In early May, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel issued Administrative Order 2020-75, updated and replaced by Administrative Order 2020-79, providing Arizona’s courts and the public with direction on returning to in-court operations after limited operations in response to COVID-19. The Order includes direction for in-person proceedings, empaneling juries, limiting access to courthouses and courtrooms, implementing social distancing, and using technology to continue court operations. Similar restrictions are in place in the Yavapai County Superior Court.
Until the courts can allow in-person access for all non-parties and spectators to court proceedings, and pursuant to Arizona Supreme Court’s Administrative Orders 2020-75 and 2020-79, all Superior Courts in Arizona shall provide public access to civil and criminal court proceedings by use of electronic means commencing July 1, 2020.
Therefore, commencing July 1, 2020, the Yavapai County Superior Court will provide livestreaming audio of civil and criminal proceedings typically open to the public through Zoom and YouTube; however, the audio will be available on the YouTube channel until start of business the following day and will not be accessible through YouTube again thereafter. Each criminal or civil Division has its own YouTube channel, the locations of which can be found here (which is apparently not working yet). While the proceedings are being aired live, the official record of the Yavapai County Superior Court remains the Court Reporters’ transcripts or FTR Gold. Copies of audio recordings in which FTR Gold is the record may still be purchased through the Clerk of the Court’s Records Department.
Due to the highly sensitive nature of information shared, the Court will not livestream juvenile, domestic, probate or mental health proceedings, but will consider requests for individuals to view those proceedings in person, if appropriate, as long as social distancing in the courtroom can be maintained.
The Honorable John D. Napper, Associate Presiding Judge of Yavapai County Superior Court stated, “COVID-19 has significantly impacted the operations of the Yavapai County Superior Court. Throughout this pandemic, the Courts have remained open and functioning. The addition of live streaming our criminal and civil courts is an innovative method for ensuring our court proceedings are available to the public.”
For more information, please visit the Yavapai County Superior Court’s website.
See Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-79.The Administrative Office of the Courts maintains a COVID-19 information pageand in Spanish here. With updates posted on the Arizona Supreme Court’s social media outlets, noted below.
To learn more about Arizona’s judicial branch, visit www.azcourts.gov.
Follow us on Twitter: @AZCourts and on Facebook at Facebook.com/ArizonaSupremeCourt.
Please visit the Yavapai Superior Court’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/YavapaiSuperiorCourt.