10/16/2013 8:31:00 AM Mayer Justice Court handles more than 10,000 cases a year
By Hon. Bill Rummer Mayer Justice Court
The Mayer Justice Court directly affects us here in the Highway 69 and I-17 corridor areas and more.
While traveling around the court's jurisdiction, I've found that few people have an idea of what the court does and where its geographic and subject matter jurisdiction lies.
A good many people aren't familiar with what an Arizona Justice of the Peace does. In this and followup articles I hope to talk about many of these questions with a judge's observations and practices along the way.
In Arizona the justice of the peace courts and magistrate courts handle more than 85 percent of all the cases filed in the judicial system. The Mayer Justice Court handles about 10,000 cases a year.
The Mayer Court's staff includes Judge Bill Rummer, Court Supervisor Traci Snow, and five experienced and customer oriented court staff. The court is located in the historic district of Mayer just off State Route 69.
The justice of the peace courts are so foundational to the Arizona judicial structure that they are mandated in Article 6 of the Arizona Constitution. However, the Justice Courts predate Statehood and were well established as the local or regional courts during territorial days.
In many states the jurisdiction of similarly named courts is different. In Arizona we have four levels of courts -the justice of the peace courts, the superior court in each county, two appellate courts and the supreme court. The justice courts and superior court are "based" in each county. We have no courts named district, circuit, county or courts of common pleas, as have many states.
The Mayer Justice Court has the geographic jurisdiction for the southeast 1,600 square miles of Yavapai - that's roughly one-and-a-half times the size of Rhode Island!
The geographic jurisdiction covers the area from Prescott Valley, then northeast over the mountain into a portion of the Verde Valley, then southeast to Gila County, then down to Maricopa County, then west along the Yavapai County line to Lake Pleasant and then roughly northeast to just east of Walker, and then back to the include the southeast corner of Prescott Valley.
The Mayer Justice Court has some overlapping jurisdictions with the Prescott Valley and the Dewey-Humboldt magistrate courts.
In terms of major roadways, the jurisdiction is from Rock Springs/Black Canyon City and then up I-17 to over the mountain into the Verde Valley, and includes State Route 69 communities from Cordes Lakes northwest to Prescott Valley. The Prescott Country Club and Quailwood are included.
In brief, we handle civil suits up to $10,000 and small claims civil suits up to $3,500, along with other civil matters such as orders of protection and civil traffic charges.
We handle criminal misdemeanor charges, which have a maximum sentence by the judge of up to $4,613 and six months in jail.
Included in the judge's duties is to see and set bail on felony prisoners (including murderers) arrested within the Mayer Court's jurisdiction.
In following articles, I'll write about what your court does and how the court does it, including sentencing procedures.
I'll also make some observations about why an assault is an assault is an assault in terms of sentencing, and maybe what you heard isn't what was presented as evidence...