Christy A. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security
In Christy A. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security, 217 Ariz. 299, PP7-8, 33, 217 Ariz. 299, 173 P.3d 463, 467, 472 (App. 2007), the court remanded the severance case for rehearing after the juvenile court prohibited the mother or her attorney from attending the second day of a termination adjudication hearing, based on a "default" that had been entered after the mother failed to appear on the first day of the hearing.
The appellate court concluded:
In light of a parent's fundamental parenting interest, we hold the entry of default or, more properly stated, a finding of waiver of rights, precludes the mother from affirmatively presenting testimony or other documentary evidence to contest the statutory bases for termination, but the requirement of fair procedures mandates giving the mother the opportunity to remain in the courtroom and participate.
That right of participation includes cross-examination of ADES's witnessesId. P 24.
In holding the mother's right to participate in the hearing would be "limited," the court in Christy A. found guidance in "established case law concerning the entry of default judgments." Id. PP 16, 23, 29.
In Christy A., the court found a parent's fundamental right to due process in the severance proceeding included the right to have counsel participate. 217 Ariz. 299, PP28-29, 173 P.3d at 471.
But due process rights may be waived, see Arizona Department of Economic Security v. Redlon, 215 Ariz. 13, P9, 156 P.3d 430, 434 (App. 2007), and Christy A. does not address whether the notice and admonition to the parent contemplated by Rule 66(D)(2), coupled with the parent's failure to appear, constitute a valid waiver of the specific rights addressed in Christy A.