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In re G. I. R.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

June 12, 2019

In the Matter of G. I. R., a Child.
v.
M. R., Appellant. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent,

          Argued and submitted May 9, 2019.

          Jackson County Circuit Court 18JU07285; Benjamin M. Bloom, Judge.

          Shannon Flowers, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. Also on the briefs was Shannon Storey, Chief Defender, Juvenile Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Inge D. Wells argued the cause for respondent. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before Hadlock, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Aoyagi, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Mother appeals a judgment in which the juvenile court asserted dependency jurisdiction over her child, arguing that the court erred in determining that it had subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), ORS 109.701 to 109.834.

         Held:

         The juvenile court erred when it ruled that it had "temporary emergency jurisdiction" under the UCCJEA and, in the circumstances present here, it would be inappropriate for the Court of Appeals to determine in the first instance whether the juvenile court had jurisdiction under another UCCJEA provision.

         Vacated and remanded.

         [298 Or.App. 60] HADLOCK, P. J.

         Mother appeals a judgment in which the juvenile court asserted dependency jurisdiction over her child, arguing that the court erred in determining that it had subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).[1] As explained below, we conclude that the juvenile court erred when it ruled that it had "temporary emergency jurisdiction" under the UCCJEA and that, in the circumstances present here, it would be inappropriate for us to determine in the first instance whether the court had jurisdiction under another UCCJEA provision. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings.

         To provide background for the discussion that follows, we briefly summarize pertinent provisions of the UCCJEA, which governs subject matter jurisdiction in juvenile dependency proceedings. See ORS 419B.803(2) ("Juvenile court jurisdiction is subject to ORS 109.701 to ORS 109.834"); ORS 109.701 ("ORS 109.701 to 109.834 may be cited as the [UCCJEA]"). The general jurisdiction provision of the UCCJEA describes several circumstances in which an Oregon court has subject matter jurisdiction in a dependency proceeding, only some of which are potentially at issue here. One of those circumstances exists when Oregon is the child's "home state." ORS 109.741(1)(a). The "home state" is defined in ORS 109.704(7) as follows:

'"Home state' means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. * * * Any temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period."[2]

         A second circumstance in which jurisdiction exists in Oregon is when no court of another state either is the child's "home state" or has jurisdiction for ...


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