Arizona EZ Court FormsThe Arizona Courts recognize that many Arizona residents cannot afford an attorney to help them fight their legal battles. The courts have worked hard to help pro per litigants (people who do not have an attorney) handle their own cases. To that end, the courts have developed a series of electronic court forms and interactive instructions for those forms. The court system’s “self-help center” is a real step forward from the days when people went to a stationary store and purchased legal forms. Often buyers had no idea if the form package they bought was legal in Arizona. Sometimes, it wasn’t. For example: back in the 1980’s, stationary and office supply stores sold “fill in the blanks” form packages for drafting a Will. These Will forms were legal in some states, but Arizona law recognized only the handwritten portions. The handwritten parts fell under the Arizona statute for holographic Wills, but the pre-printed boilerplate could not be considered by the probate court. At times, the handwritten portion was insufficient to make the drafter’s intent clear, and the Will would be found invalid. That was the case in 1981, when the Arizona Court of Appeals decided In the Matter of Johnson’s Estate, 129 Ariz. 307, 630 P.2d 1039. The Court held that when the pre-printed portions of the will were omitted, the handwritten portions remaining did not meet the statutory requirement for a holographic Will. The Will was thrown out.
With forms that are generated by the Arizona courts, those types of issues have been eliminated. The printed portions of forms found on the courts’ websites are legally recognized. The Arizona Courts have legal forms for many different types of litigation. The following list includes many of the form packages available on the web site.
• Application for a name change
• Child Support Worksheet
• Preparing a Parenting Plan
• Establish paternity
• Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time (Child Custody)
• Child Support
• Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
• Service of Process
• Response to a Petition
• Affidavit for Default
• Petition to Modify or Enforce an Existing Court Order
• Fee Deferral
• Property Tax Appeal
• Emancipation of a Minor
There are more form packages on the website, but these are some of the ones most commonly used.
To access the Arizona Court’s legal forms, go to www.azcouurts.gov. This is the general website for the Arizona courts. When you get to the website, click on the box near the bottom of the page titled “self-help center.” There you will find the directory of forms. The website also directs you to the website for the Superior Court in the county where you live. You will need to check with the self-help center on your county’s website to make sure it uses the same forms as those authorized by the Arizona Supreme Court. Some counties may require you to create an online account to access court forms and instructions. Setting up an online account is easy, and it is free of charge.
Once you get into the self-help center, you will find instructions on which forms to use and how to fill out the forms. The instructions will also tell you what you need to know about filing and serving the documents.
Another avenue for getting to the appropriate court forms is to go through the Maricopa Superior Court Law Library. The self-help center there has forms for every county in the state.
The courts’ self-help centers allow litigants to handle many legal issues on their own. Uncomplicated divorces, modifying a child parenting plan, evicting a tenant from your property, and changing your child’s name are all matters people can handle on their own if they are motivated and willing to take the time to carefully read the information and follow through with instructions. Sure, there are issues too complicated to handle without a lawyer, but Arizona EZ court forms go a long way toward helping people handle problems on their own.
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