Jurisdiction & Function

The Superior Court of Arizona in Santa Cruz County is part of the state's only general jurisdiction court. The Superior Court may hear and decide a large variety of cases of almost any type except small claims, minor offenses, and violations of city codes and ordinances.

Court Categories
Generally, there are 2 categories of cases heard in Superior Court:
  • Civil
  • Criminal
Civil cases include all court cases not defined as criminal. They include such matters as disputes between citizens involved in contractual agreements and tort liability, probate matters, divorces, etc. A verbatim record is kept on all proceedings held in the Superior Court.

Criminal cases involve a person or entity charged with committing, attempting to commit, or engaging in an activity prohibited by law and defined as a crime.

The Superior Court has original jurisdiction of cases and proceedings in which exclusive jurisdiction is not vested by law in another court. The Superior Court is empowered to hear cases of:
Equity and law involving title to or possession of real property, or the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll, or a municipal ordinance
  • Actions to prevent or abate nuisance
  • Civil claims of $5,000 or more
  • Divorce and annulment of marriage
  • Felony prosecutions and misdemeanors not otherwise provided for by law
  • Forcible entry and detainer actions
  • Matters of probate
  • Naturalization and the issuance of papers therefore
  • Proceedings in insolvency
  • Special cases and proceedings not otherwise provided for by law
Additionally, the Superior Court is authorized to act as an appellate court, hearing appeals from decisions made in Justice of the Peace and Municipal Courts.

Delinquent Cases
The Superior Court has exclusive original jurisdiction in all proceedings and matters affecting dependent, neglected, incorrigible, and delinquent children under 18 years old. Through its probation departments, the Superior Court is responsible for supervising adults and juveniles on probation.

Currently, there are 2 divisions of the Superior Court in Santa Cruz County under the administrative supervision of the Presiding Judge who is appointed by the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Superior Court in Santa Cruz County has a Court Administrator who assists the Presiding Judge in carrying out administrative duties, such as:
  • Budget preparation
  • Coordinating the administrative and management activities of the court, its departments and entities
  • Coordinating with the Clerk of the Court to accomplish the prompt and orderly disposition of the court's business
  • Directing the non-judicial activities of the court