The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 56th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which convenes in January 2023.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
8-844. Dependency adjudication hearing; settlement conference or mediation
A. Before a contested dependency case proceeds to adjudication, the court shall hold a settlement conference or pretrial conference or shall order mediation. All of the parties in the contested action shall participate in the conference or mediation.
B. The court shall take into consideration as a mitigating factor the availability of reasonable services to the parent or guardian to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child and the effort of the parent or guardian to obtain and participate in these services.
C. If, at the dependency adjudication hearing, the court:
1. Finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the allegations contained in the petition are true, the court shall:
(a) Make the following findings as to each parent:
(i) That the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the person before the court.
(ii) The factual basis for the dependency.
(iii) That the child is dependent.
(b) Conduct a disposition hearing.
2. Does not find by a preponderance of the evidence that the allegations contained in the petition are true, the court shall dismiss the petition.
D. The court may adjudicate a child dependent as to one parent or guardian and proceed with a disposition, review or permanency hearing or any other hearing as to that particular parent or guardian notwithstanding another parent's or guardian’s request to contest the allegations in the petition or that another parent or guardian has not been served.
E. The court may hold the disposition hearing on the same date as the dependency adjudication hearing or at a later date that is not more than thirty days after the date of the dependency adjudication hearing.
F. If a parent does not appear at the pretrial conference, settlement conference or dependency adjudication hearing, the court, after determining that the parent has been instructed as provided in section 8-826, may find that the parent has waived the parent's legal rights and is deemed to have admitted the allegations of the petition by the failure to appear. The court may make a determination of dependency and disposition based on the record and evidence presented as provided in rules prescribed by the supreme court.
G. Evidence considered by the court in making a decision pursuant to this section shall also include any substantiated allegations of abuse or neglect committed in another jurisdiction.