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Arizona ruling limits judges' options in juvenile cases

PHOENIX -- An Arizona court ruling said judges can't continue cases on their own on new grounds after deciding that there isn't enough evidence to remove a child from a home because of the original allegations of abuse or neglect.

The Court of Appeals ruling overturns a judge's decision to amend a dependency petition after ruling that state officials didn't prove a mother physically abused her 11-year-old son.

The Maricopa County Superior Court judge had ruled that there was a "substantial disconnect" between the mother and the son that warranted removing the son from the mother's home.

However, the Court of Appeals said doing that violated the mother's right to due-process of law in a proceeding that decides whether she could remain a parent to her own child.

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