How to Obtain Court Records in Arizona
There are two types of municipal courts in Arizona: one that is mostly restricted to traffic issues, called the municipal court, and another, called justice court, that handles civil cases with monetary stakes under $10,000, some criminal cases, domestic violence, harassment, etc. Above these courts of limited jurisdiction are superior courts, which handle probate, divorces, criminal trials, evictions, and naturalization issues. The court of appeals uses panels of three judges to hear disputes about lower court decisions. The state supreme court determines constitutionality issues.
Access to court records
Whether you’re looking for a divorce decree, a small claims decision, proof of your innocence, or evidence that you completed the terms of your probation, you will need records from a courthouse. Most court records are searchable on this site, but a handful of counties are not: https://apps.supremecourt.az.gov/publicaccess/caselookup.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1.
Most search engines return a minimal amount of information, including the charges, names of defendant and plaintiff, and case number. If complete records are needed, copy this information and contact the clerk of the court where the case was decided. A clerk can provide information on ordering complete records including transcripts of the case.
If the case you are seeking information about is not included in the online database, simply contact the courthouse in the county where the case was decided, using this map: http://www.azcourts.gov/AZ-Courts/AZ-Courts-Locator.
Some court records are not available to the public, or may be restricted due to confidentiality. Juvenile cases are always closed due to the age of the individuals involved. Judges may limit access to records of domestic abuse or redact names of informants or witnesses from records to protect their privacy.
When a person dies, his property is divided and transferred under the supervision of the probate court. In Arizona, probate courts also handle guardianship, elder abuse, and certain types of fraud. Most property transfer records can be requested but some other probate matters may be confidential if they name victims of crime. Contact the clerk of the superior court where the property was located or where the property owner lived to find probate records.
A divorce decree is often necessary for financial records, getting a subsequent marriage license, or for citizenship matters. The clerk of the superior court where the divorce was granted is responsible for keeping these records and handling orders for certified copies. Check the following page to find the correct court: http://www.azcourts.gov/AZ-Courts/AZ-Courts-Locator.