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Rule 13. Entry of Judgment and Relief Granted

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Procedure for Eviction Actions

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions
17B A.R.S. Rules Proc. Evic. Act., Rule 13
Rule 13. Entry of Judgment and Relief Granted
a. Items to Review. Except for stipulated judgments entered pursuant to Rule 13(b)(4), in each eviction action the court shall:
(1) Determine whether the service of the summons and complaint was proper and timely, and whether the summons and complaint included all the information and notice(s) required under Rule 5.
(2) Determine whether the tenant or occupant of the premises received proper termination notice if one was necessary, and was afforded any applicable opportunity to cure. If the notice does not comply with the statute or is not properly served, the court shall dismiss the action.
(3) Determine whether the facts alleged, if proven, would be sufficient to determine that plaintiff has a right of superior possession due to a material breach of the lease agreement or for any other basis in law.
(4) If it appears that a landlord has accepted a partial payment in a case claiming nonpayment of rent under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, the court shall inquire whether the landlord accepted the partial payment, and if so, can produce a partial payment agreement and waiver signed by the defendant as required by the statute. If the landlord is unable to prove that the waiver was signed, the court shall dismiss the action.
(5) If the court determines that the rental property is subsidized, determine whether there is unpaid rent that the tenant is obligated to pay as the tenant's portion of the rent.
b. Forms of Judgment.
(1) Guilty Plea. If the defendant appears at the initial appearance and enters a plea of “guilty” or “responsible,” the court shall, after determining that the conditions of Rule 13(a)(1)-(4) are satisfied, enter judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
(2) Verdict. At the conclusion of a trial, and after determining that the conditions of Rule 13(a)(1)-(4) are satisfied, the court shall either announce its decision or take the matter under advisement. If the court takes the matter under advisement, it shall issue a decision promptly.
(3) Default Judgment.
A. If the defendant fails to appear in person or through counsel on the initial return date, and no continuance is granted, the court, after determining that the conditions of Rule 13(a)(1)-(4) are satisfied, shall enter a default judgment against the defendant.
B. In an action alleging an immediate and irreparable breach, the court shall hear evidence establishing such a breach before ordering a writ of restitution in not less than 12 nor more than 24 hours.
C. Mailing Default Judgments. The plaintiff shall promptly mail or deliver a copy of the default judgment to the defendant.
(4) Stipulated Judgments. The court may accept a stipulated judgment only when the court finds one of the following:
A. Both parties or their attorneys personally appear before the court;
B. The plaintiff's attorney asserts to the court that the defendant was informed of the right to appear and declined;
C. The court determines that, because of distance or other circumstances, the defendant cannot personally appear, that good cause exists and it is in the interest of justice to proceed; or
D. An attorney for the defendant has signed the stipulation.
Prior to accepting the stipulated judgment, the court must determine that the conditions of Rule 13(a)(1)-(2) and (b)(4) have been satisfied, and that defendant has signed the warning language on the judgment form to which the defendant stipulated that reads as follows:
WARNING!
1. The plaintiff's representative is not a court employee.
2. By signing below, you are consenting to the terms of a judgment against you and the plaintiff will now be able to evict you.
3. You may have your wages garnished and the judgment may appear on your credit report.
4. You may lose your right to subsidized housing.
5. You may NOT stay at the property, even if the amount of the judgment is paid in full, unless you get the agreement in writing or get a new written rental agreement.
c. Relief Granted.
(1) Possession of the premises.
A. Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, if the judgment is for the plaintiff, possession of the premises shall be awarded to the plaintiff. No writ of restitution shall be issued until five calendar days after the judgment is signed.
B. When an immediate termination has been obtained due to a breach of a residential lease agreement that qualifies as “material and irreparable” under the applicable statute, the judgment shall provide for the writ of restitution to issue between 12 and 24 hours after entry of judgment, or longer if the plaintiff so requests.
C. If the defendant is found not guilty, judgment shall be entered in favor of the defendant. If the judgment is for the defendant and the plaintiff has possession of the premises, possession of the premises shall, at the request of the defendant, be awarded to the defendant with a writ of restitution to issue after five calendar days.
D. The date for the issuance for a writ of restitution shall not be delayed or extended beyond the date provided by statute, unless the parties stipulate otherwise.
(2) Damages. In addition to determining the right to actual possession, and if either party seeks a money judgment, the court may award damages to the party entitled to possession if the party seeking money damages provided proof to the court of a factual and legal basis for an award of rent or any reasonable late fees, attorney fees or other requested fees, charges or damages. If a written rental agreement exists, the party seeking money damages shall have a copy of the written rental agreement available for the court to review at the initial appearance or subsequent hearing at which the judgment is rendered.
The court shall not award any amount for damages or categories of relief not specifically stated in the complaint or counterclaim. The amounts awarded in the judgment must be consistent with the amounts sought in the complaint or counterclaim, although the judgment may also include additional rent, late charges, fees and other amounts that have accrued since the filing of the complaint, if appropriate.
A. Rent. If appropriate, rent shall be awarded to a prevailing plaintiff together with any additional rent that has accrued since the complaint was filed. If the plaintiff is entitled to rent incurred after the judgment has been entered, then the plaintiff may seek that amount in a separate civil action.
B. Utilities. If the landlord charged utilities to the tenant under a written or oral rental agreement, unpaid amounts may be awarded to the prevailing plaintiff.
C. Late Charges. If the written rental agreement provided for periodic late charges in the event of a rent default, the court shall award the prevailing plaintiff reasonable late charges. No late charges shall be awarded unless the court is presented with evidence that they are specified in a written rental agreement.
D. Additional fees. Other fees such as extra person fees, pet fees, storage fees, signage fees, common area assessments, and other charges that were specified in a written rental agreement and were to be collected periodically together with other rental charges may be awarded to the prevailing plaintiff in accordance with the terms of the agreements. Charges sought that were not contained in a written rental agreement shall not be awarded in an eviction action, but may be separately sought in a civil action.
E. Plaintiff's Damages. If the plaintiff prevails, in addition to rent and late fees, when appropriate, the court may award to the plaintiff other damages for breach of the rental agreement, including property damages, when properly pled in the complaint and when such damages resulted from the breach giving rise to the eviction. When such claims for other damages are substantial and disputed such that a fair trial of the claims would likely delay the prompt determination of the eviction action, the court may sever those claims and dismiss them without prejudice, permitting the plaintiff to reassert the claims in a separate civil proceeding.
F. Defendant's Damages. Damages and/or offsets shall be awarded by the court if a defendant prevails on a counterclaim or defense. In such event, the court shall determine the prevailing party for purposes of awarding costs and reasonable attorney fees.
G. If undisputed rent has been deposited with the court in connection with a defendant's counterclaim, it shall be distributed in accordance with the judgment without undue delay after the time for appeal has expired. If no rent remains due after such proceedings or the tenant is found to have acted in good faith and satisfies a judgment for rent entered for the landlord, judgment shall be entered for the tenant in the action for possession.
H. Court costs shall be awarded as required by A.R.S. § 12-341.
d. Rent Concessions. If the court finds that a rental agreement or lease provided a rent concession such as “free rent” for a period, a budget for tenant improvements, or a cash move in allowance, and the rental agreement provides that in the event of a default the concession becomes due and payable, the amount of the concession may be included as additional damages in the judgment to a prevailing plaintiff if pleaded in the complaint. Alternatively, at the plaintiff's option, such amounts may be sought in a separate civil action.
e. Late Fees in Mobile Home Park and Recreational Vehicle Park Evictions. In cases involving mobile home parks and recreational vehicle parks, the court shall limit the award of periodic late charges in an eviction action arising out of such a tenancy to the statutory amount, and the court shall not reduce late charges calculated in accord with that limitation unless the plaintiff fails to establish the existence of a written agreement regarding such late charges.
f. Attorney Fees. Reasonable attorney fees shall be awarded to the prevailing party if the court determines that such fees are provided for by statute or in a written contract. Any such award may not exceed the amount the client has paid or agreed to pay.
g. Where permitted by law, the court may provide injunctive relief in addition to the remedies set forth above.

Credits

Added Dec. 9, 2008, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Amended Aug. 31, 2017, effective Jan. 1, 2018; Aug. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Editors' Notes

COMMITTEE COMMENT
Rule 13(d). The Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) will apply to certain cases in which the tenant is in the military or a dependent family member of military personnel. See 50 U.S.C. App. §§ 531-538. Among other things, SCRA generally allows military members to terminate a residential lease agreement without penalty if they enter military service on active duty or are deployed or transferred, and SCRA also protects dependent family members of military personnel.
17B A. R. S. Rules Proc. Evic. Act., Rule 13, AZ ST EVICTION Rule 13
Current with amendments received through 08/15/19
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