Rules on Court Records
Court records are maintained in accordance with Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona, Rule 29: Court Records, subsections (A) and (D). Most records are destroyed once their statutory retention period expires, which can be from one year to 11 years, depending on the case type. See the retention schedule.
Court records are provided according to Arizona Supreme Court Rule 123, ARS §22-281, and §12-304. Most existent records are public and will be provided, with redactions as required in Rule and Statute.
How to Request Records
General public, government agencies, or a party to a case
Litigants in a case and/or their attorneys, government investigators, members of the public, and commercial businesses wishing to receive specific case files, information, or recorded proceedings should send the request to the one justice court which has jurisdiction over the case.
We do not perform background checks and requests for litigant records lacking a case number may be declined.
Requests for certified documents must be sent to the specific court that holds the case. The Public Information Office cannot certify case documents, as the certification process involves a judge's stamp.
Media, academics, or non-profit organizations should send the request form to the Justice Courts' Public Information Office. The PIO may decline requests from public members, litigants, government departments, or other investigators by instructing them to contact the court with jurisdiction over the case.
Bulk justice court data is available, containing details of new filings and terminations of all case types, as well as current detailed information on all pending justice court cases in which activity occurred during the previous month. Data is available for each month back to 2005.
Costs for Records
Certification: $28 per document (requests for certification MUST be sent to the specific court)
Audio/video recordings: $28 per hearing
Search fee (commercial requesters): $28 for up to 10 files per day
Bulk data download: $28 per month
Payment may be made by check or over the phone with a credit card.
Some requesters may qualify for a fee deferral or waiver. Some defendants may be entitled to copies for free. Contact the court if you think these apply to you.
Forms for Requesting Records?
Watching or Recording
Courthouses are public places with an expectation of privacy. The public is welcome to attend any ongoing court proceeding unless deemed confidential, such as some protective orders or juvenile proceedings.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, courts now hold many types of hearings virtually (phone/video) rather than in person. Participants in a case will receive instructions on the appropriate method of attendance.
Want to record or photograph a court case?
Courthouses are open to the public and anyone is welcome to walk in to watch proceedings at any time. Some, but not all, judges livestream their hearings. To watch online, visit the Court Calendars page to see which court(s) may have an active live stream. However, there is an expectation of privacy for some sensitive cases and the stream may end at any time.
Because of these sensitive cases such as protective orders, recording and photography are prohibited in courtrooms and courthouses without prior approval from the judge. This is outlined in Arizona Supreme Court Rule 122 and Rule 122.1. Anyone who wants to take photos or video inside the courthouse or courtroom should send a request to the Justice Courts' Public Information Office.