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Rule 5. Summons and Complaint; Issuance, Content and Service of Process

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Procedure for Eviction ActionsEffective: January 1, 2022

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions
Effective: January 1, 2022
17B A.R.S. Rules Proc. Evic. Act., Rule 5
Rule 5. Summons and Complaint; Issuance, Content and Service of Process
a. Summons. The summons in an eviction action shall be a document separate from the complaint, shall be issued in accordance with applicable statutory provisions, and shall identify the defendants to the action. If the name of a defendant is unknown, the summons and complaint may name a fictitious defendant and any occupants of the property. The court shall liberally grant leave to amend the complaint and summons to reflect the true names of defendants if they become known to the plaintiff. The summons shall also include the following:
(1) Name of the court and its street address, city, telephone number, facsimile number, email address, and website address;
(2) Date and time set for the trial of the matter; and that a landlord, tenant, attorney, or witness may participate at the initial hearing through telephone or video conference by contacting the court for directions at least two hours before the hearing, to ensure the court has time to make necessary arrangements;
(3) Notice that if the tenant fails to appear, a default judgment will likely be entered against the tenant, granting the relief specifically requested in the complaint, including removing the tenant from the property; and
(4) A disclosure in substantially the following form: “Requests for reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities should be made to the court as soon as possible.”
(5) In residential property actions only, on a separate page served upon the tenant, the information contained in the Residential Eviction Information Sheet substantially in the form included as Appendix A to these Rules.
b. Complaint. The complaint shall:
(1) Be brought in the legal name of the party claiming entitlement to possession of the property.
(2) Include the business name, if any, and address of the property;
(3) If an attorney represents the plaintiff, state the name, address, telephone number, and Bar number of the attorney in the upper left hand corner;
(4) If the plaintiff is unrepresented, state the plaintiff's address, name and telephone number in the upper left hand corner;
(5) State that the property in question is located within the judicial precinct where the complaint is filed;
(6) State in bold print, capitalized, and underlined at the top center of the first page, below the case caption, “YOUR LANDLORD IS SUING TO HAVE YOU EVICTED. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY”;
(7) State the specific reason for the eviction; that the defendant was served a proper notice to vacate, if applicable; the date the notice was served; and what manner of service was used. A copy of the notice shall be attached as an exhibit to the complaint.
(8) State that the action involves a subsidized rental property if the action involves a subsidized rental property.
(9) Be verified. This means that the attorney signing the complaint shall verify that the attorney believes the assertions in the complaint to be true on the basis of a reasonably diligent inquiry.
c. Complaint for Monetary Damages. If the complaint seeks a money judgment for rent, late charges, or other fees, charges or damages permitted by law, the complaint shall also state:
(1) The frequency with which the rent is to be paid;
(2) The due date for each payment;
(3) The amount of rent due on each date;
(4) The method of calculating late fees;
(5) The total amount of rents, late fees, and other fees, charges or damages permitted by law that are due on the date of filing;
(6) The nature and amount of any rent concessions that the plaintiff contends must be reimbursed; and
(7) The amount of attorney fees, if permitted by law or contract, that would be due to plaintiff in the event of a default by the defendant.
(8) If the rental property is a subsidized housing unit, the landlord must state the total amount of the rent per month, the tenant's portion of the monthly rent, and the total amount of the tenant's portion of the rent that the tenant owes.
d. Additional Requirements for Complaint.
(1) If the action is based solely on non-payment of rent, contains a request for monetary damages and involves a residential property or mobile home space, the complaint must also state that the defendant may contact the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney and may reinstate the lease agreement and cause the eviction action to be dismissed if, prior to the entry of judgment, the defendant pays all rents due, any reasonable late fees due that are provided for under a written lease agreement, and any court costs and attorney fees the plaintiff has incurred as of the date the payment is made.
(2) If the complaint seeks a judgment for reasons permitted by law other than the non payment of rent, the complaint shall state the reason for the termination of the tenancy with specific facts, including the date, place and circumstances of the reason for termination, so the tenant has an opportunity to prepare a defense.
(3) A copy of the provisions of any lease agreement and any addendums related to the underlying basis of the eviction action must be served with the complaint.
(4) If the action is based on non-payment of rent, a copy of the accounting of charges and payments for the preceding six months must be served with the complaint.
e Service of Process. Service of the summons and complaint shall be accomplished by either personal service or post and mail service for a special detainer action, and for a forcible detainer action, as provided by Rule 4.1 or 4.2 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. Service of process shall only be performed by a person authorized to do so under Rule 4(D) of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. Return of service and proof thereof shall be made by affidavit.
f. Failure to Obtain Service. A complaint that is not served within the time required by applicable statute may be dismissed at the initial appearance date unless the defendant waives service in writing, or the initial appearance may be continued upon a showing of good cause to allow additional time for service. If the defendant appears at the initial appearance, the appearance shall constitute a waiver of any objections to the form or manner of service unless the defendant asserts those grounds at the initial appearance or in a previously filed written answer.


Added Dec. 9, 2008, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Amended Aug. 31, 2017, effective Jan. 1, 2018; Aug. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019; Aug. 27, 2019, effective Jan. 1, 2020; amended on an emergency basis Aug. 30, 2021, effective Sept. 29, 2021, adopted on a permanent basis effective Jan. 1, 2022.
17B A. R. S. Rules Proc. Evic. Act., Rule 5, AZ ST EVICTION Rule 5
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through May 15, 2024. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through May 15, 2024.
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