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Arizona Justice of the Peace Association

 Our Mission Statement:

The Arizona Justice of the Peace Association, for the benefit of its members and the Judicial Branch of Government, seeks the constant improvement and growth of its members through education and fellowship.  The association promotes the highest standards of professionalism while protecting the interest and independence of Justice of the Peace Courts in Arizona.  It is our responsibility to live up to the charge we have been given.  Together, we pledge our solidarity to protect Arizona Courts, to strengthen that which we have been given and to magnify the well regarded reputation of ourselves and others at all times.” 

 "H I S T O R Y"
ARIZONA JUSTICE OF THE PEACE AND CONSTABLE ASSOCIATION It was in the 1940's when the Justices of the Peace and Constables in Arizona met and formed a group and called themselves "ARIZONA JUSTICE OF THE PEACE AND CONSTABLE ASSOCIATION."  By the early 1990's, the Association had become very strong not only monetarily but had gained strength in lobbying judicial issues with their state legislators.  It was then ruled by the Arizona Supreme Court that there needed to be a separation of powers and that the Justices of the Peace and Constables could no longer co-mingle as an association.  Consequently, the association separated immediately dividing the association funds.
The Justices of the Peace quickly formed a new association, named "ARIZONA JUSTICE COURTS ASSOCIATION."  This association established an open policy whereas anybody with the courts could be a member.  This association lasted approximately two years when its members realized that court employee issues were different in all the classifications and terminated this association.
ARIZONA JUSTICE OF THE PEACE ASSOCIATION  In 1996 a new organization was formed called "ARIZONA JUSTICE OF THE PEACE ASSOCIATION."  Membership was limited to Justices of the Peace currently in office.  Hon. Sherry Geisler was the first president  and the key figure in forming this association and keeping it going.  Other than  the bylaw changes in 2004 adding Magistrates and Protems and making officially retired justices honorary members, the association is as it stands today.


2019 Conference Schedule, Materials and Bios

Please note: Class Materials will not be printed this year. They are available as links which you may download to your device. Links are available below the class description on this page. Additionally, for the link to presenter Bio's, click here. 

Click here for Certificate of Attendance

Click here for Evaluation Form

TUESDAY, 9/3/19

3-6 p.m.                      Registration

5-7 p.m.                      President’s Reception

WEDNESDAY, 9/4/19  

9-9:30 a.m.                Opening/Presentation of Colors/Awards &                                     Announcements

9:30-10:30 a.m.         The Road Ahead: Chief Justice Robert Brutinel (Plenary                                     Session)

10:30-10:45 a.m.      BREAK

10:45 a.m.-Noon      Working Smarter Together: Practical tips on team-                                            building and communication within and across our                                     jurisdictions and communities. (Plenary Session)

Noon – 1 p.m.           Lunch

1-2 p.m.                      Hot Topics for Judges: A panel discussion regarding                                     current events that affect our justices of the peace and                                     magistrates, from elections and retentions to                                     consolidation, the closing of courts, specialty courts, and                                     the question as to whether or not justices can hear                                     cases from other jurisdictions.

                                    Presenters: Hon. Don Taylor, Hon. Adam Watters, 

                                    Hon. Elizabeth Finn, Hon. Dorothy Little

                                    Class Materials: Montgomery, Penzone

                                    Performance Reviews: This session will focus on the                                     purpose and fundamentals of an Employee                                     Performance Management System, and participants will                                     be encouraged to compare their current system to                                     those fundamentals. Participants will learn the process                                     of aligning the individual performance goals with                                     organizational objectives.  Further discussions will                                      include the rater biases that unintentionally creep into                                     Employee Performance Management reviews, which                                     can cause legal concerns. Finally, there will be an open                                     discussion on the usefulness of annual performance                                     evaluations, and potential alternatives.

                                    Class Materials: Slides

                                    Presenter: Donna Brown


                                    When the Public Comes Calling: How do we handle                                     records requests? What needs to be redacted? What can                                     be shared, and what can’t? What are best practices to                                     ensure efficiency, accuracy, and compliance? 

                                    Presenters: Jennifer Albright, Aaron Nash 

                                    Class Materials: Slides, Handouts

2-2:15 p.m.                BREAK

2:15-3:15 p.m.           Time Standards: Different standards are used for small                                     claims filings in Maricopa and Pima counties, and in                                     rural courts. Why, and how do we handle it? We’ll also                                     get a report on a new DUI committee’s study relating to                                     time standards.

                                    Presenters: Hon. Keith Russell, Jim Morrow, 

                                    Marretta Mathes, Jerry Landau

                                    Class Materials: Handout

                                    Compliance with Law, with AOC Assistance: We want                                     to keep everyone happy, so what are the best ways to                                     deal with requests, new rules, and procedures? How do                                     we deal most effectively with questions and policies?

                                    Presenters: David Withey, Paul Julien and 

                                    Don Jacobson

                                    Class Materials: Handout, Slides, Links

                                    Interpreting Challenges: What are the requirements                                     for interpreters in our courts? How do we hire, train,                                     and retain credentialed interpreters? How do we                                     comply, particularly in our rural courts, and provide the                                     best possible service to our clients?

                                    Presenters: Hon. Anna Huberman, Dave Svoboda

                                    Class Materials: Handout 1, Handout 2, Handout 3,

                                    Handout 4, Handout 5, Handout 6, Handout 7

                                    Handout 8, Handout 9

3:15-3:30 p.m.           BREAK

3:30-4:30 p.m.           Effective Court Responses for People Suffering                                     from Mental Illness. The vast majority of persons with                                     mental illness first come into contact with the criminal                                     Justice system in justice and municipal courts. This                                     session will provide an update on the work of the                                     Statewide Committee on Mental Health in the Justice                                     System, including proposals for legislative consideration                                     and details about current and potential future areas or                                     work.  The update will also include information on the                                     latest AOC efforts to encourage better coordination                                     around mental health issues at the local level, and time                                     for Q&A.

                                    Preseenter: Kent Batty

                                    Class Materials: Handout, Slides

                                    What’s New and Improved about AJACS?: Most of our                                     courts utilize AJACS for our case-management system,                                     and this session will share updates and changes, take a                                     look at special tricks, and provide the opportunity to ask                                     questions and provide input.

                                    Presenter: Adele May

                                    Surviving Operational Reviews: Record keeping and                                        case-processing deficiencies in a court’s operations can                                     hamper the daily function of the court. Operational                                     reviews are performed by the Administrative Office of                                     the Courts. Courts are routinely cited for not properly                                     reporting dispositions, lack of financial controls, and                                     non-compliance with the Rules of Court. This class will                                     discuss some of those common findings, what you can                                     do to prevent them, and the Operational Review                                     process.

                                    Presenters: Patrick Scott, Lisa Royal

                                    Class Materials: Handout #1Handout #2

4:45-5:45 p.m.          AZ Magistrates Association Meeting

                                    DINNER ON YOUR OWN

THURSDAY, 9/5/19

9-10 a.m.                    New Rules and Points to Ponder: This key session                                     offers a running commentary on new and changed                                     legislative requirements, new court rules, new trends.                                     (Plenary Session) 

                                    Presenter(s): Hon. James Blake, Paul Julien,

                                    Jerry Landau

                                    Class Materials: Case Law Handout, Case Law Slides,

                                    Legislative Handout, Warrant Bond Slides, Link #1

                                    Link #2, Rule 3.2 Handout

10-10:15 a.m             BREAK

10:15-11:45 a.m.      Criminal Justice Reform: The 2018 Arizona Town Hall                                     spent the better part of the year in a focus on Criminal                                     Justice in Arizona, convening meetings throughout the                                     state with hundreds of Arizonans. In November, the                                     Town Hall process developed, during an intensive                                     three day period, a comprehensive recommendation on                                     the subject. Arizona Town Hall reports very often lead to                                     legislative actions. This session will focus on the Final                                     Report and its highlights, and, importantly, on the Town                                     Hall process which brings together a wide cross-section                                     of citizens to zero in on public policy issues. (Plenary                                     Session)

                                    Presenters: Hon. Patricia Norris, Dave Byers, Amy Love,

                                    Tara Jackson, Rep. Walt Blackman

                                    Class Materials: #1 Community Town Halls Final Report,                                      #2 "Criminal Justice in Arizona” statewide Town Hall

                                    Recommendations Report

11:45-1 p.m.              LUNCH

                                    AJPA Board will meet.

1-2 p.m.                      Distracted Driving Concerns: There’s new legislation                                     and mounting concerns, as we know, and there are                                     model programs, like “Road to Zero”. This session will                                     look at the model and how it may be useful in our                                     courts.

                                    Presenters: Hon. Russ Jones, Hon. Barbara Brown,

                                    Hon. Louis Frank Dominguez

                                    Cameras in Court: With Rule 122.2 as a guide, this                                     session will examine how we deal with this question,                                     our responses, county policies on the actual rule, and                                     model policies, including a helpful “cue card”.

                                    Presenters: David Withey, M.J. Abril, Hon. Kyle Bryson, 

                                    Marcus Reinkensmeyer

                                    Class Materials: Handouts

                                    Securing Our Networks: Understanding threats and                                     staying safe on the internet, encrypted messages,                                     common ‘phishIng’ examples.

                                    Presenter: Jared Nishimito

                                    Class Materials: Handout 1, Handout 2

2-2:15 p.m.                BREAK

2:15-3:15 p.m.          Where we are with Court Security: Advances and                                     updates in protecting our courts, resources,                                     opportunities and best practices. 

                                    Presenters: Jennifer Albright, Michael Dzezinski,

                                    Marcus Reinkensmeyer

                                    Class Materials: Handouts, Slides

                                    Risk Assessment/Intimate Partners: The complexities                                     of victim and perpetrator behavior in intimate partner                                     violence cases will be examined, with a discussion of                                     discrete risk markers. An overview will be presented of                                     the Arizona Intimate Partner Risk Assessment                                     Instrument System (APRAIS) currently being adopted                                     across Arizona and elsewhere.

                                    Presenter: Dr. Neil Websdale


                                    Specialty Courts: There’s a comprehensive list of                                     speciality courts that have been developed to provide                                     better services to specific populations. How are they set                                     up, funded, and what results do we see? This session                                     will take a look at a Restitution Court and a Problem                                            Solving Court model.

                                    Presenters: Hon. James Blake, Hon. Kyle Bryson

                                    Class Materials: Slides, Statutes

3:15-3:30 p.m.           BREAK

3:30-4:45 p.m.           Understanding the New OP/Injunctions Process:                                     There are new requirements governing the issuance of                                     these orders, and we need to understand them and                                     how the process will change. The presenters have                                     agreed to set up a demonstration of the new process                                     (Plenary Session)

                                    Presenters: Hon. Elizabeth Finn, Robert Roll,

                                    Michelle Gillich

                                    Class Materials: Handout

4:45-5 p.m.                BREAK

5-7 p.m.                      A Movie, Burgers, Hot Dogs & More: Gabe Goltz                                     introduces a movie designed to make us think. This                                     plenary session helps satisfy the COJET Ethics credit in a                                     relaxed and informal manner. (Plenary Session)

FRIDAY, 9/6/19

9-11 a.m.                    What Did You Think?: We discuss the movie we saw                                     and the range of implications that resulted. This is the                                     completion of the COJET Ethics credit. (Plenary Session)

11-11:15 a.m.            BREAK

11:15-11:45 a.m.      AzJPA Business Meeting

Click here for Presenter Biographies

(You can download Biographies and Class materials to your personal devices from this link. No printed materials will be provided on site.)

Justice of the Peace of the Year; Sherry Geisler Award

Sherry Geisler

Each year a Justice of the Peace is recognized for his or her outstanding service to the Judiciary.
In 2013 the Award name was changed to the Sherry Geisler Award in honor of the late Honorable Sherry Geisler of Round Valley Justice Court.
Judge Geisler began her career as a clerk in 1982 she served  as a pro-tem and began her judicial career in 1993.  When the association split from the partnership with the constables the Az Justice of the Peace Association was born Judge Geisler was the first association president in 1996. Judge Geisler served on numerous committees for the Arizona Supreme Court including the Judicial ethics commission she served as a mentor judge for many years;  she was a true example of the qualities expected for the Justice of the Peace of the year award.

The Honorable Sherry Geisler, Round Valley Justice of the Peace

Honorable Anna Huberman - 2019 Justice of the Peace  of the Year

This year’s recipient for the Justice of the Peace of the Year is Judge Anna Huberman from Maricopa County and was first elected to the bench in 2012. Judge Huberman is the first Justice of the Peace for a newly created precinct, the Country Meadows Justice Court. Judge Huberman also serves as the Presiding Judge for the Southwest Regional Court Center. 

Judge Huberman serves on numerous committees for the State as well as locally for Maricopa County. She has served on the Judicial Conference Planning Committee in 2017 and 2018. She also serves on the board of the Judicial College of Arizona.

As a member of the Commission of Access to Justice she was appointed by Judge Lawrence Winthrop as the chair of the Limited Jurisdiction Self-Represented Litigants Workgroup and has served in that capacity for over two years. The workgroup has studied and analyzed rule change petitions for eviction actions and made recommendations to the Commission. Additionally, the work group just completed an educational product to increase access to justice for self-represented landlords and tenants. The information produced include information sheets, FAQs. glossary, videos, and forms which are available in both English and Spanish. All of this is accessible through the AOC's webpages and the AZCourtHelp website.

Judge Huberman is a presenter or co-presenter for conferences at both the local and state levels, presenting to court staff and judicial officers on subjects such as eviction actions, language access, Spanish for court staff and interpreting challenges. 

Judge Huberman participates in many community activities educating the public on the court system including television/radio in both English and Spanish and also writes articles for newspapers. She volunteers for Make-a-Wish, serving meals to homeless seniors, and educating youth on her judicial position and running for elected office. 

Association Officers

Honorable Dorothy Little


Honorable John Peck

 Vice President

 Honorable Michael Skiles


Honorable Cathy Riggs


Honorable David Widmaier 

Immediate Past President

Honorable Bruce Staggs-Board Member

Honorable Sam Goodman- Board member

Honorable Wyatt Palmer Board member

Honorable David Osterfeld Board member

Honorable Steve Urie Board Member

Honorable Charlene Pesquira Board Member

Honorable Keith Russell Board Member

Board Members not pictured Honorable Barbara Brown, Honorable Donald Roberts,  Honorable Russ Jones, Honorable Gary GriffithHonorable Rob Krombeen


In July 2019, Vice Chief Justice Brutinel will transition to the Chief Justice. Each incoming Chief Justice develops and adopts a "Strategic Agenda", for his or her term. Earlier this year Dave Byers, Administrative Director of the Courts invited the "Association" to submit suggestions to be considered.

The Executive Board was solicited for comments and again for review of the finished product. The submission is the document below for your review.  

2018 Legislative updates for LJ Courts


2019 Conference September 03 through the 6 In PRESCOTT ARIZONA

Annual Business meeting on September 6, 2019 at 11:30A.M.

Governor appoints Justice of the Peace Tim Dickerson to Superior Court in Cochise County




Helpful link to National Judges Association