Trisha A. v. Department of Child safety/l.A./l.A.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA TRISHA A., Appellant, v. DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY, L.A., L.A., Appellees. No. CV-18-0178-PR Filed August 15, 2019 Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County The Honorable Arthur T. Anderson, Judge No. JD529230 AFFIRMED Opinion of the Court of Appeals, Division One 245 Ariz. 24 (App. 2018) VACATED COUNSEL: Sabrina Ayers Fisher, Maricopa County Public Advocate, Suzanne M. Nicholls (argued), Deputy Public Advocate, Mesa, Attorneys for Trisha A. Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General, O.H. Skinner, Solicitor General, Brunn W. Roysden III, Division Chief Counsel, Appeals and Constitutional Litigation Division, JoAnn Falgout (argued), Assistant Attorney General, Phoenix, Attorneys for Department of Child Safety TRISHA A. V. DCS/L.A./L.A. Opinion of the Court JUSTICE LOPEZ authored the opinion of the Court, in which CHIEF JUSTICE BRUTINEL, VICE CHIEF JUSTICE TIMMER, and JUSTICES GOULD, BALES (RETIRED), and PELANDER (RETIRED) joined. JUSTICE BOLICK dissented. JUSTICE LOPEZ, opinion of the Court: ¶1 We consider whether a parent must provide evidence of a “meritorious defense” to succeed on a Rule 46(E) motion to set aside a severance judgment following a Rule 64(C) acceleration of a final adjudication as a result of a missed initial hearing, pretrial conference, or status conference. See Ariz. R.P. Juv. Ct. 46(E) , 64(C). We hold Rule 46(E) requires evidence of a meritorious defense. I. ¶2 Trisha A. (“Mother”) is the mother of two minor children. On September 9, 2015, Mother was hospitalized for substance abuse treatment for heroin and methamphetamine use. Four days later, Mother left the hospital against medical advice without completing the treatment program. That day, the Department of Child Safety (“DCS”) took custody of her two children, placed them with their maternal grandmother, and filed a dependency action, alleging the children were dependent due to Mother’s substance abuse and neglect. On September 22, over Mother’s objection, the juvenile court found the children dependent. ¶3 Over the next eleven months, DCS offered Mother services to help her achieve sobriety and to reunify her with her children, including substance abuse testing and treatment, parent-aide services, and visitation with the children. However, Mother shunned the substance abuse testing and treatment, failed to achieve sobriety, missed most of the parent-aide sessions and many visits with her children, and failed to maintain contact with the DCS case manager. ¶4 On August 3, 2016, nearly a year after the dependency determination, DCS filed a petition to sever Mother’s parental rights on the grounds of abandonment, substance abuse, and out-of-home placement. See A.R.S. § 8-533(B)(1), (3), (8)(a). As part of the proceedings, Mother received and signed a “Notice of Parental Termination Action,” notifying her that failure to appear at certain proceedings could result in the court finding she had waived her legal rights and admitted the grounds against her and proceeding in her absence with a final termination adjudication hearing. 2 TRISHA A. V. DCS/L.A./L.A. Opinion of the Court ¶5 Mother appeared at her initial severance hearing and initial mediation but, despite notice, failed to appear for ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals