Compulsory Arbitration

What is Compulsory Arbitration?

Compulsory Arbitration is a mandatory program for disputes valued under $50,000. A court-appointed arbitrator reviews the case to decide a just resolution and award. Arbitration is intended to lower court costs for litigants and allow the Court to utilize judicial resources more effectively. See our Arbitration Frequently Asked Questions.

Before an arbitrator is appointed

  • When filing a complaint, the plaintiff also must file a Certificate of Compulsory Arbitration which states the monetary amount of the controversy.
  • If the case is designated an arbitration case, an arbitrator is appointed once an answer to the complaint is filed. In cases involving a motion to dismiss, once the judge rules on the motion and the case is not dismissed, an arbitrator will be appointed.

After the appointment

  • After an arbitrator is appointed, each side has 10 days to file a Notice to Strike Arbitrator document requesting a different arbitrator.
  • If a Notice to Strike is not filed, the assigned arbitrator will remain on the case unless there is a conflict of interest of personal reason he or she cannot remain on the case.
  • The arbitrator is required to inform the Court in writing if he or she has a conflict with the case.
  • Once the Court receives notice from the arbitrator stating why he or she wishes to be removed from the case, the Court will issue a minute entry either granting or denying the request.
  • When the request is granted, a new arbitrator will be appointed from the list of qualified arbitrators, consisting of attorneys in Maricopa County who have been licensed by the State Bar of Arizona for at least four years.
  • Within 120 days of appointment, the arbitrator will notify the Arbitration Department of a new hearing date.
  • Following the hearing, the arbitrator reaches a decision, and files a Notice of Decision with the Clerk of the Court.
  • The prevailing party must submit the arbitration award and a statement of costs to the arbitrator for signature within 10 days after the notice of decision has been filed.
  • The arbitrator will then eFile the Award with the Clerk of the Court through the Arizona Supreme Court's eFiling website.

The Arbitrator may obtain the case file from the Clerk of Court’s Electronic Court Record Online (ECR Online) by emailing a copy of this Notice to or faxing a request to 602-372-8751.  An Arbitrator who is not registered for the Electronic Court Record (ECR) should do so at: and click on the Records tab. To receive an arbitration packet that includes forms and instructions, scroll down to Helpful Arbitration Forms.

Award and Appeal

  • After the arbitration award is signed by the arbitrator, it is filed with the Clerk of the Court. The non-prevailing party has 20 calendar days to file an appeal, with the arbitrator's fee of $75 per hearing day and an $26 processing fee.
  • When an arbitration award is appealed, the case is sent back to the assigned judge for a new trial.
  • The assigned judge may hear the case or send it to Alternative Dispute Resolution for a short trial.
  • Once the appealed case goes to trial, the assigned judge's ruling is considered binding.

Arbitrator Compensation

  • A compulsory arbitrator is entitled to $75 per arbitration hearing day if an award or final disposition is filed.
  • To request payment, an arbitrator must submit to the Arbitration Department an "Invoice in Support of Request for Warrant" and register with Materials Management to be assigned a W-9 Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.

Interpreter Matters

  • To ensure an interpreter appears for the hearing, email a copy of the Notice of Arbitration hearing to
  • If one or more parties in an arbitration require an interpreter, please include this information on the Notice of Hearing and advise Civil Administration as soon as possible. Being that this is a court ordered event, Superior Court will provide a court interpreter in the language requested.
  • Please keep in mind that interpreters are only available between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and a one-hour lunch break is usually taken from 12:00 pm to 1:00pm. Interpreters are not available during state observed holidays. Please allow the interpreter to take at least a 10-minute break after every hour of interpreting.
  • Arbitration hearings are expected to last two hours. If you believe yours will take longer, please advise the interpreters office.
  • Also, please advise at least 24 hours in advance if your arbitration will take place in person or virtually. If taking place virtually please email your platform’s link to at least 24 hours in advance. 
  • If you vacate or continue your arbitration, please advise the Court Interpreters office at or at (602)506-3494, and file an Amended Notice of Hearing with the new date, time, and how the hearing will be held. 


Civil Court Administration: (602) 506-1497

Court Interpretation and Translation Services Department: (602)506-3494

Helpful Arbitration Forms

For answers to frequently asked questions regarding arbitration, please click here.


 Civil Presiding Judge
Danielle Viola


Luke Emerson
Civil Department Administrator
Contact the Civil Department

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