Assigned to JUD FOR COMMITTEE

 


 

 

 


ARIZONA STATE SENATE

Fifty-Sixth Legislature, First Regular Session

 

FACT SHEET FOR S.B. 1005

 

unjustified actions; parental rights

Purpose

Prohibits a court from granting attorney fees, expenses or damages to a governmental entity or official for a claim or defense asserted pursuant to a parent's ability to bring suit against the governmental entity or official on the grounds that the entity or official interfered with their right to direct the upbringing of their child.

Background

Statute prohibits a governmental entity or official from interfering with or usurping the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, heath care and mental health of the parent's children. A parent may bring suit against a governmental entity or official that violates this prohibition as either a claim or defense, in which case the governmental entity or official has the burden of proof to demonstrate that the interference is essential to accomplish a compelling government interest of the highest order, and that the method of interference or usurpation used by the government is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by less restrictive means (A.R.S. 1-602).

In any civil action commenced or appealed in a court of record in Arizona, the court must assess reasonable attorney fees, expenses and, at the court's discretion, double damages not exceeding $5,000 against an attorney or party if it is found that the attorney or party: 1) has brought or defended a claim without substantial justification; 2) has brought or defended a claim solely or primarily for delay or harassment; 3) unreasonably expands or delays the proceeding; or 4) engages in abuse of discovery (A.R.S. 12-349).

There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.

Provisions

1.   Prohibits a court from granting attorney fees, expenses or damages to a governmental entity or official for a claim or defense asserted pursuant to a parent's ability to bring suit against the governmental entity or official on the grounds that the entity or official interfered with their right to direct the upbringing, education, health care or mental health of their child.

2.   Specifies that the court may assess reasonable attorney fees, expenses and double damages as outlined if the court finds that the action brought by a parent meets the criteria for being unjustified action.

3.   Becomes effective on the general effective date.

Prepared by Senate Research

January 17, 2023

ZD/sr