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General Court Procedures

Arizona Civil Legal Needs Community Survey

Civil legal organizations in Arizona are seeking your input to increase their ability to meet the civil legal needs of Arizona's lower income residents. Please complete this survey to assist in improving civil legal services in Arizona.

Encuesta de Necesidades Legales Civiles de Arizona

Las organizaciones legales civiles en Arizona buscan su opinión para aumentar su capacidad de satisfacer las necesidades legales civiles de los residentes de bajos ingresos de Arizona. Por favor complete esta encuesta para ayudar a mejorar los servicios legales civiles en Arizona.

Limited jurisdiction courts usually process criminal cases as follows:

1. Initial appearance - this is the first appearance in court by the defendant, and the defendant is advised of the charges.  The judge appoints an attorney if the defendant cannot afford one.

2. Arraignment - The defendant appears in court to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  Many limited jurisdiction courts combine the initial appearance and the arraignment.

3. Trial - If the defendant pleads not guilty, a trial is held.  The judge - or at the request of the defendant, a jury - can hear evidence on the charges and find the defendant guilty or not guilty.

4. Sentencing - If the defendant is found guilty, the court imposes the appropriate punishment.

5. Appeals - Appeals decisions of limited jurisdiction courts go to Superior Court.  An appeal may be heard as a new trial (a trial de novo), or the Superior Court judge may review records of trial proceedings if records have been kept.  Decisions made in small claims court cannot be appealed.

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