Real Party in Interest and Representation in Court Proceedings
This information sheet is intended to provide guidance concerning which persons may file civil actions, including landlord-tenant actions. It is not a substitute for the applicable law and rules and parties will be held to know the requirements of the law.
Unless a party is a single individual representing him or herself or a corporation meeting specified requirements, the Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court require that representation be by an attorney admitted to practice by the State Bar of Arizona.
A single individual may represent themselves in court. For example, an individual who is the single owner of real property may file and prosecute a landlord-tenant case without an attorney.
Rule 31(a)(4)(C) of the Rules of the Supreme Court allows a corporation to be represented in Justice Court by a non-attorney as long as the non-attorney meets the following four conditions:
- The person is an officer of the corporation, i.e. president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer.
- The corporation has specifically authorized such officer to present it before such courts.
- The representation is not the officer’s primary corporate duty. It has to be incidental or secondary to the other duties relating to the management or operation of the corporation.
- The corporation must be an original party to the agreement or occurrence which gave rise to the cause of action or a first assignee or same and the assignment was not for collection purposes.
A copy of the corporate resolution setting forth the above conditions must be filed in each case.
A non-attorney partner may not represent a partnership. Either all partners must sign all pleadings and appear at all court hearings, or the partnership must be represented by an attorney.
Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
A Limited Liability Company is treated the same as a Corporation
A trustee may not represent a trust.
Complaints filed in non-compliance with the above rules will be dismissed, even if the defendant does not file an answer or appear in court. A party who conducts a case without an attorney is entitled to no more consideration from the court than a party represented by counsel and his held to the same standards expected of a lawyer. Parties desiring more information on this subject should research the law or consult an attorney.