Right to a Jury In Arizona Small Claims Court

In Arizona, "small claims court" is a division of the justice court. A.R.S. 22-501 (2002), -502 (2002). Small claims court "has concurrent original jurisdiction with the justice court," inter alia, over civil actions involving claims not exceeding $ 2,500. A.R.S. 22-503(A) (2002). Small claims court procedures are designed to "allow the inexpensive, speedy and informal resolution of small claims." A.R.S. 22-501. There is no right to a jury; matters are decided either by a justice of the peace or by a hearing officer. A.R.S. 22-518 (2002), -516(A) (2002). A justice of the peace need not be a lawyer, Massey v. Bayless, 187 Ariz. 72, 74, 927 P.2d 338, 340 (1996), and the only statutory qualifications of a hearing officer are that he or she "shall be of good moral character and shall be a qualified elector and resident" of the state, A.R.S. 22-506(B) (2002).