What We Do
Justice Courts are the "limited jurisdiction courts" of every county. That is, we do not handle felony cases or claims for amounts higher than $10,000. Case types we do handle:
- General Civil Suits ($10,000 or below)
- Eviction Action ($10,000 or below)
- Small Claims ($3,500 or below)
- Civil Traffic
- Criminal Traffic
- Other Misdemeanors (shoplifting, theft, assault, interfering with the judicial process, etc)
- Protective Orders
- Marijuana Expungements
For information on each of those, please tap or hover your mouse over "Case Types" and choose the specific type you need.
"Venue" means where you file your case. That can mean superior court as opposed to justice court. It can also mean which justice court precinct.
To start with, we look at the case types and dollar amounts listed above. If your claim does not fit those criteria, then you probably need to file in superior court.
Once you determine that justice court is the appropriate court level, your next decision is to locate the correct precinct by geography. There are 26 justice court precincts in Maricopa County. Protective Orders are the only case type that may be filed with any court in the state. The rest are all specific to the location of the incident that triggered the case.
Choosing the Correct Court
Determining which justice court should hear your case is usually very simple and is based on an address.
- Civil and Criminal Traffic cases will be heard in the precinct where the violation occurred.
- Eviction cases must be filed in the precinct where the tenant lives.
- Marijuana Expungement petitions must be filed with the court that heard the original case.
- Protective Orders may be filed in any court in Arizona, regardless of where the parties live.
- The precinct for Small Claims and Regular Civil cases will depend on where the transaction, agreement, or dispute occurred. Generally, this will be the address of the person or business that will be named as the defendant. There are exceptions to this rule, as provided in Arizona Revised Statutes, Chapter 22-202.
You may enter an address on the Maricopa County Recorder's Office map viewer to determine the proper justice court.