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Ruling says decisions on placing children in state's custody hinge on current circumstances

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PHOENIX — A court ruling says Arizona judges should decide whether to place children in the state's custody based on circumstances when the decision is being made, not earlier when they're removed from homes.

The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a case involving children found in a hotel room where their mother had passed out.

The mother appealed a judge's later decision to declare the children dependent.

The mother argued that the judge improperly based her decision on circumstances when the children were found in the hotel room. She said the children would be safe with her.

The Court of Appeals agreed that the decision should hinge on circumstances when the decision is being made. But the court also ruled that those circumstances still justified declaring the children dependent.

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