The Brief - December 2012

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Vol. 8, No. 12                                                                                                          December 2012

eFiling in Family Court

Permissive eFiling will be expanded in family court, effective December 1. Attorneys and self-represented parties will be able to electronically file post-initiation family court documents in any family court case in the Superior Court in Maricopa County. The expansion allows parties or their attorneys to choose which documents to eFile after the case is initiated on paper. To allow this expansion now, eFiling in family court cases will be through the Clerk’s eFiling Online website, not AZTurboCourt. See the Clerk’s website for more information about eFiling: The Family Court section of the eFiling Guidelines provide important information about format and what can and cannot be eFiled. Similar to depository box filings, eFilings that require payment of a fee must be paid at a Clerk’s facility or over the phone within one business day of eFiling or they will be rejected for non-payment and the original submission date and time will be lost.


West Court Remodel

The first phase of construction will be complete in December and non-criminal file counters (civil, family, and tax) will be available on the first floor of the West Court Building beginning December 24, 2012. The new space includes file counters and a public lobby designed to better serve our customers. The area will be accessible from the Central Court Building in downtown Phoenix. Probate and Mental Health documents continue to be filed at the Old Courthouse.


Probate Reminder for 1/1/2013

On 1/1/2013 the Clerk’s Office will change to a drop-filing system for informal probate filings. After that date, informal probate documents can be filed at the probate filing counters and at the Clerk’s satellite facilities, including the Central Court Building. The drop-filing process is similar to depository box filings. Documents will be acknowledged at the time of presentation, scanned at the dropped location, and will be reviewed by the probate registrar or a deputy registrar within three business days. Accepted filings will be filed-in and receive a case number. Documents will be available for pick-up at the location where they were dropped for filing. For declined documents, a notification will be completed explaining the filing deficiency.


Tax Filings

The Superior Court in Maricopa County serves as the principle office of the Tax Court in Arizona for filing county and state-level challenges and appeals in the Tax Court. Effective January 2013, Small Tax (case numbers beginning with ST) and regular tax case filings (case numbers beginning with TX) may also be filed at the civil file counters in the Central Court Building in downtown Phoenix. For several years tax filings were filed primarily at the Probate file counter in the Old Courthouse. Post-initiation filings in the “TX” case type can also be electronically filed through the Clerk’s eFiling Online system. All documents in “ST” cases must be filed on paper. eFiling in tax cases is not available through AZTurboCourt at this time.


Subpoenas, Summonses, Orders to Appear

The Superior Court in Maricopa County requested a local rule change that would require language regarding disability accommodations and interpreter services to appear on every subpoena, summons and Order to Appear before the Clerk can issue the document. The documents would have to state:

“Requests for reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities must be made to the division assigned to the case by the party needing accommodation or his/her counsel at least three (3) judicial days in advance of a scheduled proceeding. Requests for an interpreter for persons with limited English proficiency must be made to the division assigned to the case by the party needing the interpreter and/or translator or his/her counsel at least ten (10) judicial days in advance of a scheduled court proceeding.”

Adding this language to your forms now will prepare your practice for this change. If the local rule is approved as expected, the Clerk’s Office will work with the State Bar to add the language to subpoenas issued through the Bar’s Subpoena Online service.