Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge David W. Garbarino


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Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences General  
 
Welcome to my Division. I am Judge David W. Garbarino, currently assigned to the Criminal Department of the Arizona Superior Court, Maricopa County. We are in the Central Court Building. Our address is 201 W. West Jefferson Street, Suite 902, Phoenix, Arizona 85003. Our division phone number is 602.372.3048.  
 
Gabriela Hernandez Davis the Division’s Judicial Assistant. Her email address is Gabriela.Hernandez@JBAZMC.Maricopa.Gov.  
 
Laura Snelling is the Division’s Courtroom Assistant. Her email address is laura.snelling@ JBAZMC.Maricopa.Gov.  
 
The Division’s Judicial and Courtroom Assistants cover for each other when one is not available. As such, if you need to communicate with the Division, please contact both the Judicial and Courtroom Assistants using the email addresses listed above, and please be sure to include all other counsel or unrepresented parties on the email. Emails that do not comply with this requirement will not be read and will be deleted. Please do not attempt to contact me directly, even if you copy other counsel on the email.  
 
Everyone that comes into contact with our Division shall be treated and treat each other with dignity and respect. When contacting the Division, please treat court staff professionally and with courtesy. I understand and appreciate that many cases involve personal issues that often are emotionally difficult for those involved. Nevertheless, parties and attorneys shall act professionally when interacting with the court, court staff, and with one another, whether in their writings or in discussions. Please do not interrupt each other (except for objections). Gratuitous non-verbal communication is extremely disruptive and not appreciated. I will afford all parties an opportunity to respond and/or otherwise address the Court when appropriate.  
 
For court appearances, please be on time. Counsel and parties should wear appropriate attire for both virtual and in-person appearances, and for virtual appearances, have an appropriate background. Appearances while driving will not be permitted. The wearing of hats and/or sunglasses is prohibited. Food is not permitted in the courtroom. Water is permitted in the courtroom. Cell phones and other personal electronics must be silenced during any proceeding. The taking of photographs in the courtroom or recording any proceeding whether in-person or virtual is strictly prohibited.  
 
Harassment based on race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, or affiliation is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.  
 
The courtroom is a public forum. Any member of the public is welcome to attend. Please remind anyone who accompanies you to Court that the rules of courtroom behavior apply to spectators as well as to the parties.  
The Court has information on its website to assist you. In addition, people are encouraged to visit the Self-Service Center located on the first floor of the East Court Building where parties may obtain information and assistance with the Court process.  
If a party needs any accommodation (for example an interpreter or hearing assistance device), please notify the Court well in advance of the proceeding.  
 
Self-Represented Litigants  
 
I understand that when a party represents him/herself without an attorney that the entire Court process can seem overwhelming and confusing. I will do my best to explain the Court process and answer any questions you may have. You will have time to ask your questions. Please note, however, the Court cannot and will not give legal advice.  
The law and court rules apply equally to parties represented by attorneys and parties who represent themselves. I do not expect perfection from those who represent themselves. Nevertheless, it is best for parties to familiarize themselves with the law and rules applicable to a particular proceeding.  
 
Appearances  
 
This Court’s most recent Administrative Order (A.O. No. 2022-113 as of September 21, 2022) governs whether parties must attend a court proceeding in-person or virtually using Teams. The Administrative Order establishes the presumptive means of proceeding and, absent a case specific determination, controls whether in-person attendance is required. Nevertheless, I understand that scheduling conflicts occur, life happens, and that sometimes a virtual appearance is the only reasonably feasible means to secure an appearance for a proceeding. If possible, please file a written motion in advance if you seek a deviation from the presumptive means of appearance explaining the relevant circumstances. If time does not permit, please appear virtually using Teams and be prepared to explain why an in-person appearance was not possible and anticipate a continuance to the next available date that would allow for an in-person appearance may be likely.  
 
Each court proceeding is video and audio recorded by the Court. Parties, guests, witnesses, or other members of the public are prohibited from recording the Court hearings or from taking pictures in the courtroom. Exceptions are made, generally for the media, with advance notice and permission of the Court, in compliance with the Supreme Court Rules. Anyone who records or photographs court hearings without prior approval of the Court may be subject to involvement with Court security and contempt proceedings.

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice Parties shall file motions that comply with the rules, including page, font size, formatting, and/or word limitations/restrictions. Attorneys are strongly encouraged to file single subject, rather than omnibus, motions.  
After I review the motion, I will determine if an oral argument is warranted, regardless of whether oral argument is requested by a party. My style on oral argument depends upon the nature of the case and/or motion. The discussion could either be directed via questions of the Court or counsel may be permitted to make a presentation accordingly.  
Motions filed with the Clerk of Court at the filing counter and/or via e-file are not immediately available to me. In fact, it may take several days before I can access a filed document. If you are seeking expedited consideration, please email a copy of the filed documents to this Division’s Judicial and Courtroom Assistants.  
 
Any motion requesting the Court to do something, for example, to continue a hearing, set a hearing, or allow an attorney to withdraw from a case, must be accompanied by a proposed order. If the motion is electronically filed, the proposed order shall be lodged in Word at the time of filing the motion together with the motion. Do not use the heading “proposed” in your order. Do not use strikethrough format for the Orders. Proposed orders should be in a final format I could sign without making any modifications. I can handle most motions through e-file, so lodging an electronic form of order is strongly encouraged.  
 
If you are filing a motion to continue, please include the opposing party’s position or, if unable to contact the other party to obtain this information, please describe the attempts that were made. If a motion to continue does not include the opposing party’s position or if time is not waived, I will not grant the motion to continue, and the matter will need to be addressed on record at the date and time originally set.  
 
Please let the Division know if you did not get a ruling on a motion you filed either by addressing it in open court or by calling the Division’s Judicial Assistant. The filing system is not perfect, and sometimes motions are not delivered to us and we have no way of knowing that a motion was filed if we do not receive it. I will NEVER be offended if you call the Division’s Judicial Assistant and ask why you have not yet received a ruling. My practice is to rule quickly, so please also do not hesitate to call the Division’s Judicial Assistant if you do not receive a ruling within a reasonable time. That said, please understand that we receive many motions from parties and sometimes it may take longer than expected for resolution of you motion depending upon the status of earlier filed motions.  
 
If you are filing a motion to seal a document to be filed in the case, please be sure to direct me to the specific legal authority that permits the court to order that the case record be sealed. Generally, all court records and filings in criminal cases are open to the public unless the court finds a reason for sealing a document with “reference to any statute, case, rule or administrative order relied upon.” Ariz. Sup. Ct. R. 123(d).

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Schedule Generally, this Division will hold trial Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with an afternoon break. The trial time will be equally divided between the parties. The Court will keep track of the time and provide the parties with updates concerning the time remaining. Parties may also ask for a time check whenever a party so desires. The Court expects all attorneys scheduled for trial to be ready and to adhere to the anticipated schedule of trial. Jury Selection I am willing to use electronic juror questionnaires for the jury selection process in appropriate cases. The parties may submit proposed questions to be included. The electronic questionnaire will be made available to counsel to review before jury selection begins.  
 
Once potential jurors have submitted their responses to the questionnaire, I will meet with counsel on the record in the courtroom to review the responses and determine which jurors may be excluded based on their responses. The remaining jurors will be brought to the courtroom for voir dire.  
 
The length of my oral voir dire will vary depending on the length of the jury questionnaire. After I complete oral voir dire, the parties will be given an opportunity to ask follow-up questions of the panel.  
Counsel is reminded that, effective January 1, 2022, Arizona law no longer permits peremptory strikes. All juror strikes will be based on hardship or cause. The party seeking to strike a juror for cause bears the burden of establishing cause by a preponderance of the evidence.
Trial Practice and Procedure Objections to questions should simply include the legal basis for the objection, e.g. "Objection, foundation." The Court will then, if necessary, ask for further clarification or argument. Kindly avoid speaking objections.  
 
Counsel should feel free to sit or stand at the counsel table or use the podium. I want the attorneys (and the parties) to be as comfortable as possible. Nevertheless, please always ask permission before approaching a witness.  
 
This Division’s Courtroom’s technology is very limited. I encourage parties to set an appointment to interface with courtroom equipment prior to trial to ensure its use goes smoothly on the day of trial, and that if necessary, obtain additional equipment.
Other Courtroom Policies and Recommendations Exhibits  
 
All parties shall provide me with a separate copy of all marked exhibits for the Court’s use during trial. Parties are encouraged to consult each other prior to trial to determine if there are exhibits that can be stipulated into evidence. As the courtroom prohibits the publication of exhibits in a manner that permits the Court to view the exhibit, the Court requires its own copy of the exhibits so that the Court may look at the exhibit as it is being referenced during the examination of a witness. The Court copy of exhibits may be provided at the time of the trial.