Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Karen Mullins
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Pre-Trial Practice and Management IssuesMotion Practice Motions
Please let me know if you did not get a ruling on a motion you filed either by addressing it in open court or by calling my Judicial Assistant. The paper 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. We log-in every motion put in our mailbox on the date it was received. I will NEVER be offended if you call my 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 my Judicial Assistant if you do not receive a ruling within a reasonable period of time.
Expedited or Emergency Review
If you are filing a motion which is time sensitive or truly requires emergency or expedited consideration, you must include the phrase "expedited consideration requested" to the right of the caption, and you must state in the motion the basis for your request for expedited relief. Please do not request expedited relief unless there is a genuine need for an expedited ruling. Generally, I will separately rule on the request to expedite by setting an expedited date for responses by Minute Entry Order, and then I will rule once response date expires. Because the response deadline for electronic services is already short (five court days) there are times I will simply wait and rule on the sixth court day. My course of action is dependent on the nature of the motion and the requested relief.
Ariz.R.P.Juv.Ct. 46(A) requires that you "state the positions of the other parties as to the issues raised or ... inform the court of the efforts made to reach the other parties if their positions are known." This rule allows the court to rule quickly if no party objections to the relief requests. However, a motion is NOT uncontested simply because you sent opposing counsel notice of the motion and they did not provide you their position before you filed it. Therefore, please do not designate a motion as "uncontested" if one or more parties did not respond to your request for positions prior to filing the motion, as such a designation is not accurate.
Motions for Summary Judgment
I understand that most motions for summary judgment relate to paternity findings and are rarely, if ever, disputed. Nonetheless, the rules require that such motions conform to Ariz.R.Civ.P. 56. Rule 56 allows 30 days for a response. It is unclear whether the juvenile rule was intended to incorporate the 30-day response time, but I am assuming it does and thus I am holding motions for summary judgment for 30 days. If I have a hearing in the interim, I am asking if there are any objections to the motion so that I can rule on it more quickly.
Please be specific in your proposed orders by specifically stating the exact title of the motion being ruled upon. Do not attach mailing certificates to proposed orders as we do not distribute orders in the same manner that motions are served under the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.
The date of service can become an issue in a case. I have noticed that many mailing certificates indicate multiple means of service, such as "mailed/faxed/electronic/hand-delivered". These differing methods of service trigger differing deadlines for the filing of a response. The rules require that you state the method of service, thus please state the actual method used and do not list a method of service you did not use. If you list all methods of service, I will assume that you in fact served using each method listed.
Trial Practice and ProtocolTrial Practice and Procedure Exhibits
It takes a long time to mark exhibits so please abide by the schedule set forth in the trial setting minute entry. If you have exhibits for an evidentiary hearing, please bring them at least three days in advance so they can be marked in advance. I encourage attorneys to meet and stipulate to the admission of as many exhibits as possible. Please do not refuse to stipulate simply to force the opposing party to jump through formal evidentiary hoops when you do not have a true evidentiary objection to an exhibit.
Other Courtroom Policies and Recommendations Self-Represented Litigants
If you are representing yourself, the law requires me to hold you to the same standards as apply to counsel. I cannot advise you on the law, which means that I cannot, for example, tell you whether you should file a motion, make an objection, or question a witness in a particular way. I also cannot grant you an extension of time to file something you failed to timely file simply because you are representing yourself and you were unaware of the filing deadline. Thus, please prepare accordingly.
My staff works very hard to ensure that our Division runs smoothly. It is rare that an attorney is disrespectful to one of my staff members but, given the stress of the practice of law, it does occasionally occur. Please remember to treat my staff with respect and courtesy. Also, please do not ask my staff of legal advice, such as whether you should file or respond to a particular motion, as they cannot provide you with legal advice.
My Judicial Assistant is Marisol Torres. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently, Marisol is also functioning as my Bailiff so please be patient with her as she is very busy!
Our division telephone number is 602-372-1160.
Please do not email anything directly to me.