Rule 72. Family Law Master
Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Family Law Procedure
17B A.R.S. Rules Fam.Law Proc., Rule 72
Rule 72. Family Law Master
(3) Party Stipulation. The parties may stipulate to the appointment of a particular person to serve as a master and the amount of compensation, but before such a person may be appointed, the court must approve the appointment and, after reviewing the person's qualifications, the proposed compensation.
(B) Scope of Authority. An appointment order may not direct a master to perform services within the scope of Rule 74 or to otherwise make decisions or recommendations concerning legal decision-making or parenting time. Other than these subjects, the master may determine any issues under A.R.S. Title 25 that could be presented to the assigned judge, including post-decree matters.
(E) Record. If a party requests it, the master must make a record of the evidence offered and excluded in the same manner and subject to the same limitations as provided in Arizona Rule of Evidence 104 for a court sitting without a jury. The court must allocate the cost of creating the record among the parties, with allocated costs being treated as taxable costs.
(d) Witnesses. The parties may procure the attendance of witnesses before the master by serving subpoenas as provided in Rule 52. If a witness fails to appear or give evidence without adequate excuse, the court may hold the witness in contempt and order the sanctions and remedies provided in Rules 52 and 65.
(1) Generally. The master must prepare a report on the matters submitted to the master by the appointment order, including requested findings of fact and conclusions of law concerning disputed issues. Before filing the report, a master may circulate a draft to the parties' counsel, or to any self-represented party, and solicit their comments and suggestions.
(1) Procedure. A party may object to the master's report by filing a motion to modify or reject the master's report but must do so not later than 15 days after the master's report is mailed. Each objection must be stated with specificity and must reference the exhibits or portions of the record supporting the objection.
(2) If an Objection Is Made. If an objection is filed, the court may set oral argument on the objection, adopt the report, modify it, wholly or partly reject it, or receive further evidence. The court must hold a hearing or enter an order regarding the objection not later than 30 days after a response or later court-authorized brief is filed.
(h) Stipulation as to Findings. When the master is appointed, the parties may stipulate that a master's findings of fact will be final. If the parties have filed such a stipulation, the court may consider only questions of law arising from the master's report. Absent such a stipulation, the court may not reverse a finding of fact by the special master unless it is clearly erroneous, but it must review de novo the master's conclusions of law.
(i) Sanctions. The court may impose sanctions on any party or counsel in connection with proceedings before a master for conduct intended to harass another party or a witness, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation. The master also may make recommendations to the court for imposing sanctions under these rules, case law, or statute.
Added Aug. 30, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
COMMENT TO 2017 AMENDMENT
The Court recognizes that in cases involving complex property or financial issues, appointment of a neutral expert witness may be helpful to the court in resolving these issues. A court may appoint a neutral expert witness to testify concerning these issues pursuant to Arizona Rule of Evidence 706 over a party's objection and at the parties' expense upon a showing that the parties can afford the expert without undue hardship.
Former Rule 72, relating to family law master, was abrogated Aug. 30, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019. See, now, this rule.
17B A. R. S. Rules Fam. Law Proc., Rule 72, AZ ST RFLP Rule 72
Current with amendments received through 05/1/2020.
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