Civil Matters

The filing of a complaint commences a Civil Matter. This is the means by which the Court acquires jurisdiction of the case and is the start of a case file.

The Court will abide by the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedures concerning who may represent the real party in interest, in any civil matter filed in the Justice Court. Those rules do not apply to Small Claims cases.

Power of Attorney does not give a person a right to represent a party in Court.

Types of Civil Actions

  • Small Claims
  • Eviction Actions
  • Civil Suits

Statutes of Limitations

Time limits to file civil matters begin from the date the events that gave rise to the matter occurred. The time limits apply to both civil suits and small claims. The following periods of limitations are for those actions more commonly heard in the lower courts:
  • One year: Defamation of character, false imprisonment, liability stemming from a statutory requirement (ARS12-541).
  • Two Years: Injury to person, damage to property, product liability (ARS §12-542).
  • Three Years: Debt from oral contract, open account (ARS §12-542).
  • Four Years: Business agreements between partners or merchants (ARS §§12-544,545,546).
  • Six Years: Written contracts for a debt, credit card debt (ARS §12-548).

If there is no specific limitation outlined, then the action must be brought within four years (ARS §12-550).


The court in which an action is to be filed is determined by where the defendant resides or does business, or where the obligation was contracted or to be performed (ARS §22-202).

Collecting Your Judgment

The court is not a collection agency. A judgment allows you to proceed with the legal aspects of collecting.
The court will send a copy of the judgment to each side. Collecting on a judgment is not easy and may take time as well as additional court fees. Please consider this before filing your lawsuit.


You can obtain Writ forms in person at the Court or by mail by contacting the court.