The Brief - August 2018

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Brief Masthead 2018 CD

Vol. 14, No. 8                                                                          August 2018

eSentencings improve service, lower costs

The Clerk’s office and the Maricopa County Superior Court implemented an electronic sentencing system to replace the traditional paper process. In the paper process, when minute entries were created for sentencings by court clerks, the minute entries would be manually scanned into the electronic court record (ECR) to capture the defendant’s fingerprint and judicial officer’s signature. With eSentencings, fingerprints and signatures are electronically captured on the eSentencing orders, and these documents are electronically uploaded into the ECR. Fingerprints on eSentencing orders are higher quality than those obtained manually on paper and these prints can be used by prosecuting agencies to prove a defendant’s prior convictions, if needed. The fingerprinting devices used in the courtrooms send the defendant’s prints electronically to the Department of Public Safety’s central state repository immediately.

Standard minute entries are created within three days of a hearing. Minute entries had to be physically signed by the judicial officer, returned to the clerk for approval, and sent to docketing staff to scan into the electronic court record. eSentencing orders are electronically signed by the judicial officer as soon as the sentencing hearing ends. The court clerk distributes the eSentencing orders electronically through the eFile application to the parties and related entities, generally the same day as the hearing, resulting in customers receiving the orders sooner.

The eSentencing process reduces the amount of manual docketing by Clerk’s office staff and eliminates the former possibility of misplacing a sentencing minute entry during the scanning process. Since December of 2017, all criminal court divisions have been issuing eSentencing orders, resulting in thousands of electronic orders. The court’s IT department is in the process of developing six types of eDisposition orders to be used in the same manner as eSentencing orders, but for probation violation matters.

New subpoena forms required now

Subpoenas for the Superior Court in Arizona have new language requirements starting July 1, 2018. The new requirements are primarily under the “Your Right to Object to This Subpoena” section. For several years, Maricopa County’s Local Rule 2.5 has required language in every subpoena about ADA accommodations and interpreter assistance under Title VI. Unfortunately, the Clerk’s office was presented with stacks of subpoenas throughout July that did not conform to the new requirements – and some that didn’t comply with the long-standing local requirements. For the most recent version of the civil and family court subpoenas that contain the necessary language, see the court’s website at

Make sure you are using the most recent version of the subpoena forms and recycle any older versions. Likewise, update old bookmarks you might have to older versions online. Doing so will save time and frustration at the Clerk’s office. Keep in mind that Justice Courts have their own subpoena forms that are used in their courts, per their court rules 125 and 137.


Civil cover sheet reminder

The mandatory civil cover sheet was updated on July 1 and has information about different tiers to which every civil case is assigned. Remember to use the new civil cover sheet with all civil case initiations to help ensure new cases are filed when first presented. The form is available online at


Don’t labor in the heat

The Clerk’s offices will be closed on Monday, September 3 for Labor Day. If you need to file, eFile or use the external depository boxes as applicable for after hours and holiday filing. The 24-hour filing depository boxes are available for Criminal, Family Court, Tax, and Probate filings and for some Civil filings. The boxes are not for any Juvenile filings or for Civil filings that must be eFiled. Find the box locations online at