Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich



Frequently Asked Questions About APS Involvement

What are the reasons for APS closing a case?

  • When allegations of abuse/neglect/exploitation are unsubstantiated, and there is no further need for APS involvement.
  • When abuse/neglect/exploitation has been successfully resolved.
  • When a client has moved out-of-state or returned to a Native American reservation with the apparent intent to establish residency beyond the limits of APS territorial jurisdiction.
  • When the client dies.
  • When a client’s care is presumably assured through a guardian/conservator.
  • When a client has been placed in other care and it appears the client is free from risk and properly attended.

Will I be forced to sell my house?

The perception of some clients is that if the "state" comes into your home, they will take over your life and make all the decisions for you, including selling your home and placing you elsewhere. No one can make you sell your home if you are able to make informed decisions. If you are not able to make informed decisions for yourself, the court may appoint a guardian to make decisions on your behalf and/or a conservator.

Will I be forced to live in a nursing home?

No one can force you to live in a nursing home if you are able to make decisions for yourself and live independently.

Will the "state" keep my property/estate?

The appointment of a guardian/conservator will be initiated if a client is found to lack the capacity to make or communicate informed decisions. It is the responsibility of the guardian/conservator to manage the estate of the client in a way that will benefit the client. If a client requires long term care they may be required to "spend down" some of their assets in order to meet income criteria for certain services, including nursing home placement.

Will the "state" declare me incompetent?

If a client’s capacity is in question, APS may have the client evaluated by a physician who will determine and document whether the client still has the ability to make their own decisions. The process to "declare" someone incapacitated requires court action. If the physician’s evaluation determines that the client can no longer make decisions and manage on their own, the case will be referred to the court for the petition to appoint a guardian/conservator. The judge will use the physician’s evaluation to make his/her decision and may appoint a public/private fiduciary or other person(s) able and willing to serve. However, if the physician’s statement indicates that the client can still make decisions, the client will not be declared incompetent.

What will happen to my pets if I can no longer live on my own and must live in a supervisory care home?

If the facility does not allow pets, another home may have to be found for them.

Will the perpetrator know what I said about him or her?

Details of the case may be shared if the case ends up in court. However, APS follows Arizona confidentiality laws and does not release information unless specified by statute or ordered by the court to release the information.

Will the perpetrator be arrested?

Every substantiated case with a perpetrator will be referred to law enforcement. That law enforcement agency determines whether there will be an arrest.