Monday, August 31, 2009

Paternity: Failure to Comply Strictly with the Statute = Waiver Temporary Residence is a Qualifying Circumstance Appeals: Failure to Preserve the Iss

O’Dea v. Olea, 2009 UT 46, (Utah Supreme Court, July 28, 2009).

Father appeals district court’s order dismissing his paternity claim. Mother and Father had separated before Father learned of the pregnancy. Mother told father she had miscarried. Father learned that Mother had not miscarried, but instead was preparing for adoption. Father registered as a putative father in Wyoming and Montana and contacted LDS family services (the adoption agency). He again contacted Mother; she asked him not to contact her and told him she was in Utah and that he would never see the child.

Father engaged the police in his search for Mother, and made a website to find out about the child. On the website Mother’s mother responded that the child had been born and placed for adoption.

The child was born June 15, Father filed his notice with department of Human Services on September 8, (he testified that he had attempted to send it earlier, but the third party charged with mailing it failed to mail it).

The Court affirmed the trial court finding that because Father knew or should have known that Mother was in Utah, he was required to comply with the Utah statute by registering with Human Services within 80 days. Because he did not, he waived his right to notice.

Full Decision available at


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