The UCCJEA does not regulate a court’s fundamental jurisdiction, and therefore can be forfeited by a failure to raise the issue in the trial court. In an appeal from the termination of his parental rights, father contended for the first time that the trial court failed to comply with the UCCJEA, and that Louisiana should have been the forum for the case. The appellate court declined to address the issue on the merits, holding that Father had forfeited the ability to raise the argument. Forfeiture would not apply if UCCJEA provisions governing jurisdiction implicated the court’s fundamental jurisdiction, but they do not. Father’s contention that the juvenile court lacked UCCJEA jurisdiction cannot be raised for the first time on appeal.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/E074079.PDF