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Arizona ruling limits judges’ options in juvenile cases

PHOENIX — An Arizona court ruling said judges can’t continue cases on
their own on new grounds after deciding that there isn’t enough evidence to
remove a child from a home because of the original allegations of abuse or

The Court of Appeals ruling overturns a judge’s decision to amend a dependency
petition after ruling that state officials didn’t prove a mother physically
abused her 11-year-old son.

The Maricopa County Superior Court judge had ruled that there was a
“substantial disconnect” between the mother and the son that warranted
removing the son from the mother’s home.

However, the Court of Appeals said doing that violated the mother’s right to
due-process of law in a proceeding that decides whether she could remain a
parent to her own child.


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