The policy of the Clifton Magistrate Court is to fairly apply the statutory law, as interpreted by the Arizona Supreme Court, and provide the mandated “Due Process” of legal procedures to all parties, without consideration of race, religion, creed, or any other protected category. Further, the court does strive to provide these rights and services in an economical and expeditious manner.

The Clifton Magistrate Court is a “limited jurisdiction” court, meaning that it does not deal in all areas of the law, such as juvenile or felony matters. Rather it’s jurisdiction is limited to cases of  Civil Traffic, Criminal Traffic, and Criminal Misdemeanors occurring within the city limits. The court’s jurisdiction in these cases includes reviewing all events and claims from the first police contact through trial, including handling motions filed by the parties or their attorneys. 

The court handles approximately 150 criminal cases and 500 traffic cases each year. While the court operates a 40-hour work week with full-time staff (Nikki Hammond) Monday through Thursday (closed on Friday), from 0700 to 5:00 pm, the Magistrate position is a part-time position.   All limited jurisdiction court proceedings are supervised by the Administrative Office of the Courts (under the supervision and auditing by the Arizona Supreme Court).

The Clifton Magistrate is Judge Wyatt Palmer, an attorney in good standing with the Arizona Bar – first licensed in 2004. From 2005 through 2010, Judge Palmer served as Clifton’s town prosecutor. In 2011 he was elected to Justice of the Peace in Graham County and still retains that position. After 2011 election he resigned as Clifton’s prosecutor. However, in March of 2019, he was appointed as Clifton’s Magistrate by the Clifton Town Council upon the resignation of John Basteen.

The court is located between Clifton City Hall and Clifton Police Dept, at 510 N. Coronado Blvd., and can be reached by phone, (928) 865-4156 during most business hours.

During COVID-19, a backup phone number for the court is (928) 215-0049

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