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Elizabeth R Finn

Judge Pro Tempore

Judge Elizabeth R. Finn has been a judge for thirty seven years, making her the most senior judge in the State of Arizona. She was appointed Presiding Judge of Glendale City Court on March 25, 2003. In this capacity, she has implemented Arizona’s only specialized domestic violence Treatment Court without probation resources, managed over $1.5 million in domestic violence grant awards, implemented a collaborative community Domestic Violence Task Force and championed numerous other causes to address family violence. Recently she implemented a Mental Health Court at Glendale City Court. She has served as Chair of the City of Phoenix Interdisciplinary Committee on Domestic Violence and Chair of the Education Committee as well as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Violence Against Women; past two-term President of the ASU Law School Alumni Association; Past President of the State and County Bar Young Lawyers Sections; Past President of the Arizona Municipal Judges Association; Past President of Valley Leadership and member of the Board; Co-Chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Candlelight Service for 1993 - 1996; Appointed member of the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence 2007 - 2009; Chaired the Governor's Office of Community and Highway Safety DUI Conference for Judges for twenty years; Past Dean of the Judicial College of Arizona; Past Dean of New Judge Orientation, a Supreme Court mandated course for all new limited jurisdiction judges; Official Liaison and served as a Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner Pro Tem for initial jail appearances. She was a founding member and the first Chair of the Supreme Court Committee on the Impact of Domestic Violence and the Courts, the main author of the first Benchbook for Orders of Protection/Injunctions Against Harassment establishing standard policies, procedures and protective order forms for the state and a member of the Supreme Court Domestic Violence Rules Committee.


Her current activities include: Founding member of West Valley Judicial Coalition – an organization comprised of the Presiding Judges and Court Administrators of Peoria, El Mirage, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise and Glendale; Chair of Glendale Criminal Justice Group (CJG) – comprised of city management, Glendale Police Department, Glendale Detention, Glendale Prosecutors Office, representative of public defenders and Court; and founding member and Chair of the Glendale Domestic Violence Taskforce. Judge Finn was appointed by the Chief Justice to the Supreme Court on Limited Jurisdiction Courts and the Commission on Victims in the Courts.  She is a Past Chair of the Executive Board of the American Bar Association Conference of Specialized Court Judges and currently serves as their representative in ABA House of Delegates as well as representing the Conference as editor of the Judicial Division Record, Liaison to the Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary, Committee on Technology and the Professionalism and Ethics Committee. This Conference represents judges at city court and similar levels throughout the United States. It is the largest organization representing judges in the nation.  


Judge Finn was honored in 1998 as the outstanding limited jurisdiction judge in the nation by the American Bar Association awarding her the Franklin Flaschner Award and in 1999 as the outstanding judge in Arizona by the State Bar of Arizona awarding her the James Walsh award. She was named in 2000 one of the outstanding 100 Women and Minority Attorneys in Arizona’s History. In 2002, she was named a recipient of the Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award and Outstanding Woman of the Year in the Public Sector by the YWCA. In March 2003, she was honored for Special Recognition by the ASU Law School Alumni Association. Judge Finn was given an award of Merit with a Proclamation from Governor Jane Hull in 2005 for her work with the Governors Office of Highway Safety for her work in the area of DUI and highway safety. She was presented with an award of merit and a Proclamation from Governor Janet Napolitano in 2008 for her more than 25 years of service with Arizona Phoenix Opportunities Industrialization Center, a community based organization that trains and retrains individuals with job development skills. Judge Finn was named Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers in 2011. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Judicial Excellence Award from the State Bar of Arizona as well as Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.  She was inducted into the Maricopa County Hall of Fame in 2015.