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Decisions and Orders
Decisions of the Arizona Supreme Court
Orders of the Arizona Supreme Court
- For the Arizona Supreme Court's opinions or rulings on the six interlocutory appeal issues, click here.
- San Carlos Apache Tribe v. Bolton (April 27, 1999) - in special action proceeding challenging
communications between the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and the Superior Court, court
held that superior court judge's ex parte communications with ADWR do not require disqualification
from Gila River Adjudication and ADWR's chief legal counsel's ex parte communications with judge do
not require his disqualification as department's chief counsel. The opinion is reported in 194 Ariz.
68, 977 P.2d 790 (1999). The case was reviewed in the February 1999 and April-July 1998 issues of the
- San Carlos Apache Tribe v. Superior Court (January 7, 1999) - in special action proceeding
reviewing lower court decision, court upheld certain provisions and declared others invalid in major
adjudication legislation enacted in 1995. The opinion is reported in 193 Ariz. 195, 972 P.2d 179
(1999). The decision was reviewed in the Special Issue-January 1999, February 1999, and March-April
1999 issues of the Bulletin.
- United States v. Superior Court, 144 Ariz. 265, 697 P.2d 658 (1985) - in special action proceeding,
court held that state courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate Indian claims to water rights and may do
so in general adjudications; a general adjudication is not a claim to Indian title, therefore,
disclaimer provision of Arizona Constitution is not an impediment to adjudication in state courts of
Indian water rights; and, procedures contained in Arizona's general adjudication statutes do not
violate the Arizona or federal constitutional due process guarantees.
- This 1985 decision of the Arizona Supreme Court followed the opinion of the United States Supreme
Court in Arizona v. San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona, 463 U.S. 545 (1983), where the Court held that
the McCarran Amendment removed whatever limitations the Enabling Acts or federal policy may have
originally placed on state court jurisdiction over Indian water rights, and state courts have
jurisdiction to adjudicate Indian water rights.
Gila River Adjudication
Little Colorado River Adjudication
- Order assigning Judge Mark H. Brain to act as judge in the Little Colorado River Adjudication (October 17, 2012)
- Order requesting comments regarding assignment of the Little Colorado River Adjudication to a judge (August 30, 2012)
- Order regarding former Judge Michael C. Nelson's authority to act as facilitator and settlement
judge in the Little Colorado River Adjudication (March 26, 2004)
- Order appointing Judge Edward P. Ballinger, Jr. to act as judge in the Little Colorado River
Adjudication (January 17, 2002)
- Order requesting comments regarding appointing Judge Edward P. Ballinger, Jr. to act as judge
in the Little Colorado River Adjudication (November 23, 2001)
- Administrative Order adopted for the approval of settlements of Indian water rights or water
rights for other federal reservation(s) or federal lands arising in the Little Colorado River
Adjudication (September 27, 2000)
- Special Procedural Order Providing for Interlocutory Appeals and Certifications (June 1, 1994)
- Order Amending Special Procedural Order for Interlocutory Appeals and Certifications (March 6, 2000)
Other Orders and Court Rules
- Order setting December 11, 2018 as the deadline for filing comments with the
Arizona Supreme Court on the proposed order for the review and approval of water rights settlements involving non-Indian claimants and certain non-Indian
federal water rights claims.
- Arizona Supreme Court Rule 31(d)(9) - Allowing for Non-Lawyer Representation in the General
Stream Adjudications (December 1, 1995)