May 7, 2017

Appealing a Justice Court Ruling

*** ATTENTION- This Blog Post Only Discusses Appealing NON-Eviction Cases ***
Click HERE to Read About Appealing EVICTION Cases

Appealing an Arizona Justice Court Ruling

A party may appeal a judgment entered in an Arizona Justice Court civil case. FYI, these rules do not apply to eviction cases but traditional lawsuits filed in the Justice Court. There are two separate stages to appeal a Justice Court ruling. The first stage begins in the Justice Court; the second stage takes place in the Superior Court. The party filing an appeal is the Appellant and the opposing party is the Appellee.

Stage 1 of an Appeal: the Justice Court

The Notice of Appeal
The first step to appeal the judgment a Notice of Appeal must be filed in the Justice Court within 14 calendar days from the date of the judgment. If you do not file this Notice of Appeal within the 14 calendar days then you lose the right to appeal. The time to file this Notice of Appeal cannot be extended so do not miss the deadline! Currently the Notice of Appeal fee is $78.

Appeal Fees
On or before the deadline to appeal, you must pay an appeal fee. The fee includes the cost of creating a copy of the audio recording of the proceedings and the transmittal of this recording to the Superior Court.

The Court Record
The Justice Court record is made by CD or video. The Arizona Justice Court will notify us when a copy of the audio recording is ready to be picked up. The record is usually available within 10 days of filing the Notice of Appeal. If the audio record is more than 90 minutes in length, it will be necessary for us to pay a court reporter to prepare a transcript of the proceedings within the deadline to appeal. The transcript must be filed with the Justice Court at the same time we file our memorandum.

Designate the Record
Within the time to appeal you must designate the record with the trial court by filing a formal list of the items you want to include in the record on appeal.

The Cost Bond
On or before the deadline to appeal you must pay a cost Bond. Currently, the cost bond is set at $250. The purpose of this bond is to cover court costs incurred by the Appellee for defending the appeal.

Supersedeas Bond(s)
The purpose of a supersedeas bond is to prevent enforcement of the Judgment. The two supersedeas bonds have separate purposes. One will stay collection actions on the amount of the Judgment awarded, i.e., garnishment proceedings.

The amount of the supersedeas bond is the total amount of the Judgment ordered by the court, including court costs, attorneys’ fees, damages, etc. The purpose of this bond is to postpone collection proceedings on the money judgment awarded. For example, levying a bank account or garnishing wages. The stay becomes effective when the bond is paid.  

You may still exercise your right to appeal without posting a supersedeas bond. But you must post one or both supersedeas bond to prevent enforcement of the Judgment.

The Appeal Memorandum
The Appellant's memorandum is a written explanation of why the trial court ruling was legally wrong. This memorandum should refer to specific portions of the record of the trial to point out where the Justice Court errored. That is why a written record, the transcript, must be prepared. The memorandum should be typed or printed on letter-sized white paper, double-spaced, and not to exceed 15 pages in length. In addition, you may also attach exhibits from your hearing to the memorandum. The original is filed with the Justice Court and one copy of the memorandum is mailed to every party in the case. Once the memorandum has been filed, we have to wait for further instructions from the Arizona Superior Court as outlined in Stage 2.

Stage 2 of an Appeal: the Superior Court

Paying the Superior Court filing Fee
Once all of the steps from the First Stage have been completed the case moves to the Superior Court. About 60 days after we file the memorandum you will receive a notice from the Superior Court instructing us to pay the Superior Court filing fee.

Superior Court Action on the Appeal
Once we have completed all of these steps, we will receive a ruling from the Superior Court. The Arizona Superior Court has the right to affirm the Justice Court, overrule the Justice Court, modify some of the Court's decision, or, if the record is not clear, order a new trial in the Superior Court. If the final outcome of the case is that the ruling stands, or if your appeal is dismissed for any reason, the court may use any bond, deposit or payments made to satisfy the obligation under the original judgment.

*** ATTENTION- This Blog Post Only Discusses Appealing NON-Eviction Cases ***

Click HERE to Read About Appealing Arizona EVICTION Cases

If you need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact Clint Dunaway at or 480-389-6529.