1 City Court as separate and independent branch of City government; when to be open; transactions permitted on non-juridical days.

There shall be a City Court System as a separate and independent branch of the government of the City of Phoenix, which Court shall always be open except on non-juridical days, and on such non-juridical days it may transact such business within its jurisdiction as is authorized by general law to be transacted by courts of justice of the peace relative to business within their jurisdiction.

(Election of 11-9-1971)

2 Jurisdiction.

The City Court shall, within the territorial limits of the City of Phoenix, have and exercise jurisdiction as follows:

(a)    It shall have and exercise exclusive original jurisdiction of all proceedings of a criminal nature for the violation of any ordinance of the City, and of every action of a civil nature for the enforcement of a penalty or the recovery of a penalty or forfeiture imposed by any ordinance of the City for violation thereof, or for neglect to perform any duty by any ordinance imposed, and of every action for the collection of any license, tax or penalty due from any person to the City and required to be paid or which is due and collectible under the ordinance of the City.

(b)    The City Court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Justices of the Peace, in the precincts of the City, over all violations of the laws of the State committed within the corporate limits of the City; said concurrent jurisdiction shall be subject to the rules of criminal procedure applicable to trials before Justices of the Peace.

(c)    The City Court shall be authorized to adopt Local Rules of Practice as necessary for the proper carrying out of the jurisdiction vested in the City Court.

(Election of 11-9-1971; election of 11-1-1977)

3 Appointment, term and removal of judges of the City Court; jurisdiction of City Manager over financial, personnel and administrative functions of the Court.

(a)    The judges of the City Court shall be appointed by the Council of the City of Phoenix. The three judges with the longest credited service shall be appointed for a term of four years and remaining judges for terms of two years. All subsequent appointments shall be for four year terms. A vacancy occurring before the expiration of a term shall be filled by appointment for the remainder of the term.

(b)    Judges of the City Court may be removed by the City Council for cause on motion adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Council.

(c)    The compensation of judges of the City Court shall be fixed by the City Council and shall not be reduced during the term of office of an incumbent other than the proportion by which salaries of all City employees may be reduced generally.

(d)    All financial, personnel and administrative functions of the City Court system shall be under the jurisdiction of the City Manager.

(Election of 11-9-1971)

4 Appointment of Chief Presiding Judge of the City Court.

The Council shall annually appoint one judge to serve as Chief Presiding Judge of the City Court for a term of one year. The Chief Presiding Judge shall receive such additional compensation as shall be approved by the Council.

(Election of 11-1-1977)

5 Appointment of judges pro tempore.

The chief presiding judge may, with the approval of the City Manager, appoint such judges pro tempore as are required by the City Court.

(Election of 11-9-1971)

6 Qualifications of judges of the City Court.

All judges of the City Court, regular or pro tempore, shall be attorneys at law, admitted to the practice of law by the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona and have at least five years practice of law or equivalent legal experience. Judges appointed for a term of years shall be prohibited from the private practice of law and from engaging in any political activity.

(Election of 11-9-1971)

7 Duty of Council to provide for Court; disposition of fines, penalties and fees collected.

The Council shall provide each judge of the City Court with a proper courtroom, and with all necessary stationery, furniture and paraphernalia. The Council shall also provide proper and necessary clerical force for the keeping and maintaining of a proper record of the transactions of the Court, and the acts, judgments and orders of said judge. All fines, penalties, and fees collected by the Court shall be paid to the City Treasurer as provided by ordinance.

(Election of 11-9-1971)

8 Power of judge of the City Court to issue writs and processes and to hear cases; nature of writs and processes; records to be kept; duty of police to execute, serve and make proper return of writs and processes.

For the proper carrying out of the jurisdiction vested in said City Court, the judge thereof shall be entitled and authorized to issue and cause to be served any and all writs and processes, and he shall have full authority to hear and determine all matters properly coming before him and coming within his jurisdiction herein specified. The writs and processes of the City Courts shall be similar to those used by justices of the peace in cases of a similar nature. Proper record shall be kept of the issuance of writs and processes and returns and all other actions taken relative thereto, and the actions of the Court thereon. The police of the City of Phoenix are hereby authorized and directed to execute and serve any and all writs and processes issued out of said City Court by the judges thereof, and the proper return shall be made by such officer to the same extent required of constables and sheriffs in the service and execution of similar papers.

(Election of 11-9-1971)

9 Hearing officers.

The Chief Presiding Judge may appoint court hearing officers who shall have the powers to hear and adjudicate civil offenses. The qualifications and compensation of court hearing officers shall be as provided for by ordinance.

(Election of 11-1-1983)


State Law referenceMunicipal Courts, A.R.S. § 22-401 et seq.