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Civil Law Resources
Steps to Bring a Civil Lawsuit
  1. A civil lawsuit starts with the plaintiff filing a document (complaint) with the clerk of the court stating the reasons why the plaintiff is suing the defendant, and what action the plaintiff wants the court to take.
  2. Then, a copy of the complaint and a summons are delivered to (served on) the defendant.
  3. The defendant has a limited time (usually 20 days) to file a written answer admitting or denying the statements in the complaint.
  4. The plaintiff and the defendant then exchange information about the case. This is called discovery.
  5. The case is tried before a jury or a judge.
  6. The judge makes a decision, or the jury gives its verdict, based on the testimony and other evidence presented during trial.
  7. The losing party may appeal the decision to the next higher level of the court.
Civil Law Authorities

Justice Court Rules of Civil

These rules apply to civil lawsuits in justice courts in Arizona. These rules do not apply to evictions, small claims (with the exception of Rule 140), civil traffic or civil boating proceedings, or to protective orders or injunctions against harassment in justice courts.


Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona

These rules govern the procedure in all civil actions and proceedings in the superior court of Arizona.


Superior Court Rules of Appellate
Procedure - Civil

These rules govern the procedures in all civil appeals, except as provided otherwise by law, taken to the Superior Court from an order or the final judgment of a justice court pursuant to ARS § 22-261, or municipal court pursuant to ARS § 22-425(B), including but not limited to Orders of Protection, Injunctions Against Harassment, and other civilly sanctioned cases.


Rules of Civil Appellate

These rules govern procedures in civil appeals to the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court, as well as appeals and special actions governed by other rules that expressly incorporate the provisions of these rules.