expand   (Legal Advice We Cannot Provide) 
The self-help divorce petition says I can ask for spousal support if my spouse contributed to my educational opportunities. Since my husband stayed home to watch the children while I took night classes, should I mark that box on the form?
 
As court personnel, I don’t have the legal knowledge to determine whether your circumstances meet the legal criteria. I can explain what information the form is asking from you, but I cannot help you decide what information to enter. If you have questions about whether certain information is appropriate to enter on the forms, an attorney can advise you.
What is Ex Parte Communication?
 
  1. Black’s Law Dictionary defines ex parte as “on one side only; by or for one party; done for one party only.”
  2. With few exceptions, the court rules require that all documents filed with the court be given to all other parties in the case so that the other parties have an opportunity to respond. It is improper for personnel to transmit information in writing and/or verbal to the Judge unless that information has been provided to the other parties in the case.
  3. Ex Parte” refers to situations in which only one party appears before a judge. Such meetings are often forbidden.
What is a confidential case/Information?
 

Some documents or entire cases are confidential, sealed or secret, and court personnel cannot disclose confidential, sealed or secret information. Listed below are case types that are confidential and/or sealed:

  1. Adoptions
  2. Severance
  3. Juvenile Dependency
  4. Juvenile Abortion
  5. Mental Health
I need to speak to the Judge assigned to my case, how can I speak to him?
 
The Judge speaks with all parties to a case only at the same time in order to ensure fairness and impartiality. If the Judge speaks to a party on one side of a dispute without the other party present, it is ex parte communication.
I have a court hearing scheduled for review, what will the Judge say or order?
 
Court personnel cannot speculate on what a Judge might say or do. Judges base their decision on the law and the facts presented to the Court.
I want a public defender/court appointed attorney assigned to my case. How do I get one?
 
Parties are not entitled to court-appointed counsel in all types of matters. If the party requests in writing to the court, the Judge will inform the party if the party is eligible for court-appointed counsel.
Where can I find information on Arizona’s laws and rules?
 
Arizona’s statutes (laws passed by the state legislature) are available in any law library and many public libraries. They may also be viewed at: www.azleg.gov/
I got a notice stating that my case has been placed on the inactive calendar. What am I supposed to do now?
 
Inactive notices may be sent when there has been no action taken on a case or if there has been no service on a case. The notice explains options available to the parties, who must choose the option that best fits the situation. Parties who are not sure what to do may want to consult an Attorney.
Can you look over my forms and tell me if I did it right?
 
Court personnel may tell a party if the party has provided all the required information. Court personnel cannot tell a party whether the information provided is correct or legally sufficient.
I have just moved, how can I update my address with the Court?
 
All parties involved in court cases should update their address immediately. The Superior Court currently has a Change of Address form available. You may print and complete the form then submit to the clerk for filing. Click on the link below to access the form.
 
 expand   (Legal Information We Can Provide) 
I need to file for divorce and I have no idea where to begin. Is there some place I can go to find out how to get started?
 
Sure. We can provide forms that provide all the paperwork you will need for your divorce, and instructions on how to fill out the paperwork as well. There is a fee for the costs of the packets unless you have access to the internet and can download the forms and instructions yourself.
 expand   Civil 
I want to file a lawsuit. Can you tell me how to do it?
 
  1. Civil actions start by filing a complaint. There will be a filing fee due when the complaint is submitted to the court. Click Here to access our fee schedule.
  2. There are additional steps in the rules of procedure that are required. A civil case can be very complex. Court customers may wish to contact an attorney.
I was served with this complaint and summons. What do I do now?
 
  1. The party should follow the instructions in the summons. If the party files an answer, it must be submitted to the Court in writing. After the answer is filed a conformed copy must be sent to the other party. There will be a filing fee to submit the answer to the court. Click Here to access our fee schedule. Parties unsure how to file an answer may contact an attorney.
  2. The Clerk of the Superior Court does not carry a specific form to file an answer to a civil complaint. When parties wish to submit a pleading to the Court and the Clerk of the Court does not have the form, you may utilize the Blank Title Page to draft your answer. You may click on the form below.
Blank Title Page Packet
How long do I have to answer a complaint?
 
The time to file an answer to a civil complaint is twenty (20) days from the date the party is served or accepts service, if it is in state. If it is out of state, the party has thirty (30) days to file an answer. If the last day falls on a weekend or holiday, the party has until the end of the next business day to file an answer.
How do I file for default?
 
  1. The party can file an Application for Entry of Default and Entry of Default (20) days after the other party has been served (30 days if they were served out of state). After filing the Application for Entry of Default and Entry of Default with the Court, the party must send a copy to the other party. The entry of default does not take effect for 10 business days after filing the application.
  2. Pinal County Superior Court currently provides an Application for Entry of Default and Entry of Default form. Click on the link below to access the form.
Application and Affidavit for Default and Entry of Default
I got a notice stating that my case has been placed on the inactive calendar. What am I supposed to do now?
 
Inactive notices may be sent when there has been no action taken on a case or if there has been no service on a case. The notice explains options available to the parties, who must choose the option that best fits the situation. Parties who are not sure what to do may want to consult an attorney.
How do I subpoena someone?
 
  1. A subpoena is issued by the clerk’s office. The clerk’s office does not prepare the form. The party wanting the subpoena needs to prepare the form and have it issued by the clerk’s office and make arrangements to have it served. There is a fee at the clerk’s office for the issuance of a subpoena.
  2. Pinal County Superior Court currently has a subpoena packet available. Click on the link below to access the packet and instructions.
Subpoena Packet
Once a judgment is obtained, how long before I get my money?
 
A judgment gives the winning party a lien against the losing party, but the judgment and lien do not guarantee voluntary payment. The winning party may pursue collection through various legal forms of execution, but these can be complicated. The party may want to contact an attorney, as there could be more options available.
I have just moved, how can I update my address with the Court?
 
All parties involved in court cases should update their address immediately. The Superior Court currently has a Change of Address form available. You may print and complete the form then submit to the clerk for filing. Click on the link below to access the form.

Change of Address in a Non-Criminal Case
 expand   Court Hearings & Continuing a Hearing 
Do I have to be in Court today?
 
Court personnel may review whatever notice the party has to determine whether the party must appear in court and where the hearing (if any) will be held. Court personnel may also have access to the judicial calendar for the time periods in question.
I have a hearing scheduled that and I am unable to attend. Can I reschedule (continue) my hearing to a later date?
 
  1. The Judge decides whether or not to continue a hearing. The party may file a written request and/or motion with the Superior Court. After the request and/or motion has been filed the requesting party must provide a conformed copy of the request/motion to the other parties involved in the case.
  2. All request/motions to continue a hearing must be submitted at least 2-3 weeks prior to your court hearing.
  3. By submitting a request/motion to continue, this does not mean you’re hearing is continued. The hearing is officially continued when it is granted by the Judge. You may click on the link below to access the form to continue a hearing.
Motion and Order to Continue Form/Packet
I just had a hearing before the Judge, when will I receive my minute entry?
 
  1. The department standard for the Clerk of the Superior Court is that all minute entries are completed and mailed (2) days after the hearing.
  2. Parties now have the option to receive documents by electronic distribution (via e-mail). You can receive hearing notices/minute entries quicker by signing up for electronic distribution. Click on the link below to complete the form.
Pro Per Litigant(s) EDA Form
 expand   Criminal 
I have just moved, how can I update my address with the Court?
 
All parties involved in court cases should update their address immediately. The Superior Court currently has a Change of Address form available. You may print and complete the form then submit to the clerk for filing. Click on the link below to access the form.

Change of Address in Criminal Case
What is a public defender?
 
A public defender is an attorney who represents a person who is accused of a crime who cannot afford to hire an attorney. Pinal County currently has a public defender office that has a number of attorneys on staff. Pinal County also contracts with private attorneys to provide services to the accused who cannot afford to hire an attorney. For more information, court customers may contact the public defender’s office at 520-866-7199.
Will the county attorney represent me?
 
The county attorney will represent the State and its municipalities in criminal cases. For more information, court customers may contact the county attorney or prosecuting agency at 520-866-6271.
My relative got arrested. Who do I talk to?
 
  1. If the defendant has an attorney, the relative may contact the defendant’s attorney. Court personnel may provide public information, such as upcoming court dates and how to post bond. In some cases, the arresting agency can provide terms of release or other information and may be able to accept bond.
  2. If a person wishes to post bond for a defendant, Pinal County Superior Court currently provides helpful information for posing bond through the Court. Click on the link below for information on posting a bond with the court.
Requirements for Posting Criminal Bond(s)
I posted bond for someone. How and when can I get my money back?
 
  1. The bond will be exonerated (released) after the conclusion of the case or when ordered by the court. The court must have a current mailing address to return money, which usually occurs within 10 business days from the exoneration (release) of the bond.
  2. If (15) days from the exoneration date has passed and you have not received your cash bond, please contact the Pinal County Clerk of the Superior Court Finance Department at 520-866-5340 or 520-866-5397.
How do I clear my record and get my rights restored?
 
  1. A first-time offender, convicted of a single felony count, does not need to petition the court for restoration of civil rights. Civil rights are automatically restored upon successful completion of all aspects of sentencing, including payment of all court ordered fines, fees and restitution. The right to possess firearms requires petitioning the sentencing court. The Judge will determine whether or not to grant the request. If the party served time in prison, two years must have passed since the date of absolute discharge before becoming able to file for restoration of civil rights. To restore civil rights, the party may apply to the sentencing court to vacate the judgment of guilt, dismiss charges and/or restore civil rights in Arizona.
  2. Pinal County Clerk of the Superior Court currently provides a packet with instructions and forms to petition to restore your civil rights. Please click on the link below to access the restoration of civil rights application packet.
Restoration of Civil Rights Application
 expand   Exhibits 
I have exhibits for my trial and/or hearing, how do I submit them to the court?
 
  1. All exhibits must be accompanied by a description list. The list must have the case number, name of the party presenting the exhibit(s), party caption (i.e. Doe vs. Doe) and the court date when the exhibits will be used.
  2. The description list must numerically list each exhibit and must briefly describe each exhibit.
  3. Each exhibit must be clearly defined and separated, stapled and/or paper clipped. Each exhibit must be numbered and in order according to the description list.
  4. All exhibits must be submitted at the Florence Office only.

    The address is:

    Pinal County Justice Complex
    971 N. Jason Lopez Circle Bldg. A
    Florence, AZ 85132
  5. Exhibits may also be mailed to our Florence Office. The mailing address is:

    Clerk of the Superior Court
    Exhibit Clerk
    P.O. Box 2730
    Florence, AZ 8132.

    Exhibits submitted by mail not complying with procedure will be returned.
  6. Pinal County Superior Court currently provides an exhibit description list with detailed instructions. Click on the link below to access the form.
COSC Exhibit List
How many exhibits can I submit and is there a time frame?
 
All exhibits must be submitted in a timely manner.
  1. 10 exhibits or less – must be submitted (3) working/court/business days prior to court date and/or use of exhibits.
  2. 11 to 25 exhibits – must be submitted (6) working/court business days prior to court date and/or use of exhibits.
  3. 26 to 60 exhibits – must be submitted (10) working/court business days prior to court date and/or use of exhibits.
  4. 61 exhibits or more - must be submitted (15) working/court business days prior to court date and/or use of exhibits.
When I arrive to the Florence Office to submit my exhibit(s), where do I go?
 
  1. When arriving and entering building A, Pinal County Superior Courthouse, pass the Jury Department and enter the lobby of the Clerk of the Superior Court. Please utilize the phone on the counter that is located to the left of the lobby area.
  2. Once you have located the phone please dial extension 5371 for the exhibit clerk.
  3. After you have contacted the exhibit Clerk proceed and wait at window 7.
 expand   Family Law 
We don’t want to be married anymore. If our marriage license was never recorded do we still have to file for a divorce? Who would know we are married if there is no record?
 
Based on the complexity of this situation, the parties must consult an attorney. Ultimately, the court decides the existence of the marriage, and divorce is based on facts and law.
How do I file a divorce without an attorney?
 
The statutes pertaining to dissolution of marriage are found in Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 25. The Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure list additional procedures and requirements. A party must file a written “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” and all the required supporting documents at the clerk’s office and pay a filing fee. Pinal County Superior Court currently provides self-help forms available on our website. Self-help forms are for parties filing without an attorney. You may purchase the packets at $0.50 per page in any one of our office locations. Click here for Pinal County office locations. You may also print Forms/Packets at no charge from our website. You may click on the appropriate link below to access forms and information on filing for a divorce.

A divorce is often complicated, and parties are encouraged to seek advice and assistance from an attorney.

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) without Children
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) with Children
How much does it cost to file for a divorce?
 
Please click here for a listing of court fees.
Do both parties have to sign the divorce papers?
 
  1. No, only the Petitioner will need to sign the initial filing papers. The Respondent can sign the Acceptance of Service after the divorce has been filed with the Clerk of Superior Court. If the Respondent refuses to sign the Acceptance of Service, you will need to hire a Process Server or the Sheriff’s Office to serve the papers. Service can also be done by certified mail. The respondent has to be the one to sign for it. Appropriate service affidavits will then need to be filed with the Clerk of the Court.
  2. Click on the link below to access forms and information on filing for divorce
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) without Children
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) with Children
What are the steps involved in filing a divorce?
 
  1. The party who is filing the divorce will need to fill out a Family Court Sensitive Data Form, Cover Sheet, Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Summons, Preliminary Injunction, Notice Regarding Health Insurance, Credit Notice and if applicable the Affidavit Regarding Minor Children, Parenting Plan, Parents Worksheet for Child Support and Order and Notice to Attend a Parenting Class. NOTE: Some of these documents will need to be notarized; documents can be notarized at any of our office locations or at your closest bank. Please have documents notarized prior to making any copies of your documents. There is a fee to file a petition for dissolution of marriage. Click here to access our fee schedule.
  2. The petitioning party will need to bring the original packet of forms plus two sets of completed, signed/dated and/or notarized copies of the forms. Do not make copies of any instructions.
  3. The clerk at the counter will assign you a case number, collect the appropriate filing fees and file in the original documents that are necessary to start the divorce. The Clerk of the Court will keep the original documents and will stamp the two sets of copies, one for you to retain for your records and one for service on the other party.
  4. Once the initial papers have been processed, the petitioning party will need to have the respondent served with one set of the copies. If the respondent is in agreement, he/she can sign the Acceptance of Service form contained in the packet either the same day of filing the divorce papers or anytime after the divorce proceedings has begun. If the responding party is not in agreement, the petitioner will need to make arrangements with a Process Server or the Sheriff's Office to have the papers served. Service within the State of Arizona can now be done by certified mail. The respondent has to be the one to sign for it. Appropriate service affidavits will then need to be filed with the Clerk of the Court.
  5. If the party wishes to file their own divorce, they can purchase forms at $0.50 per page at any of our office locations. Click here for office locations. Parties may also download the forms for free by clicking on the appropriate link below.

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) without Children

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) with Children

How do I file for legal separation?
 

Legal separation is filed in the same manner as a petition for dissolution of marriage. Arizona Revised Statutes and the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure list additional procedures and requirements. There is a fee to file for legal separation.  Click here to access our fee schedule.  Click on the link below to access forms and information on filing a legal separation. 

Legal Separation with Children Packet

Legal Separation without Children Packet

How do I file for an annulment?
 
An annulment is filed in the same manner as a petition for dissolution of marriage. Arizona Revised Statutes and the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure list additional procedures and requirements. There is a fee to file for annulment. Click here to access our fee schedule. Pinal County Superior Court does not carry forms for annulment; however, a party can prepare one’s own forms, or the party may seek the help of an attorney.
What do I do when I don't know where the other person is to serve him/her?
 
Service by publication may be available. Arizona Revised Statutes and court rules explain how to proceed if the other party is refusing or avoiding service, or if the other party is no longer at the last known address. The Service Members’ Civil Relief Act is a federal statute that explains the requirements for serving a party who is in the military. For any further information you may need to contact an attorney.
I just got served with divorce papers. What do I do?
 

The summons that was served explains that a party wanting to contest the divorce or lawsuit must file a written Response/Answer within the proper time limits. Read the summons carefully, your time limits are listed on the summons. The Response/Answer must be submitted in proper form. Court customers may utilize the packet provided by Pinal County Superior Court or the party may seek the help of an attorney. There is a fee to file a Response/Answer to divorce. Click here to access our fee schedule. Click on the appropriate link below to access forms and information to file a Response/Answer to divorce.

Response to Petition of Dissolution with Children Packet

Response to Petition of Dissolution without Children Packet

I was served with divorce papers on June 3. Exactly how many days do I have to respond?
 
Court personnel cannot confirm the exact day, since they do not personally know the circumstances of how and when a party was served. Specific rules and timeframes for service apply; for instance, whether the party is served in-state (usually 20 calendar days) or out-of-state (usually 30 calendar days), or if the party is in the military. Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure list additional procedures and requirements, as does the Service Members’ Civil Relief Act.
I got a notice stating that my case has been placed on the inactive calendar. What am I supposed to do now?
 
Inactive notices may be sent when there has been no action taken on a case or if there has been no service on a case. The notice explains options available to the parties, who must choose the option that best fits the situation. Parties who are not sure what to do may want to consult an attorney.
I have just moved, how can I update my address with the Court?
 

All parties involved in court cases should update their address immediately. The Superior Court currently has a Change of Address form available. You may print and complete the form then submit to the clerk for filing. Click on the link below to access the form.

Change of Address in a Non-Criminal Case

How soon after my divorce is final can I get married again?
 
There is no waiting period in Arizona.
My ex is not complying with the decree. How do I make my ex comply?
 

To enforce the order, a party may file a Petition for Enforcement, or the party may initiate a contempt proceeding with an Order to Show Cause/Order to Appear, depending on the situation. Rules 91 and 92 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure list additional procedures and requirements. The party may review and access our available packets at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/cosc/Forms. It is up to the party to determine the appropriate forms or the party can seek the help of an attorney. Court personnel cannot determine the appropriate form for a court customer. There will be a filing fee to file enforcement and/or contempt documents, click here to access our fee schedule.

I want to see my child more than the old court order allows. How do I get more time with my child?
 

To change or modify a court order that already exists, the party may review and access our available packets at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/coscForms. It is up to the party to determine the appropriate forms or the party can seek the help of an attorney. Court personnel cannot determine the appropriate form for a court customer. There will be a filing fee to change or modify your order, click here to access our fee schedule. Rule 91 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure lists additional procedures and requirements for modifications.

My ex has custody of our child. I have our child for parenting time, but the child does not want to go back to my ex. Does our child have to go back?
 

The court order for physical custody will answer this question. Children cannot decide which parent they reside with if there is a court order in place. If a party feels the court order is no longer appropriate for the situation, or both parties agree to a change (a stipulation), a party may file with the court for a change. If there is no court order, a party may file with the court to establish one. The party may review and access our available packets at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/cosc/Forms. It is up to the party to determine the appropriate forms or the party can seek the help of an attorney. Court personnel cannot determine the appropriate form for a court customer. There will be a filing fee to change or establish an order for custody, click here to access our fee schedule.

I am supposed to pick up my kids this weekend, but my ex says I won’t be allowed to have them. Can the court make my ex give me the kids?
 

The court cannot enforce parenting time before the order is actually violated, as the party who has the children can change his/her mind and participate in the exchange. To enforce the order, a party may file a Petition for Enforcement, or the party may initiate a contempt proceeding with an Order to Show Cause/Order to Appear, depending on the situation. Rules 91 and 92 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure list additional procedures and requirements. The party may review and access our available packets at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/cosc/Forms. It is up to the party to determine the appropriate forms or the party can seek the help of an attorney. Court personnel cannot determine the appropriate form for a court customer. There will be a filing fee to enforce parenting time and/or petition for contempt proceedings, click here to access our fee schedule.

I want to know if the judge will read a text message on my phone and listen to a voice mail. This is evidence that my ex is denying me parenting time. I need to know this before the hearing that is currently set.
 
It is up to the party to present evidence to the court. Parties and/or Court staff cannot ask a Judge in advance what they will or will not listen to or read. Each party will have to determine how to present one’s evidence. Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure list additional procedures and requirements.
When can I get an emergency Court order for custody of my child?
 
  1. If your child has been harmed by the other parent or is in immediate danger of harm in the care of the other parent, you have several options available to protect the child. Those options include the following:
    1. Contact law enforcement if your child has been harmed by a parent;
    2. Contact Child Protective services if your child is in danger;
    3. Seek an order of protection if the child has been harmed or may be harmed by domestic violence;
    4. Ask a Court for an emergency order without notice to the other party (available in limited circumstances);
    5. Ask a Court for an expedited hearing with the other parent to address the protection of the child.
  2. Generally, the Court CANNOT grant a request for an order unless the other party has notice of the order being requested and an opportunity to be heard by the Court regarding the request. In very limited cases, however, the Court can issue an emergency order without providing the other party notice of the requested order. An order issued without notice to the other party is known as an “ex parte order”. Rule 48 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure governs when a Court may issue an ex parte emergency order. In summary, the Rule requires the following:
  3. Circumstances Justifying an Ex Parte Order Exists: A temporary order may be granted without written or oral notice to the other party or that party's attorney ONLY if:
    1. It clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified motion that irreparable injury will result to the moving party or a minor child of the party, or that irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the separate or community property of the party if no order is issued before the other party can be heard in opposition; and
    2. The moving party or the party's attorney certifies to the court, in writing, the efforts, if any, that have been made to give the notice to the other party or the reasons supporting the claim that notice should not be required. Rule 48(A), Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure, (emphasis added).
  4. Required Paperwork: A party seeking a temporary ex parte order without notice shall do so by filing a motion, verified or supported by affidavit, together with a proposed form of order, and a notice of hearing on the motion. The motion shall be filed after or concurrently with an initial predecree, post-decree or post-judgment petition. The party may review and access our available forms at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/cosc/Forms or the party can seek the help of an attorney. There may be a filing fee to petition for an emergency order and or predecree/post-judgment petition, click here to access our fee schedule.
  5. You must fully satisfy all of the requirements of this Rule for the Court to issue an emergency ex parte order. If your situation does not meet the requirements of this rule, you will not be granted an emergency ex parte order.
Will I get to talk to the judge about my emergency petition for custody?
 
Everything a party wants the judge to know may be included in the party’s written filing. There is no guarantee you will see the judge the same day the emergency petition is filed. It will be determined by the judge reviewing the emergency petition if he/she will hold a hearing and take testimony from the party filing. The judge decides based only on the written filing.
If my ex and I were never married does the mother automatically have custody of the children?
 

Legal and physical custody between parents is determined by court order. If there is no court order, law enforcement agencies, schools, doctors, etc. may have different and conflicting policies on how they determine which parent has custody. There will be a filing fee to establish an order for custody and/or paternity/custody. Click here to access our fee schedule. You may also click on the appropriate link below to access forms and information to file documents to establish custody and/or paternity. To determine the forms that are appropriate for you, you may wish to speak to an attorney. Court personnel may not determine the form appropriate for your situation.

Petition to Establish Paternity, Custody, Parenting Time & Child Support

Where can I get help completing the Parent’s Worksheet to establish or modify a child support order?
 
The Arizona Supreme Court maintains an online child support calculator. If a party does not have exact figures, he/she can estimate the information input on the worksheet. The filing party should be prepared to explain to the court the numbers used. The calculator is located at: www.supreme.state.az.us/childsup/
 expand   General Questions 
What constitutes legal Information?
 
  1. Legal information is communication of facts about court procedures, timing and resources. It includes information contained in court records, examples of forms or pleadings, informational pamphlets, procedures, practices and due dates.
  2. Legal information involves identifying available procedural options (within the scope of the personnel’s knowledge), court rules, court records and forms.
What constitutes legal advice?
 
  1. Legal advice is a written or oral statement that:
    • Interprets some aspect of the law, court rules, court procedures, or recommend a specific course of conduct a person should take in an actual or potential legal proceeding.
    • Applies the law to the individual person’s specific factual circumstances, or
    • Requires the person giving advice to have knowledge of the law and legal principles beyond familiarity with court requirements and procedures.
  2. Court customers are asking for legal advice when they ask whether or not they should proceed in a certain fashion.
  3. Telling a court customer “what to do” rather than “how to do it” may constitute giving legal advice.

Below are two sample questions to further assist in understanding the difference between legal information vs. legal advice

 expand   Guardianship and/or Conservatorship 
Do I need an attorney to file a guardianship and conservatorship?
 
It is possible for an individual to file a guardianship and conservatorship on their own, but due to legal complexities and potential liability, parties may wish to consult an attorney. There is a fee to file a petition for guardianship and/or conservatorship. Please click here to review our fee schedule. Pinal County Superior Court currently provides forms for guardianship and/or conservatorship. Click on the appropriate link below to access the forms and information to file guardianship and/or conservatorship.
 
 
As a guardian (or conservator), do I have to file an annual report?
 
Yes. Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 14, lists additional procedures and requirements in this area. Every year the guardian and/or conservator is required to submit to the court an annual report at least (30) days prior to the scheduled review hearing. The Clerk of the Superior Court currently provides forms to file the annual report. Court personnel cannot determine the appropriate forms for Court customers. Click on appropriate link below to access the forms and information.
 
 
 
 
 expand   Name Change 
How do I change my name?
 
  1. Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 12, addresses this. A person who desires to change his/her name and adopt another name may file an application in the superior court in his/her county of residence, listing reasons for the change and the name to be adopted. The court may enter judgment that the adopted name of the party be substituted for the original name. The party is required to contact the state vital records department of one’s birth with the court order.
  2. When submitting the application to change name, there will be a filing fee due. Please click here to access our fee schedule. Pinal County Superior Court currently provides forms/packets to change a name. Click on the appropriate link below to access forms and information on changing a name.

Petition for Name Change of Adult - no Minor Children

Petition for Name Change of Adult - w/ Minor Children

Petition for Name Change for a Family

Petition for Name Change of a Minor

 expand   Probate 
Do I have to open an estate for a dead relative?
 
  1. The court customer may qualify to file an informal probate if the value of the property exceeds $75,000.
  2. The court customer should consult an attorney to determine if the estate has to be probated and to help guard against undesired and unexpected consequences.
  3. When fling an informal probate, there is a filing fee due. Please click here to review our fee schedule. Pinal County Superior Court currently provides the forms/packet to file an informal probate. Court personnel cannot determine if this is the appropriate form for your situation. Please speak to an attorney to determine if this packet is appropriate for you. Click on the link below to access the forms and information needed to determine if this is the appropriate packet/form.

Application for Appointment of Personal Represent Packet

How do I get the title changed on property that belonged to my husband, wife, father, mother, etc. who is now deceased?
 
  1. If the value of the estate is less than $75,000, the person may file an Affidavit of Succession for Transfer of Property or Affidavit for Transfer of Real Property.
  2. The person should consult an attorney to determine if the estate has to be probated and to help guard against undesired and unexpected consequences.
  3. When fling an Affidavit of Succession for Transfer of Property, there is a filing fee due. Please click here to review our fee schedule. Pinal County Superior Court currently provides the forms/packet to file an Affidavit for Transfer of Succession for Transfer of Property. Court personnel cannot determine if this is the appropriate form for your situation. Please speak to an attorney to determine if this packet is appropriate for you. Click on the link below to access the forms and information needed to determine if this is the appropriate packet/forms.

Affidavit of Succession for Transfer of Real Property Packet

My spouse died. How do I get his/her last paycheck?
 
Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 14 addresses this. For wages, a party can file an affidavit at any time with the employer of the deceased and collect the deceased’s wages if they are not more than $5,000. If more than $5,000, a probate case may be filed. The Clerk of the Superior Court provides an Affidavit to Collect Personal Property Packet. You may click on the link below to access the forms and information on collecting personal property. Please Note: This form is not filed with the Superior Court. It is provided to the public only as a courtesy of the Clerk of the Superior Court.
 
Does the Superior Court have my will on record?
 
Pinal County Superior Court currently does not store (solely) a person’s will. The local county recorder’s office can tell the party if the will is recorded in its office. You may contact the Pinal County Recorder’s office at 520-866-6830.
 expand   Protective Orders and/or Domestic Violence 
What’s the difference between a restraining order and a protective order?
 
A restraining order is a commonly-used term for an order of protection or an injunction against harassment, which are protective orders.
What is an order of protection?
 
  1. An order of protection is issued when there is a “family” relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff must state how an act of domestic violence was threatened or committed against the plaintiff within the last year. If both a family relationship and an act of domestic violence do not apply, an injunction against harassment is the appropriate process.
  2. Pinal County Superior Court currently has helpful information on protective orders and available forms. Please click on the link below to access forms and more helpful information. 

    http://pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/JudicialBranch/ClerkoftheSuperiorCourt/Pages/ProtectiveOrders.aspx
What is an injunction against harassment?
 
  1. An injunction against harassment is requested when the defendant has committed a series of acts (more than one) of harassment against the plaintiff in the last year. Also, a “dating” relationship without living together could be the basis for this injunction.
  2. Pinal County Superior Court currently has helpful information on protective orders and available forms. Please click on the link below to access forms and more information.

    http://pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/JudicialBranch/ClerkoftheSuperiorCourt/Pages/ProtectiveOrders.aspx

 

How long is a protection order in effect?
 
If the judge issues a protective order, the plaintiff has (1) year from the date the order is signed to serve the defendant. Once an order has been served and it is served within (1) year of the Judges signature date, it will be effective for twelve (12) months from the date of service.

A private process server or local law enforcement may serve the order. If using a private process server, the plaintiff is responsible for delivering the defendant's copy of the order to the process server and for paying a service fee and mileage.
What if the other person contests the protective order?
 
The defendant may request a hearing on the injunction one time during the twelve months in which it is in effect. A hearing will be held within ten (10) business days from the date requested unless the court finds compelling reasons to continue the hearing for a longer period of time.
What do I do if my child is being harassed by a bully at school?
 
Arizona has a new law that requires schools to have policies on bullying, harassment and intimidation. The message is clear: create an environment where bullying is not tolerated. Each school is required to have a procedure for students, parents and teachers to confidentially report bullying behavior to a school official to trigger investigation, punishment and prevention of further bullying behavior. See A.R.S. §15-341. If the bullying acts threaten or actually cause injury to a person or property, then more severe penalties are called for and carried out under Arizona’s criminal laws. See A.R.S. §13-2911.
Is there a fee to file a protective order?
 
No. There are no fees to submit a petition for a protective order to any court.
What is a domestic violence crime?
 
  1. Domestic Violence includes: assault, aggravated assault, aggravated harassment, aggravated domestic violence, child or vulnerable adult abuse, criminal damage, criminal trespass, crimes against children, custodial interference, disobeying a court order, disorderly conduct, endangerment, harassment, kidnapping, stalking, surreptitious videotaping, threatening and intimidating, unlawful imprisonment, unlawful use of telephone.
  2. For more information on domestic violence please contact the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 602-279-2900 or 800-782-6400.
  3. If you are in immediate danger please call 911.