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Castro v. Castro
North Dakota Supreme Court
818 N.W.2d 753 (2012)
Julie Castro (plaintiff) and Crescencio Castro (defendant) met in Illinois and married in June 2009. During a separation in the fall of 2009, Julie discovered she was pregnant with the couple’s child. The couple briefly reunited, but in November 2010, the couple separated with Julie moving to North Dakota. Julie and Crescencio’s child was born in North Dakota, and Julie remained in North Dakota with the couple’s child. Crescencio commenced a divorce action in Illinois in June 2011, and in September 2011, Julie sued Crescencio in North Dakota district court for the primary residential responsibility and decision-making authority of the couple’s child. Julie alleged in her complaint that she was a North Dakota resident, Crescencio was an Illinois resident, and the couple were parties to the Illinois action. Julie further asserted that the couple’s child was born in North Dakota and that North Dakota was the home state of the child under the N.D.C.C. Chapter 14-14.1, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Crescencio did not answer Julie’s complaint. In October 2011, Julie moved for a default judgment. After conferencing with the Illinois court, the North Dakota court issued a preliminary order. The North Dakota court held that North Dakota was the child’s home state, but that because Crescencio only sought visitation with the child in the Illinois proceeding, North Dakota was an inconvenient forum. Julie appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Maring, J.)
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