Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure (ARCP 101-126) provide that in civil cases where the amount in controversy (excluding attorney’s fees, interest, and costs) does not exceed a certain amount, the case must be referred to the FASTAR Pilot Program. In Pima County the jurisdictional limit is $50,000.00.
At the time a complaint is filed, the Plaintiff must file a separate statement with the Court indicating whether the case is subject to the FASTAR program. The case is referred to the FASTAR program when the Defendant files an answer to the complaint. If there is a dispute whether the case qualifies for the FASTAR program, the Court decides after hearing each side’s arguments.
The rules provide for the FASTAR program as a method of getting smaller disputes resolved more quickly and in a less costly manner. A person’s right to a trial by jury, however, is preserved because a Plaintiff may choose either binding arbitration or a fast trial while a Defendant may appeal an unsatisfactory arbitration award. On appeal, the case returns to the trial judge, and it proceeds to a fast trial, either before a jury or the judge.
FASTAR Rules and Supreme Court Administrative Order 2017-116