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Was my right to due process denied in CPS dependency case?

Tucson, AZ |

In a CPS dependency case in an AZ juvenile court, CPS was asking the judge for a decision on reasonable efforts.They presented no evidence. I asked my attorney if I could say something she told me no. I never got to speak at all and never had a chance to give evidence. The whole hearing lasted less than 3 minutes and that question was about 15 seconds. Is that a violation of my right to due process? I read in some handbook/guidelines for judges and attorneys specifically for this type of decision there should be a hearing specifically for that with both sides having a chance to show evidence. And is there a statute of limitations?

Attorney Answers 2


You need to discuss with your attorney what you need from CPS, what the caseplan says you need, and what they have and haven't provided. Then you and your attorney can discuss asking for a hearing to address reasonable efforts or whether that's appropriate for a report and review. Unfortunately, in many jurisdictions, they stack R&Rs so closely together that the effect is as you describe - and in those situations the client and attorney need to be on the same page as far as ensuring the client is taking advantage of what is offered, and that CPS is offering what they're supposed to.

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If a dependency petition has been filed by the Attorney General's Office on behalf of CPS, then you would have an attorney that will represent you in your dependency case. The purpose of the "reasonable efforts" finding is whether or not CPS has made reasonable efforts to reunify the family by providing the family with appropriate services for their particular case. The Court can address the issue of whether your representation is appropriate and sufficient. If you are unsatisfied with your representation and can afford your own attorney, then I suggest that you consult with one who is familiar with CPS cases and specializes in juvenile law and child welfare.

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