The Brief - August 2016

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The Brief

Vol. 12, No. 8                                                                 August 2016

Noteworthy Legislation

The legislation noted below is either in effect now, effective later this week, or takes effect on January 1, 2017. Most new legislation begins on the general effective date of Saturday, August 6, 2016. For more information on legislation, visit the State Bar’s website or look for trade organizations that track changes in Arizona.

Family Court practitioners and process servers should note that preliminary injunctions will need to be served in family court proceedings to establish legal decision making or parenting time where the couple was never married. SB 1297 updated the statutes to treat the children of once-married and never-married couples the same when initiating certain court filings. The Clerk’s Office will look for one of the required documents in an initial filing (child’s birth certificate, acknowledgment of paternity, adoption order, or court order establishing paternity) before filing the case and issuing the injunction for service. The statutory change does not apply to support-only cases filed by the state. Understand that family court case records are generally available as public records while adoption case records are not. Filing a copy of an adoption order or child’s birth certificate with the family court petition will result in those documents being filed in the public record.  Carefully review whether a rule or exception requires or allows redacting or modifying information before filing documents in the family court case.

Remember that the Clerk’s Office does not screen filed documents for content. Statutes and rules prohibit parties from filing certain information or require redacting that information before filing. New legislation regarding private images (HB 2001 – in effect now) and witness information (HB 2383) may restrict or prohibit what can be submitted for filing into the public record.

Practitioners in probate and juvenile case types will have more consistency and communication between courts starting January 1, 2017. When a filing falls under SB 1296, it will help the court and all parties to cite both the juvenile and probate case numbers in documents. It may be necessary to file a copy of documents and orders in each case when the document or order affects both cases. Understand that probate case records are generally available as public records while juvenile case records are not. Carefully review whether a rule or exception requires or allows redacting or modifying information before filing documents in the probate case.

eFiling Guidelines Update - Sealed

The Clerk and Presiding Judge recently updated eFiling Guideline 2.09 “Documents not permitted to be electronically filed.” When electronically filing through the Clerk’s portal and through AZTurboCourt, filers can now e-file a motion or stipulation to file under seal. However, note that the motion or stipulation will be filed in the public record. Do not include anything in the motion, stipulation, or related documents that you are asking the court to seal from public access. There is currently no process for lodging documents with the Clerk’s Office and we do not review the content of documents for information that should not be in the public record. After the court grants the motion or stipulation to file under seal, put the documents or information to be sealed in an envelope, attach the court’s order to the outside of the envelope, and bring it to a Clerk’s file counter for filing under seal. The updated eFile Guidelines are online at