Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Sara Agne


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Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences My Judicial Assistant is reachable via (602) 506-8288; my Courtroom Bailiff is available at (602) 506-0379 when not in the courtroom.  
 
The Court expects lawyers and all parties to treat each other, opposing parties, court staff, and everyone with respect.  
 
Harassment, bias, or prejudice on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, or affiliation is strictly prohibited.  
 
Division 80 (Judge Agne) is a Division holding virtual proceedings on Court Connect.  
 
To view a brief (4-minute) training video and short tipsheet on the new platform, please visit: https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/court-connect/. Please feel free to provide that information to others in advance of the hearings and at any time.  
 
Almost all proceedings will be held telephonically or via video conference and telephonic, only. If a virtual hearing will not suffice and you have not previously been notified by the Court that the hearing will proceed in person in a safe-spaced and masked manner, counsel for a Party may file a written Motion with the clerk of the court and shall email it directly to Division staff at least 14 days in advance of the hearing to allow the Court to rule on the Motion. Please do not arrive for hearings in person or knowingly allow others to do so, even if you have moved for an in-person hearing and you do not yet know the Court’s decision.  
 
Please plan to submit necessary documents (proposed orders, Court's copy of exhibits per the below, etc.) via email to Division staff at least by noon the court day before a hearing or trial. Proposed orders of any kind should be lodged in eFile as separate Word documents related to the filing they accompany. (Local Rule 2.17)  
 
Please know and follow all required exhibit and witness procedures in the civil rules, the local rules, and the presently in-effect administrative orders. Counsel submitting exhibits to Division 80 staff shall affirm in the transmitting email that they are accurate electronic copies of the exhibits provided to the Clerk of the Superior Court for the hearing or trial. Counsel preparing witnesses for remote hearings should provide them with the Notice to Witness re: Testimony in Remote Hearing. Please request a PDF copy of the Notice to Witness from Division 80 staff should you need it.  
 
Please do not let any symptomatic or ill individuals transport or handle documents or other items that will be submitted physically in advance of virtual hearings.  
 
Please do NOT arrive at the Northeast Regional Court Center ill, and please do NOT knowingly allow anyone else to do so. Court Security has been given direction to exclude symptomatic individuals and those with exposures at security.  
 
Effective July 1, 2020, per Superior Court Administrative Order 2020-098, health and temperature screening protocols are mandatory for all persons attempting to enter the facility. Please arrive sufficiently in advance of any in-person proceeding to allow yourself to proceed successfully to a Health Screening Station to be screened. Any person who refuses or does not pass the screen procedure will be denied entrance to the facility. Thank you for helping us mitigate the risks to all by complying with the health and temperature screens.  
 
Any in-person proceedings for Division 80 will take place in a masked and safe-spaced manner with the minimal amount of people present in Courtroom 108 at any given time. The Court has discretion to ask a witness to move a face covering in certain instances. Unless asked to do so by the Court, please DO NOT remove your mask or face covering at any time. If counsel have witnesses who will testify telephonically or by video conference even though some persons will be present in-person, please still provide them with the Notice to Witness re: Testimony in Remote Hearing.  
 
Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-143 requires all individuals entering a court facility to wear a mask or face covering at all times they are in the facility. With limited exceptions, the court will not provide masks or face coverings. Therefore, any individual attempting to enter the court facility must have an appropriate mask or face covering before being permitted entry. Any person refusing to wear an appropriate mask or face covering will be denied entrance to the court facility or asked to leave. In addition, all individuals entering a court facility will be subject to a health screening protocol, as discussed above. Any person not passing the health screening will be denied entrance to the court facility.

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice Division 80 handles most motions via eFile; please lodge a Word format electronic form of order.  
 
If agreement on a brief extension of a response or reply deadline is reached, please email, copying all counsel and self-represented parties, Division 80 staff (Stephanie.Castrellon@jbazmc.maricopa.gov and Jaime.Ferniza@jbazmc.maricopa.gov) to advise of that. For longer extensions, or those affecting Court-ordered deadlines or hearings, please e-file a motion.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Practice and Procedure When calling a witness to testify during a trial or hearing, please ensure you or your co-counsel is in communication with the witness so they are aware of when to connect to the virtual proceeding. Trial time is limited and precious.  
 
When the Rule of Exclusion, Ariz. R. Evid. 615, has been invoked, all counsel should inform their party’s witnesses of its invocation and meaning, and all counsel and parties should be vigilant to assist the Court in ensuring that no witnesses enter the courtroom, or dial-in or link-in to the courtroom telephonically or otherwise, while other witnesses are testifying, which would be in violation of the rule.
Other Courtroom Policies and Recommendations Please do not email Judge Agne directly about a case, even if you copy all counsel on the email. Please also do not use Court Connect, GoToMeeting, or any other electronic platform to 'chat' Judge Agne, whether we are on the record or off the record at the time.  
 
If you need to communicate with the Division, please contact staff at the email addresses listed above. Exigencies during an on-the-record proceeding might also be handled by 'chatting' staff only if they are available in Court Connect for that function. Please ensure that your chat message only goes to the Division staff member you intended and not to all in a proceeding.  
 
In any event, DO NOT use Court Connect, GoToMeeting, or any other text or electronic platform to chat or message a witness while they are testifying or to side-chat any party in a virtual proceeding. Chat-logs are permanent, and virtual court proceedings operate with the same formality and prohibitions as in-person proceedings. Please advise clients of the same. Thank you.