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Rule 4. Plaintiff Must File a Complaint in Justice Court

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Small Claims ProcedureEffective: January 1, 2020

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Small Claims Procedure
Effective: January 1, 2020
17B A.R.S. Rules of Small Claims Procedure, Rule 4
Rule 4. Plaintiff Must File a Complaint in Justice Court
(a) Filing the Complaint. A small claims lawsuit starts when a plaintiff files a small claims complaint. The plaintiff must file a complaint in the justice court precinct (“venue”) where the defendant resides or as permitted by A.R.S. § 22-202. The claim may be heard in a different justice court precinct if the court has jurisdiction and the defendant fails to object.
(b) Requirements.
(1) Statement of the Claim or Claims. The complaint must be legible and must briefly state the plaintiff's reasons for the claims against the defendant.
(2) Amount of Claims. The amount of all claims in the complaint cannot exceed the jurisdictional limit for a small claims lawsuit. A plaintiff cannot avoid this requirement by splitting the claim amount into several smaller claim amounts.
(3) Filing Fee. The plaintiff must pay a fee to the court to file a complaint, although the plaintiff may request a deferral or waiver of this fee as provided by A.R.S. § 12-302 and the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration § 5-206.
(c) No Amendments. Amended complaints are not allowed but a plaintiff may dismiss the complaint and file a new lawsuit.
(d) Settlement. If the lawsuit settles before the hearing date the plaintiff must notify the court by filing a Notice of Settlement.


Added Aug. 27, 2019, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
17B A. R. S. Rules Small Claims Proc., Rule 4, AZ ST SM CL Rule 4
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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