May 18, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Colorado Not Required to Give Full Faith and Credit to New York Custody Determination for Lack of Exclusive, Continuing Jurisdiction under PKPA

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re the Marriage of Dedie and Springston on June 27, 2011.

Custody Determination—Jurisdiction—Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act.

The Supreme Court held that, because the New York Supreme Court that entered the custody modification determination at issue in this case failed to exercise jurisdiction consistent with the requirements of the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1738A (2010) (PKPA), Colorado is not required to give that custody determination full faith and credit. The PKPA, and Colorado statutes and case law that incorporate the PKPA’s requirements, mandate that to warrant full faith and credit enforcement in a sister state, the state that entered the custody determination must have exercised jurisdiction consistently with the provisions of the PKPA.

In this case, the New York Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to modify its own initial child custody determination according to New York law, because a New York family court referee previously ruled that New York State no longer had exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over this matter. Consequently, the PKPA does not require Colorado to accord the New York Supreme Court custody modification determination full faith and credit.

Summary and full case available here.

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