Laws change.

Courts define the words in statutes when a person brings a case. Also, the legislature can change the words in statutes. You will see, "last updated date" on the top of a law, if the law hasn't been updated for a while on this site, check the Arizona Revised Statutes, to find out what the current law says.

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What is emancipation?

If a minor does not feel safe, secure, or healthy in their own home, he or she can file for emancipation, which grants minors certain legal rights that are normally reserved for people over 18. Emancipated minors can sign their own leases, sign binding contracts, apply for loans, and access their own medical information. These rights are intended to make living independently easier. For the full list of additional rights, click here to view the Arizona State Statute.

What are the requirements for becoming emancipated?

A minor must be at least 16 years of age, a resident of Arizona, financially self-sufficient, aware of the potential risks and consequences of emancipation and may not be a ward of the state in order to file for emancipation. (A.R.S. 12-2451(A))

What is the process for becoming emancipated?

The minor can file an emancipation petition with the clerk at their county’s local court. When considering the minors’ ability to live independently, the court will want to see that the minor is financially independent, able to maintain healthcare, a household, education or employment, and that they are able to manage important social affairs.

When filing documents, a notarized statement by the guardians granting consent of the emancipation order would be most influential. However, if not possible, the minor must then submit a statement to the court explaining why the home of their legal guardians is not a suitable environment or documentation that the minor has been living on their own for three consecutive months. If everything checks out, within 90 days of submitting the petition, the court will hear the minor’s case.

Once the legal guardians receive the court notice, they may file a response objecting the petition within 30 days. For further detailed processes, review the Arizona State Statue on emancipation petitions here.

Which factors are considered most important to the court’s ruling?

The court will rule in the best interest of the minor. For the full list of factors used to determine the ruling, please view A.R.S. § 12-2453 . The most important factors are listed below:

1. The potential risks and consequences of emancipation and to what degree the minor understands these risks and consequences.

2. The wishes of the minor.

3. The opinions and recommendations of the minor's parent or guardian.

4. The financial resources of the minor, including the minor's employment history.

5. The minor's ability to be financially self-sufficient.

6. The minor's level of education and the minor's success in school.

7. Whether the minor has a criminal record.

What happens if the parents of the minor reject the emancipation petition?

If the parents or legal guardians reject the petition, and if the court believes a resolution can be met, the court may order both parties to mediation. If the source of contention is resolved, both parties would sign and submit the mediation agreement to the court, ending the petition of emancipation. (A.R.S. 12-2452(B))

What if the parent rejects the emancipation petition but is found guilty of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment?

If the petition contains allegations of child abuse, the court may require further investigation from child protective services. Those findings can be submitted to the court for further judgment. If the parent or legal guardians are found guilty of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, the court will rule in the best interest of the minor. (A.R.S. 12-2452(A)(2))

Is the court’s decision conclusive?

Once an emancipation order is granted by the court, the minor’s dependency on their legal guardians is officially terminated and he or she may start practicing their new found legal rights.

If an emancipated minor moves to Arizona, are they still granted their rights within Arizona borders?

Arizona grants full legal rights to emancipated minors from other states as long as he or she can prove documentation of emancipation and is at least 16 years of age. (A.R.S. 12-2455 )

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2167 into law, making it illegal to sell, possess or use synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as "K2" or "Spice." A.R.S. § 13-3401 and A.R.S. § 36-2512 were changed based upon this approved bill.

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In 2011, the Arizona Legislature DID NOT PASS SB 1538, a bill that makes it a traffic violation with possible fines and penalties if a person is texting while driving. Learn more about SB 1538, by going to the Arizona legislature's website.

The "Debate it!" legislature would have passed this bill.

However beware that simply because something is not prohibited under Arizona state law, it may still be illegal under the local law of a particular city or county. For example, the City of Phoenix has a law making it illegal to send text messages while driving: Phoenix City Code 36-76.01. Tucson also has a law prohibiting texting while driving, Code 20-160. To check your city's laws, visit the city website; most cities either post their codes and ordinances online, or link to a site that houses their laws.

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2167 into law, making it illegal to sell, possess or use synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as "K2" or "Spice." A.R.S. § 13-3401 and A.R.S. § 36-2512 were changed based upon this approved bill.

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If you believe that you are in danger, contact 911.

In Arizona, dating violence falls under the Arizona Revised Statute that covers domestic violence (A.R.S. § 13-3601). The statue applies in situations where the victim and defendant was or is a romantic or sexual relationship. (A.R.S. § 13-3601(6)). The factors used to determine whether the relationship was or is romantic or sexual are:
 (a) type of relationship
 (b) length of relationship
 (c) amount of interaction between the victim and the defendant
 (d) if the relationship is over, the amount of time since the relationship ended

According to A.R.S. § 13-3601(B), A police officer may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that domestic violence has been committed or if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed the offense (domestic violence)

A police officer can arrest both parties if the police officer has probable cause that both parties independently committed an act of domestic violence. Acts of self defense, as defined in Chapter 4 of Title 13, are not acts of domestic violence.

When an officer responds to a call that domestic violence has been or may be committed, the officer must inform any potential victim in writing of the procedures and resources available to protect the victim. (A.R.S. § 13-3601(J)). These include:
  (1) An order of protection (A.R.S. § 13-3602)
  (2) An injunction (A.R.S. § 25-315)
  (3) An injunction against harassment (A.R.S. § 12-1809)
  (4) The emergency telephone number for the local police agency
  (5) Telephone numbers for emergency services in the local community.

Places to go for Help/Resources
National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233
Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence (800) 782-6400 or (602) 279-2900 Open 8:30am-5:00 pm, M-F
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on teen dating violence

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