About the Court
Phoenix Municipal Court
Valdemar A. Cordova Building
300 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
The Phoenix Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction within the City of Phoenix. As a part of the Arizona State Court System, it is subject to the authority of the Arizona Supreme Court. It is the largest municipal court in the state of Arizona and is among the top 10 busiest municipal courts in the United States.
The Court handles approximately 300,000 charges per year, which includes approximately 100,000 criminal charges. The Court is staffed with 291 employees, 288 of which are full-time. There are 22 full-time judges, 4 full-time hearing officers and an additional 30 pro tem judges available to serve as needed.
The Municipal Court tries criminal and civil traffic violations, as well as non-traffic criminal misdemeanor cases. Some of the cases the court handles are: Driving Under Intoxication; reckless driving; leaving the scene of an accident; drag racing; child restraint violations; vehicle insurance and registration violations; moving violations (speeding, running a stop sign, traffic signal, etc.); unpaid parking tickets; assault; shoplifting; prostitution; indecent exposure; and trespassing. The court also handles Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment.
While your case is proceeding through the court system, please observe the following standards:
- No weapons are permitted in the Phoenix Municipal Courthouse.
- Sit quietly in the courtroom whenever court is in session. The proceedings are being taped and background noise may interfere with the quality of the taped record.
- Reading newspapers in the courtroom, particularly if this causes a distraction, generally is not allowed.
- When addressing the Hearing Officer or Judge, stand a few feet back from the bench. Do not lean on the bench.
- No food, drink or gum chewing is allowed in the courtroom.
- Smoking is prohibited by law in all areas of government buildings. When you are free to leave the courtroom, you will find smoking areas available outside the court building.
- Avoid bringing small children to court. If you must, please monitor their behavior so that they remain quiet at all times. Parents may be asked to leave the courtroom if their child becomes noisy or unruly.
- Please wear suitable clothing to court. It is inappropriate to enter the court unless you are wearing a shirt and shoes. T-shirts that carry offensive slogans or pictures are not allowed. Hats should be removed before entering a courtroom.
- Under some circumstances, a defendant may be booked into jail immediately after a court appearance. In such cases, provision should be made in advance for care of children.
Citizens entering the Municipal Court are subject to security screening, including the following:
- passing through a metal detector;
- having handbags and briefcases x-rayed;
- and, if necessary, being checked by a hand held metal detector.
Cell phones, pagers and packages of any kind are also subject to inspection.
Weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited. If weapons are brought to the Courthouse, you will be asked to remove them from the building.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following:
- guns, ammunition and explosive materials,
- swords, utility blades, knives, razor knives and razor blades,
- pepper spray and mace,
- illegal substances, including illegal drugs,
- and any type of dangerous or hazardous property or material.
Food items and drinks, other than water, are also prohibited from being brought into the court. For a more detailed list of prohibited items you may contact the court security office at (602) 495-0171.
State of Arizona Motor Vehicle Division
The Phoenix Municipal Court has an MVD satellite office on the first floor. Transactions at this MVD office are limited to Drivers Licenses only, that are related to a current Phoenix Municipal Court case.
For full service MVD information, visit their Web site.
The Phoenix Municipal Courthouse was opened to the public on December 27, 1999. It was designed and constructed to provide attractive, comfortable, efficient space with the flexibility to meet the city's future criminal justice needs. The Courthouse houses 590 employees who work in the Municipal Court, Prosecutor's Office, Public Defender and Police Department.
The construction of the new courthouse was authorized by the City Council in December 1995, with a fall 1999 completion date. In conjunction with the construction of the courthouse, the project included the structural and exterior renovation of the historic Walker Building on the same site. The total project budget of approximately $77.8 million was funded with city of Phoenix Civic Improvement Corporation Excise Tax Revenue Bonds and 1988 Historic Preservation General Obligation Bonds.
An estimated $900,000 in construction costs were avoided by connecting the courthouse to the City's underground chiller system that now serves 6 downtown buildings. An estimated $90,000 in annual electricity costs were also saved by this approach to cooling.
Courthouse Facility Facts
- 375,000 gross square feet; 330,000 net square feet
- nine stories plus a basement
- 161 feet tall
- structure contains 3,700 tons (7.4 million pounds) of steel
- 38 courtrooms
- Systems furniture is used by 75 percent of employees in the building
- Heavily landscaped public plaza space of one acre
- Building cost of $136 per net square foot, including tenant improvements
Daniel, Manning, Johnson and Mendenhall in association with Helmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, and The Omni Group
Joe E. Woods