What is Veterans Court?
Veterans Court is a problem solving court that focuses on treatment rather than punishment. The Court recognizes that there may be underlying issues that can contribute to legal issues. There are no trials in Veterans Court. The Court, along with the VA and other organizations, work with the veteran to develop a treatment plan designed for their specific needs.
Who is eligible?
All veterans and current military members are eligible to be seen at Tempe Veterans’ Court, regardless of discharge status.
The Tempe Veterans’ Court accepts criminal misdemeanor cases filed in Tempe Municipal Court. A misdemeanor is a minor criminal offense. A few examples of a misdemeanor are disorderly conduct, petty theft or trespass. The veteran, prosecutor and judge must all agree before a case is referred to the Veterans’ Court docket. The Tempe City Prosecutor’s Oﬃce can refuse admission to this Court if admission would violate the law or the interest of justice. If the charge(s) are being challenged, the case will be referred to a non‐Veteran Court docket.
Every treatment program is designed to meet each individual’s needs. The Court recognizes that every person is different and experiences a range of issues associated with service in the military or other life circumstances. By having served our country you are given the opportunity to receive the help you need to attempt to resolve the barrier that is preventing you from living a healthy life. A unique plan is designed for each veteran. The program can be covered by the VA for those who qualify.
What to expect when you arrive at the courthouse
This is the front door of the Tempe Municipal courthouse. The address is 140 E 5th St, Tempe, AZ 85281. It is located 2 blocks east of Mill Avenue. It is in the same building as the police station.
Parking is available directly across the street from the courthouse. The first hour is free and Court staff can stamp your parking pass for an additional free two hours. The Court is conveniently located next to the light rail station.
When you enter the door you will have to go through security.
How to Get to the Courtroom
Take the elevator to the third floor. Once you exit the elevator, you will be in an outside hallway. Go to the door marked Suite 300. Once inside, go to courtroom number 7.
Inside the Courtroom
You will then sign your name and wait for the court session to start.
Where You Will Sit
This is where you will sit while you wait for the judge to call you.
This is where the prosecutor or defense counsel sit.
This is the Jury Box. You may occasionally see a representative from a service provider sitting here.
Judge R. Gregg Maxon presides over the Tempe Veterans’ Court. He served in the Arizona Army National Guard.
The Judge, Veterans Justice Outreach coordinator and various service agencies discuss each Veterans’ Court case and determine a treatment plan specific to each veterans’ needs.
Court Session Begins
At the beginning of the court session, all attendees are asked to state their name and the branch of military served. The Judge will then explain the sequence of events taking place in court and introduces the staff members. The VJO, the Public Defender or other service providers may also meet with you regarding your treatment plan. Each person on the docket will be called individually to speak. The Judge will discuss individual treatment plans and the progress being made. A new court date will be scheduled for a status review of the veteran’s case.
End of Court Session
After you speak with the judge you will schedule your next court date. While time frames vary, participants may be asked to visit once a month if the treatment plan is followed as expected.
Participants who successfully complete all court-ordered programs are awarded a certificate and a challenge coin honoring their hard work and perseverance.
Why Choose Veterans Court?
Veterans Court cases are personalized to meet the participant’s needs as opposed to a traditional docket which is more standardized. The court offers a specialized program that can assist participants with medical conditions, unemployment, lack of education, homelessness, mental health issues and drug or alcohol abuse. The Veterans Court program is designed to expedite access to veteran-specific resources such as benefits and treatment. Veterans are able to utilize the same benefits earned through service.