Sep 23, 2016

Recording Eviction Judgments in Arizona

When a landlord obtains a judgment against someone, many people think it automatically go on their "record," or credit report, but this isn't always the case. The eviction judgment is a matter of public record, but the only way to guarantee that a judgment will show up on a credit report is to record the judgment with the county. The judgment will stay recorded until the debt is paid, it expires, or the debtor files bankruptcy.

Most Arizona evictions occur in a Justice Court. In order to record the judgment with the county, a certified copy of the judgment must be sent to the Arizona Superior Court to receive a new case number. Once a Superior Court judgment has been established a certified copy can be recorded with the appropriate county. Each of these steps requires a filing fee--as of 2016 the total fees are just over $100.

The judgment will remain on the credit report until it is paid, or for as long as the judgment is valid. In Arizona judgments are automatically valid for 5 years. However, a credit can renew the judgment which will extend it's life for another 5 years. If the debt is paid in full then the creditor must file a satisfaction of judgment with the county to demonstrate that he debt has been paid in full.

In summary, here are the main things to know when recording a judgment with an Arizona county.

  • The only way to ensure a judgment shows up on a credit report is to record it;
  • If the judgment is paid in full then the creditor MUST file a satisfaction of judgment with the court and then with the county recorder;
  • If not paid, the judgment will remain valid for 5 years, and possible an additional 5 years if it is renewed.
If you have questions about eviction judgments call us at; 480-344-4035.

Sep 21, 2016

Properly Completing an Arizona Lease Agreement

If you are an Arizona landlord it is extremely important that you take the time to properly complete the residential lease agreement. One of the important things you need to watch for is blank spaces in the lease agreement. The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act says that if any of the blank spaces are left empty this is a material breach of the lease agreement. A material breach of the lease agreement by the landlord would allow the tenant to unilaterally terminate the lease agreement! Don't let this happen to you.

A.R.S. 33-1324(A)(6) states in pertinent part; "...A written rental agreement shall have all blank spaces completed. Noncompliance with this subsection shall be deemed a material noncompliance by the landlord...of the rental agreement."

Sep 19, 2016

Jury Trials in Eviction Lawsuits

In Arizona, all eviction cases--whether in the justice court or superior court--are controlled by the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions. If a Plaintiff-landlord wishes to have a trial by jury then it can be requested. Under Rule 11(d)-
"Trial Settings. Contested detainer matters shall be set for a trial by a judge alone unless a jury trial is demanded by the plaintiff in the complaint or by the defendant at or before the initial appearance. Failure to request a jury trial at or before the initial appearance shall be deemed a waiver of that party's right to a jury trial. At the initial appearance, if a jury trial has been demanded, the court shall inquire and determine the factual issues to be determined by the jury. If no factual issues exist for the jury to determine, the matter shall proceed to a trial by the judge alone regarding any legal issues or may disposed of by motion or in accordance with these rules, as appropriate."
Rule 12(a) of the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions provide us with the necessary steps for having a jury trial. The court will permit seven jurors in the justice court and 9 jurors in the superior court.

Eviction Trial Jury