Arizona Office of Constable

In Arizona, the office of constable is a legislative creation. A.R.S. 22-102 (2002); Barrows v. Garvey, 67 Ariz. 202, 204, 193 P.2d 913, 914 (1948). Although the Arizona Constitution requires a constable's salary to be fixed and definite, Ariz. Const. art. 22, 17, it is the Legislature that has established the qualifications for holding the office, A.R.S. 11-402 (2001), construed in Nicol v. Superior Court, 106 Ariz. 208, 209, 473 P.2d 455, 456 (1970), its term, A.R.S. 22-102, and its duties, A.R.S. 22-131(A). These duties require constables to attend the justice courts and to serve process directed or delivered to them by the justices of the peace. A.R.S. 22-131(A). Historically, the office of constable has been linked with the office of sheriff. Op. Ariz. Att'y Gen. I84-167, at 3 n.3; 80 C.J.S. Sheriffs & Constables 20 (2000). The Legislature has recognized the connection between these offices as it has directed "the provisions of law relating to sheriffs, as far as applicable, shall govern the powers, duties and liabilities of constables." A.R.S. 22-131(D). The Legislature did not leave the duties of a constable unsupervised. The Legislature provided, in the last sentence of A.R.S. 22-131(A), that "in addition to any other provision of law these duties may be enforced by the presiding judge of the superior court in the county, including the use of the power of contempt."