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Arizona Interpleader Actions

This portion of our website is dedicated to providing personal injury lawyers with example documents that may assist in handling personal injury claims The resource center provides exemplar complaints, pleadings, and other documents. The information provided in the center and on this website may not be up-to-date and is not a substitute for original and independent legal work on the part of a qualified lawyer.

If you are the victim of a personal injury matter, please visit our homepage for more information on how Lamber Goodnow attorneys or co-counsel lawyers can assist you without any out-of-pocket cost to you.


What is an Interpleader Complaint?

A Complaint in Interpleader in the personal injury arena is an action typically brought by an insurance carrier, through their defense counsel, when the policy limits of an at-fault driver are not enough to compensate the victims and their lienholders involved in a motor vehicle accident.

It is difficult to settle claims in a traditional way when there are multiple victims and healthcare lienholders and not enough insurance proceeds to go around. Arizona allows the at-fault party’s insurer to proceed with an interpleader action and deposit its policy limits into the court for a determination of an equitable distribution to all interested parties who respond to the Interpleader Complaint.

The main purpose of a Complaint in Interpleader is to identify all potential claimants as defendants, seeing which defendants assert their claim, while the policy limit proceeds are kept safe and on hold with the Court until final distribution. This appears to be the best method to resolve multiple claims in excess of the at-fault party’s policy limits. See McReynolds v. Am. Commerce Ins. Co., 225 Ariz. 125, 235 P.3d 278 (App. 2010).

If you are a Plaintiff in a separate action, or an injured victim who has not yet filed a claim or lawsuit within the statute of limitations period, and have been served with a Complaint in Interpleader, it would likely be in your best interest to hire counsel and timely answer or respond as it may be the only opportunity to obtain any settlement proceeds.


Sample Arizona Interpleader Complaint

Sample Complaint in Interpleader

The link above is an example of an Interpleader Complaint that is brought by an insurance company against all potential victims, lienholders, and medical providers:


Sample Arizona Acceptance and Waiver of Service of Complaint

Sample Defendant’s Acceptance of Service of Complaint

Defendant’s Waiver of Service of Summons

An Acceptance of Service of Complaint is generally used when the Defendant has retained counsel. An Acceptance of Service eliminates the necessity for service of process. An answer or responsive pleading would be due within 20 days for in-state Defendant and 30 days for out-of-state Defendants as outlined on the Summons.

A Waiver of Service of Complaint is generally used when a Defendant is unrepresented as this method of service would allow the victim Defendant to have 60 days to file an answer or responsive pleading.


Sample Arizona Answers to Complaint in Interpleader

Sample Answer to Complaint in Interpleader – Individual

Sample Answer to Complaint in Interpleader – Entity

An Acceptance of Service of Complaint is generally used when the Defendant has retained counsel. An Acceptance of Service eliminates the necessity for service of process. An answer or responsive pleading would be due within 20 days for in-state Defendant and 30 days for out-of-state Defendants as outlined on the Summons.

A Waiver of Service of Complaint is generally used when a Defendant is unrepresented as this method of service would allow the victim Defendant to have 60 days to file an answer or responsive pleading.


How To Obtain A Default Judgment On Non-Responding Parties To Interpleader Complaint

Once all the victim Defendants have been properly served with an Interpleader Complaint, the process of obtaining default judgments on any non-responding Defendants, including victims, medical providers, and lienholders, will begin through a series of filings and motions before any money can be distributed by the Court.

The first step in initiating a default judgment process, is for the Insurance Company Plaintiff to file the following documents:

  • Application for Default Judgment (one for each non-responding party)
  • Affidavit for Default Judgment (one for each non-responding party)

Insurance Company Plaintiff is required to mail a copy of the Application and Affidavit to all counsel and pro se Defendants, which then allows these Defendants an additional (10) ten days to respond to the Interpleader Complaint.

Any party who has not responded in (10) days will be included in the Motion for Default Judgment filed and presented to the Court in a Default Judgment.

Examples of the Application and Affidavit are listed below:


Sample Arizona Applications for Default Judgment

Sample Application for Default Judgment – Personal Service

Sample Application for Default Judgment – Publication


Sample Arizona Applications for Default Judgment

Sample Affidavit for Default Judgment – Publication

After the Application and Affidavit are reviewed by the Judge, the Court will issue Instructions on where to obtain a Civil Default Checklist For Default Judgment Packets that is prepared for the Court’s review.


Required Documents in Default Judgment Packet

  • The first required document to include in the Interpleader Complaint Default Judgment Packet provided to the Court is a Form of Judgment.

An example of that form is provided below:

Sample Form of Judgment

  • The second and third required documents to include in the Interpleader Complaint Default Judgment Packet provided to the Court is an Affidavit of Service of Process and/or Rule 4.2(c) Affidavit both of which are filed with the Court by the Process Server.
  • The fourth and fifth required documents to include in the Interpleader Complaint Default Judgment Packet to the Court is an Affidavit of Service by Publication (prepared by newspaper) and/or an Affidavit in Support of Publication (prepared by process server) in instances where the lawsuit needed to be published. This many not always be applicable.
  • A copy of the Application for Entry of Default
  • A copy of the Affidavit of Default for Entry of Default
  • A Rule 55(b)(1) Motion for Entry of Default Judgment

Sample Arizona Motion for Entry of Default Judgment

Sample Motion for Entry of Default Judgment

Sample Arizona Checklist for Default Judgment – Maricopa County

Sample Checklist for Default Judgment

This sample Civil Cover Sheet can be obtained from the Maricopa County Superior Court website. Since this form is updated regularly, you should check to make sure you have the most current form before using it to file your Arizona Personal Injury Complaint.