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James P. v. Rebecca V.

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department B

September 19, 2013

JAMES P., Appellant,
v.
REBECCA V., T.P., Appellees

Not for Publication -103(G) Ariz.R.P. Juv.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

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. JS12239 The Honorable Roland J. Steinle, Judge.

Lopez & Associates PLLC Phoenix By Bernard P. Lopez Attorneys for Appellant.

Rebecca V., Appellee Avondale In Propria Persona.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

ANDREW W. GOULD, Judge.

¶1 James P. ("Father") appeals the juvenile court's judgment terminating his parental rights to his minor child, T.P. For the following reasons, we vacate the judgment terminating Father's parental rights and remand for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

Facts and Procedural Background

¶2 On October 12, 2012, Rebecca V., mother of minor child T.P. ("Mother"), filed a petition for termination of parent-child relationship in Maricopa County Juvenile Court against Father.[1]Pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-535(A), the juvenile court issued an order setting an initial hearing on Mother's petition for December 19, 2012. The order directed Mother to serve Father with notice of the date, time and location of the initial hearing.

¶3 Father did not appear at the initial hearing. When the juvenile court asked Mother if she had served Father, Mother stated her efforts to serve Father had been unsuccessful. Based on Mother's statements, which were not under oath, the court granted Mother permission to serve Father by publication.

¶4 On February 27, 2013, Mother filed an affidavit of publication, stating that she had published notice of the initial hearing in The Record Reporter, a publication that is circulated only in Maricopa and Pima Counties. The Record Reporter is not published outside of Arizona.

¶5On February 27, 2013, the court held a hearing regarding severance and Mother's service by publication. Based on Mother's affidavit of publication, the court found that Father had been properly served, and entered a default judgment against Father terminating his parental rights. On March 4, 2013, a final judgment was filed terminating Father's parental rights.

¶6 On March 19, 2013, Father filed a notice of appeal from the court's judgment and a motion to set aside judgment. The court denied Father's motion to set aside the judgment on April 15, 2013; Father, however, has never filed a notice of appeal from this order.[2] We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 8-235(a) and 12-2101(A)(1).

Discussion

ΒΆ7 Father argues that the juvenile court lacked personal jurisdiction to terminate his parental rights because he was not properly served. We agree. Mother's failure to provide an affidavit containing evidence of a due diligence effort to personally serve Father rendered ...


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