Superior Court Commissioner

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Court Commissioners are appointed by the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court through a selection committee made up of Judges, Attorneys, and Legal Community Members. Court Commissioners preside over matters in Civil, Family, Juvenile, Criminal, Probate, Mental Health, Tax, or Justice Courts and serve as a Judge Pro Tempore as directed.

Commissioners may function as a Plea Officer, or be assigned to the Early Disposition Court, Initial Appearance Court or Juvenile Advisory Hearings. The selected Commissioners may also be assigned and/or assist with work or hear matters in other Court departments, including Civil, Family Court, Juvenile, Criminal, Probate, Mental Health, Tax or Justice Courts. As Judicial employees of the Court, Commissioners are not permitted to practice law.


(This is not an all-inclusive list of all job duties that may be required; employees will be required to perform other related duties as assigned.)

  • Hear a variety of cases in Criminal, Civil, Family, Probate, and Juvenile Court departments
  • During the course of hearing cases interpret, enforce and carry out current laws
  • May be assigned to the Initial Appearance Court, which will include evenings and weekends. May also be assigned to a location such as the Maryvale Mental Health building or Desert Vista Hospital. Assignments may last more than one year
  • Exercise the same powers and duties as a Judge of the Superior Court in assigned cases, with the same jurisdiction

Examples of duties in Criminal, Juvenile, and Family are below:

  • Criminal: conduct arraignments, handle a pretrial calendar, preside over trials
  • Juvenile delinquency: conduct detention hearings, pre-trials, adjudication hearings, disposition hearings, and probation violation hearings
  • Juvenile dependency: conduct adjudication hearings, permanency planning, guardianship and adoption hearings
  • Family law: conduct child support calendars, including Order to Show Cause and contempt.


The Superior Court operates from a number of locations throughout Maricopa County. Commissioners are subject to assignments in various departments and for various periods of time to one or more locations of the Court.

Judicial Branch facilities are located throughout Maricopa County. This position may be reassigned to other locations. Assignments will be made based upon the needs of the Judicial Branch.

The Pay and Benefits:

Salary for the position will be established by the Presiding Judge. It is currently set at $64.63 per hour which is ninety percent of the salary of a Superior Court Judge. Additional benefits include medical and dental insurance, life insurance, paid sick and vacation time, ten paid holidays, and participation in a state-sponsored retirement program. Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the Presiding Judge and are subject to periodic assessment through a judicial performance review program administered by the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County.

The Committee Process:

  1. Application Deadline: All applications are due as stated in the announcement and on the application form.
  2. Screening Meeting: At the screening meeting the Committee reviews all applications received and the results of any investigation conducted by Committee members. The Committee then decides which of the applicants will be selected for interviews.
  3. Notification to Applicants: Applicants selected for interviews are notified by phone and email letter of the date, time, and location of the interviews. Applicants not selected for an interview are notified by email letter.
  4. Investigation: Further investigation of the applicants to be interviewed is conducted. The credit, criminal, and professional discipline histories of the applicants are requested, and the results are given to the Committee. The Committee seeks comments from judges, attorneys, and the community.
  5. Interviews: After all the interviews are completed the Committee discusses the relative qualifications of all applicants.
  6. Nominations: The names of selected interviewees are submitted to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court.


Candidates for this position must be a United States citizen, a duly licensed member of the State Bar of Arizona, and a resident of the State of Arizona, for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding his or her appointment. Applicants need not be a resident at the time of their application, however, under A.R.S. 12-211 (B) must be a resident of Maricopa County when appointed.

Achievement or distinction in various areas of the law and litigation consistent with the duties of this Commissioner position is desirable.

Commissioners serve from time to time as judges pro tempore in the course of their regular duties. The Arizona Constitution, Article VI, 22 requires that judicial nominees must be at least 30 years of age, of good moral character, and admitted to the practice of law in and a resident of the State for five years immediately preceding appointment.

The Superior Court operates from a number of locations throughout Maricopa County. Commissioners are subject to assignments in various departments and for various periods of time to one or more locations of the Court. Commissioners share supervision of their Judicial Assistants with Court Administration.

Note: Commissioners are required to file an annual financial disclosure statement.

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