Courts, Legal Basics Article


Arizona EZ Court Forms

The 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
•    Conciliation
•    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
•    Eviction
•    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.

Resources


http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/LawLibrary/LegalResearch/ArizonaResearch/ArizonaCourtsResources/courtForms.asp

www.azcourts.gov

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QUESTIONS

  • How do I answer to a complaint in a civil justice court? Is memorandum in response or memorandum in reply the same as a response/answer?
  • my ex filed for a order of protection and was granted it against me for him and my kids the year is now up and i need to know how to get my babies back i tried to file to get the order dropped but could not get to the courthouse to do it now i havent seen my kids in 12 months please help
  • Small Claims Court -- What are the boundaries of cases that can be brought before this court?
  • If someone puts an order of protection or a restraining order against me, it is good for 1 year from service. But how long after does it stay on my personal file.
  • I had an altercation with one of my neigbors due to him pullin in reverse & almost ramming our car. the guy got offended & backed up to anothr vehicle of his to get a gun & confront me. We called 911 & the police arrived soon but the guy was already out of sight, probably hiding in his apartment. there is a case# filed.what can I do about it? How are my wife & kids supposed to feel safe with this guy arround?
  • I want to file a law suit representing myself. Is this "In Pro Per" or "En Pro Per" ?
  • Where can I find a specific Arizona Court online?
  • Can a person be extradited for a misdemeanor warranty from county to county in as?
  • If I am Never officialy served paperwork for a lawsuit against me, can the court still hold a hearing?
  • when a commisioner signes a court order with /s/ instead of a real signature, is this still a legal signature. I was reading that if a judge wasn't to sign a court order that it mean other things - this is why I ask.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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