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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37135
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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grandparents ex-parte hearing for custody Arizona

Customer Question

What is required in Arizona for a grandparent to get emergency custody of a minor if they believe the parents are using drugs. What kind of proof would be required. What if the child is a teenager and they do not really know her.  The grandparents are alcoholics.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

If I may ask, what is your identity in this situation? How old is the child? Prior to this, what type of a relationship if any did the child have with the grandparents?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am the mother. The child is 12. My husband and I had a falling out with family. I have an OOP on my father's brother, and he has one on me. After the last hearing they were upset because the judge told them they were mistaken if they thought the civil standby he set up settled anything to do with our property (not real property) . They have already sold and taken our property that was at my uncles based on what they thought the judge said. We lived there for two months and were kicked out with less than a days notice. Reason being "stress". Later found out my father and uncle had opened a Dr. bill that was sent to my parents. The bill was for ongoing care to a pain specialist for my husband. Since they took everything we owned they were able to also get into our medical records. There is a drug test from a hospital. I kept it because It showed no pain med's in my system (1st time in 11 years) however, it does show a drug I used for a week to get off the pain med's over a year ago.


I have heard through other family they are looking into getting the ex-Parte hearing to get custody. Since being kicked out we have lived in hotels. My child is enrolled in an AZ school. They are trying to find out where. This has gotten very nasty. We have been told we may be able to bring a defamation suit against them. But for now, I only care about making sure they do not cross a line and touch my child.


One more thing...my husband, myself and our child are all seeing therapists individually to deal with what has happened in the past three months. We have also dealt with the police on a continuous basis as my uncle has tried to get me to break my OOP several times. Everyone of them involved either drinks a six pack a day, takes prescription drugs, or both. The family making the accusation has never spoken to us about it. Sorry. I guess that was 50 more things. It is a very long story. My child hardly knows my parents. We moved here 18 months ago, and they have seen him about two times in the last year.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Stacie. Please allow me to follow-up directly.

I am the mother. The child is 12. My husband and I had a falling out with family. I have an OOP on my father's brother, and he has one on me. After the last hearing they were upset because the judge told them they were mistaken if they thought the civil standby he set up settled anything to do with our property (not real property) . They have already sold and taken our property that was at my uncles based on what they thought the judge said. We lived there for two months and were kicked out with less than a days notice. Reason being "stress". Later found out my father and uncle had opened a Dr. bill that was sent to my parents. The bill was for ongoing care to a pain specialist for my husband. Since they took everything we owned they were able to also get into our medical records. There is a drug test from a hospital. I kept it because It showed no pain med's in my system (1st time in 11 years) however, it does show a drug I used for a week to get off the pain med's over a year ago.

Oh, good grief. Unless they had permission to open your mail, this a federal charge of mail tampering as well as an inherent violation of privacy claim that you could potentially pursue against these people, not to mention the eviction irregularities and your civil rights and property rights violations.


I have heard through other family they are looking into getting the ex-Parte hearing to get custody. Since being kicked out we have lived in hotels. My child is enrolled in an AZ school. They are trying to find out where. This has gotten very nasty. We have been told we may be able to bring a defamation suit against them. But for now, I only care about making sure they do not cross a line and touch my child.

You were told correctly, you have a potential defamation as well as an invasion of privacy suit against them. In terms of pursuing you for custody, they would have to show that you are somehow 'unfit'--unfitness may be based on a history of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, drug use, alcohol abuse, criminality, moral turpitude, and characteristics of the proposed home. They would likely attempt to argue history of abuse (based on the orders), drug use, and possibly the fact that they will claim you are transients, the child has no stable place to live, and that it is not in the child's best interest. However since they obtained the information outright illegally and there is no evidence that the child is being maltreated, I do not see most judges agree or permit them to pursue this against you. It is possible, I suppose, but highly unlikely as it does not appear to be in the child's best interest especially if the grandparents themselves are potentially unfit based on their alcohol abuse and their lack of bond with the child.


One more thing...my husband, myself and our child are all seeing therapists individually to deal with what has happened in the past three months. We have also dealt with the police on a continuous basis as my uncle has tried to get me to break my OOP several times. Everyone of them involved either drinks a six pack a day, takes prescription drugs, or both. The family making the accusation has never spoken to us about it. Sorry. I guess that was 50 more things. It is a very long story. My child hardly knows my parents. We moved here 18 months ago, and they have seen him about two times in the last year.

No worries, and I understood that this is a fairly complex issue. This is why I attempted to go line by line to ensure that I do not miss anything.

Please let me know how else I can help you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If they try to get an ex-Parte hearing is there a way I can make sure the court notifies me? The OOP my uncle has on me was granted based on one sentence in a seven page email. He was harassing me with emails, and I lost it on Christmas and wrote a "manifesto". When your parents ignore your child on Christmas with the knowledge that you are homeless, it can make for an interesting day. He asked for a hearing to get mine on him removed, and he kept reading the same email, which had nothing to do with me proving I needed one on him. I kicked his butt and my father and him are not happy. We just paid for a month to stay where we are, so I am trying to cut the transient part out. Neither of us are working for someone else at his time. We have made money with eBay. Would that be considered as employment? We have paid about 55 dollars a night for over ten weeks. We had no bank account, credit card, or cash when this started. It can be impossible to rent a room without a credit card. My husband is looking for work. I am going to continue with eBay and help my son with school.


I also won an appeal for unemployment from the board of review. They sent it back for a new hearing which I just had this week. Anytime I have tried to show we are doing Okay, they come at us harder. So, at this point no one knows where we are, or our numbers. We just got a PO Box, to make sure no mail gets to them. Is there something I can file first to have them start to think they might want to back off. Sorry again for the length. Your answers to my questions were awesome! Thank you.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your folloq-up, Stacie. Glad to help!

An ex-parte hearing generally has no legal obligation to inform you that it is taking place, but please be aware that a reasonable judge is not going to give someone emergency custody if they do not have a bond or an interest to the child. One parent could obtain an ex-parte, a grandparent who has no history of past guardianship or even the child residing with them is highly unlikely to get such a ruling.

Making money on Ebay or any website is still employment or at least earnings (case in point what I do here). It is simply considered to be self-employment rather than working for a specific business entity.

There is really nothing for you to file here--you are the mother and you are the one that has custody outright. The burden is on them to claim otherwise, and if they cannot serve or find you or the child, that makes their process even more difficult.

Good luck!

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37135
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

On the invasion of privacy, the letter they opened was a statement from a Dr.'s office, and they knew before they opened it. My proof on that is my uncle told us the exact date my husband went. He would have no other way of knowing. We also never got that statement. (I know they opened it from someone else that I cannot bring into this mess) They may deny it, and they already lie in court. I was going to try to get one of them to admit it before they know I am going to file suit, should I try? Also, there is a part of a journal that they only got from going deep into a box of personal papers they took off the property. They actually tried to submit that in court, so I have positive proof of that. Also, they kept a letter from us that caused us to lose a storage in a different state. They forwarded it about a week ago after I told them I spoke to the storage, and it was registered so it was delivered to them. They say they did not know where to forward it to, and then it did not matter because the storage was already gone. Is that not a little proof that they opened it. My point is that if I can positively prove a couple things, is not easier for the rest to be proved true?

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