General Statutes Evictions



The following applies to evictions that do not fall under the Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the Mobile Home Park Act or the Recreational Vehicle (RV) Long-Term Rental Space Act. The information below may be helpful to landlords and tenants but is not a substitute for legal advice. There are other rules and laws that may be applicable to your situation, but these are common rules and laws that apply in eviction actions.

A.R.S. means Arizona Revised Statutes and RPEA means Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions.
  1  WHAT IS COVERED
  1. The general eviction statutes can be found in the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 12, Chapter 8, A.R.S. §§ 12-1171 thru -1183.
  2. These Statutes are applicable to all rental relationships that are not covered by the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the Mobile Home Park Act or the RV Long-Term Rental Space Act.
  • Residence at medical, educational, counseling or religious institutions.
  • Member of a fraternal or social organization operated for the benefit of the organization.
  • Hotel, motel or recreational lodging.
  • Employee of landlord whose occupancy is conditional on the employment.
  • Public housing.
  • Unauthorized occupants.
  • Commercial properties.
  • Properties sold through a trustee’s sale.
2  SERVICE
  • Generally, an eviction action summons and complaint must be personally served on the tenant by a constable or sheriff.
  • Alternative service (posting on the residence and mailing by certified mail) must be requested and authorized by the judge.
3  ANSWER
  • The tenant may file a written answer or answer orally in open court on the record. If the court sets a trial date, the tenant may be ordered to file a written answer. RPEA 7
  • If a party cannot afford the filing fee, ask the clerk for a fee waiver/deferral application in order to not pay the fee when filing. http://www.azcourts.gov/courtfilingfees
4  TRIAL
  • The tenant has a right to a trial if the court determines that the tenant MAY have a defense. RPEA 11(b)(1).
  • Unless the right to a jury trial has been waived in a written contract, the parties have a right to a jury trial, but the tenant must ask for it the first time they see the judge. The judge will then decide if there are factual matters to be determined by a jury. If there are no factual matters appropriate for a jury, the case will be heard by the judge. RPEA 11(d).
  • The only issue at trial shall be the right of actual possession and the merit on title shall not be inquired into. A.R.S. § 12-1177(A).
5  EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY
  • Evidence and testimony must be relevant to the proceeding.
  • A witness must testify from personal knowledge – the witness telling the court what somebody else told the witness is generally not allowed.
  • Both parties have a duty to make timely objections. If a witness testifies to a fact he or she does not have personal knowledge of or the testimony is not relevant to the proceeding, immediately tell the judge you object to the testimony or evidence.
6  JUDGMENT
  • Default judgment may be entered against the tenant if the tenant is not present in the court when the case is called by the judge. RPEA 13.
  • Stipulated judgment – the tenant is agreeing that the allegations in the complaint are true and judgment will be entered against the tenant. The tenant will not be able to offer a defense and cannot appeal from this type of judgment.
  7  AFTER JUDGMENT  



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