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Name: In re A.C.
Case #: D071772
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/30/2017
Summary

Where children’s home state of Mexico declined to respond to inquiries regarding the jurisdiction in question, the California court had proper subject matter jurisdiction. Mother appealed the juvenile court’s order terminating her parental rights, contending that it erred by concluding it had subject matter jurisdiction over the minors under the UCCJEA. The minors’ home state is Mexico, and the court sent e-mails to the Mexico court inquiring whether they declined to exercise jurisdiction over the case in favor of California’s assumption of jurisdiction. Mother contended that the juvenile court erred when it did not verify and authenticate on the record that those e-mails were sent to the correct addresses and appropriate judicial authorities, and were actually received. She contended that without such verification and authentication, the record does not show that the Mexico courts affirmatively declined to exercise home state jurisdiction under the UCCJEA. Further, mother contended that the court could not exercise subject matter jurisdiction under section 3421, subdivision (a)(2) because there was no evidence showing the minors and at least one parent had significant connections to California other than their mere physical presence. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Any procedural error by the court concerning verification did not require reversal. The Mexican judicial authorities’ failure to respond to the e-mails was tantamount to their declination to exercise jurisdiction over the case. Further, mother failed to acknowledge that she and the minors had significant connections to California in addition to their presence. The juvenile court properly found that it had subject matter jurisdiction under section 3421, subdivision (a)(2). Even assuming arguendo that it did not, the court also had jurisdiction under section 3421, subdivision (a)(3).