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Kallia S. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department D

June 13, 2013

KALLIA S., Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, K.S., [1] Appellees.

Not for Publication -103(G) Ariz.R.P. Juv. Ct.; Rule 28 ARCAP

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. JD21258 The Honorable Aimee L. Anderson, Judge

Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General By Michael Valenzuela, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic Security.

David W. Bell Attorney for Appellant.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

PATRICIA A. OROZCO, Judge

¶1 Kallia S. (Mother) appeals the juvenile court's dependency order and its order terminating her parent-child relationship with K.S. For the following reasons, we vacate the dependency and severance orders and remand to the juvenile court for additional proceedings consistent with this decision.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶2 Mother is the biological mother of K.S., born in July 2011. In January 2012, K.S.'s maternal grandmother (Grandmother) filed a dependency petition.[2] In the petition, Grandmother alleged that seventeen-year-old Mother (1) ran away from home with K.S., (2) gave K.S. improper baby formula, which nearly resulted in K.S.'s death due to the child's severe allergy to milk and eggs, and (3) jumped out of a window at her boyfriend's house with her boyfriend to escape police and leaving K.S. behind.[3] In light of the allegations in the dependency petition, the juvenile court ordered that K.S. be placed in the temporary physical custody of ADES.

¶3 Grandmother testified that a few days after she filed the dependency petition, Mother left home with her boyfriend and K.S. and failed to return. She stated that she did not know Mother's whereabouts for several months.

¶4 In September 2012, Mother and K.S. were located in Kansas. With the help of Kansas police, the ADES case manager took custody of K.S. At that time, K.S. had multiple bruises on her body, her ear was bleeding and she appeared malnourished. The case manager returned K.S. to Arizona and placed her in the physical custody of Grandmother.

¶5 Mother attended a report and review hearing on October 2, 2012. During the hearing, the court scheduled mediation, a dependency pretrial conference, and an initial severance hearing for November 5, 2012.

¶6 On October 11, 2012, ADES filed a motion to terminate Mother's parental rights to K.S. on the grounds of neglect pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 8-533.B.2 (Supp. 2012) and out-of-home placement of K.S. for a total period of six months or more pursuant to § 8-533.B.8(b).

¶7 On November 5, 2012, Mother failed to appear at the mediation that was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. At 9:40 a.m., Grandmother, who was already at the courthouse, called Mother to find out where she was and to tell her that she needed to be at the courthouse. Mother's case manager also spoke with Mother at that time and told her that transportation had been arranged for her.

ΒΆ8 Mother still had not arrived at 11:00 a.m. when the initial hearing on the motion for termination began. Because Mother's attorney had no explanation for her absence, the juvenile court determined that Mother had failed to appear without good cause shown and found it appropriate to proceed in her absence. The court found K.S. dependent as to Mother and affirmed the custody orders. After hearing the evidence presented, the court also found that severance was ...


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