Arizona Supreme Court Decisions

Article 6 of the Arizona Constitution governs the Arizona Supreme Court, which was founded in 1912. Section 5 of Article 6 provides the Court with discretionary authority to review decisions by lower state courts, including Court of Appeals decisions and some Superior Court decisions. The Arizona Supreme Court must review an appeal in a case in which a defendant received the death penalty, but it may decline to review an appeal in any other case. Parties seeking review by the Supreme Court must file a Petition for Review with the Court.

The Arizona Supreme Court consists of seven justices, including a Chief Justice, a Vice Chief Justice, and five Associate Justices. The Governor of Arizona appoints each new justice with the assistance of a nominating commission. To be eligible, a candidate must be under 70, a resident of Arizona for at least 10 years, and licensed to practice in Arizona for at least 10 years. Once a new justice has been appointed, they will serve for at least two years before going through a retention election. Afterward, they will serve for six-year renewable terms. The Chief Justice and the Vice Chief Justice serve in those capacities for five-year renewable terms. A justice cannot hold another public office and cannot participate in any campaigns other than their own.

Removing a justice may involve impeachment by the Arizona House of Representatives in a majority vote and then a conviction by the Arizona Senate in a two-thirds vote. Also, the Arizona Supreme Court may remove a justice if the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct recommends this action.

In addition to hearing appeals, the Arizona Supreme Court oversees the actions of the Arizona Bar Association and the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct. The Chief Justice of the Court also presides over Senate impeachment trials of public officials who are accused of crimes.

Browse Opinions From the Arizona Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Arizona Supreme Court
State v. Hernandez  
Date: October 27, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0193-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals reversing Defendant's conviction on the basis that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to give a Willits instruction under the circumstances of...

Molera v. Hobbs  
Date: October 26, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0213-AP/EL

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the proponents of an initiative, the "Invest in Education Act," complied with Ariz. Rev. Stat. 19-102(A) and gathered enough signatures under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 19-118.01(A) to qualify for the N...

Date: October 15, 2020
Docket Number: CR-20-0254-PR
State v. Soto-Fong  
Date: October 9, 2020
Docket Number: CR-18-0595-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that consecutive sentences imposed for separate crimes, when the cumulative sentences exceed a juvenile's life expectancy, do not violate the Eighth Amendment, as interpreted in Graham v. Florida,...

State ex rel. Adel v. Honorable John Hannah  
Date: September 25, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0280-SA

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Respondent, a superior court judge, erred in concluding that Ariz. R. Crim. P. 24.2 did not bar him from vacating the Enmund/Tison verdict in this case. Defendant was found guilty of child ab...

JTF Aviation Holdings, Inc. v. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP  
Date: September 18, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0209-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals erred by concluding that a contractual limitations provision can preclude nonparties to the contract from asserting tort claims that do not arise out of the contractual re...

Clements v. Honorable Deborah Bernini  
Date: September 9, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0140-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the trial court appointing a special master to conduct an in camera review of recordings of jail phone calls between Defendant and a criminal defense attorney to determine whether t...

Lohr v. Bolick  
Date: September 8, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0129-AP/EL

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part the decision of the superior court denying Appellant's challenge to the legal sufficiency of Shawnna Bolick's nomination documents, holding that, under the facts of this case, use of a...

Date: September 4, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0098-SA
State v. Arevalo  
Date: September 1, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0156-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-1202(B)(2), which enhances the sentence for threatening or intimidating if the defendant is a criminal street gang member, is unconstitutional because it increases the defe...

Helvetica Servicing, Inc. v. Pasquan  
Date: August 25, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0242-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a trial court should consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding a residential purchase loan and identify certain factors in determining whether a loan is a construction loan entitl...

Saguaro Healing LLC v. State  
Date: August 20, 2020
Docket Number: CV-19-0129-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the Arizona Department of Health Services' (ADHS) interpretation of Arizona Administrative Code R9-17-303, which governs ADHS's allocation of marijuana dispensary registration certificates, vi...

Date: August 20, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0233-AP/EL
Date: August 19, 2020
Docket Number: CV-20-0213-AP/EL
State v. Honorable Michael W. Kemp  
Date: August 17, 2020
Docket Number: CR-19-0274-PR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Arizona's statutory framework for adjudicating intellectual disability complies with the constitutional requirements announced in the recent United States Supreme Court cases, Moore v. Texas,...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.