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Injustice In No Time: The Experience of Tenents in Maricopa County Justice Courts

Housing

Injustice In No Time: The Experience of Tenents in Maricopa County Justice Courts
Here is the William E. Morris Institute for Justice’s Report titled “Injustice In No Time: The Experience of Tenants in Maricopa County Justice Courts.” This study was conducted in the summer of 2004, and we think this is the first study of its kind in Maricopa County. We hope this study will shed light on what happens to tenants in eviction court and will be a catalyst for much-needed change. While the study was limited to Maricopa County, the concerns and issues raised in it have statewide application. The general conclusion drawn from the study is that the eviction court process is extremely quick with some cases being heard in less than 20 seconds. In general, we found that landlords are not required to prove up their entitlement to possession of the rental unit and to a monetary judgment. In contrast, tenants are held to a high standard of proof for their defenses. Helpful information is provided to landlords, while limited and occasionally incorrect information is provided to tenants. Based on our findings, we make many recommendations for reform to ensure that eviction cases are decided in a fair and impartial manner. The report raises serious questions about the access to justice for tenants. Please note that in the enclosed report we chose to not identify specific justices and judges by name, or to identify the specific courtrooms we observed. Our goal is to improve the justice system. To read and/or print the report, please click on "PDF" above.

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