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Name: In re Gino C.
Case #: D064336
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/14/2014

The juvenile court did not properly comply with the UCCJEA before assuming permanent subject matter jurisdiction over children who had been residing in Mexico. Mother and her four children were traveling to Nevada from Mexico where they had lived for four years when they were detained due to mother’s mental illness or substance abuse. The juvenile court assumed temporary emergency jurisdiction under the UCCJEA. The juvenile court did not then contact Mexico to address the jurisdictional issue. It ordered that the temporary emergency jurisdiction become permanent, and that California would become the children’s home state. The appellate court reversed and remanded. Temporary emergency jurisdiction authority under the UCCJEA does not confer authority to make a permanent child custody determination. Temporary emergency jurisdiction can become permanent if no other state with grounds for continuing jurisdiction can be found, or that state is found and declines jurisdiction. Here, the juvenile court mistakenly interpreted the UCCJEA to allow the automatic conversion to permanent jurisdiction. Because Mexico was not given the opportunity to exercise its jurisdiction, the juvenile court’s order was error and remand was required.