Civil cases involve legal conflicts among individuals, businesses, corporations, partnerships and governmental entities. Most civil cases are the result of personal injury, property damage, medical malpractice and contract disputes. About 30,000 civil cases are filed each year in Maricopa County Superior Court. For more information on the Superior Court Civil Department and choices for resolving disputes without court trials, go to www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/civil/index.asp.
Civil Traffic and Parking Violation Hearings - At a hearing, the officer will present evidence and may call witnesses. You will have an opportunity to present evidence, to call witnesses and to question the opposing witnesses. If you are found responsible, any fines imposed are due in full by 5 p.m. on the day of the hearing.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:
- What is the Standard of Proof?
The Standard of Proof for a civil traffic or parking violation is called Preponderance of the Evidence; this standard is established when the evidence shows that it is "more likely than not" that the violation occurred.
- May I attend Defensive Driving School if I am unsuccessful at the hearing?
You may not attend Defensive Driving School to remove the moving violation from your driving record. The Defensive Driving School is a diversion program intended to divert cases out of the court system and must be completed prior to a hearing date.
- What will happen if I fail to appear at my hearing?
If you fail to appear, a default will enter in the amount of the standard fines, plus a $45 default fee per count, and a $20 extension fee per case. Also, the Motor Vehicle Department will be directed to suspend driving privileges. Driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense.
- May I have the assistance of an attorney at my hearing?
You may have the assistance of a retained attorney at a civil traffic hearing. However, a right to the assistance of an attorney, provided by taxpayers, does not apply in civil traffic matters. A Notice of Appearance will need to be filed by your attorney, at least ten calendar days prior to the hearing date.
- How do I request a hearing?
You may request a hearing either in person by appearing in court on or before your appearance date noted on your citation, or you may make the request in writing. The written request should include the following four items:
1. Your name,
2. The citation or case number noted on your court documents,
3. The words, "I want to enter a plea of not responsible and request a court hearing",
4. A list of the charges for which the hearing is desired.
Please hand deliver or mail your request to 5711 W. Glendale Road, Glendale, or fax the request to (623) 937-8860. A request to set to a case for a hearing will not be taken over the telephone.
Civil Traffic/Parking Sanction Schedule, and Moving Violation Points
Civil traffic moving violations (first shaded area) are eligible offenses for the Defensive Driving School (DDS). If you successfully complete the school, the charge will be dismissed and no points will be placed on your driving record.
The sanctions listed below apply if paid before the court appearance date. Mandatory State surcharges are already included. However, if payment is not received by the court appearance date, a default judgment will be issued and the amount due will increase by $20 per case and $45 per count, and the Motor Vehicle Department will be directed to suspend driving privileges. Once a matters goes into default, within a week it may be sent to collections, wherein an additional $35 per case and 19 percent per count will be added under the Arizona Supreme Court Fines/Fees And Restitution Enforcement Program.
If you wish to Pay the fine, you may waive your right to a hearing and plead responsible and pay the sanction according to the sanction schedule.
Click here to view the sanction schedule.