Arizona Supreme Court to decide if mother's tardiness for hearing waived rights

Posted at 2:19 PM, Oct 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-17 17:19:09-04

Arizona's top court will consider whether a mother's tardiness for a hearing on severing her parental rights meant she skipped it altogether and waived some of her rights.

The Supreme Court said Tuesday it'll review a state Court of Appeals decision that overturned a judge's severance of the mother's parental rights.

The judge ruled that the woman couldn't testify and that her lawyer couldn't address some issues because the woman arrived 25 minutes after the hearing started.

Arizona law says parents who skip hearings can be deemed to have waived their rights and admitted allegations in severance petitions.

However, the appeals court said being tardy isn't the same as not appearing and that the restrictions placed on the woman and her lawyer violated her constitutional rights to due process.