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 08 Jun 2011 11:40 AM by  mmeltzer
R-10-0037 Petition to Amend Rule 17.1(a), and to Adopt Form 28(a) in Rule 41, Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure
 3 Replies
Topic is locked
Author Messages

27 Dec 2010 04:44 PM

    Petition to Amend Rule 17.1(a), and to Adopt Form 28(a)in Rule 41, Ariz. R. Crim. P.

    Would permit, under specified circumstances, entry of pleas of guilty or no contest by mail in limited jurisdiction courts

    Mark Meltzer
    Staff to the Committee on Limited Jurisdiction Courts
    1501 West Washington, Suite 410
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    Phone: (602) 452-3242
    Fax: (602) 452-3480
    E-mail: [email protected]
    AZ Bar #004491

    Filed December 27, 2010

    Comments due May 20, 2011.

    ADOPTED as modified, effective January 1, 2012.


    04 May 2011 09:20 AM
    John A. Furlong, Bar No. 018356
    General Counsel
    State Bar of Arizona
    4201 N. 24th St., Ste. 200
    Phoenix, AZ 85016-6288
    Telephone: 602.252.4804
    [email protected]

    19 May 2011 06:51 PM
    Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C.
    David Michael Cantor
    Christine Whalin
    One East Washington, Suite 1800
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    [email protected]

    The petition seeks to amend Rule 17.1(a), Ariz. R. Crim. P., to permit a defendant to enter a plea of guilty or no contest by mail in a limited jurisdiction court, under circumstances outlined in the proposed amendment, and to adopt Form 28(a) in conformity therewith.

    The State Bar of Arizona filed a comment agreeing “in theory” with the proposed modification however suggesting some modifications in the current proposal. Specifically, the State Bar of Arizona suggests striking the work “undue” as it modifies “hardship” as well as deleting the categories set forth in subsections (i) through (iv).

    The Law Office of David Michael Cantor joins in the comments by the State Bar of Arizona and also adds the following comments.

    The Law Office of David Michael Cantor would amend the proposed Form 28(a) by removing the requirement that the defendant plead guilty to “each and every offense.” Currently with telephonic change of plea proceedings the defendant or his/her lawyer, may negotiate with the prosecution for a modified offer and submit that offer to the court in place of the form. There is no reason a defendant who wishes to use a “mail in” plea should be required to waive their ability to negotiate in good faith with the prosecution.

    As Rule 17.1(a)(3) is currently used, a defendant who lives outside of the County or State is allowed to appear telephonically to enter a guilty plea. If this defendant retained the services of an attorney, that attorney is able to work with the prosecutor in negotiating a modified plea offer that would not require the defendant to plead guilty to all of the charges. Once a plea offer is negotiated the defendant is required to obtain fingerprints and send those back to their counsel to provide to the court. Often times in DUI cases the defendant is also required to find a local jail facility that will house them for their jail sentence imposed by the Arizona court and also provide a copy of their acceptance letter prior to the telephonic change of plea. The defendant is then advised telephonically by the court of the legal ramifications of entering a guilty plea and enters the guilty plea on the record. This process has been in place and used for many years in almost all limited jurisdiction courts (i.e., Tempe City Court, West Mesa Justice Court, etc.,) and has been successful in facilitating the disposition of many misdemeanor cases such as DUI.

    By requiring the defendant to plead guilty to each and every offense in the citation there will be few cases resolved by way of Rule 17(a)(4) as attorneys will continue to use 17(a)(3) in order to negotiate with the prosecution. This will in effect make no change on the overburdened courts as telephonic changes of plea still require court time be set aside to aid in the resolution of them.

    As attorney’s who practice often in the limited jurisdiction courts and utilize Rule 17.1(a)(3) regularly, we believe the addition of 17.1(a)(4) could be beneficial for the judicial system if implemented in an appropriate and easy to use fashion, similar to how the telephonic change of plea process is currently structured.

    The Law Office of David Michael Cantor proposes that Rule 17.1(a)(4) mimic the current Rule 17.1(a)(3), allowing its use for any case and requiring fingerprints on all “mail in” plea agreements. With this in place it will increase the number of misdemeanor cases that are resolved, minimizing the courts time, leaving the court calendar available for cases that require actual appearances.

    08 Jun 2011 11:40 AM
    Judge Timothy Dickerson
    Committee on Limited Jurisdiction Courts
    C/o Administrative Office of the Courts
    1501 W. Washington St., Ste. 410
    Phoenix AZ 85007
    Phone: (602) 452-3242
    Fax: (602) 452-3480

    Petitioner's reply is attached.

    Topic is locked