What is the Difference between an Eviction Hearing and Eviction Trial?
Every eviction case in Arizona requires an Eviction hearing but occasionally the matter will be set for trial. At an Eviction hearing
the landlord or landlord’s attorney appears and shows a judge the
necessary paperwork to receive a judgment. For good cause shown the
judge may set the matter for trial.
Why Would a Judge Set it for a Trial?
Under certain circumstances the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires that an eviction case be set for a trial. An eviction case will be set for trial if; the tenant appears and makes a legal defense to the attorney’s claims. Depending on how strict a judge interprets this statute, the hearing may be stopped the moment a tenant presents a legal defense and set for trial. Other judges will allow the landlord’s attorney and the tenant an opportunity to present their best arguments for a moment before dismissing the case or setting it for trial. However, most judges will not listen to any testimony or view evidence at the initial hearing and just set it for trial.
What Can I Expect at an Eviction Trial in Arizona?
Eviction trials can last from 30 minutes or so to several hours. During eviction trials
both parties are given the opportunity to make brief introductory
statements. Landlords and tenants may introduce evidence and question
witnesses. Typical evidence is; pictures, text messages, lease
agreements, and emails. Eviction trials can last for several hours.
If you need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-389-6529.
In Arizona, all eviction cases–whether in the justice court or superior court–are controlled by the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions. If a Plaintiff-landlord wishes to have a trial by jury then it can be requested. Under Rule 11(d)-
Settings. Contested detainer matters shall be set for a trial by a
judge alone unless a jury trial is demanded by the plaintiff in the
complaint or by the defendant at or before the initial appearance.
Failure to request a jury trial at or before the initial appearance
shall be deemed a waiver of that party’s right to a jury trial. At the
initial appearance, if a jury trial has been demanded, the court shall
inquire and determine the factual issues to be determined by the jury.
If no factual issues exist for the jury to determine, the matter shall
proceed to a trial by the judge alone regarding any legal issues or may
disposed of by motion or in accordance with these rules, as
Rule 12(a) of the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions
provide us with the necessary steps for having a jury trial. The court
will permit seven jurors in the justice court and 9 jurors in the
If you need help from an Arizona real estate attorney then contact the Dunaway Law Group at email@example.com or 480-389-6529.
1. What happens at the initial eviction hearing?
any given day eviction hearings are bunched into a 60 minute time
frame. It is not uncommon for 80 eviction hearings to be scheduled in a
60 minute block! During these hearings the courtroom is packed with
attorneys, their clients, tenants, and crying babies. Thus, Judges are
under necessity to move through each case as quickly as possible.
Additionally, the hearings move swiftly because often the defendants
(tenants) don’t appear at their hearing.
In this small
allotment of time there is not time to take sworn testimony, allow for
opening and closing statements, or review evidence. So just because the
case was set for trial it doesn’t mean that they did anything right or
that we did anything wrong.
2. Why would a judge set an eviction for trial?
a Defendant (tenant) in fact appears at the hearing and denies the
allegations contained in the Complaint, the Judge may set the matter for
- If the original eviction Complaint was filed for failure to pay rent
a tenant might appear and too the judge that they are actually current
on their rent. As mentioned above, the Judge does not have time during
this block of time to hear either parties’ argument, and he or she will
set it for trial.
- Another example is in the case that the Complaint was filed for breach of the lease agreement.
For instance, if the signed lease agreement states that only two people
may occupy the property. If the property owner finds out that there are
22 people living in the house he or she may file for an eviction based
on the fact that the Tenants had more than the allowed number of
occupants in the home; which is a breach of the original signed
agreement. However, the Defendant (tenant) may appear and claim that the
people in the house are just visiting. In this case the matter would be
set for trial.
If you need help from a real estate attorney then call the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.