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June 2024

Stay of Judgment in Arizona - Gottlieb Law

What Is a Stay of Judgment, a Preliminary Injunction, and the Effects of a Judgment: Implications for Arizona Property Owners

What Is a Stay of Judgment, a Preliminary Injunction, and the Effects of a Judgment: Implications for Arizona Property Owners 2091 1394 Gottlieb Law

A stay of judgment, often pivotal during an appeal or trial court proceedings, suspends judicial action temporarily, granting both parties time to breathe and strategize. This legal maneuver’s implications ripple through various facets of property law, affecting eviction judgments, injunctions, and the execution of judgments. Given its significance, grasping what is a stay of judgment, its application, and its impact can empower property owners to safeguard their interests effectively.

What is a Stay of Judgment?

A stay of judgment is a court order that temporarily halts the enforcement or execution of a court’s judgment or decision. This legal mechanism is often sought by a party who intends to appeal the judgment, providing them with time to challenge the decision without facing immediate consequences, such as payment of damages or enforcement actions. The stay prevents the winning party from taking steps to collect on the judgment while the appeal is pending, thereby preserving the status quo until the higher court resolves the appeal. To obtain a stay of judgment, the requesting party typically needs to demonstrate that there is a substantial issue to be resolved on appeal and that they would suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted. A supersedeas bond likely will need to be posted as well.

Definition and Basics

A stay of judgment in the context of Arizona property law refers to a legal pause that halts the enforcement of a court judgment temporarily. This is crucial in scenarios where the judgment debtor seeks to appeal the decision or needs time to comply with the judgment’s terms. For example, according to Rule 62 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, the enforcement of a judgment is typically paused for 15 days following its entry. This provides a brief period during which affected parties can take necessary actions to secure a longer stay by posting a bond or other security.

Legal Implications

The legal implications of a stay of judgment are significant as they affect both the judgment creditor and the debtor. For instance, when real property is involved, a judgment establishes a lien on the debtor’s property in the county where it is recorded. This lien lasts for ten years unless the judgment is satisfied or discharged sooner. During a stay, any sale of homestead property subject to a judgment lien must first settle the homestead exemption and any superior liens before paying the judgment creditor. This ensures that the debtor’s primary residence is somewhat protected under state law, highlighting the balance between creditor rights and debtor protection.

What’s more, specific rules apply when the state or its agencies are judgment debtors. Monetary judgments against these entities are automatically stayed upon appeal, reflecting the state’s sovereign immunity and the public interest in preventing the immediate disruption of government functions. This automatic stay underscores the unique position of the state compared to private parties in legal disputes.

A Stay of Proceedings or Preliminary Injunction Is Also Commonly Sought in Real Estate Cases Before a Judgment is Entered

Litigation in real estate can be a complex and drawn-out process, often necessitating immediate action to prevent ongoing harm while awaiting trial. This section explores the critical reasons for requesting a stay in real estate cases of certain actions, even before a judgment is entered, focusing on the preservation of the status quo and the prevention of potential irreparable harm.

Potential Irreparable Harm

  • Immediate Relief Needs: During litigation, even before a judgment is entered, there may arise situations where one party could suffer irreversible damage as the case progresses slowly through the court system. Temporary restraining orders (TROs) and preliminary injunctions serve as legal mechanisms to halt the adverse actions of the opposing party, providing immediate relief and protection.  A common example where a TRO might be entered is where a trustee is about to carry out a wrongful trustee’s sale of real property.
  • Protection from Business Harm: A common scenario involves a competitor unlawfully acquiring and utilizing confidential and proprietary information to steal clients and establish a competing business. Without the imposition of a TRO or preliminary injunction, the offending business could continue its harmful activities, potentially leading to the victim’s business downfall or significant financial losses.
  • Assessment of Damage Beyond Monetary Compensation: The party seeking a TRO or preliminary injunction must demonstrate that the harm they face cannot be adequately compensated with monetary damages alone. Judges evaluate the likelihood of the alleged injuries occurring and whether the harm is truly irreparable.

Preserving the Status Quo

  • Notice and Duration: The issuance of a TRO or preliminary injunction requires notice to the adverse party, except under specific circumstances where immediate and irreparable injury is likely before the opposition can respond. Such orders are temporary, with TROs typically expiring after a set period unless extended by the court for good cause.
  • Judicial Considerations: In determining whether to issue these orders, courts evaluate various factors, such as the probability of success on the case’s merits, the balance of hardships, and public policy implications. The primary goal is to maintain the status quo until a more thorough examination of the case can be conducted.
  • Types of Injunctions in Arizona: Arizona recognizes four primary injunction types: temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, permanent injunctions, and specific performance. Each serves to command or prevent specific actions.

Requesting a stay in real estate cases through TROs or preliminary injunctions is an essential legal strategy for property owners and business entities seeking to mitigate immediate and ongoing harm. These legal tools offer a lifeline, preserving the status quo and protecting against potential irreparable harm while the litigation process unfolds.

Process of Obtaining a Stay of Judgment in Arizona

In Arizona, securing a stay during legal proceedings involves a systematic approach, ensuring the rights and responsibilities of all parties are considered. This section outlines the essential steps and considerations for obtaining a stay, focusing on formal requests and the necessity of an appeal bond or undertaking.

Formal Request

The initial step in obtaining a stay involves filing a motion with the court. It is important to recognize that simply filing a motion to set aside the judgment does not by itself stop the execution of a judgment or writ of restitution or allow the tenant to stay in the rental unit. This motion is the groundwork for requesting the court’s consideration to pause the enforcement of a judgment, allowing for an appeal or further legal actions.

Appeal Bond or Undertaking

A critical component in the process of obtaining a stay, including in eviction proceedings, is the requirement of a supersedeas bond. This bond, filed with the trial court, serves as a financial guarantee that the tenant will cover the rent due, costs, and attorney fees from the date of judgment until the next rental period, in addition to monthly rent payments to the court during the appeal process. The bond amount fluctuates and is established based on particular criteria pertinent to the case. It’s important to note that this bond cannot be waived or deferred, underscoring its significance in the stay process.

Furthermore, in civil cases, Rule 62 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure outlines the conditions under which execution on a judgment and proceedings to enforce it are generally stayed for 15 days post-judgment entry, unless a bond or other security is posted. This period allows parties to arrange for a longer stay by securing the necessary bond.

For monetary judgments against the State of Arizona or its entities, an automatic stay is applied upon appeal filing, reflecting the state’s unique legal standing. However, for non-monetary judgments, a stay is not automatic and may require court approval without necessitating a bond.

In summary, obtaining a stay in Arizona is a multi-step process that requires the filing of formal requests and, in most cases, the posting of a superseded bond. These measures ensure that all parties have a fair opportunity to appeal or contest judgments while maintaining the legal integrity of the process.

Impact on Property Owners

Understanding the impact of judgments on property owners, particularly in Arizona, requires a deep dive into both the direct effects and financial considerations that come into play. This section aims to elucidate these aspects, providing property owners with the insights they need to navigate the complexities of judgments and their effectiveness:

Direct Effects Regarding Homestead Property

  • Protection of Homestead Property: It is important to note that once a judgment is recorded, the legal framework in Arizona ensures that upon the sale of homestead property, the proceeds are subject to the judgment lien, but the proceeds are also subject to the homestead exemption for the protection of the debtor, which as of January 1, 2023, increased to $400,000, and is expected to continue to increase. This protection is pivotal, safeguarding a portion of the property owner’s assets against claims by judgment creditors.
  • Mechanisms for Lien Extinguishment: The process outlined for extinguishing a judgment lien on homestead property involves notification and potential objection by the judgment creditor. This process provides a clear pathway for property owners to potentially clear their property of liens, under certain conditions, thereby preserving their equity.
  • Refinancing Considerations: When refinancing homestead property, the judgment creditor must be paid in full from the refinancing proceeds before any distribution to the judgment debtor. This requirement underscores the importance of addressing outstanding liens and understanding their impact on refinancing options.

Financial Considerations

  • Impact on Property Transactions: The requirement to satisfy judgment liens from the sale proceeds of homestead property can significantly affect the net proceeds received by sellers. Property owners should be mindful of this possible financial consequence, particularly when planning to sell or transfer their property.
  • Tax Implications: The presence of judgment liens and the process of their satisfaction or release can have tax implications for property owners. For instance, the extinguishment of a lien might affect the calculation of capital gains or other tax liabilities associated with the sale or refinancing of the property.
  • Refinancing and Cash Proceeds: The stipulation that cash proceeds from refinancing must first be used to satisfy judgment liens before any disbursement to the property owner or others highlights the financial implications of existing liens on refinancing efforts. This can influence the availability of funds for property upgrades, debt consolidation, or other financial requirements.

The impact of stays of judgment and judgments in general on Arizona property owners spans both direct effects on property rights and transactions, as well as broader financial considerations related to liens, refinancing, and tax implications. Grasping these effects is essential for property owners to manage their assets efficiently and make informed choices when dealing with legal issues.

Protect Your Property Rights with Gottlieb Law

Whether you’re facing eviction, dealing with an injunction, or managing the execution of judgments, Gottlieb Law is here to help. Our team of attorneys understands the intricacies of a stay of judgment and the profound impact on property management and ownership rights.

At Gottlieb Law, we offer:

  • Legal Advice: Our knowledgeable attorneys provide clear and comprehensive guidance on the process of obtaining and managing stay of judgment.
  • Tailored Solutions: We develop customized strategies to meet your specific needs, whether you’re seeking to stay an eviction, appeal a judgment, or handle injunctions and liens.

Protect your assets and secure your property rights with the support of Gottlieb Law. Reach out to us now by calling 602-899-8188 or use our contact us page to schedule an initial consultation and discover how we can assist you in adeptly navigating stay of judgment and other legal aspects of real estate law in Arizona.

Gottlieb Law, PLC provides this article for information purposes only and nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship.  You should not take any actions in reliance on any of the information contained herein without consulting with qualified legal counsel first and reading this article is not a proper substitute for seeking legal advice of your specific situation.


Landlord ADA Compliance in Arizona - Gottlieb Law

Landlord ADA Compliance: Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act in Arizona

Landlord ADA Compliance: Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act in Arizona 1915 1277 Gottlieb Law

In Arizona, landlords must navigate the intricacies of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure they provide accessible living spaces and avoid discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Since the ADA’s inception, its scope to facilitate equal opportunities in housing and public accommodations has become a vital legal obligation. What’s more, amendments made in 2008 further widened the definition of disability, making it even more important for landlords to meet ADA standards across their properties.

Understanding how to maintain ADA compliance as a landlord in Arizona, means being aware of ADA apartment requirements, ADA regulations, and accessibility standards that are vital for creating ADA compliant housing. Landlords must also be prepared for potential ADA violations and lawsuits by staying informed about reasonable accommodations and fair housing practices. 

Understanding the Basics of the ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a nationwide statute established to safeguard the rights and prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities across various public spheres. The law covers several areas, including, but not limited to, access to public spaces, residential living, transport services, and job opportunities.

Titles of the ADA

The ADA is structured into five titles, each addressing different sectors:

  1. Title I – Employment: Safeguards the rights of individuals with disabilities within the employment sphere, covering all aspects from the job application process and hiring to termination, promotion, remuneration, job training, and other employment terms, conditions, and benefits..
  2. Title II – Public Services: Discrimination against people with disabilities regarding any services, programs, or activities offered by public organizations is strictly prohibited. 
  3. Title III – Public Accommodations: Applies to businesses that are open to the public and requires compliance with non-discrimination policies and adherence to standards for accessible design.
  4. Title IV – Telecommunications: Mandates that telephone companies provide telecommunications relay services to individuals with hearing or speech disabilities at no additional cost.
  5. Title V – Miscellaneous: Provisions included relate to the ADA in its entirety, including its connection to other laws as well as prohibition against coercion and retaliation.

ADA Compliance for Landlords

Titles III pertains to public accommodations. 

This includes:

  • Reasonably amending policies, practices and procedures as necessary to avoid discrimination against those protected under the ADA. 
  • Ensuring newly constructed or redesigned spaces are accessible by people with disabilities. 
  • Removing architectural and communication barriers where readily achievable.

Understanding “Public Accommodation”

For landlords, the term “public accommodation” can include areas of a property such as leasing offices or community rooms. 

It’s important to note that:

  • Public accommodation requirements potentially apply if these spaces are available to people beyond just residents and their guests.
  • The ADA’s accessibility standards require that all new construction and redesigns enable those with disabilities to have access. 

Recognizing Disabilities

Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is characterized as someone who:

  • A significant physical or mental impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  • A pre-existing history to such impairments. 
  • Impairment is perceived and recognized by others. 

Conditions considered as disabilities include, but are not limited to, visual, speech,  hearing and orthopedic impairments, autism, mental illness, epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Remember, the ADA National Network offers resources, technical assistance, and training to help businesses comply with the ADA, and staying informed can protect you from potential violations and lawsuits.

ADA Compliance for Rental Properties

As a landlord in Arizona, it’s crucial to understand the responsibilities regarding ADA and Fair Housing Act compliance for rental properties. 

  • Policy Altered Reasonably: Reasonable exceptions in policy and operations are required to provide individuals with disabilities with the right to equal and fair housing. This may include altering pet policies to accommodate service animals or adjusting parking rules to provide closer access for tenants with mobility impairments.
  • Access-Related Modifications: Tenants with disabilities must be allowed to make reasonable modifications to their private living spaces and common use areas. This includes installing grab bars in bathrooms, ramps for wheelchair access, or visual alert systems for tenants with hearing impairments. While tenants typically bear the financial responsibility for modifications within their private living space, landlords are generally responsible for adjustments in public areas.  In some cases both are legally responsible.
  • New Construction Requirements: For new multifamily housing with four or more units, ensure that the design and construction comply with ADA access standards. This includes accessible entrances, doorways, and facilities that accommodate tenants with disabilities.
  • Avoiding Discrimination: It’s important to never inquire about a tenant’s disability or reject an application based on disability. Always focus on the tenant’s qualifications and the reasonable accommodations they may request.
  • Shared Responsibility: Remember that ADA compliance is a shared responsibility between landlords and tenants. Open communication and clear agreements, preferably in writing, can help delineate who is responsible for specific modifications and avoid potential disputes.

Here are some resources and tips for navigating ADA compliance:

Key Considerations for Landlords or Businesses

For landlords or businesses in Arizona, here are some considerations regarding adhering to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.

1. Understanding Compliance through FAQs

  • The Arizona State ADA Compliance Frequently Asked Questions provide essential guidance. It’s advisable to review these FAQs to understand the specific requirements and expectations, which may apply to business owners in Arizona. They can serve as a quick reference to clarify common concerns and outline steps for maintaining compliance.

2. Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications

  • According to Fair Housing Act guidelines, property owners must provide reasonable accommodations and alterations for residents with disabilities. This encompasses, among other things:
    • Policy Adjustments: For example, altering rules to provide a reserved parking space for a tenant with mobility issues or allowing service animals in no-pet buildings.
    • Physical Changes to Property: Such as affording easy wheelchair access by widening doorways and assisting with mobility by adding grab bars to bathrooms. 

3. Documenting and Communicating Effectively 

Maintain open lines of communication with potential and current tenants regarding accessibility features and accommodate their needs proactively. Document all requests and modifications meticulously to keep records of all compliance efforts. This documentation acts as proof of a landlord’s dedication to adhering to ADA guidelines and can be vital in resolving any conflicts.

4. Fair and Non-Discriminatory Screening Processes

Ensure the tenant screening process focuses solely on an applicant’s ability to meet lease requirements. It’s essential to avoid any form of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Application and tenant screening procedures should be crafted to adhere strictly to fair housing laws.

5. Staff Training on Fair Housing and Disability Awareness

Holding regular training on disability awareness and accommodation and ensuring that property management staff is kept up-to-date on current fair housing laws is pivotal. This not only helps in preventing accidental discrimination but also ensures that management is knowledgeable and prepared to handle requests for accommodations and modifications appropriately.

Navigating ADA Compliance in Arizona

Navigating ADA compliance in Arizona is a critical responsibility for landlords or businesses to ensure equal access and avoid hefty penalties.

Barrier Removal and Access Improvements:

  • Entranceways and aisles must be wide enough to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
  • Eliminate steps leading to building entrances by installing ramps where necessary.
  • Ensure that there are no obstructions to handicapped parking spaces, walks, sidewalks, curb ramps, pedestrian ramps, lobbies, corridors, elevators, and sanitary facilities.
  • Providing an accessible path to all primary functional areas is required when redesigning any property. This not only demonstrates compliance but also a commitment to inclusivity.

Resources and Support:

Resources and Assistance for Landlords

Striving for ADA compliance within Arizona rental properties, it’s imperative to know where to turn for assistance and how to handle any complaints or enforcement issues that may arise. 

Here’s a structured guide to resources and assistance available to landlords in Arizona: 

Filing Complaints and Enforcement:

  • Title III Violations: The filing of complaints under Title III can be done with the Department of Justice.  An attorney should be consulted prior to taking any action. Additionally, private lawsuits are a recourse for enforcement, emphasizing the need for landlords to be vigilant in their compliance efforts.
  • Fair Housing Act: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees the handling of grievances associated with breaches of the Fair Housing Act. Additionally, individuals can enforce the Act through private lawsuits, underscoring the importance of adhering to fair housing norms alongside fulfilling ADA obligations.

Educational Resources and Guides:

  • The DOJ provides a range of publications and guides related to the ADA, which can be invaluable in deepening the understanding of the Act and how it applies to rental properties. These resources offer clarity on complex aspects of compliance and can serve as a reference in decision-making processes.
  • ADA Publications for Businesses are designed to offer information and technical assistance tailored to the needs of businesses, including landlords. These publications are a treasure trove of knowledge, equipping landlords with the tools to ensure that rental properties meet ADA standards.

Technical Assistance and Legal Guidance:

  • For more personalized support, consider reaching out to the real estate attorneys at Gottlieb Law. We have the experience and background needed to formulate a strategy customized for complex situations. 

By leveraging these resources and understanding the proper channels for addressing compliance issues, landlords or businesses can reinforce their commitment to providing accessible housing and accommodations and maintaining a discrimination-free environment.

Final Thoughts 

The ADA plays a crucial role in guaranteeing that all Americans with disabilities receive equitable and fair treatment. For property owners, this translates into a duty to offer suitable modifications for people with disabilities, ensuring compliance with ADA regulations.

Whenever landlords face uncertainties about ADA compliance or seek guidance through the complex legal landscape of the ADA, Gottlieb Law is prepared to offer the necessary assistance. With an experienced team of real estate lawyers, Gottlieb Law ensures landlords can have peace of mind about their property. Contact our firm today at 602-899-8188 or schedule an initial consultation on our Contact Us page.

Gottlieb Law, PLC provides this article for information purposes only and nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship.  You should not take any actions in reliance on any of the information contained herein without consulting with qualified legal counsel first and reading this article is not a proper substitute for seeking legal advice of your specific situation.