Vol. 12, No. 3 March 2016
Criminal Rules Rewrite
A task force created by the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court
recently started its work updating the criminal rules of procedure. Throughout
the year, the group will hold public meetings to discuss rules and pending
changes while workgroups retool individual rules to bring forward for the
larger task force’s consideration. In part, the task force will clarify,
organize, and translate the rules into plain English. The result of the
committee’s work will be a rule change petition filed by January 2017, with
changes the Supreme Court approves taking effect in January 2018.
The task force has representatives from public and private practice;
municipal, justice, state, and appellate courts; academia; urban and rural
areas; and people versed in victim, witness, and defendant interests. Public
input will be part of the process in hopes of preparing a draft that addresses
the needs and concerns of all who use the rules of procedure. Follow the task
force’s progress online at http://www.azcourts.gov/cscommittees/Task-Force-on-the-Arizona-Rules-of-Criminal-Procedure
and through updates in The Brief.
In February, the Clerk’s Customer Service Center was scheduled to be open
on Saturday the 13th but also opened on Valentine’s Day in response
to interest from the public and the Maricopa County Justice Courts. Six Justices of the Peace performed more than 100 free marriage
ceremonies for couples on Valentine’s Day. On an average business day, the
Clerk’s Office at the downtown location would process 37 marriage licenses. The
Friday before Valentine’s Day, the office issued 62 marriage licenses and 118
passports. Between Saturday and Sunday, the office issued a total of 96
marriage licenses and 75 passport applications.
Day is the office’s highest volume day for issuing marriage licenses. Weekend
hours allowed the Clerk’s Office to assist hundreds more customers. The office
also heard from customers who struggle with having everything the federal
government requires for passports on their first visit to the office. Weekend
hours helped those customers keep from taking more time off work to complete the
application process on a second visit.
further assist with passport applications, the Clerk’s Office will be open from
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on the following Saturdays: March 12, March 19, and April
2, 2016 at the Customer Service Center in downtown Phoenix only. Customers can
make appointments in advance or walk-in for service. To schedule an appointment
for processing your passport application, call the Clerk’s Office at
602-372-5375 and contact the Clerk’s correspondence section using phone prompts
7-1-2-2. Clerk staff will also issue marriage licenses during Saturday events.