discretion who lives there."

    Craig Wismer
    [email protected]
    14264 West Tierra Buena Lane
    Surprise, Arizona 85374
    Barry R. Goldman
    New Member
    Posts:21 New Member

    06 Mar 2024 09:57 AM
    The Arizona Process Servers Association, after review, appreciates the response of Arrowhead Justice of the Peace Craig Wismer. We hereby submit the attached Revised Amended Submission to better define personal service consistent with JCRCP Rule 113(a).

    Respectfully submitted,
    Arizona Process Servers Association
    Administrator, Secretary/Treasurer

    Larry J. Ratcliff, President
    John Osborn, Vice President
    Barry R. Goldman, Secretary/Treasurer, Administrator
    Ronald R. Ezell, Immed. Past Pres.
    Susie Baldwin (Director #1)
    Kay Dean (Director #2)
    Gregory Scott Hardy (Director #3)
    Nathan Botsch (Director #4)
    Matthew Uthe (Director #5)
    Tracy Arnold (Director #6)

    Charles Adornetto
    New Member
    Posts:20 New Member

    14 Mar 2024 06:21 PM
    Gerald A. Williams
    Arizona Bar No. 018947
    North Valley Justice Court
    14264 West Tierra Buena Lane
    Surprise, AZ 85274

    This comment is filed on behalf of the Justice of the Peace Bench in Maricopa County. We unanimously oppose the original proposed rule change because it discards a recognized legal term of art in response to a minority view; while we have no objection to the Petitioner’s amended rule change petition specifically defining “personal service,” we believe that doing so is unnecessary.
    You are not authorized to post a reply.