Arizona Public Records

Arizona made its first provisions regarding public records over a century ago. There have been several revisions to Arizona public records law.

The state of Arizona has adopted a separate Open Meetings Act besides public records law. The Act dictates that any meeting of any public body must be conducted openly, and are entered into the public record automatically. This literally means that any individual has the right to access the premises where the meeting is being held and attend the meeting. It also means that the hosting body or organization must give printed documents for the meeting content in order to make the public aware of the agenda for the meeting before it even takes place.

Title 39 of the Arizona Revised Statutes contains stipulations regarding other types of Arizona public records. Precisely, Title 39 requires that all public bodies and officers must maintain records that can “reasonably” show correct accounting of their daily workings and of any official initiative or activity. Public bodies are all offices of public works. The records can consist of any media, including files, papers, maps, videos, books, and photos.

Arizona Criminal Records

Police departments maintain criminal records on the individuals that they book. For you to run a background check on anyone, you need to contact submit a well-written request to your local police department requesting a background check.

Arizona public records law makes arrest records, and jail and inmate records available to the public. For any information regarding the state’s correctional facilities, inmates in the system, and services for victims and their families, you can simply visit the Arizona Department of Corrections website. You can also locate an offender through an online search page that they provide. The search will provide you with the inmate’s names, current location, expected release date, and list of charges.

Arizona Court Records

Any information on all courts in the state of Arizona is accessible. The same applies to all court proceedings unless specified otherwise by a court order or statute. Court records are available at courthouse in which the case was filed and heard. To obtain any form of court record on small claims cases, simply contact the local courthouse for case numbers and other details. You will need the court location as well as the court level where the case was handled for you to be able to obtain court records.

Arizona Vital Records

Arizona Vital Records include such documents as death certificates, birth certificates, marriage licenses, adoption records, and divorce records. Marriage licenses and divorce decrees in Arizona are kept at the superior court office in which the events were ratified. You can search the Arizona County Information website to locate which courthouse you should contact.

  • Birth records: All Arizona birth records and death records are available at the Department of Health Services (AZDHS). A statewide registration of births in the state of Arizona started in 1909, but full compliance began in 1926. Birth records dating back to 1855 to 1939 are available at Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates, which is a database that contains original scanned images.
  • Death records: All death records in Arizona are kept at AZDHS. However, the records for deaths that are less than 75 years old, and those of deaths that are less than 50 years old are kept at the Vital Records sub-division and may have restrictions. You can obtain death records from 1844 to more than 50 years ago at the home County Health Department.
  • Marriage records: There is no existing record of a statewide registration rule of marriage records in Arizona. Probate courts in Arizona issued marriage licenses from 1891 to 1912. Marriage records are kept by the Clerk of the Superior Court in the particular county where the marriage took place. These records are not available at the Office of Vital Records.
  • Divorce records: An 1864 territorial law in Arizona required that county recorder to keep and maintain divorce records. Divorce records are also kept by the Clerk of the Superior Court in the particular county where the marriage took place. Divorce records are not available at the Office of Vital Records.

The ability to access most “public” or open records within government at all levels, publically operating bodies, and law enforcement agencies, has greatly given a boost to research and journalism in Arizona. You should be able to easily obtain the records you are looking for if you direct your request to the right place in an appropriate manner.

Arizona State Court System

Understanding how the system of Arizona state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

Arizona Courts Overview

The trial court system of Arizona State consists of Tax Court, Municipal Courts, Justice Courts, and Superior Courts.

Arizona Superior Courts

Arizona Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases, except when jurisdiction is completely assigned to another court or is limited by law. Any case that is beyond the jurisdiction of all the other Arizona courts is handled by Superior Courts.

The civil cases that Superior Courts have original jurisdiction over include divorce, estate, probate, annulment of marriage, naturalization, action to stop or prevent a nuisance, proceedings in insolvency, municipal ordinance legality, and civil cases that involve claims for a minimum of $10,000, excluding costs and interest.

Superior Courts have limited jurisdiction over all felony criminal cases. However, lower courts can handle the preliminary hearings of felony criminal cases. Superior Courts share jurisdiction over misdemeanors with Justice Courts when the potential penalty is $2,500 or less, or imprisonment doesn’t exceed six months.

Arizona Justice Courts

Arizona Justice Courts have restricted jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases. Criminal cases that Justice Courts handle include felony preliminary hearings, warrant applications, harassment and domestic violence, and criminal offenses that attract a potential fine that doesn’t exceed $2,500 or less than 6 months imprisonment.

Justice Courts in Arizona have original jurisdiction over all civil cases involving claims for a maximum of $10,000, not including costs or interest. These courts also hear cases that involve the possession of the real property. Justice Courts also have Small Claims Court divisions that hear most civil cases involving claims not exceeding $3,500, excluding costs and interest. The Small Claims division doesn’t handle some types of cases, including slander, defamation, traffic violations, lawsuits against Arizona State or its employees, injunctive relief, specific performance, class action lawsuits, libel, criminal cases, and a dispute involving the title of real property.

Justice Courts share jurisdiction over civil cases involving claims that do not exceed $10,000, excluding costs and interest, with Superior Courts. Some Justice Courts also share jurisdiction over traffic violations with Municipal Courts.

Arizona Municipal Courts

Arizona Municipal Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes committed in their town or city, including violation of city codes and ordinances, and traffic offense cases. They also issue anti-harassment injunctions, protection orders, and search warrants.

Some towns and cities sometimes refer to their Municipal Courts as Magistrate Court or City Court. In the past, Municipal Courts and Magistrate Courts existed as separate courts in the Arizona State court system but that is no longer the case. Municipal Courts now have the jurisdiction and duties of both the former Magistrate and Municipal Courts.

Arizona Tax Court

Tax Court handles cases regarding disputes over a collection, assessment, or imposition of any local or state tax. The Arizona Tax Court is actually the Tax Department of Maricopa County Superior Court and only has statewide jurisdiction but cannot handle cases involving federal taxes.

The Arizona Tax Court hears cases regarding disputes over the imposition, assessment, or collection of any state or local tax. It has statewide jurisdiction and hears cases involving property taxes, municipal sales taxes, and state taxes. It cannot hear cases regarding federal taxes.

Arizona Court Notes

Specialty Court Programs

There are some Arizona courts with programs that offer social services and treatment in lieu of imprisonment for certain non-violent offenders with mental health or substance abuse problems. DIU/Drug Court in Coconino County and Tucson City Court Mental Health Division are some of the examples.

Tribal Courts

There are some Native American nations in Arizona operating their own judicial systems, which are known as Tribal Courts. These courts have some criminal and civil jurisdiction. The Arizona court system may enforce the orders of Tribal Courts.

The Official Website of Arizona County

Phoenix City of Phoenix
Tucson Official website of the City of Tucson
Mesa City of Mesa The official web site for Mesa, Arizona
Chandler Welcome to Chandler, Arizona | City of Chandler
Glendale Glendale, Arizona Glendale, Arizona
Scottsdale City of Scottsdale – Home A discussion of parking options and challenges in Downtown Scottsdale.
Gilbert Town of Gilbert, Arizona
Tempe City of Tempe, AZ This is the official website for the City of Tempe, Arizona. You may find all the information about the city and its government services here.
Peoria City of Peoria The official website for the City of Peoria Arizona features city news, upcoming events, online bill payment, issue reporting, and more.
Surprise Official Website – Surprise, Arizona | Official Website Official website of the City of Surprise, Arizona.
Yuma City of Yuma, Arizona Official City of Yuma, Arizona Government Website organized for Visitors, Business, Residents, Development, Government and City Departments.
Avondale City of Avondale Welcome to the City of Avondale, Arizona! Avondale is a modern city, near the heart of the Phoenix-metropolitan area. Avondale within Maricopa County.
Flagstaff City of Flagstaff Official Website | Official Website
Goodyear City of Goodyear The official website for the city of Goodyear. City Services, Jobs, Public Safety, News, Events and Local Government.
Lake Havasu City Discover Arizona’s Playground – Lake Havasu City Your site for exploring beautiful Lake Havasu City – hiking, biking, boating, fishing, golfing, offroading, shopping, dining, lodging, events and more!
Apache County Apache County, Arizona – Official Website
Cochise County Welcome to Cochise County, Arizona | Cochise County
Coconino County Coconino | Official Website
Gila County Welcome to Gila County Arizona
Graham County Graham County, AZ | Official Website
Greenlee County ash-peak-range
La Paz County La Paz County, AZ | Official Website
Maricopa County Maricopa County, AZ | Official Website
Navajo County Navajo County Arizona Government Services, Resources and Departments
Pima County Pima County Pima County Government Information and Top News, Engage News, Live News, Work News and Play News for all departments and Services including Tucson, Marana, Ajo, Oro Valley, Sahuarita, Three Points and Arivaca.
Pinal County Pinal County Online
Santa Cruz County Santa Cruz County, AZ – Official Website
Yavapai County Welcome to Yavapai County’s Official Website
Yuma County Yuma County The Official Site of Yuma County, Arizona
Mohave County Mohave County – Government Agency Providing resources to all Mohave County residents.

Arizona Arrests and Inmate Search

Department Badge Apache County Sheriff’s Office Apache County Sheriff’s Office Crime Graphics
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Maricopa County Mugshots of Inmates
Mohave County Inmate Search Mohave County Website
Navajo County Arizona Government Services, Resources and Departments > Departments > Sheriff > Detention Center > Inmate Information > Inmate Housing Report Navajo County Inmates
Pima County Sheriff Department Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
Search Inmates – Pinal County Pinal County Inmate Search
Santa Cruz County Sheriff – Santa Cruz, AZ :: Jail Info Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office
Yavapai County Jail & Inmate Information Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office
YCSO Inmate Search Online Inmate Search
ADC Inmate Data Search Inmate Datasearch
Criminal History Records | Arizona Department of Public Safety the Criminal History Records Section serves as the Central State Repository for criminal records in the state of Arizona. Criminal justice agencies within Arizona are required by this statute to report arrest and disposition information to the Central State Repository. Copies of criminal records are restricted to authorized individuals/agencies.
Arizona Public Access Case Lookup Public Access to Court Information
Arizona Sex Offender Search Welcome to the Arizona Sex Offender Information page. This page provides information to the public concerning the location of sex offenders in Arizona.