A.R.S. 25-409 Interpretation

In Graville v. Dodge, the Court held A.R.S. 25-409 to be constitutional as tested against the express provision allowing for grandparents to have court-enforced visitation over a legal parent's objections. 195 Ariz. at 125-26, PP 24, 27, 985 P.2d at 610-11. In Jackson v. Tangreen, 199 Ariz. 306, 309-10, PP 6-15, 18 P.3d 100, 103-04 (App. 2000), the Court upheld the same provision for grandparent visitation after considering the standards that could be gleaned from the plurality decision in Troxel. Employing the alternative definition of "parent" as though it were part of the ILP statute raises substantially more difficult and broader constitutional concerns than those presented in Graville and Jackson. In dealing solely with grandparents, Graville and Jackson addressed a statute with: (1) a limited number of people (grandparents) who were (2) biologically related and (3) in a category expressly called out by the legislature. on the other hand, if the alternative definition for "parent" ("a person who brings up and cares for another") is employed when construing the ILP statute, we deal with: (1) an unlimited number of persons who are (2) not biologically related and (3) not expressly sanctioned by the legislature.