Printer Friendly

Court may adjudicate termination of parental rights without personal jurisdiction over non-resident parent.

In re R.W., 39 A.3d 682 (Vt. 2011).

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)--adopted by the Vermont legislature--regulates how states collaboratively assert jurisdiction over custody cases involving diverse parties. (1) Attorneys and academics alike have debated whether custody disputes require personal jurisdiction over both parents in order to meet constitutional due process requirements. (2) In In re R.W., (3) the Vermont Supreme Court evaluated the merits of requiring personal jurisdiction over father in order to allow a termination of parental status proceeding against him. (4) The court held that although father did not have minimum contacts with the State of Vermont and could not meet personal jurisdiction requirements, these standards remained inapposite where the court had status jurisdiction over father's children. (5)

Mother and father married in Sri Lanka in 1992 and had two daughters there, R.W. and N.W. (6) Mother moved to New York in 2000, and remarried and moved to Vermont in 2003 with R.W. and her new husband. (7) N.W. moved to Vermont soon after. (8) In 2006, based on R.W.'s disclosure of incidents of physical and sexual abuse from her mother and stepfather, DCF obtained custody of R.W. and N.W. through an emergency detention order issued by the court, and placed the girls in a foster home. (9) At this time, both DCF and the court failed to notify father or the Sri Lankan consulate regarding the termination proceedings. (10) DCF allowed the girls to live with their mother almost full time until March 2009, when DCF again placed the girls in foster care for lack of adequate supervision. (11)

In September 2009, DCF sought to terminate mother's and father's parental rights. (12) Around March 2010, DCF received permission from the court to serve father by publication after claiming that it had unsuccessfully attempted to contact him. (13) R.W. contacted father via email, causing father to contact the court and ask to participate in the termination proceedings by phone. (14) The court did not allow father to participate in the proceedings by phone, because it could not ensure that his identity was correct or that the quality of the telephone communication would allow all parties to participate effectively. (15) Following the court's termination of mother's parental rights, DCF requested that the court assume jurisdiction over and allow father's termination petition, but this request was denied, and the denial appealed. (16) Ultimately, the court held that it did not require personal jurisdiction over father to adjudicate a termination proceeding, because a termination proceeding adjudicates a child's status, which falls within the "status exception" to the minimum contacts requirement set forth in International Shoe. (17)

Case law has been notably inconclusive and vague regarding how the term "jurisdiction" is used in custody issues. (18) In states requiring personal jurisdiction, courts have struggled in exerting "purposeful availment" and "minimum contacts" tests in order to assert jurisdiction over non-resident parents. (19) Other states have cited the status exemption in order to adjudicate custody and termination proceedings. (20) Still other states have turned to quasi in rem jurisdiction over children as "objects" in the state. (21)

Since the establishment of Pennoyer v. Neff as a cornerstone of American jurisdictional jurisprudence, scholars and courts alike have debated the merits (or lack thereof) of the status exemption to personal jurisdiction requirements. (22) While the marriage status exemption, first introduced in Pennoyer, has been affirmed and reaffirmed in modern jurisprudence, many decisions have affirmed the separation of status-related claims from claims involving the apportionment of money or goods, such as alimony. (23) The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled consistently regarding such split decisions, noting that status based adjudications do not require personal jurisdiction, whereas monetary or possession based transactions require the parties to maintain certain minimum contacts with a forum. (24) The sharp contrast between the complete lack of personal jurisdiction required for status exempt claims and

the nebulous showing of minimum contacts required for personal jurisdiction claims understandably breeds much confusion when choosing the correct form of jurisdictional analysis. (25)

Given the confusion over jurisdiction, the Supreme Court initially attempted to clarify jurisdictional problems arising between states in May v. Anderson, but it instead further muddled the kinds of jurisdictional analysis performed by states in resolving custody disputes. (26) In response to the varied interpretations and applications of May, scholars created yet another set of child custody standards--the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA)--which were again not uniformly interpreted among states. (27) Moreover, the UCCJA caused courts to assume without question that the UCCJA met due process standards without any kind of analysis. (28) Ultimately, the Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was born out of the ashes of the UCCJA and PKPA, in an effort to finally clarify and streamline determinations of jurisdiction and choice of law in custody disputes. (29)

In In re R.W., the Supreme Court of Vermont held that, under the UCCJEA, Vermont had status-based jurisdiction over a termination of parental status proceeding, even if father had no contacts with Vermont. (30) Likening termination cases to a marriage relationship, the court first determined that termination proceedings generally are adjudications of status, and thus exempt from personal jurisdiction requirements. (31) Then, the court applied statutory and constitutional standards to determine whether the court in this particular case had authority to exercise jurisdiction. (32) In reviewing the statutory authority, the court reasoned that the UCCJA--now the UCCJEA--allows jurisdiction over custody claims such as termination proceedings through the child's connection with the forum. (33) The court then went into a due process analysis, looking to the fairness of assigning Vermont as a reasonable forum and denying the need to engage in a minimum contacts analysis. (34) Deciding that the children and the State had strong interests in adjudicating the claim, the court held that the exercise of jurisdiction over father's termination was reasonable and not burdened by another State's or country's interests. (35)

The court's application of the jurisdictional marital status exemption to termination of parental status proceedings remains questionable because it neglects to consider the inherent differences between marital and parental relationships. (36) The court largely ignores the spirit of May, as have many other courts, and effectively distinguishes away May's personal jurisdiction requirement simply because a termination of parental status hearing is not a custody proceeding. (37) Yet, a mere eight paragraphs later, the court asserts that a termination proceeding falls within the UCCJA's definition of "custody proceeding." (38) Justification even for the existing marital status exception is doubtful at best and seems to be implied in modern jurisprudence solely because of extensive precedent. (39)

Although the court's reasoning regarding the status exemption is weak, the court did engage in a relatively extensive substantive due process analysis that is worthy of praise. (40) Rather than accepting subject matter jurisdiction as the sole requirement for jurisdiction over the termination proceedings, the court further analyzed the reasonableness of the forum in part to ensure father's right to adjudicate the claim without an undue burden. (41) This analysis will likely often require the parent to litigate in a distant forum, but it also demonstrates a unique and healthy interest in a non-resident parent's due process rights inherent in custody litigation. (42)

This decision will hopefully perpetuate such creative reasoning in future court decisions, encouraging efficient adjudication of custody issues while also keeping parental due process rights in mind. (43) Moreover, joining due process concerns with status exempt claims ensures that the spirit of Denckla's purposeful availment test is maintained even where personal jurisdiction cannot be asserted. (44) As a final note, the majority should have mirrored the concurring opinion's concern for giving early notice to father and Sri Lanka regarding the girls' placement in a foster home, as this would further ensure that due process concerns are met. (45)

In In re R.W., the court considered whether termination proceedings fell into the status exception for jurisdiction purposes, and incorporated parental due process concerns while analyzing reasonableness factors of the deciding forum. In its holding, the court utilized the well established but highly unsubstantiated procedural loophole of the status exemption in order to avoid discussing personal jurisdiction issues and gain jurisdiction over the termination proceedings. The court then additionally considered father's due process under the guise of analyzing the reasonableness of the forum, introducing an element of fairness into previously unconcerned jurisdictional analysis. According to In re R.W., the status exemption loophole does not exclude due process analysis from jurisdictional considerations, but simply incorporates due process concerns in a manner consistent with case law and the UCCJEA.

(1.) See Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA), VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 15, [section][section] 1031-1051 (2011) repealed by UCCJEA, VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 15, [section][section] 1061-1070 (2012) (limiting jurisdiction over custody dispute to Vermont, with certain requirements); Thompson v. Thompson, 484 U.S. 174, 181-182 (1988) (noting purpose of UCCJA in "prescribing uniform standards" favoring one forum over others). See also Barbara A. Atwood, Child Custody Jurisdiction and Territoriality, 52 OHIO ST. L.J. 369, 373-376 (1991) (defining "jurisdiction" in order to analyze UCCJA jurisdiction over custody disputes); id. at 369-371 (highlighting UCCJA's purpose to avoid jurisdictional conflict by assigning jurisdiction to particular states). Most states have replaced UCCJA statutes with UCCJEA statutes because the UCCJEA clarifies the rules for determining which state has appropriate jurisdiction. See Friedman v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., 264 P.3d 1161, 1165 (Nev. 2011) (noting all states except Massachusetts have adopted UCCJEA rules for determining jurisdiction); see also Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, UNIF. LAW COMM'N, http:// (Follow "Find an Act" hyperlink under "Acts"; then search "Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act" and follow "Go" hyperlink; then follow "Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act" hyperlink) (Enactment Status Map generated on May 29, 2012).

(2.) See May v. Anderson 345 U.S. 528, 534 (1953) (requiring personal jurisdiction over parent in order to validate custody adjudication); Cox v. Cox, 457 F.2d 1190, 1196 (3d Cir. 1972) (recognizing continuing personal jurisdiction over parent permitting adjudication of custody decree); Ex parte Dean, 447 So. 2d 733, 735-36 (Ala. 1984) (pointing to requirement for personal jurisdiction where not waived by statute); Mallory v. Edmondson, 521 S.W.2d 215,219 (Ark. 1975) (requiring personal jurisdiction to adjudicate custody dispute and supporting jurisdiction to discourage kidnapping); Dahlke v. Dahlke, 97 So. 2d 16, 16-17 (Fla. 1957) (affirming proceedings as requiring in personam jurisdiction and not quasi-in-rem). Other jurisdictions do not require personal jurisdiction to adjudicate custody proceedings, and instead focus on jurisdiction based on a child's connection with the state, seeking justification in either the UCCJEA or case law affirming status based adjudications. See, e.g., In re Marriage of Leonard, 175 Cal. Rptr. 903, 907, 911-12 (Cal. Ct. App. 1981), cert. denied (1981) (personal jurisdiction not required for out-of-state parent because UCCJA provides jurisdiction); Burton v. Bishop, 269 S.E.2d 417, 417-18 (Ga. 1980) (allowing jurisdiction under UCCJA without personal jurisdiction over parent); see also Carol S. Bruch, Statutory Reform of Constitutional Doctrine: Fitting International Shoe to Family Law, 28 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 1047, 1052-53 (1995) (affirming constitutionality of UCCJA because case law overwhelmingly presumes its constitutionality). The common law history of personal jurisdiction and due process standards provides unclear guidance and many loopholes in determining jurisdiction for custody cases. See generally Shaffer v. Heitner, 422 U.S. 186, 209 n.30 (1977) (distinguishing status determinations as exceptions to minimum contacts test); Estin v. Estin, 334 U.S. 541, 54647 (1948) (distinguishing marital status as falling within jurisdictional status exception to minimum contacts test); Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945) (requiring minimum contacts to satisfy due process); Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714, 722 (1877) (asserting states have power to decide civil status of inhabitants); id. at 734 (explaining nature of in rem proceedings).

(3.) 39 A.3d 682 (Vt. 2011).

(4.) Id. at 690-98 (qualifying termination of parental status proceedings as status adjudications and applying analysis to instant case). The first part of the court's analysis focused on general characteristics of termination proceedings, classifying them as involving a relationship between two people, similar to marital status proceedings. See id. at 692-93. The second part of the court's analysis focused on applying this general status classification to the case at hand. See id. at 694 (setting forth standard for requisite statutory and constitutional authority in order to assert jurisdiction). In its due process analysis, although the court did not utilize a minimum contacts analysis, it did seek to satisfy the constitutional jurisdiction requirement using the "reasonableness" test from Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., Solano Cnty., 480 U.S. 102, 113 (1987).

(5.) Id. at 696 (discounting minimum contacts analysis and turning to alternate due process analysis).

(6.) Id. at 685 (describing mother and daughter's move and integration into New York community).

(7.) Id. at 685-86 (detailing chain of events leading to CHINS adjudication).

(8.) Id. at 686 (noting second daughter's move to Vermont).

(9.) Id. (demonstrating first indication of abuse and subsequent DCF investigation and detention).

(10.) Id. at 703-04 (Dooley, J., concurring) (detailing importance of notification abroad). Notification of a foreign consulate is required by international law where a foreign born minor is appointed a guardian or trustee. See id. at 703 (citing Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, art. 37, Apr. 24, 1963, 21 U.S.T. 77, 596 U.N.T.S. 261).

(11.) Id. at 686-87 (showing mother's instability, dependency on stepfather for immigration status, and movement around country). Mother also pressured her daughter to drop sexual abuse claims against stepfather, even though mother suspected that stepfather had been "engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior" with R.W. Id. at 686.

(12.) Id. at 687 (detailing DCF's filings to terminate parental rights of mother and father).

(13.) Id. (allowing court approval of service by publication in Sri Lankan newspaper in English and Sinhalese). DCF claimed it had attempted to locate father by searching online, contacting the Sri Lankan embassy and father's alleged place of work abroad, and contacting a friend of mother, all without success. Id.

(14.) Id. at 687 (noting mother's possession of father's contact information and father's involvement in court proceedings). After R.W. contacted her father, he called the court and, after failing in his attempt to get a visa in order to attend the termination proceedings, attempted to participate in the termination hearing by phone. Id.

(15.) Id. (explaining court's opposition in conjunction with Rule for Family Proceedings 17). The rule requires fulfillment of certain "necessary conditions," including assurance of the caller's identity and the ability to properly communicate via the phone connections or equipment used. Id.

(16.) Id. at 687-88 (introducing procedural posture of DCF, asking court to assume jurisdiction over father). The lower court did not address any jurisdictional issues regarding father's involvement in the proceedings, and "declined to resolve 'this important policy question ... [as] a single trial judge by default." Id. at 690 (noting lower court's objection to deciding jurisdiction over father). Although the court views the denial of father's termination petition as a decision based on lack of personal jurisdiction over him, it would seem that the lower court's reticence to decide the issue stems primarily from its conscious decision not to decide the issue, rather than an affirmative or negative decision regarding jurisdiction over father's termination. Id. (highlighting lower court's silence and Supreme Court's interpretation of lower court decision).

(17.) Id. at 696 (outlining application of status jurisdiction and reasonable forum standards to instant case).

(18.) See Bann Atwood, Child Custody Jurisdiction and Territoriality, 52 OHIO ST. L.J. 369, 373-76 (1991) (addressing problems inherent in defining jurisdiction for purpose of analysis in case law); see also Anne B. Goldstein, The Tragedy of the Interstate Child: A Critical Reexamination of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, 25 U.C. DAWS L. REV. 845, 864-66 (1992) (describing status, in rem, and personal jurisdiction analyses in custody cases). Atwood distinguishes subject matter jurisdiction from territorial jurisdiction, which grants authority based on a state's power to adjudicate a claim as between multiple sovereign states. See Atwood, supra at 373-376. Furthermore, some jurisdictions simply require subject matter jurisdiction, rather than personal jurisdiction, for child custody issues. See In re Marriage of Leonard, 175 Cal. Rptr. at 911 (requiring personal jurisdiction would frustrate objectives of UCCJA); Martinez v. Reed, 490 So. 2d 303, 306 n.1 (La. Ct. App. 1986) (affirming court's ability to proceed without personal jurisdiction as long as subject matter jurisdiction present).

(19.) See Kulko v. Super. Ct. of Cal., 436 U.S. 84, 92-96 (1978) (finding no purposeful availment of forum where father permitted child to live in California); In re Doe, 926 P.2d 1290, 1297-98 (Haw. 1996) (finding no purposeful availment or minimum contacts with forum where mother was resident of Philippines); Pasqualone v. Pasqualone, 406 N.E.2d 1121, 1126-27 (Ohio 1980) (disaffirming broad application of status exemption and requiring personal jurisdiction to adjudicate custody dispute). State long arm statutes may require the exercise of personal jurisdiction based on purposeful availment of the state's laws, although Kulko limits when states may assert jurisdiction because it does not allow the parent-child relationship to affect the jurisdictional analysis. See Rosemarie T. Ring, Personal Jurisdiction and Child Support." Establishing the Parent-Child Relationship as Minimum Contacts, 89 CAL. L. REV. 1125, 1139-1142 (2001) (noting significant restriction of state long arm statutes as result of Kulko).

(20.) A majority of states considering the issue of jurisdiction over custody matters appear to follow the status exemption analysis, refusing to require personal jurisdiction in adjudicating custody disputes. See S.B.v. State, 61 P.3d 6, 14-15 (Alaska 2002) (noting status exception applies to termination proceedings in accordance with weight of case law); Balestrieri v. Maliska, 622 So. 2d 561, 563, n.1 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1993) (listing fourteen status jurisdictions and affirming status exception in child custody cases in Florida); Joliff v. Joliff, 829 P.2d 34, 36 n.5 (Okla. 1992) (applying status exemption to custody cases); In re S.A.V., 837 S.W.2d 80, 84 (Tex. 1992); State ex tel. W.A., 63 P.3d 607, 614-15 (Utah 2002) (establishing status exemption for parental termination proceedings and noting jurisdictions adopting status exemption); see also cases cited infra note 21.

(21.) See Bartsch v. Bartsch, 636 N.W.2d 3, 6-7 (Iowa 2001) (citing in rem and status adjudications of custody proceedings as negating need for personal jurisdiction); In re Appointment of a Guardian for Michael W. Olear, 724 N.Y.S.2d 283, 285-86 (Sur. Ct. 2001) (offering quasi in rem and status exemption analyses as alternatives to personal jurisdiction requirement); Richtor v. Harmon, 90 S.E.2d 744, 747 (N.C. 1956) (classifying child custody proceedings in nature of in rem proceedings). The status exception is intimately connected to the in rem rationale, as the marital status exception initially established marriage as a res, or thing, over which the State had jurisdiction. See Rhonda Wasserman, Patents, Partners, and Personal Jurisdiction, 1995 U. ILL. L. REV. 813, 844 (1995) (explaining historical basis of status exemption for marriage using in rein rationale).

(22.) See Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714, 733 (1877) (expressing court's note of status exemption). As the application, rather than the existence, of the status exemption is highly contested, it is helpful to reproduce the court's exact wording of the exemption below:
   To prevent any misapplication of the views expressed in this
   opinion, it is proper to observe that we do not mean to assert, by
   any thing we have said, that a State may not authorize proceedings
   to determine the status of one of its citizens towards a
   non-resident, which would be binding within the State, though made
   without service of process or personal notice to the non-resident.
   The jurisdiction which every State possesses to determine the civil
   status and capacities of all its inhabitants involve authority to
   prescribe the conditions on which proceedings affecting them may be
   commenced and carried on within its territory.

Id. at 734 (establishing basis for "status exemption" wherein courts may adjudicate status proceedings absent personal jurisdiction). Although fairly well established after years of affirming common law decisions, legal scholars still actively debate the merits of even the marital status exception directly created by Pennoyer, claiming that it is outdated and irrelevant in modern society. See Christopher L. Blakesley, Comparativist Ruminations from the Bayou on Child Custody Jurisdiction: The UCCJA, the PKPA, and the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, 58 LA. L. REV. 449, 462 (1998) (explaining Pennoyer's specific and historical concern for divorced women in establishing status exception); Wasserman, supra note 21 at 823-54 (1995) (discussing historical context of marriage exemption and debunking lines of substantiating reasoning); see also Naomi Cahn, Faithless Wives and Lazy Husbands: Gender Norms in Nineteenth-Century Divorce Law, 2002 U. ILL. L. REV. 651, 663 (2002) (describing particular and complex circumstances for women in nineteenth-century divorce).

(23.) See Estin v. Estin, 334 U.S. 541, 545 (1948) (affirming ability to separate dissolution of marriage status from assignment of material property rights); Monica J. Allen, Child-State Jurisdiction: A Due Process Invitation to Reconsider Some Basic Family Law Assumptions, 26 FAM. L.Q. 293, 295-296 (1992) (confirming divisibility of divorce actions). Common law still reaffirms the status exemption for marital status, regardless of a state's lack of personal jurisdiction over a non-resident spouse. See Williams v. North Carolina, 317 U.S. 287, 297-99 (1942).

(24.) See Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186, 215 n.45 (1977) (noting majority view separating transactional jurisdiction from jurisdiction to enter judgment). Hanson v. Denckla further confirms that, under the minimum contacts test, an individual must demonstrate significant contacts with a state, showing that he purposefully availed himself of a "privilege of conducting activities within the forum State." See Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 253 (1958).

(25.) See Shaffer, 433 U.S. at 212 (concluding in rem jurisdiction lacks modern application and applying minimum contacts standard instead); see also Ann Laquer Estin, Where (In the World) Do Children Belong?, 25 BYU J. PUB. L. 217, 220 (2011) (noting various ways jurisdiction may be asserted and conflict of laws issues). Many authorities have criticized reasoning which applies the status exemption to custody cases, claiming that the parental relationship is wholly different from the marital relationship, and involves more precious rights. See Vanderbilt v. Vanderbilt, 354 U.S. 416, 424 n.1 (1957) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting) (asserting relationship between parent and child by blood differs greatly from relationship between unrelated spouses); May v. Anderson, 345 U.S. 528, 533-34 (1953) (noting value of parental rights at stake in custody disputes); Wasserman, supra note 21 at 818-19 (classifying parental relationship as severable by third party, whereas marital relationship has only two parties).

(26.) See May, 345 U.S. at 533-34 (requiring personal jurisdiction over mother in order to resolve custody dispute). Requiring personal jurisdiction in accordance with May is seen as unworkable for modern custody disputes. See Bridgette Bodenheimer, The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act: A Legislative Remedy for Children Caught in the Conflict of Laws, 22 VAND. L. REV. 1207, 1233 (1969) (noting impracticality of Justice Burton's majority opinion from May). May can be easily distinguished and severely limited by those courts wishing to eliminate personal jurisdiction requirements under the status exception, particularly when looking to Justice Frankfurter's concurrence statement: "What is decided--the only thing the Court decides-is that the Full Faith and Credit Clause does not require Ohio, in disposing of the custody of children in Ohio, to accept, in the circumstances before us, the disposition made by the Wisconsin court." May, 345 at 535 (Frankfurter, J., concurring) (limiting May's holding); In re Marriage of Leonard, 175 Cal. Rptr. 903, 907-08 (Cal. Ct. App. 1981) (construing May's holding to allow jurisdiction regardless of personal jurisdiction); State ex Tel. W.A., 63 P.3d 607, 615-16 (Utah 2002) (listing numerous ways in which May has been limited and distinguished); In re Termination of Parental Rights to Thomas J.R., 663 N.W.2d 734, 742-43 (Wis. 2003) (distinguishing and rejecting application of May to termination of parental rights cases); see also RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONFLICT OF LAWS [section] 79, cmt. b (1971) (interpreting May to permit but not require reexamination of custody decree). Furthermore, some opinions even classify Justice Frankfurter's opinion as the sole legitimate interpretation of May's holding. See Hudson v. Hudson, 670 P.2d 287, 294 (Wash. Ct. App. 1983) (asserting Justice Frankfurter's concurrence as permitting but not requiring assertion of personal jurisdiction); McAtee v. McAtee, 323 S.E.2d 611, 616 (W. Va. 1984) (citing Justice Frankfurter's concurring opinion as better and more recognized interpretation of May).

(27.) See In re Marriage of Leonard, 175 Cal. Rptr. at 906 (noting UCCJA's objective in designating one jurisdiction to prevent child kidnapping and conflicting decrees); Bridgette M. Bodenheimer and Janet Neeley-Kvarme, Jurisdiction Over Child Custody and Adoption After Shaffer and Kulko, 12 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 229, 246 (1979) (discussing UCCJA's purpose in eliminating child abductions and specifying rules for determining appropriate forum). The same dichotomous split between status exemption and issues requiring personal jurisdiction over parties remains a live issue even with the adoption of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), a modification of the UCCJA. See LINDA ELROD, CHILD CUSTODY PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE [section] 3:1 (2012) (distinguishing jurisdiction conveyed by UCCJA and UCCJEA and personal jurisdiction required for other matters).

(28.) See Kelly Gaines Stoner, The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)--A Metamorphosis of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA), 75 N.D.L. REV. 301, 306-307 (1999) (citing Bruch, supra note 2 at 1047) (noting unaddressed and significant parental due process concerns in adoption and termination proceedings). Stoner goes on to address how the UCCJEA addresses certain due process concerns regarding the burden of litigation on non-resident parents involved in custody disputes. Id. at 307-08. See also Andrew T. Erwin, Avoiding Another Eldorado: Balancing Parental Liberty and the Risk of Error with Governmental Interest in the Well-Being of Children in Complex Cases of Child Removal, 51 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1197, 1211-12 (2009) (suggesting introduction of federal standard to ensure parents' and children's due process rights).

(29.) See In re Marriage of Leonard, 175 Cal. Rptr. at 906 (citing numerous California cases interpreting subject matter but not personal jurisdiction); Brandt v. Brandt, 268 P.3d 406, 410-11 (Colo. 2012) (describing conflicting state interpretation of UCCJA and remedial purpose of UCCJEA); In re Marriage of Settle, 556 P.2d 962, 968 (Or. 1976), overruled, In re Custody of Ross, 630 P.2d 353 (Or. 1981) (criticizing schizophrenic nature of UCCJA which sought individualized yet standardized jurisdictional adjudication); Stoner, supra note 28 at 301-02 (noting non-uniform administration of UCCJA). Drafters combined the PKPA's "home state" jurisdictional preference provision with new, clearer procedures and a continuing jurisdiction provision that limits forum choices. Id. at 305; Patricia M. Hoff, The ABC's of the UCCJEA: Interstate Child-Custody Practice Under the New Act, 32 FAM. L.Q. 267, 268-69 (1988) (outlining streamlined approach to determining jurisdiction based on judicious but expedited enforcement of UCCJEA). see also Stoner, supra note 28 at 301-302 (noting purpose of UCCJEA is to "enforce orders quickly and efficiently").

(30.) See In re R.W., 39 A.3d 682, 693 (2011) (justifying parent's relationship with child as legal relationship capable of status based adjudication).

(31.) Id. at 693 (finding severance of parental relationship to require state intervention to adjudicate child's status). At this time, the court noted that it refused to decide whether status jurisdiction applied to custody cases, further distinguishing itself from the ruling in May. See id. at [paragraph] [paragraph] 28 n.4, 31 (limiting May's holding and limiting court's application of status adjudication to termination proceedings).

(32.) Id. at 694 (citing N. Aircraft, Inc., 572 A.2d 1382, 1385 (1990) and State ex rel. W.A., 63 P.3d at [paragraph] 14) (requiring state to possess both statutory and due process authority to exercise jurisdiction).

(33.) Id. at 694-95 (explaining UCCJA jurisdictional "home state" provisions and applying them to instant termination custody proceeding).

(34.) Id. at 694 (citing Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Super. Ct. of Cal., Solano Cnty., 480 U.S. 102, 113 (1987) (listing and analyzing five reasonableness factors in conjunction with reasonable forum analysis). These five factors include: (1) defendant's burden in litigating at the forum, (2) the forum state's interest in adjudication, (3) the plaintiff's interest in receiving relief, (4) the interstate judicial system's interest in efficient resolution of the claim, and (5) the shared interest of the States in promoting fundamental substantive social policies. Id.

(35.) Id. at 700 (considering all factors, court may exercise jurisdiction commensurate with its extensive authority).

(36.) See supra note 24 (distinguishing spousal relationship from parental relationship).

(37.) See supra note 25 (discussing application of May and Justice Frankfurter's popular concurrence).

(38.) See supra note 31 and accompanying text (highlighting court's review of statutory authority for exerting jurisdiction).

(39.) See supra note 21 (calling origin of status exemption into question and questioning current need for exception).

(40.) See supra note 32 and accompanying text (discussing court's "reasonable jurisdiction" analysis).

(41.) See supra note 27 and accompanying text (analyzing Supreme Court's reticence to address due process concerns in termination and adoption proceedings).

(42.) See supra note 27 at 307-308, 1211-1212 (noting due process provisions incorporated into UCCJEA and emphasizing importance of federal due process standard in order to secure parents' rights).

(43.) See supra note 28 at 301-302 (advocating purpose of UCCJEA is to allow for quick and efficient enforcement of decrees).

(44.) See supra note 22 (detailing purposeful availment test regarding minimum contacts and due process analysis).

(45.) See supra notes 9-10 and accompanying text (describing placement of girls in foster home and noting lack of notification of father or Sri Lankan officials regarding proceedings).
COPYRIGHT 2013 Suffolk University Law School
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Giordano, Christina M.
Publication:Suffolk Transnational Law Review
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Previous Article:International corporate corruption: why the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is not enough to stop widespread usage of shaving cream pies.
Next Article:Terrorism and material support of terrorism do not constitute Alien Tort Statute claims under the law of nations.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters