Kingman, AZ asked in Family Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Child Custody for Arizona

Q: How do I appeal a ruling I feel isn’t fair due to other parties status in the town I reside in?

Judge put on the court document under findings that “the court has concerns about the health and safety of the child in this case” Child who is almost 14 has endured abuse (physics, mental and emotional) by dads girlfriend for6 years. He then said that everything is based off what the child said to me and that the child never talked to her father about abuse(in fear of what would happen when left with the girlfriend) and that I was wrong for taking her to counseling Without telling her dad due to our daughter threatening self harm because of things the girlfriend would say or do. I provided 2 letters one from a doctor and one from a counselor stating it was not safe for her to be there as well as an in camera interview where the child told the judge everything and that she does not want to go back and was going to hurt herself if made to go back to dad, they said she was mad. At end he ruled she must go back to dads. Other parties dad is a constable mom is a court clerk for 20+ years

2 Lawyer Answers
Charles William Michaels
Charles William Michaels
  • Appeals & Appellate Lawyer
  • Columbia, MD

A: First of all, I am not an Arizona lawyer. However, you articulated your issues on appeal in your message. If the trial court's decision and final judgment are within the time frame for an appeal (30 days is the general rule, but your state may have different rules about that), then go ahead and appeal--following the rules of your state.

Jay Hall
Jay Hall
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: So unfortunately Arizona law requires proof of judicial bias from sources outside of the courtroom. It makes bias nearly impossible to prove. It might make more sense to appeal the merit of the ruling instead, particularly if the judge ignored the cumulative weight of the evidence. This will still be a challenge since family courts are afforded considerable discretion, but it's probably an easier route than challenging the perceived bias.

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