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.
In re: STEVEN R. DRUMMOND, MARY A. DRUMMOND
Date: February 23, 2024
NEPTUNE SWIMMING FOUNDATION v CITY OF SCOTTSDALE
Date: February 6, 2024
Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona addressed two key issues related to the City of Scottsdale's decision not to award a license to operate competitive youth swimming programs at its public aquatic…
BARRIGA v ADES/PRECISION
Date: January 26, 2024
Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, Pedro Barriga, an auto detailer at Precision Auto Body, LLC, quit his job due to a dispute with a coworker over the placement of a cooling fan and a perceived favoritism shown by his supervisor towards his…
STATE OF ARIZONA v SANTILLANES
Date: January 23, 2024
Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, Daniel Santillanes was convicted of a felony charge for facilitating the sale or transportation of marijuana in Arizona. In 2020, Arizona voters passed Proposition 207, which permitted the expungement of certain…
STATE OF ARIZONA v AGUNDEZ-MARTINEZ
Date: January 10, 2024
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of Arizona reviewed a case involving Jose Agundez-Martinez, who was prosecuted as an adult for sexual assault and child molestation offenses he committed as a child between the ages of ten and twelve.…
BECK v NEVILLE
Date: January 9, 2024
Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Supreme Court of Arizona affirmed a lower court's decision involving a dispute over a 135 square foot piece of land between two neighboring property owners, the Becks and the Nevilles. The Becks had…
ROSENBERG v SANDERS
Date: December 11, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona, the appellant, Yvette Rosenberg, contested the validity of a beneficiary deed executed by her late uncle, Alex Brandt, which left two properties to Marilyn…
MCMICHAEL-GOMBAR v PHOENIX CIVIL SERVICE
Date: December 5, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona, Phoenix Police Sergeant Stefani McMichael-Gombar appealed against her suspension for posting content on Facebook that violated the Phoenix Police Department’s…
Torres v. JAI Dining Services, Inc.
Date: October 16, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the "anti-abrogation clause" set forth in Ariz. Const. art. XVIII, 6 guaranteeing that the "right of action to recover damages for injuries shall never be abrogated" does not extend to…
Avitia v. Crisis Preparation & Recovery, Inc.
Date: October 16, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: In this wrongful death action, the Supreme Court held that the statutory duty to report child abuse or neglect or under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-3620(A) does not encompass reporting a risk of future harm and that mental…
Windhurst v. Ariz. Dep't of Corrections
Date: October 11, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Corizon Healthcare Inc. in this medical malpractice action, holding that the requirements of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-2604 do…
State ex rel. Mitchell v. Honorable Cooper
Date: September 18, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed Petitioner's petition seeking post-conviction relief (PCR), holding that Petitioner's natural life sentence was not mandatory within the meaning of Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), and…
Sowards v. Sowards
Date: August 17, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that an injury settlement agreement between the married couple in this case and a third party did constitute a valid and binding property settlement or postnuptial agreement, thus reversing the…
In re Pima County Mental Health No. 20200860221
Date: August 16, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that in determining whether a petition for court-ordered treatment complies with statutory requirements, courts may consider contents of an extrinsic document attached to an affidavit if the…
Voice of Surprise v. Hall
Date: August 14, 2023
Justia Opinion Summary: In this referendum matter concerning a city ordinance, the Supreme Court held that the proponent's error in failing to include the text of the to-be-referred ordinance within its application for a petition serial number,…