Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


State v. Sullivan

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-31-2011
Case #: A145824
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A145824.pdf

Civil Procedure: Administrative agencies lack jurisdiction to make judgments on matters that are pending on appeal in court.

Theresa Sullivan (Mother) and Clifford Sullivan (Father) entered into dissolution proceedings in Multnomah County Circuit Court and the case eventually ended up pending on appeal in the Oregon Supreme Court. While pending, the Clackamas County District Attorney filed a petition with the Support Enforcement Division (SED) on behalf of Father. Mother filed for a hearing with OAH and the administrative law judge (ALJ) decided that the SED lacked jurisdiction because of the pending appeal in the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, Father sought review of the ALJ’s decision in Clackamas County Circuit Court, and the court modified the child support judgment in favor of Father. Mother appealed those modifications. The Court of Appeals ruled that the ALJ was correct to decide that the SED had no jurisdiction while the initial dissolution proceeding was pending in the Supreme Court. The Circuit Court heard the case after the Supreme Court dismissed the previous case, but the case began before dismissal when there was no jurisdiction. Reversed and remanded.