Goldman v. Kautz

In Goldman v. Kautz, 111 Ariz. 431, 432, 531 P.2d 1138, 1139 (1975), the defendant was charged with a misdemeanor assault and battery in a criminal justice court proceeding. He alleged that he was entitled by the terms of A.R.S. 22-320 to a trial by jury if he demanded one. A.R.S. 22-320, which governs trial procedures in justice courts, states "a trial by jury shall be had if demanded by either the state or defendant...." Goldman argued that this language gave any criminal defendant in a justice court proceeding the statutory right to a jury trial on the charges regardless of whether he was otherwise entitled to a jury trial. Goldman, 111 Ariz. at 432, 531 P.2d at 1139. The supreme court, however, rejected Goldman's contentions and observed that the statute was a procedural one that did not, in and of itself, grant a right to a jury trial where one did not otherwise exist: We do not think the quoted section grants a substantive right, but, rather, was intended to be procedural and must be read as meaning that a trial by jury shall be had if demanded in cases where a jury trial is appropriate. If the Legislature intended to grant a jury trial in every case, it would have no doubt said so in plain, explicit language. Id.