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Rule 47. Jury Selection; Juror Information; Voir Dire; Challenges

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of ArizonaEffective: February 9, 2023

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
VI. Trials
Effective: February 9, 2023
16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 47
Rule 47. Jury Selection; Juror Information; Voir Dire; Challenges
(a) Jury Selection. The initial jury panel will consist of persons summoned for jury service who have appeared. The clerk will randomly select--either manually or by electronic means--a sufficient number of persons from this group for consideration as jurors. The clerk will then prepare a list of these prospective jurors' names in random order, and deliver it to the court. The clerk will read the names of prospective jurors in the order in which they appear on the list until a jury is fully selected or the list is exhausted. If the list is exhausted before a jury is selected, the clerk will prepare an additional list of prospective jurors in the same manner as provided in this rule.
(b) Juror Information.
(1) Personal Information. Before jury selection and oral voir dire examination starts, the clerk must provide the parties with the following information for each prospective juror: name, zip code, employment status, occupation, employer, residency status, education level, prior jury experience, and felony conviction status.
(2) Confidentiality of Eligibility and Biographical Information. The clerk must obtain and maintain juror information in a manner and form approved by the Supreme Court as set forth in statute, rule, Administrative Code, or Administrative Order, and this information may only be used for the purpose of jury selection. The clerk must keep all jurors' home and business telephone numbers and addresses confidential and may not disclose them unless by order of the court for good cause shown.
(3) Confidentiality of Case-Specific Written Questionnaires. All completed case-specific written questionnaires must be filed under seal. If the court requires prospective jurors to complete a case-specific written questionnaire, it must maintain any completed case-specific written questionnaires in a manner and form approved by the court as part of the case file. Before conducting oral voir dire, the prospective jurors' responses to the case-specific written questionnaires must be provided to each party by the clerk or court. Any party or counsel receiving a copy of responses to the case-specific written questionnaires must not disclose the information to the public and may disclose the information only to the extent necessary for the proper conduct of the case. When jury selection is completed, counsel for either party may retain copies of case-specific written questionnaires containing work product within their case files. Otherwise, each recipient must destroy or return to the court all copies of the responses to the case-specific written questionnaires.
(c) Voir Dire Oath and Procedure.
(1) Voir Dire Affirmation and Oath. Each prospective juror must swear or affirm that the answers provided in response to the case-specific written questionnaires are truthful. Before oral voir dire, each prospective juror must take an oath administered by the clerk. The oath's substance must be as follows: “You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will truthfully answer all questions about your qualifications to serve as a trial juror in this action, so help you God.” If a prospective juror elects to affirm rather than swear the oath, the clause “so help you God” must be omitted.
(2) Explanation of Voir Dire. At the beginning of any written or oral examination, the court must provide information on the purpose of voir dire, how the court and the parties will use the prospective jurors' information, and who may have access to the information prospective jurors provide. Any case-specific written questionnaires used should include this information in an introduction.
(3) Case-Specific Written Questionnaires. Unless the court orders otherwise, the court should require each prospective juror to complete a case-specific written questionnaire in a manner and form approved by the court. The case-specific written questionnaire should include questions about the prospective juror's qualifications to serve in the case, any hardships that would prevent the prospective juror from serving, and whether the prospective juror could render a fair and impartial verdict.
(4) Brief Opening Statements. Before oral voir dire begins, the court may allow or require the parties to present brief opening statements to the prospective jurors.
(5) Extent of Oral Voir Dire.
(A) Questioning by Court and Parties. The court must conduct voir dire orally. During oral examination, the court must thoroughly question the jury panel to ensure that prospective jurors are qualified, fair, and impartial. Upon request, the court must allow the parties sufficient time, with other reasonable limitations, to conduct a further oral examination of the prospective jurors. Written questionnaires also may be used as provided in Rule 47(b)(3). A party's failure to submit questions to the court prior to examination should not be grounds to deny a party the opportunity to conduct an oral examination.
(B) Extent of Questioning. Voir dire questioning of a jury panel is not limited to the grounds listed in Rule 47(d) and may include questions about any subject that might disclose a basis for the exercise of a challenge for cause. The court retains the discretion to manage voir dire, including to preclude improper, excessive, or abusive questioning.
(d) Challenges for Cause.
(1) Grounds. A party may challenge a prospective juror for cause on one or more of the following grounds:
(A) the prospective juror lacks one or more of the required statutory qualifications specified in A.R.S. § 21-211;
(B) the prospective juror is a party's:
(i) family member;
(ii) guardian or ward;
(iii) master or servant;
(iv) employer or employee;
(v) principal or agent;
(vi) business partner or associate; or
(vii) surety or obligee on a bond or obligation;
(C) the prospective juror was a witness or served as a juror in a previous trial between the same parties in the same action; or
(D) the prospective juror has--by words or actions--shown bias or prejudice for or against any party or otherwise demonstrated their unfitness to serve as a juror.
(2) Procedure. The court must rule on challenges for cause. A prospective juror who is challenged for cause may be examined under oath by the court or, with the court's permission, by a party.
(3) Burden of Proof. The party challenging a juror for cause has the burden to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the juror cannot render a fair and impartial verdict. In making its determination, the court must consider the totality of a prospective juror's conduct and answers given during voir dire as stated on the record by the trial court.
(4) Stipulation to Remove a Prospective Juror for Cause. The court may excuse a prospective juror upon stipulation of the parties that, in their good faith belief, the prospective juror cannot render a fair and impartial verdict.
(e) Alternate Jurors.
(1) Generally. The court may order that up to 6 additional jurors be called and impaneled in the same manner as other jurors under this rule, to allow the court to later designate some of the jurors as alternates.
(2) Instructions. The court should explain to the jury why alternate jurors are needed and how they will be selected at the end of trial.
(3) Selecting and Excusing an Alternate Juror. The court will determine the identities of the alternate jurors by a drawing held in open court after closing arguments and final jury instructions are given but before deliberations begin. If an alternate juror is excused, the court must instruct him or her to continue to observe the juror admonitions until a verdict is returned or the jury is discharged.
(4) Substituting an Alternate Juror. If a deliberating juror is disqualified or unable to perform the required duties, the court may substitute an alternate juror in the juror's place. If an alternate juror joins the deliberations, the court must instruct the jury to start over in its deliberations.

Credits

Added Sept. 2, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Amended Aug. 30, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022; amended on an emergency basis Dec. 8, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022; amended effective Feb. 9, 2022; amended on a permanent basis, effective Aug. 29, 2022; amended effective Feb. 9, 2023.
16 A. R. S. Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 47, AZ ST RCP Rule 47
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through April 1, 2024. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through April 1, 2024.
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