The Honorable Scott Sulley
...The Honorable Scott Sulley
, Maricopa's Justice of the Peace, serves this community with dedication, knowledge and a determination that everyone is entitled to his
day in court.Sulley came to Maricopa in January 2003.
A longtime Casa Grande resident, he
was elected Justice of the Peace for the Maricopa
/ Stanfield Justice Court three years ago and hasn't taken a real vacation since.In July 2004 he became the City Magistrate.
It's an eight-to-five job for the judge who also comes in most Saturdays."It's quiet then, and I can get a lot done," he
According to Judge Sulley
, court law is threefold - the prosecutors, the defense attorneys and the judge.He was a practicing attorney for 15 years, which helped him prepare for his term in the public arena.He also served as prosecutor for the City of Coolidge.
"I've represented everybody," he
explained. The Honorable Scott Sulley
presides over the Precinct 8 Justice Court.Sulley holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master of business administration degree in addition to his law degree.
A member of the Arizona Bar Association
, the Pinal County Justice
of the Peace Association
, the Administrative Office of the Courts'
Legal Issues Work Group and the New Judge Orientation Committee
is also a mentor to new judges.Locally, he is a member of Maricopa's Rotary International Chapter and the Maricopa Optimists' Club.
justice court, he
hears cases relating to criminal damage, DUI charges, reckless driving and criminal speed, which is over 85 on a highway and 20 miles per hour over the posted speed in a city.Civil traffic problems, like driving without registration or a license, and running a stop sign or red light, also come before him.He
hears open container violations, minors in possession of alcohol and truancy or curfew violators under age 18.Some cases involve orders of protection for harassment or unwanted contact.Justice Court can hear cases up to $10,000 in creditor claims and up to $2,500 in small claims cases.
"The most serious charges are domestic violence and DUIs," stated Sulley
went on to add that there is often damage to other persons or property involved in these cases.
Sulley's wife Glenda has taught at Stanfield Schools
for over 20 years."It's funny," said the judge, "but she
hears the same excuses that I do.Excuses like â€˜I didn't understand,' â€˜no one told me' or â€˜I forgot.'"
"It's really important to do everything consistently, to say the same things to each party," indicated Sulley
."That way you are certain you didn't forget to tell them something they need to know."
Another important aspect of the judgeship is making sure that everybody has notice of proceedings.Until they do, the case cannot be heard."People are entitled to their due process rights," explained Sulley
Many people represent themselves, which may or may not always be a good thing, according to Sulley
.As the judge, he cannot give legal advice, but he can point clients in the direction of qualified legal counsels."Being a judge is like running a small business," said Sulley.
"You have to follow the law, and there are a lot of rules."And like a small business, he
has to assume several tasks.With arraignments, pre-trials and court sessions, Judge Sulley
spends about 30% of his
time actually on the bench."That's the part I like the most," he
The other 70% of his
days are divided between administrative duties and decisions that do not require actual court time, such as default judgments, people not showing up for court dates and follow-ups on fines, counseling, jail time and new court dates.
"We're constantly reviewing and revising procedures," indicated Sulley
.Since there is no room in the courtroom for a clerk, he
uses a recording system and does all the paperwork himself from the bench.Judge Sulley on the bench in his spatially-limited courtroom.
Perhaps the biggest problems for the judge are his
court's facilities.The Justice Court is located between the Maricopa
fire station and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office
in a doublewide mobile home that came to Maricopa in 1984.
Originally the structure was Florence's motor vehicle division office."I met an older gentleman from Florence who remembered it being there when he
was kid," explained Sulley
when someone says, "Here comes the judge," it is the Honorable Scott Sulley
.Area residents know that he
will work diligently to give everyone a fair and impartial hearing in his