Arizona Family Court News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 4, 2016

Contact: Vanessa Haney
(602) 452-3098

Public Asked for Input on Candidates for Arizona Court of Appeals

The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is asking for public comment on eight candidates for an opening on Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals. The vacancy results from the retirement of Judge John C. Gemmill.

The candidates are:

  • James P. Beene
  • Jennifer M. Perkins
  • Timothy R. Hyland
  • Timothy J. Thomason
  • Paul J. McMurdie
  • Randall H. Warner
  • James B. Morse, Jr.
  • David D. Weinzweig

Their applications for the office can be viewed online at the Commission’s website http://azcourts.gov/jnc.

The Commission will meet to interview the candidates on August 26, 2016. Written comments can be sent to 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ 85007 or by e-mail to jnc@courts.az.gov. Comments should be received no later than August 24th to be considered. Anonymous comments cannot be considered.

After the interviews, the Commission will recommend at least three nominees for the opening to Governor Doug Ducey, who will appoint the new judge.

Division One of the Court of Appeals hears cases arising in Apache, Coconino, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Yavapai and Yuma counties.


IMPROVEMENTS IN ARS 25-406 CLEAR AZ HOUSE GOVERNMENT & HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE

February 19, 2016

On Thursday the House Government & Higher Education Committee approved proposed changes to ARS 25-406 in the form of a “Strike Everything” amendment to HB2217.  ARS 25-406 governs how investigations and reports are conducted in Family Court actions.

According to the Fact Sheet for the bill amendment, HB2217 as amended would:

Requires the court to:

  1. Require Courts To:
    1. give primary preference in selecting an investigator to people, companies or organizations whose services are covered by the parties’ insurance; and
    2. make findings of fact as to the ability of the parties to pay the fees of the investigation.
  2. Prohibits the court from:
    1. requiring a party to pay more than 70% of the investigator’s fees without first finding clear and convincing evidence that the party acted in bad faith;
    2. granting powers to the instigator beyond those prescribed by statute;
    3. issuing orders that abridges any party’s access to the court; and
    4. entering an order that abridges any party’s due process rights.
  3. Permits the court to authorize the appointed investigator to bill up to four hours, except by stipulation of the parties in writing and additional hours in increments of up to four hours or the number of hours stipulated by the parties in writing.
  4. Requires the court, before authorizing additional hours, to hold a hearing and make findings of fact on the following:
    1. the tangible results of the investigator to date;
    2. the specific needs of the court that require additional time; and
    3. the ability of each party to pay the appointment of additional billable hours.
  5. Requires the court to state all relevant legal sources of authority in making a finding or issuing a ruling.
  6. Stipulates that an investigator must:
    1. record all meetings, interviews or other activities; and
    2. provide the parties, or their respective counsel, a copy of any recording within two business days.
  7. States that any reports made by an investigator must include evidence to support any statements of fact, opinions, conclusions or recommendations and prohibits the court from giving weight to any statement not supported by evidence.
  8. Declares that the investigator’s activities, except for clinical and reporting functions, are not protected by immunity.
  9. Allows the parties to record any meeting, interview or other activities involving the party and the investigator and declares this right may not be revoked or stipulated away.
  10. Requires the court to forward a written complaint by any party to a martial{sic} and domestic action alleging a criminal code violation to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.