The Latest: Ruling: No do-over but tardy parent can testify
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a court ruling on parental rights (all times local):
An Arizona Supreme Court ruling says people late for hearings on termination of their parental rights can still participate once they arrive but aren’t entitled to a do-over of what’s already taken place.
The decision Friday interprets the rights of late-arriving parents under an Arizona law that says parents who fail to appear for severance hearings can be ruled to have waived their rights and admitted the allegations against them.
The ruling says a late-arriving parent may testify, present evidence and otherwise participate but has no right to have witnesses testify and be questioned again or to have evidence presented a second time.
The ruling upholds a judge’s severance of parental rights of a mother who arrived 44 minutes for a hearing.
The Arizona Supreme Court is expected to rule Friday on whether a mother’s tardiness for a hearing on severing her parental rights meant she waived some of her rights.
The justices agreed last October to review a state Court of Appeals decision that overturned a judge’s severance of the mother’s parental rights.
The judge ruled that the woman couldn’t testify and that her lawyer couldn’t address some issues because the woman arrived 25 minutes after the hearing started.
Arizona law says parents who skip hearings can be deemed to have waived their rights and admitted allegations in severance petitions.
However, the appeals court said being tardy isn’t the same as not appearing and that the restrictions placed on the woman and her lawyer violated her constitutional rights to due process.