Arizona Dependency Adjudication Hearings Time Limits

In A.R.S. 8-842(C), our Legislature established time limits within which dependency adjudication hearings shall be completed: The court may continue the initial dependency hearing for good cause, but, unless the court has ordered in-home intervention, the dependency adjudication hearing shall be completed within ninety days after service of the dependency petition. The time limit for completing the dependency adjudication hearing may be extended for up to thirty days if the court finds good cause or in extraordinary cases as prescribed by the supreme court by rule. Additionally, Arizona Rule of Procedure for the Juvenile Court ("Rule") 55(B) provides: The dependency adjudication hearing shall be completed within ninety (90) days of service of the dependency petition on the parent, guardian or Indian custodian. The court may continue a dependency adjudication hearing beyond the time prescribed by law only upon a finding of extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances include but are not limited to acts or omissions that are unforeseen or unavoidable. Any party requesting a continuance shall file a motion for extension of time, setting forth the reasons why extraordinary circumstances exist. The motion shall be filed within five (5) days of the discovery that extraordinary circumstances exist. The court's finding of extraordinary circumstances shall be in writing and shall set forth the factual basis for the continuance.