Superior Court Offers Veterans a Second Chance at StandDown

by Clara Colmenero

PHOENIX (March 14, 2022) – At Maricopa StandDown, the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County will help homeless and at-risk veterans get back on their feet by helping them resolve eligible outstanding legal issues.

On March 17, the event will be hosted at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix. A team of four Superior Court judges and commissioners will appear virtually from their respective downtown courtrooms to operate two dockets at noon and 2 p.m. Also, another four judicial officers will be available to address matters by reviewing motions, filings and other paperwork remotely. Documents may be submitted to the court by attorneys as early as March 14.

“We thank the veteran community for their dedicated service to our country. Unfortunately, sometimes a veteran may have difficulty reintegrating into society when they return from military service and as a result, get caught up in our criminal justice system,” Criminal Department Presiding Judge Patricia Starr said. “StandDown offers veterans an opportunity to clear their record of any fines, fees and other minor legal issues that are standing in their way of such things as civil right restoration, employment and obtaining a drivers’ license.”

Staff from the Adult Probation Department will be onsite to access cases of veterans currently on probation and make recommendations to the court. Representatives from the Public Defender’s Office, County Attorney’s Office and Clerk of Court will also participate in the event.

Maricopa StandDown, a program of the Arizona Housing Coalition, started in 2001. The program connects Arizona’s military veterans with community resources and services, including healthcare, mental health services, clothing, meals, emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, ID/driver licenses, court services and legal aid, showers and haircuts.

“The goal of the event is to build a community of resources around veterans to help them get back on their feet and live their best lives,” Deputy Criminal Court Administrator Chris Candelaria said. “Too many veterans are just one incident away from becoming homeless, and many vets are simply unaware of all the services and resources available to them. But this event makes it easy because we welcome all veterans regardless of their discharge status, their length of service or their military assignment. We want all veterans who need help to be here. It’s a win-win and good for the whole community.”

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The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County is comprised of Superior Court, Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation, which includes juvenile detention. The Judicial Branch in Maricopa County is the fourth largest trial court system in the nation and, along with its 3,200 employees, is dedicated to providing a safe, fair and impartial forum for resolving disputes, enhancing access to services, and providing innovative, evidence-based practices that improve the safety of the community and ensure the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch. For more information, visit

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