Arizona Jury Selection

Jury selection refers to a procedure employed to choose the people from among the community using a reasonably random method to serve on a trial.  When jury calls an action for trial, the clerk shall prepare and deposit in a box ballots containing the names of the jurors summoned.  The clerk shall then draw from the box as many names of jurors as the court directs.  Alternatively, in any court where data processing equipment is used and random selection of trial jurors can be accomplished by such equipment, the court may direct the jury commissioner to cause a list of jurors to be printed, at random, by the use of such equipment and delivered to the court.  The clerk shall then read the names of jurors in the order printed[i].

After the jury selection is completed, the clerk shall make a list and deliver it to the parties for peremptory challenges.  The parties shall exercise their challenges by alternate strikes, beginning with the plaintiff, until the peremptory challenges are exhausted.  Failure of a party to exercise a challenge in turn shall operate as a waiver of remaining challenges but shall not deprive the other party of that other party’s full number of challenges.

The court shall control voir dire and conduct a thorough oral examination of prospective jurors.  Upon the request of any party, the court shall permit that party a reasonable time to conduct a further oral examination of the prospective jurors.  In courts of record, voir dire is conducted on the record unless waived by the parties on the record.  The court may impose reasonable limitations with respect to questions allowed during a party’s examination of the prospective jurors.  The court ensures that the privacy of prospective jurors is reasonably protected. The court may terminate or limit voir dire on grounds of abuse.

A challenge to jurors for cause in civil actions is taken on one or more of the following grounds:

  • Want of any qualifications prescribed by statute to render a person competent as a juror.
  • Standing in the relation of guardian and ward, master and servant, employer and clerk, or principal and agent to either party, or being a member of a family of either party, or a partner in business with either party, or when a surety on a bond or obligation for either party.
  • Having served as a juror or been a witness on a previous trial between the same parties in the same action.
  • Having formed or expressed an unqualified opinion or belief as to the merits of the action
  • The existence of a state of mind evincing enmity or bias for or against either party.
  • The presence of any grounds for disqualification specified in A.RS. 21-211.[ii]

The court may direct that not more than six jurors in addition to the regular jury be called and empanelled to sit as alternate jurors.  Alternate jurors shall be drawn in the same manner, shall have the same qualifications, shall be subject to the same examination and challenges, shall take the same oath, and shall have the same functions, powers, facilities, and privileges as the regular jurors[iii].

[i] Ariz. R. Civ. P. 47 (2009)

[ii] Ariz. R. Civ. P. 47 (2009)

[iii] Ariz. R. Civ. P. 47 (2009)

Inside Arizona Jury Selection