Senators Martha McSally and Krysten Sinema introduced bipartisan legislation allowing Arizona federal court proceedings to be held in Flagstaff and Yuma.
Current law allows for court to be held in Globe, Phoenix, Prescott and Tucson and while both Flagstaff and Yuma have federal courthouses, it does not have the statutory authority to allow trials or criminal cases which require district judges. Their bill hopes to change that.
A press release from McSally stated that Arizonans living in and around Flagstaff and Yuma who can be parties, victims or jurors in cases must currently travel long distances for district court proceedings. Both senators underlined the importance of access to the judicial system.
“By expanding federal district court proceedings to Yuma and Flagstaff we increase access to our courts for rural Arizona communities and create jobs,” Sinema said.
Both Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans and Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls applauded the senators for introducing the legislation and both called the legislation “common sense.”
“Flagstaff is the largest city in northern Arizona and, as such, we have a high propensity of lawyers and district cases within our jurisdiction,” Evans said.
Julie Pastrick, president and CEO of the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, said that the judicial need for a bill addressing this topic is vast, and would bright high-wage jobs to the area.
“We are grateful this idea is taking shape, and hope momentum continues to build in Washington,” Pastrick said.