Adoption, Visitation, and Undoing Sheets v. Mead
This article was initially published in the Arizona Attorney magazine on February 1, 2023. By Markus Risinger, Taylor Young, and Isabel Ranney When construing a statue, judges can be quick to shift responsibility to the legislative branch. Many litigators have heard from the bench that their argument is with the Legislature, not the Court. This […]
Preventable: The Legal Consequences When a Child Accesses a Gun in Arizona
By Isabel Ranney It started with a loud popping noise. Marie rushed into the bedroom and found Reggie lying on the ground, blood pooling around him. Her two-year-old son stood nearby; a gun clutched in his hand. She immediately called 911 and began administering CPR while she waited for first responders to arrive. Reggie would […]
Allegations of Abuse Against Parents with Transgender Children in Arizona
By Isabel Ranney Imagine you are in the middle of a contentious divorce with your soon to be ex. You have one child in common—an eleven-year-old named Sam—who was born biologically male but has expressed a desire to wear dresses and be referred to using she/her pronouns. Sam’s preferences were a major factor in the […]
The Future of Abortion Rights in Arizona
By Isabel Ranney With the leak of Supreme Court Justice Alito’s majority opinion draft on May 2nd, 2022, persons across the United States are questioning what, if any, abortion rights they will have once the full opinion is released . As a purple state with a Republican majority in the state House, Senate, and Governor’s […]
Buzzfeed News Consults Woodnick Law Attorney
On April 27, 2022, Buzzfeed News published an article on child abuse registries and how they disproportionately affect people of color. While researching for his article, Buzzfeed reporter Scott Pham consulted with numerous attorneys, including Woodnick Law’s own Markus Risinger. Of note, Scott Pham did a thorough analysis after collecting data about central registries, which […]
Arizona Department of Child Safety: Visitation With Your Child is Non-Essential?
Arizona Department of Child Safety’s (DCS) director, Mike Faust, has issued a handful statements on the COVID-19 pandemic. As recently as April 10, 2020, DCS was not allowing in-person visitation to occur between a parent and their child in DCS custody.
QUARANTINED CHILD ABUSE
Since COVID-19 forced schools to close, reports of child abuse in Arizona have decreased by about twenty-five percent (25%). At first, this seems like one of the few silver linings of the pandemic (outside of Tiger King and attending business meetings without having to wear pants). However, after 20 years of litigating child abuse and neglect cases, I don’t believe this statistic is cause for celebration.
The Boston Globe Weighs in on CAPTA Compliance
The Boston Globe recently published an important article analyzing every state’s compliance with Federal Child Abuse and Treatment Act of 1974 (“CAPTA”). Shockingly, the article concludes that no State is fully compliant with CAPTA’s requirements. However, Arizonian’s should be especially concerned because Arizona was the ONLY State that refused to share information regarding its CAPTA compliance, calling it “a time consuming, lengthy, non-value added survey.”
DCS wanted him to admit to child abuse to get his kids back. Instead, he fought the charges — and won
In the news this week, the Department of Child Safety violated Arizona law by interviewing a child without parental consent, according to a report from the Arizona Ombudsman.
Revisions to the Family Law Rules
During the past several years, the Arizona Supreme Court has adopted restyled Rules of Evidence, Civil Appellate Producer, Protective Order Procedures, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Procedure. In December 2016, Chief Justice Scott Bales directed a Task Force to review the current family law rules, to identify possible changes that would confirm those rules to modern usage, and to adopt a new set of family law rules.