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Anthony W. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 3, 2013

ANTHONY W., Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, K.A., Appellees.

         Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD22885 The Honorable Cari A. Harrison, Judge

Denise L. Carroll Esq., Scottsdale By Denise Lynn Carroll Counsel for Appellant.

Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Nicholas Chapman-Hushek Counsel for Appellees.

Judge Randall M. Howe, presiding, delivered the decision of the Court, in which Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Patricia A. Orozco joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

HOWE, PRESIDING JUDGE

¶1 Anthony W. (Father) appeals the juvenile court's order finding that the Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) met its burden of proving the allegations of its dependency petition relating to K.A., Father's child (Child). For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 Father and Charlene A. (Mother) are Child's unmarried, biological parents. Child lived with Mother from birth until three years of age, when Mother abandoned her.[1] At that point, Father and his girlfriend, Bonita P. (Girlfriend), assumed Child's care. In November 2010, Father was arrested on several felony charges and has been incarcerated since his arrest.

¶3 In light of Father's incarceration and Mother's unknown whereabouts, ADES filed a petition alleging that Child was dependent. Child Protective Services (CPS) recommended that Child remain in Girlfriend's physical custody, with "appropriate medical, social, and educational authorizations." In its petition, ADES reported that Child "feels comfortable in [Girlfriend's] home and has established a routine with [Girlfriend]."

¶4 At a dependency adjudication hearing on June 6, 2013, Father testified that he could not parent Child while in custody. Father also testified that Girlfriend should serve as Child's legal guardian, stating that "as far as I'm concerned, . . . [Girlfriend] is, you know, good enough for [Child]." Girlfriend agreed and testified that she intended to become Child's guardian, but had not yet done so. Mother did not attend the hearing and has not participated in the dependency proceedings. At the close of the hearing, Father's counsel asked the court to find Child dependent.

¶5 The juvenile court found Child was a dependent child committed to the care, custody, and control of ADES. As relevant here, the court noted Father's inability to care for Child as reasons for declaring Child dependent. Finding guardianship by Girlfriend was the appropriate disposition, the court then set an initial guardianship hearing.

¶6 Notwithstanding his request that the court find Child dependent, Father filed a timely notice of ...


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