Appeal Justice Civil Court Judgment

*** ATTENTION- This Blog Post Applies to NON-Eviction Cases ***

Click HERE to Read About Appealing EVICTION Cases

Appealing an Arizona Justice Court Ruling

A party may appeal a judgment entered in an Arizona Justice Court civil case. FYI, these rules do not apply to eviction cases, but traditional lawsuits filed in the Justice Court. There are two separate stages to appeal a Justice Court ruling. The first stage begins in the Justice Court; the second stage takes place in the Superior Court. The party filing an appeal is the Appellant and the opposing party is the Appellee.

Stage 1 of an Appeal: the Justice Court

The Notice of Appeal

The first step to appeal the judgment a Notice of Appeal must be filed in the Justice Court within 14 calendar days from the date of the judgment. If you do not file this Notice of Appeal within the 14 calendar days then you lose the right to appeal. The time to file this Notice of Appeal cannot be extended so do not miss the deadline! Currently (Jan. 2021) the Notice of Appeal fee is $84.

Appeal Fees

On or before the deadline to appeal, you must pay an appeal fee. The fee includes the cost of creating a copy of the audio recording of the proceedings and the transmittal of this recording to the Superior Court.

The Court Record

The Justice Court record is made by CD or video. The Arizona Justice Court will notify us when a copy of the audio recording is ready to be picked up. The record is usually available within 10 days of filing the Notice of Appeal. If the audio record is more than 90 minutes in length, it will be necessary for the Justice Court to pay a court reporter to prepare a transcript of the proceedings within the deadline to appeal. The transcript must be filed with the Justice Court at the same time we file our memorandum.

Designate the Record

Within the time to appeal you must designate the record with the trial court by filing a formal list of the items you want to include in the record on appeal.

The Cost Bond

On or before the deadline to appeal you must pay a cost Bond. Currently, (Jan. 2021) the cost bond is set at $250. The purpose of this bond is to cover Arizona Just Court costs incurred by the Appellee for defending the appeal.

Supersedeas Bond(s)

The purpose of a supersedeas bond is to prevent enforcement of the Judgment by the Plaintiff. The two supersedeas bonds have separate purposes. One will stay collection actions on the amount of the Judgment awarded, i.e., garnishment proceedings.

The amount of the supersedeas bond is the total amount of the Judgment ordered by the court, including court costs, attorneys’ fees, damages, etc. The purpose of this bond is to postpone collection proceedings on the money judgment awarded. For example, levying a bank account or garnishing wages. The stay becomes effective when the bond is paid.  

You may still exercise your right to appeal without posting a supersedeas bond. But you must post one or both supersedeas bond to prevent enforcement of the Judgment.

The Appeal Memorandum

The Appellant’s memorandum is a written explanation of why the Arizona Justice Court’s ruling was legally wrong. This memorandum should refer to specific portions of the record of the trial to point out where the Justice Court errored. The memorandum should be typed or printed on letter-sized white paper, double-spaced, and not to exceed 15 pages in length. In addition, you may also attach exhibits from your hearing to the memorandum. The original memorandum is filed with the Justice Court and one copy of the memorandum is mailed to every party in the case. Once the memorandum has been filed, the Justice Court must wait for further instructions from the Arizona Superior Court. See Stage 2 of the appeal of judgment.

Stage 2 of an Appeal: the Superior Court

Paying the Superior Court filing Fee

Once all of the steps from the Justice Court Appeal’s First Stage have been completed the case moves to the Superior Court. About 60 days after the memorandum has been filed you will receive a notice from the Superior Court instructing you to pay the Superior Court filing fee.

Superior Court Action on the Appeal

Once all of these steps have been completed, a ruling will be issued from the Superior Court. The Arizona Superior Court has the right to affirm the Justice Court, overrule the Justice Court, modify some of the Justice Court’s decision, or, if the record is not clear, order a new trial in the Justice Court. If the final outcome of the case is that the ruling stands, or if the appeal is dismissed for any reason, the court may use any bond, deposit or payments made to satisfy the obligation under the original judgment.

*** ATTENTION- This Post Only Discusses Appealing NON-Eviction Cases ***

Click HERE to Read About Appealing Arizona EVICTION Cases.

If you need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-702-1608 or message us HERE.

* The information provided is informational only, does not constitute legal advice, and will not create an attorney-client or attorney-prospective client relationship. Additionally, the Dunaway Law Group, PLC limits its practice to the States of Arizona and New York.

Author: Clint Dunaway

Arizona attorney.