Courts, Legal Basics

questions & answers

Question: What is a status hearing and how does it work in Superior Court?

Answer: A status hearing can serve a wide variety of functions at the discretion of the trial judge, and you will be hard-pressed to find a concrete definition anywhere in the family law rules or Arizona statutes. I also do not doubt that the practice widely varies from county to county, and your question did not indicate where you live.
In general, however (and I do mean *in general*), status hearings do not involve testimony from the parties, or the offering of evidence through witnesses or exhibits. They are relatively quick hearings, designed to give the judge some idea of what is going on in the case, and how much time she should allocate for the trial. It is also an opportune time for the court to enter temporary orders upon which the parties have *agreed*. (If they haven't agreed, then the court should not enter orders over objection until it can hear evidence.)
The closest parallel to "status hearings" that one can find in the family law rules is a resolution management conference (RMC). Unfortunately, RMC's are administered with great inconsistency as well, which makes it difficult for me to give you a square answer. Every judge seems to have a different idea of what an RMC is for. For this reason (and others too), your best course of action may be simply to call the judge's chambers right away, and just ask the judicial assistant what exactly the court intends to accomplish at the status hearing, and whether you should be prepared to testify or present witnesses/exhibits. Furthermore, the court will often provide hints (or even clear statements) about the purpose of the hearing in the typed minute entry that scheduled the event in the first place. So make sure to read that carefully, too!


  • What is a status hearing and how does it work in Superior Court?




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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    Referral number 520-623-4625
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