Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Law Library

Arizona Briefs Collection FAQ

Which courts and what types of cases are included in the library's collection of Arizona briefs?

Our print and microform collections are incomplete. Check the library catalog record for holdings by clicking on the type of case below.

             Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One (Phoenix)

Lists are available of briefs held in print form by the library for cases dating from 1995 forward.  These lists are in docket number order and may be accessed by clicking on the links below.

Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One (Phoenix)


Where are the briefs located?

The print briefs are located in the law library basemen in the same room as the Foreign and International collection.  If a reference librarian is available, she can assist you in retrieving the briefs. The print briefs may not be checked out but may be photocopied in the library.

The microfilm briefs are located in Room 118 in the northwest corner of the first floor of the library in cabinets 39–47. The microform rolls may not be checked out, but these briefs can be printed in the library.

Whom do I contact if I am looking for a brief that is not in your collection?

The clerk of each court is the best person to contact.

  • Supreme Court — 602-452-3396
  • Court of Appeals, Division One (Phoenix) — 602-542-4281
  • Court of Appeals, Division Two (Tucson) — 520-628-6954

Do any other libraries' collections have these briefs?

We are the only library with a print briefs collection. The State Library, State Law Library and the University of Arizona Law Library have the briefs in microfilm. Their microfilm coverage is the same as our microfilm coverage.

How soon after a case is decided do you receive the briefs?

We receive the printed briefs on an irregular basis and cannot predict when the next shipment will arrive. We don't receive all briefs.

What are consolidated cases, and how do I find the briefs?

Sometimes several related cases are consolidated into one on appeal. Briefs for these cases have multiple docket numbers listed on their cover (e.g. 98-1003/98-1023). Print briefs for consolidated cases are filed under the docket number listed first. You may find our consolidated docket numbers inventory helpful as a cross-reference guide. On the microfilm rolls, the cases are filmed in the order they are received.

How are the briefs arranged on the microfilm rolls?

Primarily, the briefs are arranged by docket number. To find the docket number of a case, find the opinion in the Arizona Reports or Pacific Reporter. The docket number is listed in the preliminary information at the beginning of the opinion. For recent Arizona Court of Appeals cases, you may also find the docket numbers on the courts' web sites (Division One; Division Two).

Unfortunately, the docket number ranges printed on the microfilm boxes are erratic. For example, Box 1 may show #400–425 on the label but only contain scattered briefs in that docket range. Box 2 may show #415–430 on the label and contain earlier briefs that were not available for filming with Box 1. The docket number ranges on the boxes are meant to be guidelines rather than an accurate range for what is on the film.

What do the various parts of a docket number mean?

Supreme Court:
  • Examples:
    • CR 96-1495
    • HC 97-958

    The CR in the first example tells you that this is a criminal case.
    The HC in the second example tells you that this is a habeas corpus case.

    The complete list of abbreviations is:

    CV or CIV (civil)
    CR (criminal)
    HC (habeas corpus)
    IC (industrial commission)
    MH (mental health)
    CC (corporation commission)
    TX (tax court)
    SA (special action)
    SB (state bar)
    UB (unemployment benefits)

    The 96 in the first example (CR 96-1495) means that this is a 1996 case. The 1495 is the unique number assigned to this case.

  • Prior to 1986, Supreme Court docket numbers did not contain either a case type or year designation, only a unique number that was sometimes followed by an abbreviation; e.g., No. 15948 PR.
Court of Appeals:
  • Examples:
    • 1 CA-CV 95-0587
    • 2 CA-SA 89-338

    1 CA in the first example means Court of Appeals, Division 1 (Phoenix).
    2 CA in the second example means Court of Appeals, Division 2 (Tucson).

    CV in the first example tells you that this is a civil case.
    SA in the second example tells you that this is a special action case.
    For a complete list of abbreviations, see the Supreme Court section above.

    95 in the first example is the year 1995, and 89 in the second example is the year 1989.

    0587 in the first example is the unique number assigned to the case. 338 is the second case's unique number.

  • Prior to 1988, docket numbers did not contain a year designation; e.g., 1 CA-CV 8876.

Updated Dec. 2010.


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