June 18, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Home State of Colorado Not Required to Give Full Faith and Credit to Nebraska Custody Determination for Lack of Jurisdiction under PKPA

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re the Parental Responsibilities of L.S., and Concerning McNamara on June 27, 2011.

Custody Determination—Jurisdiction—Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act.

The Supreme Court held that, because the Nebraska district court that entered the initial custody 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 Nebraska district court did not have jurisdiction to enter a child custody determination under Nebraska law, because Nebraska was not the child’s home state and the home state (Colorado) did not decline jurisdiction on the ground that Nebraska is a more appropriate forum. Consequently, the PKPA does not require Colorado to accord the Nebraska custody determination full faith and credit.

Summary and full case available here.

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