Agua Fria Justice Court
The Agua Fria Justice Court is a court within the Maricopa County Justice Court System. The Court only hears cases related to minor misdemeanor offenses and traffic violations (and small civil disputes under $10,000) and only those that occur within the area of the Agua Fria Justice Precinct (a map of the precinct is below).
10420 W. Van Buren St.
Avondale, AZ 85323
- Judge: Joe “Pep” Guzman
- Phone: (602) 372-8001
- Fax: (602) 372-8201
- Email Form: Form
Parking and Security Information
- Park in the lot adjacent to the building
- Parking is free
- Visitors are required to pass through metal detectors
- Items brought into the courthouse go through xray machines
- Children are allowed in the courtroom, but will be asked to leave if being disruptive
Payment Link for Court: Link
The Agua Fria Justice Court is located at 10420 W. Van Buren Street, Avondale, AZ 85323.
Agua Fria Justice Precinct
All courts have specific geographic areas they are assigned to oversee. The geographic area is called a jurisdiction. For the Agua Fria Justice Court to hear a case, the offense must occur within the court’s boundaries set forth on the map below.
If a case is brought against you in Agua Fria Justice Court but the crime did not occur within the court’s jurisdiction, the judge should not hear the case and the charges must be dismissed. That doesn’t mean the charges cannot be refiled; rather, it means that it must be filed in the court where the crime occurred. So long as the statute of limitations for the crime has not yet run out, you can still be charged in the proper jurisdiction.
What is a Justice Court?
Arizona is unique in that it has “justice courts.” Justice Courts are courts that have limited jurisdiction. That means that the court can only deal with misdemeanor crimes. If a case is charged as a felony, a justice court typically does not have jurisdiction and it must be handled by the Maricopa County Superior Court.
Justice courts oversee any type of crime that is a misdemeanor. They also hear civil and criminal traffic violations, as well as civil lawsuits (private lawsuits between individuals) where the amount in controversy is less than $10,000.
Justice courts do not have judges; instead, the judge is referred to as a justice of the peace. Justices of the peace are elected into their position and serve four-year terms. Interestingly, justices of the peace are not required to be licensed lawyers to be elected and serve. The only requirement is that they have a high school diploma and have no felony convictions on their record. Justices of the peace have the same powers as any other judge for a limited jurisdiction court in Arizona.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will prosecute the charge against you in Agua Fria Justice Court. Unlike the justice of the peace, the Prosecutor will be a licensed attorney-another reason it is so important to seek legal advice before your court date.
Justice of the Peace
Joe “Pep” Guzman is the justice of the peace for Agua Fria Justice Court. Judge Guzman, a Democrat, was elected the Justice of the Peace for Agua Fria in 1991 and has been re-elected several times since then. His current term runs until 2022.
If your case is before Judge Guzman, you should know that he has a reputation for being difficult to persuade. Therefore, it’s important that if you have a case pending before Judge Guzman that you consult with a lawyer to get the best possible outcome for your circumstances.
How Did My Case End up in the Agua Fria Justice Court?
If your case has been assigned to the Agua Fria Justice Court, it means that you have likely been charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense within the boundaries of the court’s jurisdiction. This is as opposed to a felony offense, which would require the case to be charged in one of the superior courts in Arizona.
If you were arrested by the Department of Public Safety or Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, then you will likely be charged in Agua Fria Justice Court if the offense occurred within the boundaries.
How Should I Dress to Attend Court?
If you are attending court, whether in person or virtually, it is important to dress professionally as if you were going to a job interview. Men should dress in a shirt and tie, preferably with a suit or jacket. Women should wear a nice dress or woman’s business suit, which includes a suit jacket and pants or skirt.
If you are appearing virtually, you should be sure that you are in a location that is free from background noise and should remain stationary. You do not want to be walking around or driving while you are participating in the hearing. Exercise the same decorum you would if you were appearing in person.
Agua Fria Justice Court is a busy court that commonly hears cases involving criminal traffic violations, including DUIs, Reckless Driving, Traffic Violations, Shoplifting, and other misdemeanor cases. The penalty varies depending upon the specific offense you are charged with. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is six (6) months, so consulting with legal counsel is imperative.
We Represent Defendants in Agua Fria Justice Court
Stewart Salwin is a former prosecutor who is skilled at identifying issues the prosecution will raise in any case, before they are raised. As a defense attorney practicing in the Agua Fria Justice Court, he has a proven record demonstrating the skills that he brings to the representation of his clients. He studied criminal law under the best of the best and will use his knowledge and skill to get you the results you need.