Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated Currentness
Title 8. Children
Chapter 10. Dependent Children
Article 5. Permanent Guardianship

§ 8-872. Permanent guardianship; procedure

A. Any party to a dependency proceeding may file a motion for permanent guardianship. The motion shall be verified by the person who files the motion and shall include the following:

1. The name, sex, residence and date and place of birth of the child.

2. The facts and circumstances supporting the grounds for permanent guardianship.

3. The name and address of the prospective guardian and a statement that the prospective guardian agrees to accept the duties and responsibilities of guardianship.

4. The basis for the court's jurisdiction.

5. The relationship of the child to the prospective guardian.

6. Whether the child is subject to the federal Indian child welfare act of 1978 (P.L. 95-608; 92 Stat. 3069; 25 United States Code §§ 1901 through 1963) and if so:

(a) The tribal affiliations of the child's parents.

(b) The specific actions the person who files the motion has taken to notify the parents' tribes and the results of those contacts, including the names, addresses, titles and telephone numbers of the persons contacted. The person shall attach to the motion as exhibits any correspondence with the tribes.

(c) The specific efforts that were made to comply with the placement preferences under the federal Indian child welfare act of 1978 or the placement preferences of the appropriate Indian tribes.

7. The name, address, marital status and date of birth of the birth parents, if known.

B. The person who files the motion shall serve notice of the hearing and a copy of the motion on all parties as prescribed in rule 5(c) of the Arizona rules of civil procedure, including any person who has filed a petition to adopt or who has physical custody pursuant to a court order in a foster-adoptive placement. In addition to the requirements of rule 5(c) of the Arizona rules of civil procedure, the notice shall be sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to any parent, Indian custodian and tribe of an Indian child as defined by the federal Indian child welfare act of 1978 (25 United States Code § 1903).

C. The person who files the motion shall provide a copy of the notice of hearing to the following persons if the person has not been served pursuant to subsection B of this section:

1. The child's current physical custodian.

2. Any foster parent with whom the child has resided within six months before the date of the hearing.

3. The prospective guardian if the guardian is not the current physical custodian.

4. Any other person the court orders to be provided notice.

D. In a proceeding for permanent guardianship, on the request of a parent, the court shall appoint counsel for any parent found to be indigent if the parent is not already represented by counsel. The court may also appoint one for the child if a guardian ad litem has not already been appointed.

E. Before a final hearing, the division, the agency or a person designated as an officer of the court shall conduct an investigation addressing the factors set forth in § 8-871, whether the prospective permanent guardian or guardians are fit and proper persons to become permanent guardians and whether the best interests of the child would be served by granting the permanent guardianship. The findings of this investigation shall be set forth in a written report provided to the court and all parties before the hearing. The court may require additional investigation if it finds that the welfare of the child will be served or if additional information is necessary to make an appropriate decision regarding the permanent guardianship. The court may charge a reasonable fee for this investigation pursuant to § 8-133, if performed by an officer of the court.

F. The person who files the motion has the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence. In any proceeding involving a child who is subject to the federal Indian child welfare act of 1978, the person who files the motion has the burden of proof by beyond a reasonable doubt.

G. A court order vesting permanent guardianship with an individual divests the birth or adoptive parent of legal custody of or guardianship for the child but does not terminate the parent's rights. A court order for permanent guardianship does not affect the child's inheritance rights from and through the child's birth or adoptive parents.

H. On finding that grounds exist for a permanent guardianship, the court may incorporate into the final order provisions for visitation with the natural parents, siblings or other relatives of the child if this order would be in the child's best interests and any other provision that is necessary to rehabilitate the child or to provide for the child's continuing safety and well-being. The court may order a parent to contribute to the support of the child to the extent it finds the parent is able.

I. On the entry of the order establishing a permanent guardianship, the dependency action shall be dismissed. If the child was in the legal custody of the division during the dependency, the court may order the division to conduct the investigation and prepare the report for the first report and review hearing. The court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce its final order of permanent guardianship. The court shall cause a report and review to be held within one year following the entry of the final order and may set such other and further proceedings as may be in the best interests of the child. Before a report and review hearing, the court may cause an investigation to be conducted of the facts and circumstances surrounding the welfare and best interests of the child and a written report to be filed with the court. The court may charge a reasonable fee for this investigation pursuant to § 8-133, if performed by an officer of the court.

J. The division or agency shall not be responsible for the requirements pursuant to subsections E, H and I of this section for a motion concerning a child not in the care, custody and control of the division or agency.

K. The court shall provide the guardian with written notice of the sibling information exchange program established pursuant to § 8-543.

CREDIT(S)

Added as § 8-525.01 by Laws 1994, Ch. 335, § 3. Amended by Laws 1997, Ch. 169, § 2. Renumbered as § 8-872 and amended by Laws 1999, Ch. 81, §§ 4, 21; Laws 2000, Ch. 369, § 16; Laws 2007, Ch. 72, § 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Laws 1999, Ch. 81, § 23, provides:

"Sec. 23. Applicability

"Section 8-872, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by this act, applies to actions to establish a permanent guardianship filed on or after the effective date of this act. Section 8-525.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, as in effect before the effective date of this act, applies to actions to establish permanent guardianship filed before the effective date of this act."

Laws 2007, Ch. 72, § 7, provides:

"Sec. 7. Effective date

"This act is effective from and after December 31, 2007."

A. R. S. § 8-872, AZ ST § 8-872

Current through the Second Regular Session and Ninth Special Session of        
the Forty-Ninth Legislature (2010).                                     .      

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