Posts tagged "Victoria"

Custody of Victoria (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-174-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11826   CUSTODY OF VICTORIA. Suffolk.     May 4, 2015. – October 21, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.  Massachusetts Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.  Jurisdiction, Custody of child, Probate Court.  Probate Court, Custody of child, Jurisdiction.  Minor, Custody.       Petition for custody filed in the Suffolk Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on March 14, 2014.   Questions of law were reported to the Appeals Court by Jeremy A. Stahlin, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Michael F. Kilkelly for the mother. Jeanne M. Kaiser for the child. Brian Pariser for Department of Children and Families. Benjamin C. Mizer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, William C. Peachey, Elizabeth J. Stevens, & Erez Reuveni, of the District of Columbia, for the United States, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     HINES, J.  In this case, we determine whether the Massachusetts Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (Massachusetts act or act), G. L. c. 209B, grants a Massachusetts court jurisdiction to decide the custody of an unaccompanied refugee minor transferred to Massachusetts by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a Federal agency.[1]  The issue is presented on a report from a judge of the Suffolk Division of the Probate and Family Court Department.  The judge concluded that Massachusetts lacks jurisdiction under the act, but jurisdiction was nonetheless proper where Massachusetts is “an appropriate court” under Federal law governing custody and resettlement of unaccompanied refugee minors.[2]  See 45 C.F.R. § 400.115(a) (2012).  We conclude that G. L. c. 209B, § 2 (a) (2), as applied to the facts of this case, grants jurisdiction to Massachusetts courts because no other State has “home [S]tate” jurisdiction and it is in the best interest of the child that a Massachusetts court assume jurisdiction of the custody proceeding.[3] Background.  The child in this case, Victoria,[4] was born in Mexico in 1997.  She moved with her mother to Texas when she was six years old, returned to Mexico to live with her maternal grandmother when she was ten years old, and moved again to Texas to live with her mother and stepfather when she was thirteen years old.  When Victoria was fourteen years old, in 2012, she reported to the school nurse that she was being sexually exploited, and […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 21, 2015 at 5:31 pm

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