2 UCCJEA stands for Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act It, or its nearly-identical predecessor, the UCCJA, is law in all 50 states and in the territoriesWe have UCCJEA in LouisianaFPKPA, also called PKPA, is the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention ActIt is a federal statuteIt has nothing to do with kidnapping
3 FIRST, UCCJEAThe purpose of UCCJEA is to resolve and prevent jurisdictional conflicts between states in custody mattersThe act does not confer jurisdictionIt does state which state may proceed to exercise its jurisdictionThis is not a reciprocal actIt is not necessary that the other state also have UCCJEA or UCCJAUCCJEA applies internationally
4 HOME STATEUCCJA (LRS 13:1802) defines the “Home State” of the child as:the state in which the child immediately preceding the time involved lived with his parentsOr a parentOr a person acting as a parentFor at least six consecutive monthsIn the case of a child less than six months old, from birthPeriods of temporary absence are counted as part of the six-month period
5 LRS 13:1813 provides that a court of this state which is competent to decide child custody matters has jurisdiction by initial or modification decree if1. This state is the home state of the child(i) On the date of commencement of the proceeding(ii) or was the child’s home state within six months before commencementand the child is absent , buta parent or person acting as parent continues to live in this state, or(iii) Or was the child’s home state within twelve months and the child was evacuated in an emergency, or2. A court of another state does not have jurisdiction, or the home state has declined to exercise jurisdiction, and(i) The child and at least one parent have a significant connection with this state, or(ii) Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child’s care, protection, training and personal relationships, or3. All courts having jurisdiction have declined to exercise jurisdiction, or4. No court of any other state would have jurisdiction.
6 L.R.S. 13:1817Notice and opportunity to be heard must be given to the contestantsThe Act therefore applies to both permanent and temporary custodyTo both original and modification decreesBut not to ex parte orders
7 L.R.S. 13:1808 Notice may be given to persons outside this state by Personal service outside this state, orBy registered or certified mail, orBy service on a court-appointed curator-ad-hoc
8 L.R.S. 13:1818 Lockout provision A court of this state may not exercise jurisdiction if a proceeding is pending in the court of another state exercising jurisdiction substantially in conformity with UCCJEAunless the proceeding is stayed by the court of the other state on grounds that this state is a more appropriate forum
9 L.R.S. 13:1819 Forum non conveniens: A court that has jurisdiction may decline to exercise jurisdiction upon finding that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum.Similar to forum non conveniens under the Code of Civil Procedure
10 L.R.S. 13:1820 A kidnapper cannot set up a home state If the petitioner has wrongfully taken the child, the court shall decline to exercise jurisdiction.
11 L.R.S. 13:1821In all custody cases, the petitioner shall file a pleading under oath:Giving each address where the child has lived within the last five years, andAdvising whether he has participated as a party or witness in any other custody proceeding concerning the child, andAdvising of any custody proceedings pending in any other court, andIdentifying any other party who claims rights of custody
12 L.R.S. 13:1825 Recognition of out-of-state decrees The courts of this state shall recognize and enforce a custody determination of a court of another state if the latter court acted in conformity with UCCJEA
13 L.R.S. 13:1815 Modification of decree of another state A court of this state may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination and the court of the other state no longer has jurisdiction or none of the parties now resides in such state
14 L.R.S. 13:1827 Enforcing decree of another state A certified copy of a custody decree of another state may be registeredA decree so registered has the same effect and is enforced in like manner as a custody decree rendered by a court of this state
15 L.R.S. 13:1805 International application A foreign country is treated as if it were a stateUnless that country violates substantial human rights
16 L.R.S. 13:1816Abandoned children and emergencies are now in a separate section.Emergency jurisdiction has never been favored under the old UCCJA.In an emergency, a court may grant temporary relief to enable the claimant to seek relief in the proper state.
17 Now let’s talk about PKPA You’ve now learned about UCCJEA Uniform Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Uniform Custody Jurisdiction Act L.R.S. 13:1801 et seq.Now let’s talk about PKPAFederal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act28 U.S. Code § 1738A
19 FPKPAThe purpose of FPKPA is to determine which custody decrees are entitled to full faith and creditThe act is based on U.S. Const. Art. IV, Section 1:Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State; And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.The act does not apply internationally
20 PKPA is like the old UCCJA. Yet PKPA is a federal law, and under the supremacy clause a federal statute trumps UCCJEA.See Atkins v. Atkins, 623 So.2d 239 (La. App. 2d Cir. 1993).
21 HOME STATE under FPKPA28 U.S.C. § 1738A defines the “Home State” of the child as:the state in which, immediately preceding the time involved, the child lived with his parentsOr a parentOr a person acting as a parentFor at least six consecutive monthsIn the case of a child less than six months old, from birthPeriods of temporary absence are counted as part of the six-month period
22 28 USC § 1738A (c)(1) provides that a child custody determination made by the court of a state is consistent with this section only if1. Such court has jurisdiction under the law of such state, and2. One of the following conditions is met:A. Such state is the home state of the child(i) on the date of commencement of the proceeding(ii) or had been the child’s home state within six months before the date of commencementand the child is absent because of his removal or retention by a contestant,and a contestant continues to live in such state, orB. (i) It appears that no other state would have jurisdiction under Subparagraph A, and(ii) It is in the best interests of the child that a court of such state assume jurisdiction because(I) the child and at least one contestant have a significant connection with such state(II) and there is available in such state substantial evidence concerning the child’s present or future care, orC. The child is physically present in such state, and(i) the child has been abandoned(ii) or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child, orD. (i) It appears no other state would have jurisdiction, or another state has declined to exercisejurisdiction on the ground that such state is the more appropriate forum, and(ii) it is in the best interests of the child that such court assume jurisdiction
23 28 U.S. Code § 1738A (d)The jurisdiction of a court of a state which has made a child custody or visitation determination consistently with this section continuesso long as the requirement of subsection (c)(1) [the four tiers] continues to be met, andsuch state remains the residence of the child or of any contestant
24 28 U.S. Code § 1738A (e)Before a child custody or visitation determination is made, reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard shall be given tothe contestantsany parent whose rights have not previously been terminated, andany person who has physical custody
25 28 U.S. Code § 1738A (f)A court may modify a determination of custody of the same child made by a court of another state ifit has jurisdiction to make such a determination, andthe court of the other state no longer has jurisdiction, or has declined to exercise jurisdiction
26 28 U.S. Code § 1738A (g)A court of a state shall not exercise jurisdiction in any proceeding for custody commenced during the pendency of a proceeding in another state where such court of that other state is exercising jurisdiction consistently with the provisions of this section.
27 28 U.S. Code § 1738A (h)A court of a state may not modify a visitation determination made by a court of another state unless the court of the other stateno longer has jurisdiction, orhas declined to exercise jurisdiction
28 UCCJEA FPKPAPrimarily determines which state shall proceed and which shall abstainTreats emergencies separatelyContains provisions on enforcement of out-of-state custody ordersApplies internationallyPrimarily determines which custody decrees are entitled to full faith and creditTreats emergencies as the third tierDoes not apply internationally
29 The Beginning of your successful family law practice and The End of this presentation