Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Monique B. v. Duncan

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

September 18, 2018

MONIQUE B. and DONALD B., a married couple, Petitioners,
v.
THE HONORABLE SALLY S. DUNCAN, Judge of the SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA, in and for the County of MARICOPA, Respondent Judge, THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY; CATHY L.; S.B., minor child in Maricopa county juvenile action JD 33658, Real Parties in Interest.

          Petition for Special Action from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD33658 The Honorable Sally Schneider Duncan, Judge.

          Edward D. Johnson, Peoria Counsel for Petitioners

          Arizona Attorney General's Office, Tucson By Dawn R. Williams Counsel for Real Party in Interest Department of Child Safety

          Robert D. Rosanelli, Phoenix Counsel for Real Party in Interest, Minor Child S.B.

          Maricopa County Office of Legal Defender, Phoenix By Margaret Williams Counsel for Real Party in Interest, Mother Cathy L.

          Chief Judge Samuel A. Thumma delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Judge Randall M. Howe and Judge Kenton D. Jones joined.

          OPINION

          THUMMA, CHIEF JUDGE.

         ¶1 In 2017, the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County entered dependency, termination of parental rights and adoption orders for S.B., a young child. In 2018, the Arizona Superior Court learned that, in 2016, an Alabama state court had issued a valid child custody order for S.B. that remained in place. After learning Alabama retained exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over S.B., the Arizona Superior Court vacated the dependency, termination and adoption orders for lack of jurisdiction. Petitioners, S.B.'s paternal grandparents Monique and Donald B., seek special action relief from the ruling vacating those orders. For the following reasons, this court accepts jurisdiction but denies relief.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2 S.B. was born in Alabama in March 2013 to Cathy L. (Mother) and Jacob B. (Father). In 2014, Mother filed a custody petition in Alabama state court. Also in 2014, Father and S.B. moved to Arizona to live with Petitioners. In August 2016, the Alabama court awarded Father sole custody of S.B.

         ¶3 In January 2017, Father died in a traffic accident. That same month, the Department of Child Safety (DCS) filed a dependency petition in Arizona Superior Court, alleging abandonment by Mother. S.B. was placed with Petitioners, where she has remained ever since.

         ¶4 Attempts to locate Mother were unsuccessful. DCS reported that "in March 2017, she relocated to . . . Tennessee" but could not be found. Also in March 2017, S.B.'s Guardian Ad Litem filed a petition to terminate Mother's parental rights alleging abandonment. After service by publication, S.B. was found dependent as to Mother in April 2017 and Mother's parental rights to S.B. were terminated in June 2017. Petitioners then filed a petition to adopt S.B. In November 2017, the Arizona Superior Court granted the adoption petition and dismissed the dependency.

         ¶5 Meanwhile, in November 2017, Mother filed a petition with the Alabama court seeking to modify that court's August 2016 custody order, noting she "recently learned that the Father is deceased." In December 2017, the Alabama court awarded Mother sole custody of S.B. At about this same time, Mother also contacted the Arizona Superior Court.

         ¶6 In January 2018, the Arizona Superior Court made a factual finding that Mother "is a resident of Tennessee," but was not asked to address and did not address the Alabama court's exclusive, continuing jurisdiction based on the August 2016 custody order. Later in January 2018, Mother asked the Arizona Superior Court to set aside the order granting the adoption and the order terminating her parental rights, asserting that ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.