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Preparing for your Civil Traffic Hearing

APPEARING AT THE HEARING:

  • Be on time and have your witnesses and evidence with you
  • If you do not show up on time f​​​or your hearing: 

    1. a default judgment may be entered against you
    2. a fine may be imposed
    3. your driver’s license may be suspended

PRESENTING YOUR EVIDENCE:

Anything you want the judge to consider must either be presented as testimony from a witness present in court or it has to be admitted into evidence as an exhibit. “Admitted into evidence” means you need to leave the item with the court. The following list contains examples of items that are commonly admitted during a civil traffic hearing:

  • Signed written statements from witnesses
  • Written documents
  • Diagrams
  • Photographs
  • Maps
  • Video or audio recordings

DIGITAL EVIDENCE: 

Any evidence in digital format (e.g., photographs, videos, audio evidence) has to be scanned for viruses by court staff before it can be displayed on the court's equipment or admitted into evidence. This can result in delay in holding your hearing. Please get to court early and alert court staff that you have such evidence. Please keep the following in mind if you are bringing digital evidence to court:

  • Any media such as a DVD, CD, or flash or jump drive that contains your evidence in a digital format should not have anything else on it. The media itself has to be admitted into evidence to be considered and you will not get it back.
  • Make sure any digital evidence is in a common format. If you have recorded your evidence in a format that the court does not have on its equipment, it will either delay your hearing or you will not be able to present your evidence.
  • Simple is best for photos. Print your photos out and bring the printed out photos to court to be admitted into evidence. The court will not admit your cell phone into evidence so you can show your photos. 
  • If possible, and especially if your digital evidence is in an uncommon format, bring your own laptop or other device through which you can display your evidence.

SUBPOENAS:

  • Subpoenas for witnesses can be requested at the Records Counter on the third floor of the courthouse.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABILITY:

  • Requests for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or persons needing an interpreter should be made in writing and filed with the court at least five days before the hearing.
  • If the request is not made in a timely way, it may result in delay in holding your hearing.

ALTERNATIVES TO IN-PERSON HEARINGS:

  • If a defendant wants to request a hearing in absentia which does not require the defendant to appear in court in person, a written request for such a hearing must be submitted to the court. See Rule 10 of the Rules of Procedure in Civil Traffic and Civil Boating Violation Cases in the links below. The request should be filed as early as possible in the case.
  • The court may require documentation of any substantial hardship mentioned in the request as a justification for the defendant not appearing in court in person.
  • The court is not currently able to offer hearings pursuant to Rule 10.1(A). Rule 10.1(D) hearings can be requested, but at the present time are only available as a reasonable accommodation to individuals who establish a disability needing such an accommodation.  See Rule 10.1 of the Rules of Procedure in Civil Traffic and Civil Boating Violation Cases in the links below.

ONLINE RESOURCES:

Arizona Court Rules
Phoenix City Code
Arizona Revised Statutes

 

 

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