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Prefatory Comment to the 2017 Amendments

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Comment
Prefatory Comment to the 2017 Amendments
The 2017 amendments make extensive changes to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure (“ARCP”).
These amendments “restyle” the ARCP in a manner similar to the 2007 restyling of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Informative titles and subheadings are added, which make rules and sections easier to locate. By using clearer language and, if possible, plain English, these rules should be easier to understand. The restyled rules avoid long sentences, ambiguous terminology (such as the word “shall”), and legal jargon. These rules also use consistent formatting conventions and terminology.
If no good reason exists to depart from the newly restyled language of a federal rule, these amendments adopt the restyled federal wording verbatim. These amendments also renumber various subdivisions of Arizona rules to be consistent with the numbering of parallel federal subdivisions. If there are sound reasons for an Arizona rule to differ substantively from a corresponding federal rule, the amended Arizona rule maintains those differences. Even in these circumstances, however, and to enhance the clarity of the Arizona rule, wording was revised and structure was reorganized pursuant to restyling conventions.
The amended rules also include substantive changes, including but not limited to the following. The amendments eliminate several archaic practices and traps, such as requirements to verify answers for certain pleadings, or if certain defenses are raised. Several amendments are devoted to procedures involving electronic discovery and electronically stored information. Revisions to Rules 26.1 and 37(g) are intended to meet the realities of identifying, handling, and producing electronically stored information in a rational and cost-effective fashion. Other major substantive changes include rules governing document preparation, the deadlines for responding to written discovery, and provisions regarding sanctions, change of judge, and the timing of requests for attorney's fees and costs.
The wording of an amended rule may be very different, or only slightly different, from the rule that it replaces. The intent of these differences is to make the ARCP more functional, and easier to understand and use. Prior case law continues to be authoritative, unless it would be inappropriate because of a new requirement or provision in these amended rules.
The amended rules attempt to incorporate substantive requirements previously contained within comments to the former ARCP. Because of that, these amendments delete most of those comments, along with comments that have long ago outlived their usefulness. Parties may continue to refer to comments to pre-2017 versions of the ARCP to the extent those comments still apply to these amended rules.


Added Sept. 2, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017.
16 A. R. S. Rules Civ. Proc., Comment, AZ ST RCP Comment
State Court Rules are current with amendments received and effective through September 15, 2023. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through September 15, 2023.
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