An appeal is a request to have a higher court reverse the decision of a trial court or an administrative agency after a final judgment, final decision, or other case-concluding ruling has been entered. After the final judgment or decision is entered, the losing party (the “appellant”) may file a notice of appeal, and request transcripts or other records of the trial court. The appellant must then prepare and file an appellate memorandum citing legal reasons for reversing the trial court's ruling. The other party (the “appellee”) may, but is not required to, file an appellate memorandum in response to the appellant’s appellate memorandum. The parties file their appellate memoranda with the trial court, which then transmits them to the Superior Court.
It is important that the appellant and the appellee comply with the filing deadlines and other provisions of the applicable court rules. Failure to do so could result in an adverse ruling.
The Superior Court Rules of Appellate Procedure – Civil apply to appeals in civil cases that originate in justice court or municipal court.
The Superior Court Rules of Appellate Procedure – Criminal apply to appeals in criminal cases that originate in justice court or municipal court.
The Rules of Procedure for Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions (“JRAD”) apply to appeals from final administrative decisions.
Notification of assignment will be sent to you by minute entry.
In appeals from justice court and municipal courts, the parties are not entitled to a new trial in the Superior Court. Instead, the Superior Court will consider only the record that was made in the trial court. The appeal will be resolved based on arguments presented by the parties in their appellate memoranda. If the judgment is reversed and a new trial is ordered, the new trial will be held in the trial court.
An appellant in an appeal from a final administrative decision may be entitled to a trial de novo in the Superior Court, depending on the type of case and the nature of the decision being challenged. The circumstances in which a party in an administrative appeal is entitled to a trial de novo are set forth in A.R.S. § 12-910.
In appeals from justice court and municipal courts, the parties are generally not allowed to present new evidence. Instead, the Superior Court will only consider the evidence that was presented to the trial court. A party who wants the Superior Court to consider new evidence in an appeal from a judgment entered by a justice court or municipal court must first file a Motion to Supplement the Record explaining the reason for the request. Only if the Superior Court grants the Motion to Supplement the Record may a party submit new evidence that was not presented to the trial court.
A party to an appeal from a final administrative decision who wants the Superior Court to consider new evidence should consult A.R.S. § 12-910 and JRAD 10.