Dept. of Human Services v. R. M. S.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 09-08-2016
  • Case #: A161256
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan P.J.; & DeVore, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A juvenile court must find jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, ORS 109.701 to 109.834, in challenges to state jurisdiction and not the proper venue statutes, ORS 419B.118.

Mother appealed a judgment finding her child within the jurisdiction of the Oregon court under the proper venue statute, ORS 419B.118. Mother argued that the child had resided in the State of Washington her entire life making Washington the child’s “home state” under the UCCJEA. Department of Human Services (DHS) argued that Mother and child effectively had been living in Oregon since fall of 2014, but kept an address in Washington to prevent authorities from finding the family was living together in Oregon. The trial court held that the was within the Oregon court’s jurisdiction “based on the fact that venue has a different residency requirement” and that the child spent a substantial period of time in Oregon. DHS argued that the court made the necessary factual findings under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), even when the court applied ORS 419B.118. The Court held that there was not a presumption that the correct legal analysis had occurred regarding what the child’s home state is and the trial court failed to appear the proper criteria under the UCCJEA. Vacated and remanded.

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