Arizona Legal Overview
The Arizona Supreme Court has administrative control over all the other courts. The Arizona Court of Appeals is divided into two geographic divisions based in Phoenix and Tucson with appellate jurisdiction over all appeals except for death penalty cases, which are taken up directly by the Supreme Court. Supreme Court and Appellate judges have to be re-elected every six years. The Superior Court in each county has general jurisdiction over trial court cases, with at least one judge in each county. Justice courts presided over by a Justice of the Peace hear small claims cases, traffic offenses and misdemeanors.
Top metro Arizona areas for Legal Issues:
1. Capital punishment has been a part of Arizona's criminal justice system since 1865. Miranda v. Arizona (1966) was a landmark judgment handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in "Miranda Rights" becoming a common process of law enforcement nationwide to make sure suspects were informed of their rights. Arizona also passed SB 1070 in April 2010, an immigration bill that was partially upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2012. SB 1070 allows police to stop and check anyone's immigration status upon reasonable suspicion. Similar immigration bills have since been passed by other states.
2. A new abortion law is set to take affect in Arizona soon, but is being protested by abortion-rights groups. The Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation has pressed legal charges on behalf of three doctors, arguing that the 20-week restriction is an unconstitutional infringement.
3. A trial will begin soon in Arizona, surrounding an ethnic profiling legal claimagainst Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The lawsuit claims that officers pulled certain people on the road based on the ethinicity of those in the cars so that they quest their immigration status.
Trending Arizona Legal Topics: The State Bar of Arizona was formed in 1933 under the Arizona Supreme Court's supervision with a 30-member board consisting mostly of elected members and four non-lawyers representing the public. The Bar is responsible for regulating about 16,000 active lawyers licensed to practice law in Arizona. They have a lawyer regulation department with Bar counsel to review allegations against members and initiate investigations and subsequent disciplinary action if required. Behavior of judges and complaints against them come under the jurisdiction of the Commission on Judicial Conduct with eleven members including six judges, two attorneys and three public members.