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Name: In re Gloria A.
Case #: B239465
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/31/2013

California did not have “home state” jurisdiction over minor who had lived with mother in the state for one month before mother’s deportation. The minor, Gloria, was born in Mexico in 2004, and accompanied her mother who fled to California after killing Gloria’s father. Mother was arrested and deported to Mexico, leaving Gloria with her boyfriend, Francisco. In 2009, maternal grandfather Guadalupe visited the U.S. to take custody of Gloria. DCFS was contacted when Francisco refused to release her. The Department filed a petition, removed the minor, and placed her with a cousin in the U.S. A family court in Mexico awarded Guadalupe guardianship of Gloria and ordered her repatriation to Mexico. In 2010, the juvenile court found that it had jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (The Act). It ordered Gloria to remain with the cousin, and ordered visits for Guadalupe. Guadalupe filed a modification petition under section 388 asking for placement of Gloria. The juvenile court denied the motion without a hearing, and Guadalupe appealed. The appellate court reversed and remanded. First, it rejected The Department’s argument that Guadalupe lacked standing to challenge the juvenile court’s subject matter jurisdiction. Under The Act, the juvenile court may have “home state” jurisdiction over a child. However, the home state is the state where the child lived for at least six consecutive months with the parent immediately prior to the commencement of the dependency proceeding. Here, Gloria lived with her mother in California for about one month prior to her mother’s deportation. Therefore, the juvenile court did not have “home state” jurisdiction under the Act.