Thursday, August 8, 2013

UCCJEA: Presence of the Child is the Only Requirement for Temporary Emergency Jurisdiction and Temporary Emergency Jurisdiction Can Ripen into Full Jurisdiction.

In re: Z.Z. et al; K.Z. and V.Z. v. State of Utah2012 UT App 317, Utah Court of Appeals, November 8, 2012

DCFS filed a Petition for Custody, Mother and Father fled with the children.  The Juvenile Court closed the case neither the children nor their parents resided in Utah.

Later the children were left in Utah with family.  However, neither Mother nor Father picked up the children on the designated date and another Petition was filed.  On the morning of the trial, Father’s motion to continue was denied and Mother and Father had their parental rights terminated.

Parents’ motions for new trials were denied.  Parents appealed.

Parents argued that the Utah Court did not have jurisdiction because Utah was not the home state of the children and had lost.  The Court of Appeals disagreed; they found that the parents’ abandonment of the children gave the Utah Court temporary emergency. 

The Court further found Colorado did not have jurisdiction over the minor children because, they had insufficient evidence to conclude that the children had resided in Colorado for the requisite 6 months.

Lastly, there is no absolute right to be present at the termination trial.  No due process was violated when the Motion to Continue was denied.


Full opinion available at

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