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Rule 133. Getting a Trial Date; Trial By Jury or to a Judge; Change of Precinct or Judge; Disab...

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedJustice Court Rules of Civil Procedure

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure (Refs & Annos)
Part IX: Trial
17B A.R.S. Justice Court Civ.Proc.Rules, Rule 133
Rule 133. Getting a Trial Date; Trial By Jury or to a Judge; Change of Precinct or Judge; Disability of a Judge During Trial; Verdict or Decision
a. Setting a lawsuit for trial. The court may set a date for trial once an answer has been filed, or a party may request the court to set a trial date after the parties have had an adequate opportunity to serve disclosure statements. Unless the parties agree or the court has good reasons, a trial may not be set to begin less than one hundred twenty (120) days after an answer was filed. [ARCP 38.1]
b. Trial by jury or to a judge. A party may demand a trial by jury of any issue for which a right to a jury trial exists. The trial of the issues so demanded will be by a jury, unless all of the parties agree to a trial by a judge without a jury; or unless the court finds that there is not a right to a trial by jury as to some or all of the issues. A party must demand a jury trial at least ten (10) days before the start of trial. If a demand for trial by jury has not been timely made, the trial will be before the judge without a jury; but even if no party has demanded a jury, the court may order a trial by jury of any or all of the issues. [ARCP 39(a), (j); see A.R.S. § 22-220]
c. Change of precinct (“change of venue”). Even though a plaintiff does not file a lawsuit in the correct precinct, the judge in that precinct may still hear the lawsuit unless the defendant, within ten days of filing an answer, files a request to transfer the venue of the lawsuit to the correct precinct. The request must include an affidavit by the defendant or by the defendant's attorney stating the precinct where defendant resides or does business, and any other reasons that the lawsuit is not in the correct precinct. The judge may grant the request and transfer the lawsuit to the correct precinct for further proceedings unless the plaintiff disputes the request within the time allowed by Rule 128(e), in which case the judge may hold a hearing on the request. Alternatively, if all parties in a lawsuit agree to change the venue as provided by Arizona Revised Statutes § 22-204(D), they may file a written agreement in the precinct where the lawsuit is pending specifying the precinct to which venue will be changed. If a party believes that the party will not have a fair and impartial trial in the precinct where the lawsuit was filed, that a change of venue would benefit the convenience of witnesses and promote the ends of justice, or that there is other good and sufficient cause for a change of venue, then the party must proceed as provided in Arizona Revised Statutes § 22-204(A). A party loses the opportunity to change venue if the judge in the precinct where the lawsuit was filed has heard an issue in the case on its merits. [see A.R.S. §§ 12-404, 22-204]
d. Change of judge. For purposes of this section, a lawsuit has only two sides. A party or a side, if there is more than one plaintiff or one defendant in a lawsuit, may request a change of judge as a matter of right. The party or side must file a notice of change of judge as a matter of right in the precinct where the lawsuit is pending and provide a copy of the notice to the other parties as required by Rule 120. The notice must state that the party or side has not previously requested a change of judge in this lawsuit, that the party or side has not waived the party's right to a change of judge, and that the notice is timely. A notice is not timely if it is filed less than sixty (60) days before the trial date, or if it is filed more than ten (10) days after the court provided the parties with notice of the assignment of a new judge for trial. A party waives a right to a change of judge if the judge has conducted a conference in the lawsuit, if the judge has ruled on any contested motion or issue, or if the trial has started. When a proper and timely notice of change of judge as a matter of right is filed, the court must transfer the lawsuit to a new judge within the county for further proceedings. If a party believes that the party will not have a fair and impartial trial before a justice of the peace, then the party must proceed as provided in Arizona Revised Statutes § 22-204(A). [ARCP 42(f); see A.R.S. § 22-204]
e. Disability of a judge. If a judge who starts a trial or a hearing becomes unable to proceed, the trial or hearing may continue with another judge who has certified that he or she is familiar with the record of proceedings, and that the matter may be completed without prejudice to the parties. At the request of a party or at the successor judge's initiative, a witness whose testimony is material and disputed and who is available to testify without undue burden may be recalled. [ARCP 63]
f. Verdict or decision. Judgment will be entered on the jury's verdict or the decision of the judge sitting without a jury as provided by law. [see A.R.S. § 22-241]

Credits

Adopted Aug. 30, 2012, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Amended on an emergency basis Aug. 28, 2013, effective Aug. 28, 2013, amendment adopted on a permanent basis, effective Nov. 14, 2013.
17B A. R. S. Justice Court Civ. Proc. Rules, Rule 133, AZ ST J CT RCP Rule 133
State Court Rules are current with amendments received and effective through 7/1/22. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through 7/1/22.
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