Pinal Justice of the Peace districts changing for 2018

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Pinal County, AZ

FLORENCE, AZ – After a couple of public hearings and much discussion, the Board of Supervisors has voted to reduce Pinal County’s Justice of the Peace Districts for 2018 election.

   The reduction comes after a study found that the Apache Junction Justice Court is nearing critical capacity when it comes to caseload.   Each charge in a case before the court is given a specific number of “Productivity Credits” per the amount of time and effort it takes to handle through the system.  The maximum amount of credits per Justice Court is 1,200.  In 2014-2015, the Apache Junction Justice Court earned 1,180.29 credits, less than 20 away from the maximum.

   In addressing the Board, County Manager Greg Stanley cited Arizona State Revised Statute 22-125 that states:

   “The judicial productivity credits for any justice court precinct shall not exceed twelve hundred credits. If the total judicial productivity credits of a justice court precinct exceed twelve hundred credits, the county board of supervisors shall create sufficient courts, or redraw the justice court precinct boundaries according to section 22-101, in order to reduce the judicial productivity credits for any precinct which exceeds that limit.”

Productivity Credits per Justice Court 2014-2015:

• Apache Junction Justice Court 1,180.29

• Casa Grande Justice Court 678.20

• Eloy Justice Court 330.79

• Maricopa/Stanfield Justice Court 300.08

• Florence/Coolidge Justice Court 203.98

• Oracle Justice Court 123.73

• Superior/Kearny Justice Court 100.19

• Mammoth/San Manuel Justice Court 43.28

  “As you recall,” Stanley said, “1,200 credits is when the board has to either redraw boundaries or add another J.P.”

   The County Manager also addressed workload when it comes to clerks in each of the precincts. By general guideline, the clerks should not have more than 1,000 cases to oversee.  The Apache Junction Justice Court’s clerks case numbers were over the recommended 1,000.

Clerk’s Workload per Justice Court Three Year Average:

• Apache Junction Justice Court 1,489

• Casa Grande Justice Court 990

• Eloy Justice Court 813

• Maricopa/Stanfield Justice Court 806

• Florence/Coolidge Justice Court 674

• Oracle Justice Court 542

• Superior/Kearny Justice Court 384

• Mammoth/San Manuel Justice Court 254

  While addressing the board, the County Manager showed different solutions available to the Supervisors to rectify this problem.  During a work session on this topic in April, Stanley presented a map, drawn by Vice-Chairman Pete Rios, with a set of boundaries that showed the Apache Junction Justice Court split from the San Tan Valley area while eliminating two precincts in eastern Pinal County in order to save money.

   The map Stanley presented, 4.5 shows SaddleBrooke placed in with the Eloy Justice Precinct while Oracle, Mammoth, Kearny/Superior’s Justice Precincts being combined and a roving judge to hear cases in two different areas.

  In April’s work session hearing, a group of SaddleBrooke residents put together a plan for the precinct re-alignment.  County Manager Stanley said those plans were unworkable for various reasons.

  Vice-Chairman Rios worked out an alternative map that would place SaddleBrooke in with the eastern part of the county.  The map’s designation was 4.7.

  “What we are concerned with here today is accessibility to justice,” the Vice-Chairman said.  “That’s what I was looking at in drafting maps 4.5 and 4.7.  Why did I draw those maps?  Because the courts map, 4.4, I really disliked because that map put Mammoth, San Manuel and Oracle with SaddleBrooke, and that was the kiss of death for any candidate running from those areas.  That map also put Kearny, Superior and Queen Valley in with Apache Junction & Gold Canyon, which was the kiss of death for any candidate running from those rural areas as well.  I’ve been taught for a long time, and I have been doing redistricting and reapportionment now since the eighties, that you want to give people an opportunity to vote for a candidate of their choice (regardless of race or ethnicity). Not only is that my phrase, it is also a phrase in the 1965 Voting Rights Act.”

  In Rios’ plan, the Oracle Justice of the Peace court would stay open along with the Kearny or Superior Justice of Peace Court with a judge alternating between the two courts.  The same plan would be in place for the combined Eloy, Coolidge and Florence Justice of the Peace Courts, with both Eloy and Florence JP Courts remaining open.

   After public testimony and an hour of discussion the Board voted 3-2 to adopt Rios’ map 4.7 in the Justice Court realignment to be effective January 1, 2019, which means candidates in 2018 would run under the new adopted district boundaries.

Staff (4246 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Legends of Superior Trail to host celebration

    October 16th, 2017
    by

      The Legends of Superior Trails (LOST) Inc will be hosting a informational meeting and celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 18, […]


    In Your Biz: Untangled Hair by Pamela Peck

    October 16th, 2017
    by

    Since she was nine years old, Pamela Peck knew she would become a cosmetologist.  Each weekend her grandmother would come […]


    Superior town manager addresses ad hoc committee on public safety retirement system

    October 16th, 2017
    by

      Old firefighters never die. They just burn forever in the hearts of the people whose lives they saved.   […]


    Miner swimmers shine at invitational

    October 16th, 2017
    by

      The Miner Swimmers had a busy week with a 4 way meet against Salpointe, Canyon Del Oro, and Desert […]


  • Additional Stories

    Author Thomas Cobb speaks at Acadia Ranch Museum

    October 16th, 2017
    by

      Author Thomas Cobb spoke at the Acadia Ranch Museum on Sunday, Oct. 8.  Cobb spoke about the subject of […]


    Mammoth Elementary STEM School busy with education programs

    October 16th, 2017
    by

      The Mammoth Elementary Stem School was busy this week presenting educational programs for their students.   On Tuesday, Oct. […]


    San Manuel falls in double-OT thriller

    October 16th, 2017
    by

      The now No. 15-ranked San Manuel football team couldn’t convert a game-tying two-point conversion in the second overtime of […]


    Introducing the Hayden Junior High Volleyball Team

    October 16th, 2017
    by

      The Hayden Junior High Volleyball Team traveled to Oracle to play the Mt. Vista Lady Cougars on Monday, Oct. […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger