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Rule 4. Procedure

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Procedure for Special Actions

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Procedure for Special Actions
Special Action Against Body, Officer, or Person (Refs & Annos)
17B A.R.S. Special Actions, Rules of Proc., Rule 4
Rule 4. Procedure
(a) Special action. An action under this Rule shall be known as a special action, and in a proper case may be brought in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or the Superior Court.
(b) Where action brought. An action brought in the Superior Court under this Rule shall be brought in the county in which the body or officer has or should have determined the matter to be reviewed, or, in the case of a state officer or body, either in Maricopa County or in the county of residence of the plaintiff; or in case of any public officer or body, or of a private corporation, in the county of the principal place of business of such officer or body or corporation; or if there is no principal place of business in Arizona for a private corporation defendant, the action may be brought in Maricopa County or, at the option of the plaintiff, in the county of his residence. Where the action is brought in a Court of Appeals, it shall be brought before whichever Court of Appeals has territorial jurisdiction over the county in which the action might have been brought had it been presented to a Superior Court.
(c) Time for Service of Complaint and Answer. The special action may be instituted with or without an application for an order to show cause why the requested relief should not be granted. The summons and complaint and order to show cause, if any, shall be served as process is served under Rules 4, 4.1 or 4.2, as applicable, of the Rules of Civil Procedure, unless the court otherwise specifies the manner and time within which service shall be made. If a show cause procedure is used, the court shall set a speedy return date. If that procedure is not used, the usual time periods established by the Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply, but all times may be specially modified by court order to achieve expeditious determination of the cause.
(d) Pleadings. There shall be a complaint, which may be verified or accompanied by affidavits or other written proof, and an answer by the defendant or the real party in interest, or such other responsive pleadings as may be appropriate. The court may order any party or persons to file with the court all or any part of any records in his or its possession.
(e) Caption. In any special action filed against a Superior Court Judge, Court of Appeals Judge or other officer in a Court of Appeals or in the Supreme Court and in any petition for review filed pursuant to Rule 8(b) of these rules, the caption shall state the name of the judge or officer followed by the person's official title, e.g., “[Name of Petitioner], Petitioner v. Hon. [Name of Judge], Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, in and for the County of [Name of County], Respondent and [Name of Real Party in Interest], Real Party in Interest.”
(f) Trial. If a triable issue of fact is raised in an action under this Rule, it shall be tried subject to special orders concerning discovery. If the petition is filed in an appellate court, that court may, if it believes that the matter should be tried, either designate a master or transmit the matter to a Superior Court for trial, subject to reference back if the court desires. The court may use an advisory jury on matters of fact.
(g) [Costs and attorneys' fees.]1 In any special action, a party may claim costs and attorneys' fees as in other civil actions. In a special action in an appellate court, a request for attorneys' fees shall be made in the pleadings or by motion filed and served prior to oral argument or submission of the special action. Within ten days after the court has issued an order declining jurisdiction or the clerk has given notice that a decision has been rendered, a party entitled to costs or attorneys' fees may file in the appellate court a statement of costs including attorneys' fees, and objections and a reply may thereafter be filed, all in accordance with the provisions of Rule 21, Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure.


Amended June 30, 1983, effective Sept. 1, 1983; Oct. 2, 1991, effective Dec. 1, 1991; Feb. 18, 1992, effective May 1, 1992. Amended Oct. 14, 1997, effective Oct. 15, 1997.


Caption editorially supplied.
17B A. R. S. Special Actions, Rules of Proc., Rule 4, AZ ST SPEC ACT Rule 4
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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