next up previous contents index
Next: Shelter Restrictions Up: Arizona Previous: Mature Minor   Contents   Index

Legal Access

Arizona sets out the legal rights given to minors in its statutes, court rules, and procedures. If a minor is an abuse victim, she may choose a parent or any immediate family member to exercise her rights, unless the delinquent act is alleged against that chosen representative.227 A minor must be represented to initiate a court proceeding. However, any person interested in the welfare of the minor may petition the court for the appointment of a GAL that will represent the best interests of the minor.228 The court may also appoint a GAL to protect the child's best interests if there is an allegation of abuse or neglect of the child, if the parents are continuously in conflict with one another, if there is a history of parental alienation, substance abuse by either parent, family violence, if there are serious concerns about the mental health or behavior of either parent, if the child in question is an infant or toddler, or if the child has special needs.229

The GAL may be an attorney or court-appointed special advocate.230 In appointing a GAL, the court will generally appoint one who would be in the best interests of the minor, such that the representative will be able to continue with the proceedings for as long as they last and will take a genuine interest in the outcome.231 The minor may nominate someone if over the age of fourteen unless the nominee is found by the court to be contrary to the best interests of the minor.232 In general, a minor has many rights that can be invoked. However, the minor must initiate the proceedings by retaining a lawyer or other such representative who can petition the court for a GAL to commence the proceedings.



Footnotes

...227
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 8-384 (West 2001).
...228
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 14-5207 (West 2001).
...229
Ariz. Stat. Maricopa Super. Ct. Rule 6.13 (West 2001).
...230
Ariz. Stat. Juv. St. Rule 70 (West 2001).
...231
Ariz. Stat. Ann. 14-5206 (West 2001).
...232
Id.

next up previous contents index
Next: Shelter Restrictions Up: Arizona Previous: Mature Minor   Contents   Index
LCD Law Office #2