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Bergaust v. Flaherty

Court of Appeals of Virginia
703 S.E.2d 248 (Va. Ct. App. 2011)


Jane Bergaust (plaintiff) conceived a child with Edward Flaherty (defendant) while she was in France. Bergaust lived in Virginia, and Flaherty lived in France. Their child was born in Virginia. Initially, Flaherty often called Bergaust to talk about the child. Flaherty visited Bergaust and the child in Virginia once. Soon, however, calls from Flaherty became infrequent and eventually stopped. Bergaust filed a petition for child support in the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. The district court found that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Flaherty and dismissed the petition. The Fairfax County Circuit Court affirmed. Bergaust appealed, arguing that although the child was conceived in France, Flaherty had acknowledged his paternity of the child in Virginia. Bergaust argued that the acknowledgement subjected Flaherty to the personal jurisdiction of Virginia courts.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Humphreys, J.)

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