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Rule 78. Judgment, Attorney Fees, Costs, and Expenses

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Family Law ProcedureEffective: August 29, 2022

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Family Law Procedure (Refs & Annos)
Part X. Judgments and Decrees (Refs & Annos)
Effective: August 29, 2022
17B A.R.S. Rules Fam.Law Proc., Rule 78
Formerly cited as AZ ST RFLP Rule 81
Rule 78. Judgment, Attorney Fees, Costs, and Expenses
(a) Definitions; Form.
(1) “Judgment” as used in these rules is a decree of dissolution of marriage, a decree of legal separation, a decree of dissolution of a covenant marriage, a decree of legal separation of a covenant marriage, a decree of annulment, judgments of paternity and maternity, and a decision defining or modifying legal decision-making, parenting time, or child support. A decision resolving any petition listed in Rule 23(a) or any post-judgment petition filed under Rule 91(b) is a judgment. A temporary order is not a judgment.
(2) “Decision” as used in this rule is a written order, ruling, or minute entry that adjudicates at least one claim or defense.
(b) Judgment upon Multiple Claims or Involving Multiple Parties. When more than one claim for relief is presented in an action, whether as a claim, counterclaim, third-party claim, or petition to modify or enforce a judgment, the court may direct the entry of an appealable judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court expressly determines there is no just reason for delay and recites that the judgment is entered under Rule 78(b). If there is no such express determination and recital, any decision, however designated, that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the action as to any of the claims or parties, and is subject to revision at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights and liabilities. For purposes of this section, a claim for attorney fees is considered a separate claim from the related judgment regarding the merits of the action.
(c) Judgment as to All Claims, Issues, and Parties. A judgment as to all claims, issues, and parties is not appealable unless the judgment recites that no further matters remain pending and that the judgment is entered under Rule 78(c).
(d) Entry of Judgment after Death of Party. Judgment may be entered after the death of a party upon a decision or upon an issue of fact rendered in the party's lifetime, except that an order dissolving the marriage may not be entered after the death of either party.
(e) Attorney Fees, Costs, and Expenses.
(1) Asserting a Claim for Attorney Fees, Costs, and Expenses. A claim for attorney fees, costs, and expenses must be made in the pleadings or by motion filed before trial or a post-judgment evidentiary hearing. A claim for attorney fees, costs, and expenses must also be included in any required pretrial statement. A claim for attorney fees, costs and expenses not made in compliance with this subpart is waived absent good cause shown.
(2) Establishing a Claim. The claim must be supported by an itemized affidavit or exhibits submitted as directed by the court, or, in the court's discretion, by testimony.
(3) Time of Determination. The determination of attorney fees, costs, and expenses must be included in the judgment or as otherwise ordered by the court. If a party asserts a claim for attorney fees, costs, and expenses under subpart (e)(1), and a judgment is entered under this rule that omits a ruling on the claim, the claim is deemed denied unless the party files a timely Rule 83 motion within 15 days after entry of the judgment.
(f) Form of Judgment; Objections to Form.
(1) Proposed Forms of Judgment. Proposed forms of judgment must be served on all parties.
(2) Objections to Form.
(A) A judgment may not be entered until 5 days after the proposed form of judgment is served, unless:
(i) the opposing party endorses on the judgment its approval of the judgment's form;
(ii) the court waives or shortens the 5-day notice requirement for good cause;
(iii) the judgment is against a party in default; or
(iv) the judgment was originally prepared by the court.
(B) An opposing party not in default may file an objection to the proposed form of judgment within 5 days after it is served. If an objection is made:
(i) the party submitting the proposed form of judgment may reply within 5 days after the objection is served; and
(ii) after that time expires, the court may decide the matter with or without a hearing.
(g) Entering Judgment.
(1) Written Document. All judgments must be in writing and signed by a judge or a court commissioner duly authorized to do so.
(2) Time and Manner of Entry. A judgment is not effective before entry, but a court may direct the entry of a judgment nunc pro tunc in such circumstances and on such notice as justice requires, stating the reasons on the record. A judgment, including a judgment in the form of a minute entry, is entered when the clerk files it.
(h) Notice of Entry of Judgment.
(1) Manner of Notice.
(A) By the Clerk. Immediately upon the entry of a judgment, or the entry of a minute entry constituting a judgment, the clerk must:
(i) distribute notice, in the form required by subpart (h)(2), either electronically, by U.S. mail, or attorney drop box, to every party not in default for failing to appear; and
(ii) make a record of the distribution.
(B) By Any Party. Any party may serve notice of entry of judgment in the manner provided in Rule 43.
(2) Form of Notice. Notice of entry of judgment must be in the following form:
(A) a written notice of the entry of judgment;
(B) a minute entry; or
(C) a conformed copy of the file-stamped judgment.
(3) Lack of Notice. Lack of notice of the entry of judgment by the clerk does not affect the time to appeal or authorize the court to relieve a party from the failure to appeal within the allowed time, except as provided in Arizona Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 9(f).
(i) Offers of Judgment Not Applicable. The procedure governing offers of judgment, authorized in civil actions under Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 68, does not apply in any action under A.R.S., Title 25.


Added Aug. 30, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Amended effective Aug. 29, 2022.
17B A. R. S. Rules Fam. Law Proc., Rule 78, AZ ST RFLP Rule 78
State Court Rules are current with amendments received and effective through May 15, 2023. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through May 15, 2023.
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