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.
Jessie D. v. Department of Child Safety
Date: October 8, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the juvenile court terminating the parent-child relationship of Father to his four children, holding that while the juvenile court misapplied two factors set forth in Michael J. v....
Sun City Home Owners Ass'n v. Arizona Corp. Commission
Date: October 1, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding the decision of the Arizona Corporation Commission to consolidate several communities into a single service district, gradually increasing rates f...
Fay v. Honorable Fox
Date: September 20, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held in this case that a crime victim has a constitutional and statutory right to be heard on the merits of a defendant's motion for a delayed appeal of a restitution order.
Defendant was convicted of...
Welch v. Cochise Board of Supervisors
Date: September 2, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Arizona's open-meeting and conflict-of-interest laws broadly confer standing based upon a claimant's interest in preserving the values of transparency and accountability that the laws enshrine...
CVS Pharmacy, Inc. v. Honorable Bostwick
Date: September 1, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a hospital may not directly recover from a third party the costs of uncompensated medical care provided to patients whose need for treatment the third party allegedly caused because the exclus...
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF AZ v DCS
Date: August 25, 2021
Redgrave v. Ducey
Date: August 19, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court accepted a question certified to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and answered that Arizona has not consented to damages liability for a state agency's violation of the min...
Fann v. State
Date: August 19, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the direct funding provision of Proposition 208 did not fall within the constitutional definition of grants in Ariz. Const. art. IX, 21 (the Education Expenditure Clause) and was therefore unc...
Rizzio v. Surpass Senior Living LLC
Date: August 17, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the trial court denying a motion to compel arbitration, holding that a fee agreement between a client and her attorney, especially where the attorney agrees to advance the costs of...
State v. Bigger
Date: August 16, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the trial court summarily denying relief as to Petitioner's petition for post-conviction relief and affirmed the trial court's rulin...
Dinsmoor v. City of Phoenix
Date: August 6, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Deer Valley Unified School District on Plaintiff's negligence claims based on the off-campus murder of her daughter, a student at San...
Specialty Companies Group, LLC v. Meritage Homes of Arizona, Inc.
Date: August 5, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Specialty Companies Group, LLC's claims under an alter ego theory against Meritage Homes of Arizona were time-barred under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-548(A)(1)'s six-year limitation period for claims...
Sampson v. Surgery Center of Peoria, LLC
Date: July 30, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a jury in a medical malpractice case may not be left to "infer" causation without the guidance of expert testimony where the cause of death is disputed and not obvious to an ordinary person....
Cox v. Honorable Ponce
Date: July 26, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court dismissing Father's paternity action, holding that an untimely filed paternity action is barred as a matter of law.
Shortly after Child was born, Mother served...
Wilson v. Honorable Higgins
Date: July 23, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Ariz. R. Crim. P. 7.2(c), which addresses a defendant's right to release after a conviction but before the defendant is sentenced, applies to a release determination required under Ariz. R. Cr...