Department of Revenue v. Southern Union Gas Co

In Department of Revenue v. Southern Union Gas Co., 119 Ariz. 512, 582 P.2d 158 (1978), the Arizona Supreme Court addressed "the legal consequence for noncompliance" with a statute providing that the trial court "shall" hear a case within ninety days of docketing. 119 Ariz. at 513, 582 P.2d at 159. The court started with the "general proposition" that "statutes may be classified as either mandatory or directory." Id. It recognized that, when a mandatory statute is not followed, the proceedings to which it relates are void, while the failure to follow a directory statute has "no invalidating consequence." Id. at 513-14, 582 P.2d at 159-60. The court concluded that the statute, "while couched in obligatory language," was directory based on its "effect and consequences" and that the failure to comply did not require dismissal. Id. at 514, 582 P.2d at 160.